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It Doesn't Matter Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump Is Worse

Same song, different strongman

Gage Skidmore/flickr|Stat Dept.Gage Skidmore/flickr|Stat Dept.Last week Republicans nominated Donald Trump, whose speech reinforced the idea that he was running as a nightmarish strongman. This week Democrats convene in Philadelphia to nominate a strongman strongwoman of their own. A lot of ink was spilled on Friday explaining just how dangerous Donald Trump was, a toxic mix of fearmongering, disregard for Constitutional processes, and white identity politics. None of these elements are particularly new, although Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous.

Libertarians and critics of ever-expanding government have long been warning about the danger of the centralization of federal power. And the imperial presidency has been a century-plus-long project. Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. released The Imperial Presidency in 1973, the year Congress passed the War Powers Act to rein in a presidency that had been accumulating more and more war powers. In 2011, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told members of Congress President Obama would ignore their war resolutions in regards to U.S. intervention in Libya, and the administration ignored the 60-day limit for unauthorized military operations imposed by the War Powers Act. The executive branch now runs 17 different spy agencies.

And since 1973, the executive branch of the federal government has acquired four new departments—the Department of Energy in 1979, the Department of Education in 1979, the Department of Veterans' Affairs in 1989, and the Department of Homeland Security in 2002. Each has expanded not just federal policy beyond the purview of the Constitution, but the power of the presidency. Issues surrounding the departments has fueled controversies over issues from the nationalization of school curriculums through programs like Common Core to the federalization of domestic policing to the inevitable mismanagement of a federal veterans healthcare program that was vaunted as a model for nationwide socialized medicine.

Federal regulations and the bureaucracy required to enforce them have grown and continue to grow as well, leading to an explosion in armed federal agents operating for the executive branch on matters ranging from agricultural enforcement to the war on drugs. These are the powers presidential candidates like Trump and Clinton vie to use. The powers are more frightening, and dangerous, than any particular person who might wield them, especially as the increasingly rudderless and out-of-touch parties make it easier for populist demagogues to try to take over.

The imperial presidency and a strong unilateral executive in a Constitutional system with three nominally co-equal branches of government, has also benefited from a constant bipartisan tu quoque in response to criticisms. "Bush did it," so now it's okay to do. Both major parties have complained in turns about a "dysfunctional" and "obstructionist" Congress and a "crippled" judiciary, usually as a reason more power should flow from the legislative or judiciary branches to the executive.

While Donald Trump pledges that he alone can solve a myriad of problems in the United States, he is not alone in doing that. Hillary Clinton envisions a role for government in all aspects of life, far outside any of the roles prescribed in the Constitution. A few months ago, she offered up Australia, which confiscated guns after a mass shooting in the 1990s, as a "good example" of common sense gun restrictions. "If Congress refuses to act, Hillary will take administrative action" on gun laws, her campaign boasts. In June Jacob Sullum wrote it was pretty clear Clinton does not believe Americans have a constitutional right to guns. Progressives skeptical of, if not hostile to, gun rights don't see this kind of transparent attempt to roll back a civil liberty, and unilaterally to boot, as a dangerous misuse of executive power, but as a courageous act.

But what if it were the First Amendment Clinton were assaulting? That's not a hypothetical—setting aside her self-interested support for the repeal of Citizen's United, a case that found that the non-profit group Citizens United could not release a film critical of Clinton too close to the 2008 presidential election, and the way limits on political speech are used by those in power to silence opposition, Clinton has waged a decades-long war on free speech. Back in December, Clinton suggested the government work with U.S. tech companies to target terrorists' activities on the Internet. "You are going to hear all of the familiar complaints" about freedom of speech, she warned. Trump echoed those sentiments a day later. "We're losing a lot of people because of the internet," Trump said at a rally. "We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people." Trump's comments, because they included a reference to a tech company leader known from the 1990s, received more play, but they were substantively the same.

In 2012, when the White House believed President Obama might lose his re-election bid, the administration sped up work on rules to limit the president's power to unilaterally conduct a drone war across the Muslim world. Those rules never materialized. Glenn Greenwald noted in December that while Trump's ban on Muslims was "wildly dangerous" it was not far outside the American political mainstream. "It's important not to treat Trump as some radical aberration," Greenwald wrote. "He's essentially the American id, simply channeling pervasive sentiments unadorned with the typical diplomatic and PR niceties designed to prettify the prevailing mentality.

That lack of niceties makes Trump's disregard for Constitutional processes particularly, but uniquely, dangerous. Trump has similarly channeled the prevailing mentality on immigration. Trump's promise to deport more than 10 million undocumented immigrants is not new among Republican presidential candidates, and the Obama has ramped up the size of the border patrol and deportations during his term. "This is not what we knocked on millions of doors for in '08 & '12...to see our hispanic refugee women and children targeted and annihilated yet again by the President we campaigned so hard to elect," wrote departing DNC staffer Pablo Manriquez on Facebook before taking the post down at the behest of the DNC, as revealed in an email database from the Democratic National Committee leaked to Wikileaks. Manriquez was responding to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's concerns over new deportation efforts targeting asylum-seekers escaping violence in Central America. "During both campaigns we were scripted to promise relief," Manriquez continued. "We're all made liars with every hispanic refugee family we tear apart."

Never Trump Republicans say they're genuinely concerned about Donald Trump, yet most have not endorsed Gary Johnson or some other candidate they believe would adhere to and enforce the constitutional limits on government power. More of them have endorsed Clinton, who continues the project of expanding executive power without the nasty overtones of the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump's insistence that he alone can solve America's problem, and his apparent willingness to go it alone trying to do it, is dangerous, as is the pervasive idea that any government can solve every problem. "I've got a pen and I've got a phone," President Obama said of taking action without a Congress for which he could no longer wait to act on a slew of issues. It's as good a metaphor of the power that's accumulated in the presidency as any. Donald Trump is dangerous, as Clinton and other would-be strongmen are dangerous, because of the power accumulated in the pen and the phone.

"We can't wait," one Obama initiative circumventing Congress declared. Trump tells voters they don't have to. And a lack of understanding of the republican nature of U.S. "democracy" leaves voters with no reason to think they should.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (L) State Dept (R)

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  • WTF||

    Oh thank God, we were running a little low on TRUMP!

  • Zeb||

    What kind of political magazine writes articles about the presidential nominees? That's crazy. (Yes, there are stupidly many articles about Trump, but this seems like one of the ones that actually should have been written.)

  • WTF||

    Yes, there are stupidly many articles about Trump

    My point.

  • SugarFree||

    We all know you like it in the Trump, dude.

  • ||

    He gots jump in the Trump.

  • WTF||

    Baby got Trump!

  • C. Anacreon||

    Up my Trump
    Boy you burn me
    Inside out, and
    Round and Round.

    Said Up my Trump
    You're burning me
    You're taking me
    So anally.

    /Diana Ross

  • TheZeitgeist||

    So, Bill Clinton took her to his lair for some Bubba grind and bump...
    But then she got undressed and it was a big old mess, seemed Sheena was a Trump...
    So, Slick tried to throw him out, says no orange elephant wiener...
    Thats when Putin switched camera off, sure footage pure for his Funky Cold Medina...

    /Guess

  • Animal||

    What's the big deal? It doesn't hurt anyone. Trump Trumpity Trump Trump Trump!

  • Citizen X||

    although Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous.

    This country's "political norms" are what led to a race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. "Political norms" can eat a dick.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, I would say Hillary's familiarity with political norms makes her more dangerous as she is more likely to be successful in getting what she wants.

  • Chipwooder||

    Exactly the reason why I fear a Hillary! presidency more than a Trump presidency, despite the fact that they are both vile.

  • MikeP2||

    yeh, this. "political norms" are the shovel that keeps digging us deeper and deeper into the cesspool.

  • ||

    Agreed, fuck political norms. Our political 'norms' have destablized the world, systematically dismantled the U.S. constitution, and destroyed the rule of law. It's exactly what we DO NOT want more of.

  • Rich||

    Our political 'norms' have destablized the world, systematically dismantled the U.S. constitution, and destroyed the rule of law.

    Well said.

  • AlexInCT||

    Preach the truth Brotha!

    We have a choice between a bombastic narcissist and a sociopath criminal scumbag because of the political norms and the business as usual establishment, and all I hear is that the stupid people are to blame for daring to reject the status quo.

  • R C Dean||

    Trump is pretty much what you get when the Republicans decide to adopt the "political norms" that the Democrats have been propagating for decades.

  • timbo||

    There is one reason, perhaps, that Trump might be a good vote.

    Look at the list of people that hate him. Clintons, bushes, Merkel, all European leaders, race pimps, the media, the pope, on and on and on.

    Perhaps he really is going to upset the apple cart and pull back from nation building. I have a hard time buying into like everyone else.

    There is also the slim hope that he acts like a normal for profit businessman and realizes that war is bad for business.

  • Spartacus||

    Wars, like droughts, can be good for business, as long as they happen on someone else's soil.

  • timbo||

    Was that a quote form Spartacus? hope not.

  • DarrenM||

    It's hard to tell how much of Trump's rhetoric is just meat for the proles and how much he really believes. The only thing to really go on are his past actions. I'm hoping he's the pragmatic businessman he sometimes likes to portray himself as and "makes deals". I do think there will be more pushback against Trump's dumb ideas than against Clinton's given the nature of the bureaucracy and media. This would act as a mitigating factor. On balance, it's once again the lesser of two evils, just moreso this year. Currently, I see Trump as the lesser evil.

  • timbo||

    In terms of humanity, Trump is clearly a lesser of two weevils. She is a sub-human monster.

    In terms of unintended consequences, my only fear in trump is that he is such a protectionist and big spender that he only further hampers the economy just as badly as the witch.

    I fear that 4 years from now, some dipshit Marxist will campaign that capitalism is to blame and easily win the class warfare battle thus forever extinguishing capitalism and resulting in the eating of rich people.

    Other side of coin is that 4 definite years of utter failure of Clinton's fascism will at least put to bed the argument that big government has any merits and perhaps open the eyes of the anti-capitalists. Not counting on stupid leftist to ever be able to comprehend markets however, as easy as it is.

  • RoninX||

    Lots of people hate ISIS too. The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Tracking every call

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm beginning to suspect this presidential election will have no good outcome.

  • Rich||

    Heh. You're presuming there'll be an election.

  • MikeP2||

    Quite a few Americans who have stocked up on beans, bullets, and bandaids expect the same thing.

  • Brochettaward||

    If Hillary loses, I expect the left to completely embrace the anti-democracy arguments they bandied about after the Brexit. Presidents are too important to be elected by the hoi polloi.

  • WTF||

    They will be opining and fantasizing about a coup.

  • R C Dean||

    Presidents are too important to be elected by the hoi polloi.

    Talk about Constitutional originalism! That's exactly what the Founders thought, and why they invented the Electoral College.

  • WTF||

    And why they were against universal suffrage. You had to be a land owner to vote.

  • ||

    It's a little disturbing how many people I've seen supportive of a 3rd term for Obama.

  • MikeP2||

    Track record isn't good....

    2012 had no good outcome: Obama sucks, Romney would have sucked
    2008 had no good outcome: Obama sucks, McCain would have sucked
    2004 had no good outcome: Bush II was more of the same. Kerry would have sucked
    2000 had a questionable outcome: The FL recount fiasco threw fuel on the partisan fire. Bush was a solid executive when we needed it, but overall...meh. Gore would have sucked bad.
    1996 had no good outcome: Clinton had become a joke. Dole would have sucked
    1992 had a questionable outcome: Clinton wasn't that bad overall, although how much of his actions contributed to the dotcom crash and then later housing crash is open to argument. Bush would have sucked.

  • timbo||

    Good points all.

    All bubble deflations are the fault of the FED and only the FED however. They run the white house through the mega bank vassals anyway. All presidents are effective puppets for the biggest scheme of all. FED bailouts for moral hazard.

    All are bad because all are the same. It is at least finally becoming apparent to anyone who can read that the entire government is a one party power grab.

  • thom||

    Iraq War was pretty poor decisionmaking by a "solid executive".

    Gore would have "sucked" in that he would have hummed along for four years riding on the tails of Clinton and then lost to a standard-bearer Republican in 2004. Gore wouldn't have had the balls to respond to 9/11 in any meaningful way which would have spared us the Iraq War and would have made a meaningful response the central issue of the '04 election.

  • MikeP2||

    Discounting Bush's skills at pulling the country through 9/11 is just ignorant. He was very friggin solid when this country needed it. But after that, yeh...questionable.
    I didn't specifically say anything about the Iraq war.

    Gore would have been a nightmare during 9/11. And don't assume Gore wouldn't have also gone into Iraq. That venture was a fully partisan one with congressional approval, no matter what the dems were claiming later during the election.

  • MikeP2||

    correction..."bipartisan one"

  • timbo||

    The only thing bush should have done after 9/11 was realize what a true blow to US capitalism it really was.

    At that point, he should have brought all troops home, closed hundreds of bases and worked on our economy alone instead of the horrendous road he set us upon. Not to say that any other pol wouldn't have done the exact same crap. military industrial complex and the FED run our government.

    Remember, Bush was so unbelievably bad, he ushered in Barack Castro.

  • Tulpain't||

    Gore absolutely would have gone into Iraq. He said as much, before, during and after the invasion, it was his boss that bombed Iraq constantly, it was under his boss that regime change in Iraq became our official national policy, and independent studies have unanimously stated that the war would have happened no matter who won.

    I'll even take it a step further - if McCain had won in 08, we would be temporary allies with the Democrats these last 6 years on trying to get McCaincare repealed, despite the fact that it would be largely identical to Obamacare.

  • ||

    Let's all just pray that whoever wins in a one-term president.

  • JW||

    I'll settle for a fractional term.

  • JW||

  • Brochettaward||

    I'm not reading all that shit, Ed.

  • Rich||

    ... AreIS Worse

    FFS, Ed!

  • ||

    RCP avg today.

    Trump vs Clinton - Trump + 0.2

    Looks like a Hillary landslide. Keep in mind that a lot of the population who do not know much about Clinton and have never really seen her are about to get a huge dose of her lovely presence. That I am sure, makes this a landslide for Grandmao Pantsuit.

  • WTF||

  • WhatAboutBob||

    No way. Suderman told us back in May that ....

    Last night, the Republican party effectively handed its presidential nomination to Donald Trump. And in doing so, they may have handed an easy general election victory to Hillary Clinton. What in the world were Republican voters thinking?

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/05.....nee-republ

  • WTF||

    To be fair, nobody takes Suderman seriously.

  • ||

    Also, to be fair, he only said what every other aspiring mediot was saying.

  • ||

    RCP avg 4 way:

    Clinton - 40.4, Trump 39.8, Johnson 7.2, Stein 3.2: Clinton +0.6

    Libertarian moment!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They're completely different. Trump says whatever pops into his head. Hillary says whatever she thinks will get her elected.

  • commodore sees your every move||

    Give Trump a half-century head start and a thoroughgoing understanding of Alinksyism and you'd have another calculating, methodical, and thoroughly corrupt politician in the mold of Clinton.

  • ||

    Trump had a half-century head start. He just used it banging super-models and making reality TV shows instead of learning about politics.

  • commod swore the time before||

    That's what a mean. Clinton cut her teeth in college, probably before, and never let up. I doubt she could go toe-to-toe with Trump in terms of business acumen hucksterism, but she is many times the political animal Trump fancies himself. But it's a difference of style, not substance. They're both would-be tyrants. They both fart anticonstitutional sentiments.

  • Injun, as in from India||

    Wasn't Hillary an erstwhile Goldwater Girl?

    How did she go from that to being anti-First Amendment, anti-Second Amendment, anti-Fifth Amendment?

    Some evolution.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    At least Goldwater is dead and doesn't have to watch this shit.

  • Ron||

    you know little about realestate development. I work with many developers and they have to play all sides of every political isle they need to get stuff done. If you don't play their games you don't get to build.

  • ||

    True enough. He's a crony capitalist to the hilt. However, that seems to be ALL he knows. He doesn't get the diplomatic, public relations aspect of electoral politics. He only knows insider backroom politics.

  • commodore sees your every move||

    None of these elements are particularly new, although Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous.

    Not sure I follow. Clinton's insidious breed of Constitutional circumnavigation while swearing absolute fidelity to it seems like a much more damaging form of strongman politics. (Obviously it's not unique or original to her, but she is almost certainly the purest distillation of it.) Trump flails about and rolls right over the typical platitudes that supposedly conservative candidates pay to Constitutionalism, but since he can't be pinned down on what he really believes (excepting his unusually consistent anti-trade paranoia), his open fascist flirtation doesn't seem any worse than Clinton's opaque fascism.

  • ||

    Here's my 3 biggest fears about this election, in order from least bad to worstest bad.

    1. Trump wins by smallest of margins.

    2. Hillary wins by smallest of margins.

    3. There's a 100% certainty that 1 or 2 will actually happen.

  • timbo||

    Since it is over anyway, you have to admit that you would rather watch the trump disaster more than watching another second of that disgusting criminal hag c*nt.

  • timbo||

    At least he is hilariously entertaining until he maybe becomes a dictator. She will definitely go full Erdogan when given the opportunity.

  • commodore sees your every move||

    There's just so much butthurt to enjoy from this election it almost makes up for how revolting and depressing it is.

    Clinton loses. She gives a concession speech in which she channels fifty-some years of impotent rage and derision for voters.

    Trump loses. Cue several weeks of alleging fraud and corruption, with frequent promises to reveal "big stuff" that never quite gets released.

    Clinton loses. The lefty media dissolves into terrified mewling and backbiting. Bernie bros and Hillary harridans are at one another's throats.

    Trump loses. The NRO crowd has a well-deserved field day picking off the dumb slobs who ever thought the chump ticket is a winning ticket.

    Clinton loses. Blue states suddenly find Jesus in the matter of states' rights.

    Trump loses. Red states suddenly etc.

    And, probably the funniest outcome: whoever loses, business continues as usual for the next 4-8 years.

  • ||

    Bernie bros and Hillary harridans are at one another's throats

    I don't think we have to wait that long for this one.

  • Citizen X||

    +1 fart-in

  • timbo||

    You are correct sir.

  • Chipwooder||

    The media hysteria at a Trump victory will bring us to the cusp of peak derp. The tears will be fatter and saltier than the biggest Smithfield ham you've ever seen. It would be delightful to the point of making you briefly forget what a horrific president Trump would be.

  • timbo||

    It will be great fun to watch NBC and CNN sob for months.
    Until we realize that Trump may close the door on Free market capitalism forever.

  • Ron||

    Clinton loses she will only make more money making more speechs about the war on women by the vast right wing conspiracy. Win or lose Hillary wins

  • Roger the Shrubber||

    With the R's in office and her strings of power cut, HRC's speeches have no value to those who would pay for them.

  • Injun, as in from India||

    My biggest concern at this point is with the SCOTUS.

    Given how closely divided the Citizens United and Heller v DC cases were, and given Ruth Bader Ginsburg's open invitation for lawsuits to overturn both, I shudder at what will happen.

    You know what Hillary will do. It's obvious.

    But you can't trust Trump at all, given his past comments supporting the AWB and restrictions on corporate speech.

    We're f***ed either way IMHO. With one, you get your standard corruption and authoritarianism. With the other, you get the same but with a side of overt bigotry.

  • commod swore the time before||

    I really want to think that Obama's third term will push progressives into such disfavor that a genuine revival of small-government conservativsm, not another Trumptastrophy, springs up. That's the only silver lining I can see for Hillary clinching it.

    But maybe a thrashing, frothing, straight-jacketed candidate like Trump is what's needed to break the stalemate.

    The good news about either is that it brings the executive further into disrepute.

  • DarrenM||

    People have short memories.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Populist bullshit always sells well.

  • Pat (PM)||

    I really want to think that Obama's Roosevelt's third fourth term will push progressives into such disfavor that a genuine revival of small-government conservativsm

    Hope springs eternal.

  • ||

    I posted this in AM Linux, but probably more appropriate here:

    Why you'd be fucking NUTS to vote Third Party

    The derp is so deliciously transparent.

  • ||

    Trump denies climate change. No college assistance. Has ties to Putin and Russia. Is pro coal, pro franking

    The pro franking part is the part that really scares me. We have enough Franks in this country already.

  • ||

    Plenty of Franks, but do we have enough weiners?

  • WTF||

    Well, I didn't see Hillary come out against congressional franking privileges, either.

  • Chipwooder||

    How very Contract With America of you!

  • timbo||

    Trump denies climate change. No college assistance. Has ties to Putin and Russia. Is pro coal, pro franking:

    All of these platform positions are good. Even discussing détente with Russia has somehow become a bad thing.

    We all have little confidence that trump will be a small government guy but many of his positions are exactly right. He is just going to be another power hungry guy is all and the few good ideas he has will quickly be thrown out once he realizes where the money stream is.

    I am pro frank all day.

  • tarran||

    Franking is a minor abuse of power; Congress should have to pay postage just like the hoi-polloi.

  • commod swore the time before||

    Is it anything like Garfunkeling?

  • R C Dean||

    Has ties to Putin and Russia.

    And Hillary doesn't? How many millions with Russian fingerprints were deposited in the Clinton Foundation?

  • See Double You||

    Xe prefers Hillary's ties to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern fonts of democracy, I guess. And the rest sound like reasons to vote for Trump.*

    *Not that I'll be voting for Trump. For all his flaws, GJ has my vote.

  • ||

    My wife threatened to go all Lysistrata on me if I didn't vote Johnson.

  • JW||

    Vote Johnson, *with* your Johnson.

    Didn't see THAT coming, did you, honey? (Actually, she probably did. Still, she should act surprised.)

  • R C Dean||

    If my Johnson gets a vote, its voting for Ivanka.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    and the Franks had that white male islamaphobe shitlord Charles Martel!

  • BearOdinson||

    I am very much anti-Frank. Pretty much since Charlemagne killed hundreds of Saxons would convert from paganism to Christianity.

  • BearOdinson||

    *that wouldn't*

  • Robert||

    At an Odinist gathering (specifically in sumbel) a few yrs. ago, Bob Blumetti toasted Charles Martel for beating the Moslems. Bob said that although the Carolingians then turned vs. the heathens, it was still worthwhile for dealing with the immediate threat, because the Moslems would surely have persecuted the pagans in Europe too, probably worse. He thought we should take a lesson from that for our time by taking the help where we could get it, from the Russians, Jews, and Xtians, to oppose the current threat from radical Islam.

  • See Double You||

    Thank you, Ed.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Libertarians and critics of ever-expanding government have long been warning about the danger of the centralization of federal power.

    So why are Libertarians in favor of letting in a bunch of people who love an ever-expanding government?

  • WTF||

    What could go wrong? Just look how well it's worked out for California.

  • Tulpain't||

    Because we value principles over principals?

  • straffinrun||

    The only thing good about FB is the trolling it allows. I posted: If you could vote to have either Hillary or Trump as president or Neither Trump nor Hillary, which way would you vote? My informal poll came in at 90% neither.

  • Brochettaward||

    It's a disgrace that "none of the above" isn't on the ballot. Apparently, we aren't allowed to vote to have no ruler.

  • AlexInCT||

    Makes sense to me... wish elections allowed that as well..

  • Bob Meyer||

    Greenwald was right. Trump and Hillary are, to use the expression that originated in "Forbidden Planet, "monsters from the id". In that film an alien civilization, the Krell, developed a machine that enabled them to create anything by an act of will. The destroyed themselves in a single night when their own subconscious impulses were given material form.

    The American government now has almost unlimited power and will soon be in the hands of the worst elements of America's cultural "id" as manifested by Trump and Clinton.

  • Pat (PM)||

    In that film an alien civilization, the Krell, developed a machine that enabled them to create anything by an act of will. The destroyed themselves in a single night when their own subconscious impulses were given material form.

    Michael Crichton recycled the concept in his novel Sphere, only without the charm of 1950's scifi camp.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    'Trump's promise to deport more than 10 million undocumented immigrants...'
    Are 'undocumented immigrants' the same as illegal immigrants or different?

  • WTF||

    Illegal aliens, but that proper legal term is not PC.

  • ||

    I hear that its no fun being an illegal alien.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Thank you for reminding me that there is someone on this planet worse than Trump or Clinton: Phil Collins.

  • mojoe||

    I think the preferred term is 'unregistered democrats'.

  • R C Dean||

    The euphemism is accurate if you assume that citizenship is nothing more than a piece of paper. No responsbilities, no community, nothing but a bundle of entitlements.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    One significant difference between Trump and Clinton is that if Trump is elected the press will suddenly rediscover their sacred duty to speak truth to power.

  • WTF||

    Yes, at least the media will go back to trying to hold the President accountable.

  • geo1113||

    Until the next Democrat is elected.

  • ||

    This. The truly hilarious part will be when/if Trump reigns in our military interventionism, and we get to watch the left pine away for the glorious days of perpetual war. 'Hillary would have invaded Eastasia, why doesn't Trump do something!'.

  • WTF||

    No, they will still rail against Trump's alleged warmongering. Reality's got nothing to do with it. Because Trump is literally Hitler.

  • B.P.||

    True. Reagan was labelled a warmonger, and his war record was Grenada a some missiles fired at Libya.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think Congress may be less cooperative with Trump as well.

  • ||

    Yes, and the anti-war protesters will re-materialize.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    Re-materialize, that sounds spooky!
    Who you gonna call?

  • Zero Sum Game||

    The imperial presidency and a strong unilateral executive in a Constitutional system with three nominally co-equal branches of government, has also benefited from a constant bipartisan tu quoque in response to criticisms.

    Bush stuck his hand in the executive order cookie jar and the public didn't slap it away. Obama did so unflinchingly. Unless the country comes to its senses and votes out both team red and blue, the next one's destined to skip the pretense that he or she isn't emperor of these United States and executive orders are merely edicts not to be questioned and to be used whenever that pesky legislative branch won't play ball.

    Separation of powers? Well, if you call both your ass cheeks "powers", then get ready for some separation. Whichever we end up with we're going to get good and hard.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand. Separation of powers is a quaint idea created by people who didn't understand that government needs to get things done.

    That's why we need deference instead of checks and balances. When all the branches defer to one another, then things get done. Otherwise things don't get done.

    Why don't you want anything to get done?

  • Zero Sum Game||

    By now I'm quite certain that something is getting done. My only question now is: will there be lube?

  • tarran||

    Yes; the Dept of Agriculture recently classified fishhooks and broken glass as a lubricant.

  • MikeP2||

    I have never understood the "blame Bush II for executive orders" meme. To my memory/understanding, Bush used executive orders for piddly crap, but was adamant about going through congress for all the big stuff. Almost everything big he did had bipartisan approval in congress at the time. It was only during the later election year that the dems came out against everything.
    Obama on the otherhand has warped executive orders to directly bypass congressional authority because he can't even get most dems on board with the crap he has been pulling for his major programs.

  • tarran||

    Bush used executive orders for piddly crap,

    With Bush it was the signing statements that unilaterally "rewrote" laws.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's because Bush II issued more executive orders! Don't you see? He did it more! More! The actual content of the orders doesn't matter! He did it more! He did it first! See? He did it more!

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Bush used executive orders to drop special forces in wherever he thought some terrorists could be rooted out or some WMDs be found. He used them to put armed forces in harm's way to pave the way for armed conflict (technically war can still only be declared by Congress, but a sitting President can all but create one at this point).

    Perhaps your views have softened on the cowboy President or you've forgotten the shenanigans he got up to. I think the Bush doctrine was pretty clear... fuck diplomacy, fuck sovereignty, and fuck anyone who doesn't want to use a good war boner when it's been aroused.

  • MikeP2||

    Actually, I rather think your views have been utterly warped by the non-stop propaganda that started during the 2004 election and never ended.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing in favor of the Iraq war, but for fuck's sake the history is not what you are making it out to be.

    Bush had fully congressional approval for Iraq. He went to the UN to plead the case. He worked with allies and the international community to implement an ultimatum to Saddam (who thumbed his nose at it). Saddam was in direct breach of multiple agreements, all of which dictated invasion as the outcome. Even before the invasion there were UN sanction military overflights to enforce no-fly zones.
    More than any other president in the last 30 years, Bush worked within the laws and scope of diplomacy to conduct the Iraq war.

    Argue the misguided premise, the execution, the management, the decision making. fine. But arguing that Bush bypassed Congress. laws, or the international community is just ignorant of the actual history.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    I rather think your views have been utterly warped by the non-stop propaganda that started during the 2004 election and never ended.

    I disagree with this point, but I'll ask you another question:

    Does it matter?

    If it really is a seed that the left found a way to germinate that the general public wouldn't blink if the executive order is misused, it seems to have turned out that they were right about that.

    The right figured out that it could get away with using executive orders fairly freely as long as the targets were the people of other nations.

    There is no doubt that Obama has helped the the executive order to bud and flower. He recognized its potential uses against our own citizenry, and the public still hasn't blinked.

    Whoever gets it next will find the fruits. Of that we can be certain. I hope we can both agree that the situation is fucked regardless of whether either of us thinks the other's got the rose-colored glasses on.

  • ||

    Trump is definitely worse.
    That said, the whole "which is worse" game is often just a proxy for the "you must for vote one of these two" battle.
    You're right that focusing on who is worse sucks you back into the two-party partisan dynamic. "Thou shalt vote for Trump, Because Hillary", vs. "thou must vote for Hillary, because Trump" only serves to lock us into voting for either Hillary or Trump.

    We owe it to ourselves to give ourselves better options. If Trump wins because I didn't vote for Hillary, I'm prepared to live with that. And if Hillary wins because you failed to vote for Trump, you should be too (for all you Hillary is worse folks).

    Especially this year, when the Libertarians are the relative moderate centrists compared to the Republicans, we should be breaking out of the two-party system.

  • MikeP2||

    A good bit more than half the country wants something to be done about the 11+ million illegals. In some battleground states that have huge localized problems (e.g. Hazleton PA among many others) Trump is winning in a landslide.
    "Deport millions of people" sounds pretty good to folks who have seen their towns ripped apart by Federal actions and refusal to stand up for their own citizens.

  • ||

    So what if they want something to be done about those terrible terrible Roman Catholics from Spanish speaking countries?
    I hear that back in the day people hated Irishmen and dogs too.

  • AlexInCT||

    Yeah but the Irish came legally and were not breaking any laws with the help of a government entity that sees them as a great way to rig future elections in their favor, a distinction so many members of the team with that agenda seem to want to avoid at all costs. In the mean time, people that do all the right things wait forever or get turned down.

  • ||

    The laws around at the time the Irish came were dramatically different. There was no labor certification requirement overseen by the DoL that the immigrant couldn't be taking a job from an American.

  • Pat (PM)||

    There's no labor certification requirement for permanent non-work visas either you ignorant crack.

  • MikeP2||

    yeh...they did hate the Irish too. And as a result they controlled the amount that came into the country....legally at the time. All were processed and made citizens in accordance with the laws passed by the representatives of the people. What quaint attitudes.

    Laws....they are kinda important if you want to maintain a country It doesn't typically work out well when they become arbitrary.

  • ||

    Laws restricting immigration did not come into force until 1924, which was after the peak period of Irish/German/Italian immigration. From there, it only ratcheted up, particularly with the passage of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965.

    While the 1965 act equalized immigration from all parts of the world, it also imposed a cumbersome labor certification process on the employer sponsorship route, which effectively excluded unskilled labor unless the laborer had direct family ties to the US. THAT is why the rate of illegal immigration started rising in the 1960s. Nothing has been done to remove those barriers.

  • MikeP2||

    that is not true.

    Immigration was restricted back to 1890. Ellis Island was the primary gateway after 1892 and every immigrant was screened and approved for entry. The screening process was certainly looser then, but it did exist and people were refused entry.

    Immigration has become more and more restrictive to the unskilled because the nature of our economy has changed. Post-industrial revolution and then post-WW2 fewer and fewer unskilled labor is necessary.

    Why should anything be done to remove those barriers? why would anyone support immigration of people who will most likely not find a job or take a job away from a citizen? In what alternative reality is anyone going to support that?

  • ||

    It wasn't *numerically* restricted. The screening process kept out people with diseases. It did not have caps, at least not on Irish and Italians. (The Chinese, yes, as of 1924)

    And it's not that unskilled labor isn't necessary. It's because starting in the 1930s, domestic labor unions became a powerful force shaping legislation, and they didn't want competition.

    Immigration law isn't just aimed at the immigrant. It restricts the right of employers to HIRE who they want. If an immigrant can find a job from a willing employer, it is unjust for the government to restrict the EMPLOYERS right to employ that person. That is all about you putting a gun to the employers head and demanding that he hire you and not some foreigner.

  • MikeP2||

    It most certainly was restricted for those who couldn't work. Approximately 2% were turned away because they were likely to be a burden. and this is after the incredibly difficult journey that only the fit were taking.

    Yes, unskilled labor as a fraction of the labor has been dropping. We simply do not have the jobs available for the number of unskilled in this country. This is why it's restricted based on skills.

    All you have to do to understand this Is look at unemployment rates based on skills/qualifications/eduction levels. for graduate school level skilled labor, unemployment is negligible. something like 98% of those who lose their jobs are re-employed within a month or two. for high-school level unskilled labor, its up in the 20%s I think.
    that is a direct indication of the competitiveness of the unskilled labor pool. adding more people to that pool helps absolutely no one.

  • ||

    hat is a direct indication of the competitiveness of the unskilled labor pool. adding more people to that pool helps absolutely no one.

    It helps the employer who can get access to lower-cost labor.
    It helps the consumer who buys the employer's product.
    It helps the immigrant who benefits from having a job and being able to pursue a goal of moving ot the US.

    The only person who doesn't help is the domestic laborer. And why are his rights more important than the other three?

  • MikeP2||

    There are a finite number of jobs at any given point. Increasing the labor pool simply increases unemployment or decreases the amount paid per hour. Since the bottom is fixed at the minimum wage, adding more unskilled labor simply leads to either unemployment increases or a greater utilization of un-reported labor....folks getting paid under the table below minimum wage. Both of those screw over everybody. No one wins.
    Economies are static in the short term. you can't artificially skew them in a direction and just expect it to absorb the change without repercussions. Even in the longer term, no one with knowledge is saying that there will be a growth of unskilled labor in the US economy. Ignoring this is just ignorant idealism

  • Pat (PM)||

    It did not have caps, at least not on Irish and Italians. (The Chinese, yes, as of 1924)

    There were actually caps on Chinese immigrants dating to 1882 when the Chinese Exclusion Act passed, which was made permanent by the Geary Act in 1902, and it wasn't repealed until 1943. No idea what part of your ass you pulled the year 1924 from.

  • ||

    Not really. Laws restricting immigration were'n't passed until 1924, and then it was mainly aimed at the Chinese.

    The really big change came in 1965, which implemented the cumbersome labor certification process that effectively made it impossible for unskilled laborers to get visas. This was mainly done as a sop to US labor unions, because the immigrants were competing for jobs with their membership.

  • ||

    Server squirrels.

  • Pat (PM)||

    Repost it as many times as you like, it's still completely wrong you historically illiterate fuckwit. The earliest immigration restriction was the 1882 Immigration Act, with the Chinese Exclusion Act following the same year. 9 more immigration laws, including the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, passed between then and 1924 when the National Origins Act, which I assume is the one you keep referencing, was passed. Here's a handy summary timeline, just in case you ever get tired of having fact-free discussions on the issue.

  • MikeP2||

    "who let them in". Well, theoretically, the citizens of the country vote for representatives that pass laws in accordance with the desired governance. They pay taxes to support those efforts. for quite a few decades, those laws have dictated an immigration process that the citizens of the country supported in votes and cash.
    Now, the elected officials have refused to enforce those laws. so no...the people didn't let them in. In fact the people have paid and voted for the exact opposite.

    Who gave them jobs? same answer

    you are the only one embracing a lie. and to correct the record, I never stated anything to justify a mass deportation. I fact, I would rather see rigorous border enforcement and fully amnesty. But I ain't running for office. Trump is. and he is the only....the only candidate who is offering a plan. that is why it appeals to the people I described. Denying that reality is just ignorant

  • WhatAboutBob||

    So Trump is worse because he wants to follow the laws and deport people who entered the country illegally? As far as ISIS is concerned, Obama and Hillary are already bombing ISIS and Hillary is a big reason why Syria is such a clusterfuck today.

  • ||

    The laws are unjust. The people entering illegally largely have no legal means to immigrate legally. The laws are written to exclude people who are competing with low-skilled domestic labor. It's effectively impossible to get in unless you have immediate family who are US residents or at least a college degree.

  • MikeP2||

    Well, then, fight to get the laws changed.

    but the thing is, no one will support that. The most impoverished in this country are the ones who need those low-skilled jobs the most. Almost no support will exist for opening up legal immigration to the unskilled who will further impoverished the current unskilled already here.

    Ignoring the laws and encouraging 11+ million people to become second class citizens in this country is plain fucking stupid. It is abusive to them and unfair to the legal citizens who vote for something else entirely.

    either build a wall or give full amnesty. There is not in-between and whining about unjust laws is simply childish.

  • ||

    We are.

    What is supported by most people is immoral and unjust. How does it feel to be on the side of injustice?

    The current unskilled would have no problem competing for jobs with Mexican immigrants if they were as hardworking as them and willing to work for the same wage. Want a higher wage? Tough shit. That's the free market. You don't have moral right to keep out competition just because you want to get paid more.

    Mexican immigrants bust their ass working multiple jobs and are often more entrepreneurial that US-born labor. Anecdotally, my HVAC repairman (Hispanic) last week busted his ass until 11:30 PM replacing my HVAC unit which failed in the middle of a heat wave. He was here for 12 hours straight. You think a US born union worker would do that? Hell no. He'd call it quits at 8 hours and have some clause in his contract that made that mandatory. And the left would call that a good thing.You don't seem to get that all these laws were essentially written by the labor unions to protect their power in the labor market.

  • MikeP2||

    There are only two things here that are immoral and unjust:

    1) your racism, lauding the work ethic of illegal Mexicans over American caucasian and black citizens. The only reason you think it sounds good coming out of your mouth is that you see it as a type of virtue-signaling that makes you feel superior. But, no....its just base racism.
    2) Having a system that makes 11+ million second-class citizens with no mechanism to change that, forcing them to spend their lives working crap jobs for under the table pay and being prevented from pursuing the American dream all to make some racists feel good about themselves who don't have the balls to either enforce the laws or grant full citizenship.

    those are the only two immoral and unjust things present here.

  • ||

    1. It isn't racist to note that in my personal experience, Hispanic immigrants are more hard working than many low-skilled Americans. It's not *genetic* , after all. I'm not arguing that Hispanics are genetically harder workers. It simply appears to me that the US lower class is culturally trained to expect an easier time than Hispanics. They have a sense of entitlement - to jobs, to money, to an easy life, that immigrants do not. The Hispanic immigrant coming here doesn't think the world owes him a living. The native born Americans do.

    2. The system that makes them second class is the fact that they have to immigrate illegally. That's what this whole argument is about. I'm in favor of making it LEGAL which would make them NOT second class. You're explicitly against changing the laws to allow them to immigrate LEGALLY, which forces them into second class status. When you come out in favor of making it legal for them to immigrate only then will you be on the side of justice.

  • MikeP2||

    1. no...its racism.
    2. I already said it's either "build a wall" or amnesty. It is stupid idealism to just have open borders to everyone.

  • MikeP2||

    1. no...its racism.
    2. I already said it's either "build a wall" or amnesty. It is stupid idealism to just have open borders to everyone.

  • Pat (PM)||

    It simply appears to me that the US lower class is culturally trained to expect an easier time than Hispanics. They have a sense of entitlement - to jobs, to money, to an easy life, that immigrants do not. The Hispanic immigrant coming here doesn't think the world owes him a living. The native born Americans do.

    Yeah, about that...

  • Pat (PM)||

    HVAC repair and installation actually requires licensing and certs. It's not entry level, not unskilled, and not even apprentices make minimum wage. I'd be pretty surprised if your HVAC contractor was undocumented or working for a dime less than any American guy doing the same job.

    Also, anecdotally, it took about 5 hours for my African American HVAC installer and his helper to replace my HVAC unit - including removal of the old unit and running new thermostat wires. Sounds like you got pretty well fucked to me.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    OT, but Debbie now just chum in the prog-tank: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/22/.....index.html

  • ||

    My favorite part about Democratic politics is how fast you fall when they have no use for you. In a way, I think the Clintons are the most intelligent natural political animals because they understood that and have spent the last 16 years keeping themselves useful and relevant.

  • tarran||

    Somewhere in New Mexico, in an anonymous trailer park, Bob Packwood looks up from the glass holding the third decantation from the first whiskey bottle of the day, and nods sadly.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Well other than Packwood was an R and he's been a successful lobbyist since, spot on.

  • ||

    He meant Max Cleland

  • Knarf the Yenrab||

    She will nestle gently into the bosom of that handsome young Maddow fellow at NBC.

  • commod swore the time before||

    I'd probably debase myself in front of the world if it means I get paychecks cut by the Clinton Foundation. That kind of money buys a lot of denial.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    The executive branch now runs 17 different spy agencies.

    And the runoff is that we're getting countless more in the form of police and sheriffs' departments. All that tech from the spying industrial complex has benefited from an economy of scale and is getting cheap enough that every little fiefdom is getting its very own Stingray to listen in like the big dogs.

  • See Double You||

    OT: First day of the bar exam tomorrow. Wish me luck (the good kind, of course)!

  • ||

    Break a pen!

  • See Double You||

    I'll probably break my fingers with how fast I'll have to type.

  • Knarf the Yenrab||

    None of these elements are particularly new, although Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous.

    "Transparent disregard for political norms" is especially dangerous? Compared to Lizard Queen Clinton, who is the worst neocon of all neocons on foreign policy and has not met an authoritarian domestic policy she didn't adore? What a load of horse hockey.

    This shit is what happens when Reason hires writers who cut their teeth at Fox and NBC. At this rate, in ten years the magazine won't even be recognizably libertarian. Or a magazine.

  • SugarFree||

    Guess the answer. C'mon. I bet you can't.

    Why People Hate Hillary

    Spoiler Alert: It's just sexism, nothing more.

  • See Double You||

    What's Slate's strategy here? Corral wavering would-be Democrats back into the flock via "don't associate with those racist sexist homophobes"?

  • SugarFree||

    Exactly that. This was an article for fence-sitters to make sure they don't stay home.

    If you stay home, you are just an unflattering caricature painting of yourself.

  • Chipwooder||

    First impression of the article - they use a painting of a 78 year old woman that makes her look 28, which is more than a bit odd.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, I kept re-read to see if that was a typo, but then I realized they were suggesting that she was being "childish" to not vote for Hillary.

  • SugarFree||

    The guy calling her "robotic" has a stiff grin on his face and dead eyes. The woman that called her greedy and self-centered has a double chin and a fake smile. The guy called her a sociopath looks like a sociopath. The guy who called her elitist is a pudgy white guy who is balding, the very portrait of "privilege" as they paint it.

    It's one of the most dismissive and hateful articles about the people being interviewed that I've ever seen.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Oh, come now. Everyone knows it's not an ad hominem argument of you don't actually state it. Presenting an unflattering picture of the other guy is OK as long as it's a literal picture.

    Don't be distracted by all the real problems and real concerns people have got with those who our betters have chosen to lead us. The culture war's the only thing that matters.

    Just stay with me; safe and ignorant. Go back to sleep.

  • SugarFree||

    I read through maybe half of the 4,000 comments before my brain shutdown. No one seemed to realize how they were being manipulated.

    Slate readers are morons.

  • WTF||

    That seems rather like a tautology.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    "Paint me a picture" can mean two different things, and only one involves a brush.

    Proggies are really sneaky little shits. If they had to outright say that the people they're portraying with their caricatures are just projecting their own inadequacies on dear leader (coronation pending) Hillary, then it would be far easier to dismiss their bullshit as the pure ad hominem that it is. Instead they paint a literal picture that portrays the same thing so they've got plausible deniability.

    They love to have it both ways. They'll create all this art and music and say "just look at all this deep proggie meaning here, don't you agree with it because it's aesthetically pleasing or comes with a catchy tune?" Then they'll pull shit like this and can just say "why are you just focusing on the pictures? Come at me over what I said, bro."

  • AlexInCT||

    Don't you know the problem isn't with the establishment and their too many to count failures and blunders, but with the peasants that don't know their place and are actually ungrateful for what their betters do for them?

  • DarrenM||

    This was well-known in the days of kings and queens. Our 'leaders' are just rediscovering it now.

  • B.P.||

    Somewhat related: While rifling through my on demand movie choices last night I came across the following cinematic masterpiece ("Hating Obama"):

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt39.....fn_al_tt_1

    Spoiler alert: It's because of his race.

  • lap83||

    "She feels like she's above the law, and she's above us peasants"

    Sexist guys are just jealous that they're pathetic bottom feeders and not a member of the nobility. Pathetic.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Seems like the main argument I hear from "centrists" is that she is the "Devil we know". Seems like here might be circumstances where the DYK is preferable but IMHO, this is not one of those. I know her all right and she is horrible. She's only slightly better on economics than Jill Stein.

  • John||

    Sure she is the "devil we know". She is also the worst devil we know. If the Democrats had nominated Joe Biden or Jim Webb, the "devil we know" argument would likely carry the day. They didn't do that. They nominated Hillary Clinton. So when centrist Washington types say "she is the devil we know" what they are really saying is "at least she is one of us", which is something that isn't very convincing.

  • Robert||

    She is the Devil, you know.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Guess the answer.

    She's a prissy, stuck-up upper middle class prep school bitch from Chicago?

  • R C Dean||

    You left out amoral, paranoid (arguably), and narcissistic.

  • AlexInCT||

    What about the conniving criminal part?

  • John||

    Since one of them is likely to be President, I think it does matter if one of is worse than the other. There are degrees of bad and they can often be very meaningful. Beyond that, reason's writing on Trump are just a comedy act at this point. Trump's vulgarity makes his treats to the constitution "uniquely dangerous". What? I would say it makes it less dangerous if anything since he is plain spoken about them and manages to put a lot of people off. The real threat to the Constitution is the candidate who pays lips ervice to it and has a silver tongue that obscures his actual purposes.

    And reason's talking point about how Trump is really dangerous because he claims that he alone can solve our problems might be the funniest and least self aware thing I have ever read. The same magazine that had several of its contributors vote for Obama and never expressed more than the usual concern over his candidacy now claims that Trump is the most dangerous guy ever because he claims that he alone can solve America's problems. Obama claiming that his election would "fundamentally transform America" and "be the day the seas stopped rising" and about a hundred other things too numerous to mention within the character limit was absolutely no big deal.

    How do they write this stuff with a straight face?

  • ||

    Here's what is interesting to me. The Dems got all the way through the primaries with the DNC and media complicit in making Hillary seem like the anointed one, and now their convention is going off like a dumpster fire and there is shock and dismay across the internets. The Republicans, on the other hand, were already promised a disaster of a convention (and had one), but the larger media outlets had already prepared everybody for this. So when Trump gets the nomination and gives a not-crazy speech and Peter Thiel gives a not-crazy speech and gets a standing ovation as a gay Republican, it beats expectations. DWS is being given the Caesar treatment in full public view, and everybody is shocked and it looks disasterous -- underperforming expectations. So the same large media outlets that are colluding to make the Democrats look good are setting themselves up for ultimate failure.

  • The Fusionist||

    The art of Trump-Jitsu.

  • Brochettaward||

    It's true. Trump is benefiting, in my view, from a lot of the hysteria because people look at it and then the reality and say to themselves he's not that bad. Besides that, the RNC and Trump thing is entertaining. It makes a lot of people laugh. Cruz versus Trump was high comedy to me. The lock her up chants could have come from Wrestlemania.

    I'm going to guarantee the RNC trounces the DNC in ratings. No one in that camp is inspired. There are angry and bitter Bernie supporters, and then apathetic Hillary ones. The only time Hillary makes headlines is when another scandal breaks.

  • John||

    Totally. All the pants shittng and hyperbole over Trump did was lower the bar for him. After all that went on, anything short of him giving his acceptance speech wearing a sombrero and taking shots of tequila was going to make him look reasonable and presidential.

    Also the giant temper fit thrown by the Never Trump people just told the country that Trump isn't a typical Republican. Since Republicans have not been very successful at winning general elections lately and the Democrats relly on attacking the R nominee as a typical right wing nut Republican, the well known right wing nuts throwing a fit and pledging not to vote for him did Trump a huge service.

    It is funny as hell to think that Bill Krystol actually believes that his refusal to support Trump hurts him. Talk about living in an alternative reality.

  • commod swore the time before||

    giving his acceptance speech wearing a sombrero and taking shots of tequila

    How is that unreasonable!?

    *decants another jigger of Sauza silver*

  • John||

    It would have worked for me too. But, I am not sure I am typical in that regard.

  • John||

    It just shows that an honest fight is better than a dishonest one. The people who tried to stop Trump are butt hurt that they lost but they can't say they didn't have a far shot and didn't have their grievances aired. Getting all of it out from the start and letting people feel like they at least were heard makes it a hundred times easier to fix things after it is over than if you lie and make people feel that they didn't just lost but were screwed. Losing and not liking the result is something people can get over. Feeling like you were screwed is something that lingers and most people never get over.

  • R C Dean||

    The Repubs had their dumpster fire during the primaries. Its pretty well burned out by now.

    The Dem were able to barely avoid a dumpster fire during the primaries, and its flaring up during their convention.

    Not sure how the Repub convention was a disaster. Trump got his post-convention bump (for whatever that's worth) and did a little pre-victory housecleaning by marginalizing Cruz (which has a cost, but probably not a high one).

  • ||

    I'm sure the GOPe would have preferred a much more stage-managed production without the constant "distractions" from the desired message of a convention - "our candidate is awesome and we're all excited to get on the winning team. Ted Cruz's pitch to the downballot folks who would benefit from being able to distance themselves from Trump got a free ride, and it took cycles away from the above message.

    I think the secret is that all coalitional politics is inherently messy. And the members of many media outlets who also identify Democrat want to do to this what they want to do to the rest of their life and build a clean and coherent narrative where the side they favor wins because it is morally superior and intellectually inescapable. So they fail to cover the mess which involves lying and colluding.

  • Ron||

    Articles about Trump were about Trump, articles about Hillary will always include Trump as equally bad. There is a difference in articles that shows a bias.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Do you guys appreciate how much I'm spending on batteries for my sarcasm-detector?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Don't get outta the boat!

    A woman was killed by a tiger over the weekend after jumping out of a car in a Beijing animal park to try to save her daughter from a tiger attack, local government officials said.

    At least one tiger mauled the women on Saturday at Badaling Wildlife World in a section that allows people to drive their own vehicles through a Siberian tiger enclosure, the Yanqing County government said in a written statement.

    Surveillance video that circulated widely online showed a woman exit a car, then walk to the other side of the vehicle, where she was attacked a few seconds later by a tiger. As the animal dragged her away, her husband and mother jumped out in an attempt to rescue her.

  • geo1113||

    It's always nice to have a heartwarming story.

  • commod swore the time before||

    She really misread the whole "tiger mother" thing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous.

    Trump's inaugural address: "You're all working for me, now."

  • primenumbergrrl||

    In the last month I have had this thought at least once a day: Lord, I miss Hunter S. Thompson

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: It Doesn't Matter Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump Is Worse
    Same song, different strongman

    This is true.
    We will either have a true fascist or a true socialist slaver keeping us in bondage, involved in needless wars overseas and more red tape for the capitalist pigs in this country who are getting their ill-gotten gains off the back of the proletariat.
    Talk about a win-win situation!

  • barfman2016||

    That lack of niceties makes Trump's disregard for Constitutional processes particularly, but uniquely, dangerous.

    I really hope you meant "but not uniquely". The rest of the paragraph is nonsensical without that extra word.

  • Haha, charade you are||

    "although Trump's transparent disregard for political norms makes them especially dangerous".

    I would argue the opposite. Its like the shark in Jaws--when you can't see it is when it is more scary and suspenseful. With Trump, at least you see upfront just how awful he is.

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