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After the Midterms, Trumpism Is the Dominant Force in the GOP

The Trumpening of the Republican Party continues apace. What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?

"Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost," President Donald Trump said Wednesday, delivering a stunning post-mortem of Republican electoral losses in the East Room of the White House.

"Too bad," he continued. "Sorry about that, Mia."

He didn't sound very sorry. But the only thing more stunning than hearing a sitting president dancing on the political grave of a member of his own party—something Trump did on several occasions during his 90-minute news conference Wednesday—was the fact that Rep. Mia Love (R–Utah) had not yet officially conceded her election when he tore into her for insufficiently embracing Trumpism. Indeed, by Wednesday night the race was still not called, though Love trailed Democratic challenger Ben McAdams by about 5,000 votes with 30 percent of precincts still outstanding.

The day after midterm elections lend themselves to sitting presidents delivering frank assessments of poor performances by their parties. George W. Bush described his party's losses in 2006 as " a thumpin'" and Barack Obama in 2010 said Democrats were handed a "shellacking." Trump's remarks shared his predecessors' candor but none of their humility. Instead, he rattled off a list of candidates who won after he'd campaigned on their behalf, then mocked some of his fellow Republicans who "didn't want the embrace" from him so close to the election.

"I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad," Trump said of the losses suffered by Republican candidates who distanced themselves from his unpopular presidency. "I think I feel just fine about it."

That's insane—no president has ever benefited from watching the other party take control of Congress. But it reveals once again that Trump really feels no allegiance to the Republican Party, its voters, or its candidates. In the party of Trump, loyalty is a one-way street. And in the aftermath of Tuesday's midterm elections, the Republican Party is increasingly exclusively the party of Trump.

In an election where literally hundreds of Republicans were elected to Congress, it is of course not true that those who showed the greatest fealty to Trump were always victorious while those who shunned him were always defeated. There will be plenty of both groups present when the 116th Congress begins in January.

Still, Trump's broad assessment of the GOP's performance on Tuesday has more than merely a ring of truth to it—something that's been widely acknowledged in the days after the election by commentators and analysts like The Federalist's Ben Domenech, The Washington Examiner's David Drucker, and The Atlantic's McKay Coppins, among others. The specifics of their arguments differ, but the central thesis is the same. The Republican Party is now "decidedly more Trumpian," writes Domenech, "having seen the elimination of its most moderate and Trump-critical members, and the support of those who embraced Trump emphatically on the campaign trail and in policy preferences."

The effect may be more pronounced in the Senate, due mostly to the simple fact that the Republicans no longer control the agenda in the House (where the GOP conference was already more pro-Trump even before the election). Several GOP senators who were at times thorns in Trump's side are now gone. That includes the late John McCain (R–Ariz.), of course, but also Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.) and Bob Corker (R–Tenn.), both of whom are retiring. Marsha Blackburn, who was elected Tuesday to replace Corker, made Trump's endorsement a centerpiece of her campaign—a fitting analogy for the transformation of the GOP on the national stage.

Beyond the specifics of who comprises the Senate Republican conference, Tuesday's outcome also boosts Trump by widening the Senate's Republican majority. With a 54-seat majority (which seems the most likely outcome, though a few races remain undecided), the moderates that remain will have less power to bend the chamber's will. Senators like Susan Collins (R–Maine) or Ben Sasse (R–Neb.) will have fewer opportunities to fill the swing-vote role that McCain did on the Obamacare repeal or Flake did on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

That means that the only obviously Trump-skeptical Republican to win a statewide race on Tuesday—the newly elected senator-to-be from Utah, Mitt Romney—may not have much leverage either. Trump is despised in Utah, so selectively opposing the president's agenda should not carry a high political price for Romney, but he also doesn't seem like the likely leader of a Senate GOP opposition movement.

When I went back and re-watched Trump's press conference, I was struck by how deliberate the president's shots at other Republicans were. The "sorry, Mia" might have been typical Trumpian ad-libbing, but the rest was decidedly not. Trump was reading from a card most of the time, including the moment when he helpfully laid out exactly what it means to "embrace" Trumpism. This was not Trump talking off the cuff. The White House was deliberately conveying a specific message to Republicans: Trump is now the center of conservatism.

It's telling that one of the strongest rebukes of Trump's comments about Love and other Republicans who lost on Tuesday came from Rep. Ryan Costello (R–Penn.), who said on Twitter that he was "disgusted" by the performance.

During an appearance on CNN later in the day, Costello stood by his tweet and clarified that he believed many moderate Republicans had made the right choice to distance themselves from Trump, who is deeply unpopular in some parts of the country. The president's unpopularity, Costello said, was a deciding factor in some of the races Republicans could have won but lost instead.

Trump may not care much. Like so many other non-Trumpist Republicans, Costello is leaving Congress at the end of the year. He didn't seek re-election.

Photo Credit: AL DRAGO/UPI/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    He didn't sound very sorry.

    Another lie from the president.

    Is it at all possible that Trump realizes something that journalists and pundits fail to grasp? That the average voter doesn't get upset when politicians tear each other down?

  • PeteRR||

    Crocodile tears are not lies. Otherwise we'd all be liars. Schadenfreude is a perfectly normal human emotion.

  • rocks||

    Trump cleaned out the never trumpers in this election. All of the never trumpers in congress either retired and didn't run (which is why the GOP had a historic number of open seats) or they were not sponsored by Trump and lost. If you look at the seats that flipped almost all fell into one of those two categories. MAGA does not need the GOPe and the existing GOPe needed to be kicked out. That was accomplished.

    In 2020 only pro-Trump candidates will be running for the GOP, and he will win biggly.

    He's a few steps ahead of you guys, try to keep up.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump's supporters have been shambling failures their entire lives. They never stuck with or accomplished much, aren't about to start being effective or accomplished now.

    No wall. No Mexico paying for it. No Obamacare repeal. No locking her up. No Kenyan birth certificate. No uneducated, unskilled, backward rural white males prospering at the expense of accomplished "elites" in modern, successful communities.

    The liberal-libertarian mainstream, with its advanced degrees and education and marketable skills and tolerance and fancypants standard English, has been shoving progress down the throats of backwater yahoos for several generations. Superstitious, bigoted yahoos are not going to change the course of American progress. They'll get lathered up at a few rallies in downwardly mobile communities, and continue to elect public officials in every can't-keep-up, desolate town in America, but mostly they will mutter bitterly about all of this damned progress, send their children to backwater religious schools, and constitute the wrong end of bright flight for another couple of generations.

    MAGA. My Associates Getting Arrested. My Attorney Giving Allocutions. My Aides Going Away.

    Enjoy the delusions of adequacy, clingers.

  • Vince Smith||

    Why are you conflating liberals and libertarians?

  • Gasherbrum||

    Is that you, Bootsie?

  • ||

    That the average voter doesn't get upset when politicians tear each other down?

    Trump will be out after two terms at the most. No single president has fucked up American policy over the last half century as much as the two parties that persist past any one POTUS.

    The fact that they call it Trumpism after less than a full term while we went through Bushism and were poised for Clintonism (let alone Marxism, Maoism, Chavesism, etc.) is laughable.

  • Dillinger||

    ^

  • lap83||

    Trump's tweets are literally the Holocaust

  • Nardz||

    ^this gal gets it

  • Fancylad||

    Ackchyually, one-hundred million holocausts.

  • retiredfire||

    Two terms is all he can be there, genius.
    The question us: Who will take over the MAGA reins in 2020?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?"

    Suck eggs?

    Btw, who are these principled conservatives you speak of?

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Bruce Bartlett.

    Rick Wilson.

    Steve Schmidt. To name only three.

    All stand up principled conservatives.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    And why would they stop being principled conservatives? Rhetorical. I know you didn't write the article.

  • Cathy L||

    Why would you even think the question was about them stopping being principled conservatives, when it's obviously about whether they'll stay in the Republican party?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Party above principle, always.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I guess because most politicians are candles in the wind, but I see your point.

  • Dillinger||

    they got elected.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Bartlett's leaving out the shit about annexing Austria and concentration camps and the Night of the Long Knives. You know, small stuff like that. I know that stuff is minor but seems as if it'd be worth at least a mention.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    But Drumpf has established camps that literally rip children from their parents' arms. And the only reason he hasn't done even worse things is because #TheResistance has stopped him.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Aryan Nationalists have somehow gotten a bad rep.

  • ||

    Aryan Nationalists have somehow gotten a bad rep.

    Not as bad as Muslims, but they've earned theirs.

  • Ron||

    what History books does Bartlett read. Hitler had multiple women and only married once just before committing suicide and he was a failure in the military and his book was as crazy and rambling as if a child had written them

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    only married once just before committing suicide

    that is one way to not cheat.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Mussolini might be a better comparison, but I don't think Trump is even that competent.

  • retiredfire||

    One of Hitler's first acts was to take away all the guns.
    Which party wants to do that?
    A dictator can only rule if government is overwhelmingly involved in every segment of society.
    Which party wants that?
    The Nazis had their storm troopers, akin to antifa.
    Which party supports them?
    You guys are so much closer to Naziism.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    This is your funniest post yet.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    That was a nice OBL one-two punch.

  • BigT||

    Embrace selected Trump policies - tax and reg reduction - while remaining silent about Trump's bloviating.

  • Jerryskids||

    What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?

    Two of them will start voting Independent and the third will join the LP.

  • sarcasmic||

    What will principled conservatives do...

    As if such a thing exists.

  • I can't even||

    ^ This ^

    The guys who can't surrender to the Left fast enough. John McCain's reflexive surrendering to Democrats and vicious attacks on anyone who doesn't surrender was proof of his principles.

  • BYODB||

    So the author talks about conservatives, and you mention John McCain. A man widely recognized as being a RINO by pretty much everyone.

    Seems legit, assuming you don't know what a conservative is.

  • Azathoth!!||

    That's what 'principled conservatives' are--RINOS.

    Because they suck up to Democrat principals.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    By definition, a principled conservative would continue to be a principled conservative. Otherwise, this person isn't principled

  • sarcasmic||

    I used to listen to some right-wing talk radio here and there while driving. When Trump got the nomination I couldn't understand the hosts anymore. Their speech was garbled from gagging on Trump's dick. I noticed a similar change right here in these comments as well as with coworkers. Seems like the only conservative principle is winning.

  • BYODB||

    You were listening to the wrong talk radio shows, then. Limbaugh in particular is quite clearly just a shill for the party rather than a conservative of any particular stripe.

    Mark Levin is probably the most reasonable, and he's terrible on criminal justice and foreign military intervention but if you can get past that he's pretty damn good on lots of other issues.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Seems like the only conservative principle is winning.

    When it's the only principle of your enemies, you adjust or get destroyed.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Before Trump, whenever I would discuss issues with my conservative friends and criticize the GOP for stupid stances, like pot prohibition or being anti-gay, they would grudgingly agree with me and tell me that they do not really care about social issues, that's it's all about economic issues. But if you listened to what they would get angry about, it was always a social issue. These days, all the pretense of the GOP having different economic policies from the Democrats has disappeared. There is no talk of economic issues at all. It is the culture war all the time. I don't blame Trump for this. It was bound to happen with him or without him. He was just the opportunist that was there to grab the reigns and ride the horse into the castle.

  • John||

    These days, all the pretense of the GOP having different economic policies from the Democrats has disappeared.

    REally? So I guess Pelosi and company are totally down with the tax bill and all of the reductions in regulations that Trump is doing?

    Jesus fucking Christ. How can you say something that stupid and at odds with reality? Do you realy think the only thing involved in economic policy is international trade and open borders? WTF is the matter with you?

  • BYODB||

    Why bash on Republicans for spending when literally no one else cares about it, and even most Republicans don't care about it? I mean, there's an entire opposition party that runs on redistribution of income, freebies, and running permanent deficits so what is the real alternative? Libertarians? HA!

    Sure, I care about it but I don't even have a party. I'm just one person.

  • John||

    Bashing on Republicans for spending is a fair criticism. They really are just slightly better than Democrats and that is pretty bad. But to say they are both the same on economic policy in general is just assinine.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    As you should know by now, if you cut taxes and massively increase spending, that's not really a tax cut (see Milton Friedman). The reality is that Democrats like to tax, borrow, and spend. Republicans like to tax less, borrow more, and spend.

    And no, the Laffer curve won't bail our asses out of it.

  • John||

    But again, there is a lot more to economic policy than how big the deficit is. The administrative state is a much bigger threat to both the economy and to your freedom than the deficit.

  • BYODB||

    Oh I agree, but the fact is that people are having an intense debate over a minor difference in the size of the deficit. Note that no one at all is seriously considering not running a deficit. That's the thing that lets you know that none of them are at all serious.

  • BYODB||

    Oh I agree, but the fact is that people are having an intense debate over a minor difference in the size of the deficit. Note that no one at all is seriously considering not running a deficit. That's the thing that lets you know that none of them are at all serious.

  • Robert||

    Reminds me of my time w the Conservative Party in the Bronx. They saw it was pretty much hopeless to contest economic issues, so social issues became the predominant organizing focus.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would Republican pundits understand who Trump is or what he is about?

    Their guys were Jeb and Cruz.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    sarcasmic|11.8.18 @ 11:24AM

    Agreed!

  • Azathoth!!||

    Nah, the reason everything sounded all garbled is because you shoved your own head up your ass.

    It's the first symptom of TDS.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Reminds me of that other sorry-ass Republican president who said "Yer either with us or agin' us".

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Wait....Jed Clampett was a Republican president?

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Evil Jed Clampett was.

  • BYODB||

    Joe Biden?

  • Echo Chamber||

    "That's insane—no president has ever benefited from watching the other party take control of Congress."

    Eric doesn't play nth-dimensional chess

  • Here for the outrage||

    When you run on building a wall, but don't actually want to build one

    When you run on spending cuts, but don't want to cut spending

    When you run on getting rid of Obamacare, but only because it's not called Trumpcare

    Trump now has two years of excuses to run on in 2020

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, you get it. He is a fucking Con man.

    Ran on "renegotiating" a shitty NAFTA deal then adds a few new regulations on car parts in it and makes it shittier.

    Runs on renegotiating the Iran deal and makes it worse and allows Iran to reconstitute WMD grade uranium.

    He is a fucking fraud, liar, and con man.

    (but so is conservatism)

  • John||

    You are just pissed he moved the embassy to Jeruselum. Not everyone is a tool of the Jews, no matter what all of your Democrat friends tell you shreek.

  • lafe.long||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Principled conservatives" could follow the Rand Paul model of speaking out against administration policy only on specific topics and in such a way as to not deliberately antagonize to score points with so-called Never Trumpers or with journalists.

  • Sevo||

    They have to admit they have a problem before they can find a way to deal with it.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    Sevo admits he has problems.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|11.8.18 @ 10:38AM|#
    "Sevo admits he has problems.

    New total of turd posts which are not lies:
    Zero.

  • BigT||

    THIS

  • BYODB||

    That's what I would hope Republicans would do, but I have zero faith that Republicans will ever 'fall in line' behind a guy like Rand. Both parties are only in it for the power, and frankly neither of them really want the responsibility.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?

    Principled conservatives need to do the same thing principled libertarians should — vote straight ticket Democrat. Max Boot has explained this quite well.

  • Echo Chamber||

    OBL - I appreciate your commentary, but can you move past voting themes for the next year or so?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Since I reject violence, voting (along with Internet activism) is the best way to #Resist the Nazi Handmaid's Tale government currently running this country. I mean, we're just two days removed from the power of the ballot box dealing Orange Hitler a huge defeat in the #BlueTsunami.

    Asking people not to discuss voting on a politics / current events site doesn't make much sense.

  • DiegoF||

    OBL, what is your take on the Senate? What went wrong? Apologies for missing anything you may have said.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I may have gotten carried away with my prediction that the #BlueTsunami would result in a Democratic Senate. I let all the Beto lawn signs and bumper stickers I see every day (despite not living in Texas) convince me he would beat Cruz.

    Moreover, I forgot that the Senate is a fundamentally unfair legislative body. For example, California and Wyoming each get two Senators, which is indefensible when you consider their relative populations. The Senate, like the Electoral College, is an anachronism rigged to favor the Republicans.

    #AbolishTheElectoralCollege
    #AbolishTheSenate
    #(OrAtLeastGiveLargeStatesMoreSenators)

  • Fancylad||

    I may have gotten carried away with my prediction that the #BlueTsunami would result in a Democratic Senate.
    Never apologise OBL, it'll wreck the illusion.

  • retiredfire||

    Then I guess it's #AbolishTheConstitution
    You'll have to find a country that doesn't believe in ours.
    Because we aren't getting rid of it no matter how much you communists whine.
    Doing that would mean a real civil war, and the Constitutionalists are the ones who believe in gun control being "center your sights on the target".

  • Vince Smith||

    The Constitution says that you can't change the fact that each state gets two senators. It cannot be amended.

  • NoVaNick||

    I heard your mom calling down to you-your milk and cookies are ready

  • Zeb||

    I watched part of the press conference during lunch yesterday. And I have to say, I really hope he starts doing more of them. I found it quite amusing.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?

    Probably clutch their balls and bellow in rage, pain and humiliation. The same thing they've been doing for the last 50 years.

  • Fancylad||

    The same thing they've been doing for the last 50 years.
    Bending over and asking for another? Wiping DNC goo off their chins? Putting on a clown suit and dancing to the MSN hurdy-gurdy for thrown nickels?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Principled conservatives should vote for the party that wants to turn this country into Venezuela, because principle.

    Please Tell Me Some More About How the NeverTrumpers Are The Most Conservative Republicans In the Universe
    Similarly, the liberals crying "Don't talk about immigration!" are pretending their objection is merely a tactical one, one of timing and method, but their real objection is substantive: they want to keep the status quo of lax to no border enforcement, no wall, very limited deportation and only for the hardest of hardened criminals, etc.

    They won't tell you the truth about this -- they'll just snipe at any effort to change the status quo -- because, like the actual progressive Democrats who are their kissing cousins, they have learned to hide their real positions from the Deplorables and Riff-Raff they rule over, concealing their actual position (keep the no-enforcement status quo, grant DACA in exchange for... nothing) while pretending they're only objecting to timing and messaging.

    ...

    Conservatives are consistently marginalized and dominated by liberals even in their own fucking political party.

  • creech||

    Costello was my congressman. His district, now handily in the hands of the Dems, had not elected a Democrat to Congress since before the Civil War. Dislike for Trump's jr. high assholery caused a local bloodbath for the GOP: incumbent rinos and principled conservatives alike. Many of Trump's policies are in line with the thinking of local voters but, as we know, it is all about "the feelz" so his mangled, insulting way of speaking sways enough voters to matter.
    So while he criticizes Mia Love for not embracing his majesty, what does he say to loyal Dana Rohrabacher who lost his seat after 16 terms because he was deemed too close to Trump?

  • John||

    What could Trump have done differently to sooth the delicate sensibilities of voters in your district? Acted more like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney? Likely that would have helped but would have come with some fairly serious penalties elsewhere.

    I think Trump's biggest sin among the type of voter you mention is actually defeating the Progs. That sort of voter wants to defeat the Progs in theory but the reality of what doing so entails, which is more or less the Progs losing their minds and calling everyone a racist, is not something they are willing to do. If your primary value in life is everyone getting along and being civil, you are going to prefer to let the progs win when it comes down to it.

  • NoVaNick||

    I am not a Trump fan but his midterm strategy made perfect sense in the grand scheme of things-rally the base to elect a pro-Trump senate, while sacrificing a few soccer mom districts in the house. If the economy keeps rolling along, he will likely be re-elected.

  • John||

    I think you are right. You are better off with a minority in the House than a small majority. All having a small majority in the House when you don't have the Senate or the White House does is set you up to disapoint your supporters and have to take some responsibility for things with the public. The Democrats in the House will either have to be reasonable and work with Trump, which will drive their base insane and make Trump look reasonable and accomplished or satisfy their base by being complete obstructionists which will make those Democratic reps who just got elected on the pledged of "getting things done" toast in 2020.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1 John

  • Lost in the Woods||

    I am not so sure about his re-election prospects. Part of why he won was because he was running against Hillary Clinton. Many Trump votes were really just anti-Hillary votes. I can't imagine the Dems running someone so awful again. In the mid-terms, with the senate, I think he got some help from the Kavanaugh thing, which the Dems botched unimaginably badly. I can't see them continuing to make this many unforced errors. Meanwhile Trump continues to turn off more and more voters with his language while he rallies a base that isn't growing. Perhaps voters shouldn't care about his rhetoric or style, and just look at the results. But it seems that they do care about words and style. Some of his style is 'fight to win', which is positive. But some is just 'asshole', which is what causes him problems. And ultimately it costs votes for Republicans.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nobody currently being spoken about among Democrats can compete with Trump.

    A Democrat white male cannot compete because of Trump's great record and he's a white male.
    A Democrat women just does not have the great record for the economy.
    A Democrat Black or Hispanic woman just does not have the appeal for reasons of race and gender in the state that matter.

    Democrats wont get a chance until 2024.

  • Lost in the Woods||

    I am not sure this is about race or gender. I do think that, absent the near-term 'Kavanaugh effect', support for Trump has waned a bit between 2016 and 2018. And there will be many Democrats coming out of the woodwork declaring their candidacy, some of whom will be popular with voters (whether warranted or not).

  • Gray_Jay||

    "I am not sure this is about race or gender."

    The Democratic Party acts like it is. If they wanted to win, let's say the economy takes a giant shit in the next two years, they'd nominate a non-threatening guy with a record of actually getting some things done as an executive. Someone like Hickenlooper from CO. They won't do that though, because their base will demand a firebrand, and hilarity will ensue.

    "I do think that, absent the near-term 'Kavanaugh effect', support for Trump has waned a bit between 2016 and 2018."

    What? Trump's had recent approval ratings with minorities that are the highest we've ever seen for a GOP politician since we bothered collecting the data. The economy is going gangbusters. True, there isn't a Wall, and that seems to be important for his supporters, and North Korea still has whatever nuclear weapons it did when Obama left, among other failed promises. The chattering class certainly hates him.

    The recent Trump approval polls are really unprecedented though. Not that high approvals mean you get elected the following year, right George H.W. Bush?

  • Mcgoo95||

    Oprah would thrash Trump....if she runs. Probably won't though.

  • DaveT1000||

    I think there's a decent chance that Trump decides not to run for re-election, especially if polling and circumstances in 2019 - such as an oncoming recession - lead him to believe that he'd probably lose. I wouldn't say that's the most likely scenario, but I could see it happening.

    In typical Trump fashion, I'm sure that he'd spin it as saying that he's accomplished so much in one-term that he's decided to move on. I'm also confident that, much as he's never been a typical president or presidential candidate, he wouldn't quietly limit his profile post-presidency as has been the norm for presidents for several decades. I'm sure there'd still be the tweeting about political issues, quite possibly periodic public speeches and rallies, plenty of TV appearances and perhaps even some sort of TV show.

    Part of my thinking here is that Trump, if he truly assessed that he was probably going to lose, would far prefer to be a 1-term president who retired rather than to go out as a "loser". Also, I don't know for sure that I believe the various rumors/theories that Trump's presidential campaign started out as more of a brand-building exercise than anything else, before unexpectedly gaining enough momentum that he actually won both the nomination and the presidency, but they're plausible enough that I don't wholly discount them.

  • junyo||

    ...what does he say to loyal Dana Rohrabacher who lost his seat after 16 terms because he was deemed too close to Trump?
    That he's a loser, who clearly doesn't know the Art of the Deal?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    To paraphrase Willy Wonka: Everyone has had 16 terms, and 16 terms is enough for anyone.

  • Fancylad||

    "His district, now handily in the hands of the Dems, had not elected a Democrat to Congress since before the Civil War."

    But they elected a Democrat back in 2015...

    In May 2017, Costello broke from his party and voted against the Republican health care legislation, the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA). [27]
    In May 2018, Costello signed the discharge petition that would call for the House to vote on immigration legislation.[30] He has supported efforts to allow for DACA children to remain in the United States.

  • John||

    Conservatives are not Libertarians and they never have been. They are also not Wisonoian internationalists who insist on America playing world police. There is a long tradition of conservatives who thought the US govenrment should act its own interest and in some cases were fervent protectionists.

    Mr. Conservative himself, Ronald Reagan, slapped tariffs on Japanese consumer goods that would make Trump blush. And while he was an anti communist, he was an anti communist because communism as an existenial threat to the nation not because he thought it was America's job to remake the world in its image. Reagan rarely use military force and when he did so, did so when it was in the nation's interests. The one time he didn't, sendig Marines to Lebenon, he walked away after the bombings instead of sending good money after bad in the name of "US credibility".

    Post Reagan, conservatism was taken over by internationalist Neocons who were more leftist than conservative and libertarians who lacked the principles to overcome their dislike of pot. There is nothing principled about any of them. In many ways, Trump is more of a principled conservative by the pre 1990 definition of the word than any of the clowns who are constantly mubbling about "meh principles".

  • Bubba Jones||

    Didn't Reagan shell the fck out of Lebanon with a battleship?

    I am in favor of low cost punitive expeditions.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The USS New Jersey and the USS Iowa.

    Remember, US Marines were in Lebanon as part of a peace-keeping force.

    The US Marine barracks was blown up, so Reagan sent US Battleships to shell Syrian controlled positions that were shooting at US observation aircraft.

  • Gray_Jay||

    Really, Reagan's response to the Marine barracks and embassy bombings was to invade Grenada. Go look at the timing of the two. Changed the news cycle anyway.

    The BB shelling was the foreign policy equivalent of a purse dog barking at you after you've already walked past its yard, and are about to cross the next street.

    Nobody felt like escalating to hit Iran directly, and no one wanted to do with Lebanon what we've been doing in Afghanistan for the last 17 years.

  • Cathy L||

    Thanks for the concise explanation of why libertarians should not ally themselves with the right.

  • John||

    Yes Cathy. Libertarians like you see much more in common with people who want to confiscate all private wealth and see civil rights as consisting of the right to an abortion and sexual freedom and nothing else, especially not anything that has to do with making a filthy profit or holding an objectionable view that others might find oppressive.

    I would never say you don't have principles Cathy. You are all about freedom being abortion, sex and drugs and being down with cheering Progs on while they stamp out any sort of freedom that doesn't suit you. I would never pretend that you are suited to be allied with anyone except the far left.

  • Cathy L||

    Lol. You literally posted about why conservatism isn't about liberty, then get butthurt when I agree and go on to make all kinds of asinine claims about my principles based on absolutely nothing.

  • John||

    Conservatism is about a lot of things, liberty being one of the more important but not the only thing. It is not libertarianism. If it thought liberty were the only legitimate value in government, it would be libertarianism. The fact that it sees liberty as an important but one of several competing values in government is what makes it conservatism and not libertarianism.

    I know you are not bright Cathy. You really are not. But could you at least try and understand the arguments before responding?

  • Cathy L||

    I'm not sure why you think we are disagreeing.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm not sure why you think we are disagreeing.

    Probably has to do with your passive-aggressive posting style.

  • Horatio||

    This whole argument is fucking stupid.

    Who cares what "Conservatism" means?

    What is important the policies will the candidate you vote for, or the party that you back in general, are promising to put forth. In the present. Reagan's spending doesn't have shit to do with arguing for today's spending. Also important is said candidate/party's track record in keeping their promises.

    Again, who fucking cares what Republicansm, Trumpism, etc mean? If I WANT it to mean certain things then I have to try and find candidates who will support those things. Or give up and keep practicing at the range for the inevitable shooting war.

  • Robert||

    Actually the right to an abortion & some sexual freedoms—including some bogus ones like the freedom to make others treat you as if you're the sex that you're not. They're not for the freedom to try to get help trying to change your sex preference. They're not for the freedom to buy sex services. Nor the freedom of plural marriage.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    There is a brand of libertarianism that would be very comfortable on the left, but that's now called "alt-right".

  • John||

    The SJWs and the Alt Right remind me of that Star Trek episode where the two aliens, one who was black on the right side and white on the left and another who was the mirror image but reversed, fought it out on the Enterprise. They really are just alike.

  • Dillinger||

    Futurama had Blips and Croods and were red/blue blue/red. very funny outfit confusion.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Principled conservatives will do what they always did, and drink themselves into oblivion at the country club.

    (For principled liberals, substitute "smoke" and "coffee shop".)

  • John||

    Any principled conservative will tell you that the only legitimate interest in government is freedom. Government is all about freedom, unless you are talking about pot or gambling and that is totally different because reasons. If you had children you would understand.

    They are just pathetic. It pains me to see what my generation of conservatives did to the noble movement that they inherited. We went from C.S Lewis and Russel Kirk to Kevin D. Williamson calling Trump's sons Qusay and Uday and Jonah Goldberg making fart jokes while he explained how anyone who doesn't want to pay taxes so Europeans don't have to defend themselves and can have a social welfare state is just an evil white nationalist. You really can't overstate how intellectually bankrupt the movement became in the 21st Century.

  • DiegoF||

    I have always wanted to read more about the Founding and early-republic generations' philosophy oh the regulation of vice. It's clear they did not object to it; they just thought it (like almost everything else) was the job of state and local government and not at all Federal. More broadly, I'm curious about what their political philosophy was in general about what the proper role of state and local government is. In practice people were far more lightly governed at all levels than today, but clearly all the limitations they placed on the Federal government were not intended to be reflected in limitations on state and local power. In any case no one in any state of the Land of the Free seriously contemplated repealing sodomy laws--often capital ones--until well into the 20th century. Turkey--pre-reform and still ruled by the fucking Caliph of Sunni Islam--repealed in the mid-19th!

  • John||

    My understanding of their political philosphy was that government's role was to regulate the commons and interactions among people. They were very sensitive to privacy and to the autonomy of the individual. They were not, however Libertarians. Where your actions interacted with other people and affected the commons, they thought government had a right to regulate. So for example, there were no laws against opium or children drinking alcohol. There were however laws against public intoxication or abandoning your family or prohibiting begging or not working enough to support yourself. There were no real child abuse laws. The view was that parents and the family was part of the private sphere and thus something largely beyond the reach of government.

    Their view of vice and how it should be treated by law is from what I have seen much more nuanced than either libertarians or conservatives like to pretend.

  • DiegoF||

    Interesting. what books or papers have been written on the subject? I always was looking for ones written by historians, but legal history could be even more enlightening.

  • John||

    I read about it in an American Legal history class in law school. I can't remember the textbook. But there has to be a decent number of popular history books about colonial American law out there if you look.

    One of the most interesting things I remember learning in that class was how inheritance largely drove the movement towards generational slavery. Initially slavery was not generational. Once slaves started to be imported to America and slave owners started having illegitimate children with their slaves, it became multigenerational. The reason was that illegitimate children had inheritence rights under English law and men could and sometimes did leave some of their property to their illegitimate children by slaves. Their white wives and children, needless to say, were not happy about that. That combined with the obvious economic gain of keeping the children of slaves as slaves got the law changed to make slavery generational.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just when I think Republicans can't get any more retarded, they go and top themselves.

  • Sarah Palin's Buttplug||

    True.

    Progressives are retarded too - but they are not full time liars.

    Two parties: One filled with retards, one of liar retards.

  • sarcasmic||

    "If you like your doctor..."

  • ||

    Progressives are retarded too - but they are not full time liars.

    A good portion of the time they're so retarded as to believe their own bullshit. Ergo, not lying.

  • BYODB||


    Progressives are retarded too - but they are not full time liars.


    Boy, that's sort of ironic coming from you.

  • Sevo||

    Sarah Palin's Buttplug|11.8.18 @ 11:24AM|#
    "Progressives are retarded too - but they are not full time liars."

    You aren't either. Sometimes you have to shut up and take a breath.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Trump says what W and O were thinking.

    Didn't we want more transparency?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    After the Midterms, Trumpism Is the Dominant Force in the GOP

    Ok... that suggests to me that anti-trumpism was largely a failure in this midterm? Are we going with that?

  • John||

    It was. Pretty much every prominant Never Trump Republican is now out of office and replaced by a pro Trump Republican.

  • DiegoF||

    This is good. Republicans will score their own own-goal if they panic and decide they have to go back to "respectability" to woo the lost soccer-bougies. They must make some inroads back into this rapidly blueing group in order to survive, but the way to do it is not to turn their backs on their new core. The Democrats have plopped that group in their lap whether they like it or not, and it would be suicide to tell them to get lost. What they must do is cultivate a subculture of conservative (and libertarian!) opposition within the young upper-middle class, self-consciously antagonistic to where the Democrats are taking us. Fortunately an increasing number of people already are taking up this task.

  • John||

    If the Republicans are to survive they have to make gains among blacks and Hispanics and continue to get 70% of the White vote. People who claim they need to do that are right. But they are wrong in claiming how. They won't make gains among those groups by being the party of uptight, upper middle class white people who want everyone to know how deeply sorry they are being associated with evil, racist poor white people. They will make gains among those groups by being the party of the middle class and offering them economic security that the Democrats do not.

    One of the most racist things the media does is pretend trade and immigration are issues of "the white working class" as if no black or Hispanic ever worked in a factory or would ever support anything except total open borders. That is bullshit.

  • DiegoF||

    Yes this is certainly true; I have been expressing skepticism that it is possible. Trumpism has certainly not convinced these people yet. It is certainly doing better than country-club Republicanism among blacks and Latinos, but not really by that much at all, certainly not enough to save the Republicans.

    Indeed as you said it means the difference between certain doom and certain dominance for the Republican party. I just think the former is nearly inevitable. (And I definitely think time is a factor if it is not to be; they must find that magic key soon.)

    There are aspects of both black and Latino cultures (recent immigrant and Americanized having differences of their own) that are conducive to conservatism. But there are counter tendencies blocking access to them from "mainstream" conservatism, preventing them from politically acculturating into "white ethnics." The code has not been cracked, and time is running out.

  • John||

    I think it is doing fairly well. It is drawing out white voters who didn't vote before. And it is drawing five to six percent more Hispanic voters. It remains to be seen what Trump does with the black vote in 2020. I bet he gets between 10 and 15%. But more importantly, I bet black turnout is fairly low and that alone is very damaging to Democrats.

  • DiegoF||

    Why don't you think they'll turn out? They turned out this year. I'd think 2016 would have been anomalously unenthusiastic for blacks.

    One rare glimmer of hope amongst all the signs of purpling this year (ignore the soothing comments about Abbott. Abbott is a popular incumbent governor. If he means Texas is still red the reddest states must be in the Northeast, since their governors produced some of the widest margins for any Republicans this election cycle. Abbott is the anomaly not Cruz) is that all the numbers showed enormous tsunamis of voting among all the supposedly Democratic groups. Youth. Blacks. Latinos. College Educated. Urban. Women. Even Democrats themselves. These increases over 2014 were counted, in contrast to the more modest increases among red groups, in the several hundreds of percents often--almost 700% in one case if I remember.

    If this was indeed the case, and this is the best the Democrats could do with those numbers, the Republicans may be in better shape than I thought.

  • John||

    The early results are that 12% of the electorate this year were black, which is right in line with their percentage of the population and actually lower than the 14% they were in 2014. They were around 15% of the total vote in 2008.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I heard an interesting analysis that's not being widely talked about: The Kavanaugh shit-show backfired massively on the Democrats-- and there was some evidence for that-- that almost every Democrat that opposed Kavanaugh was kicked from office, and the one or two that supported him kept their seats.

    I haven't verified any of it, but I am curious to know how much of the 11th hour Kavanaugh shit just left people with a bad taste in their mouths.

  • Tony||

    I've seen several butthurt white male asshole conservative pundits declare unilaterally that this was all about Kavanaugh too. Of course exit polls of voters show that a majority of the people don't even want him on the supreme court.

  • John||

    Tony you are a butthurt white male asshole. Do you think you are black or soemthing.

    And slandering innocent people as rapists is never going to be a good move no matter how much enjoy doing it. If Progressives would try being less hideous human beings, they might do better.

  • Tony||

    Yet most Americans still don't want him on the court.

  • John||

    The election results say otherwise. But keep pretending that being a fanatical hateful idiot is the way to power.

  • Tony||

    Trump--pragmatic, intelligent, loving.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump-- better at the game than Lefties, better at politics than Hillary, good father, good businessman, and great President.

  • Tony||

    Good fathers don't openly express their desire to have sex with their daughters.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Bill clinton had sex with chelsea? I knew Bill was a sicko sex fiend, but wow!

  • Zeb||

    But what does it mean that most Americans don't want him on the court? It could mean they think his being on the court is a bad thing, or it could just mean that they would rather it be someone else, but aren't too worried about it.

    I don't want him on the court. And I think it was appropriate for the Senate to confirm him.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I've seen several butthurt white male asshole conservative pundits declare unilaterally that this was all about Kavanaugh too.

    Well, to give my honest assessment of the assessment, the "white male conservative pundit assholes" I heard this assessment didn't sound very butthurt, and in fact came off as being pretty smug-- especially considering the so-called #BlueWave turned into the non-event of 2018. The turnover in the house was below that of previous presidents, and the GOP even picked up seats in the Senate.

    The only butthurt I've been hearing, Tony, has been from Democrats, and I barely follow day-to-day politics. But it seems clear that in my passive reception of the Zeitgeist, I'm hearing a lot more whining from Democrats than I am conservatives.

  • Cathy L||

    almost every Democrat that opposed Kavanaugh was kicked from office

    Yeah, that definitely did not happen. You realize that would mean all D incumbents would have lost.

  • John||

    EVeryone that was in a competetive race sans Tester lost. That doesn't seem to be a coincidence. And I guess you being a leftist, you are totally okay with destroying people's lives and carrers with fake rape allegations.

  • Cathy L||

    So, some statement completely different from the one Paul made is accurate. Yes, you are correct. And Paul's statement was obviously wrong to the point of being silly.

    Not sure why you think that says anything about what I think of the Democrats' conduct with respect to the Kavanaugh confirmation.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And Paul's statement was obviously wrong to the point of being silly

    *sigh*

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yeah, that definitely did not happen. You realize that would mean all D incumbents would have lost.

    There were some caveats to that assessment, that's just my quick relay of it. It related to competitive races and the like. Again, I don't follow the day-to-day, hell this was the first election in which I've voted in 3 years, and it was because of a few contentious local initiatives.

  • FreeRadical||

    Yes the Kavanaugh shit-show definitely affected me.

    Here in Texas, we always have a lot of Libertarians on the ballot. It's easy for me. I just go blindly through, voting for all the Ls because DILLIGAS.

    However, this year I voted for Cruz over Beto. There was no way in hell I was going to reward the dems after how they acted during the Kavanaugh debacle.

  • Cathy L||

    that suggests to me that anti-trumpism was largely a failure in this midterm?

    What part of "in the GOP" is hard to understand?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Given the non-event that the #BlueWave was, it looks like anti-trumpism hasn't sold well across the board.

  • BYODB||

    Reason writers at officially bat shit insane, in my opinion. They bemoan how much more like the Democrat party Republicans have become, while attacking Republicans for the few things they do that are outside the Democrat agenda.


    I really don't understand these people. Maybe I'd have to live in L.A. or D.C. to really 'get it'.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>I really don't understand these people.

    commentists better company.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    "while attacking Republicans for the few things they do that are outside the Democrat agenda."

    Like what? Closing the borders and raising taxes on imported goods? Jesus.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>What will principled conservatives do now

    name one.

  • BigT||

    RBG Down!!!

    https://tinyurl.com/ycvfswgl

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell in her office and fractured three ribs. The 85-year-old liberal justice was admitted to a hospital Thursday.

    News of Ginsburg's fall comes on the same morning as the formal investiture of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second nominee to the high court.

  • BigT||

    "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, HOSPITALIZED after fall with three broken ribs on the day Trump is visiting for Brett Kavanaugh's formal investiture."

    Trump pushed her down!! At least you can bet CNN and MSNBC will run with that.

  • Jerryskids||

    The video clearly shows her being tackled by Rand Paul's neighbor.

    The larger question is how bat-shit insane is RGB that she was riding around her office on a lawnmower?

  • John||

    RBG is going to die in the spring of 2020 and the Republicans are going to replace her before the election. Fate seems to really want to torture progs these days.

  • Tony||

    You're a terrible person.

  • John||

    I am just telling you waht is going to happen. And it will be entirely legal and appropriate. It will only torture you because you are an idiot who is unable to understand what is happening around you.

  • Tony||

    Abject morons are trying to govern the biggest nuclear power on earth?

  • John||

    People won elections and are exercising the lawful powers that their office give them. You don't like it because you are a hateful idiot who can't accept not always getting your way.

  • Tony||

    I don't even know what you're talking about. I was responding to your clear, unapologetic desire to see an old lady die so that your Team can tally a win--a win for what purpose, I don't think even you can articulate. I suppose you're just in it for the death.

  • John||

    I don't desire her to die at all. I just think given her health and age, she likely will.

  • Tony||

    Yes you do.

  • John||

    No I don't Tony. You are incapable of understanding other people's views. You just project whatever you want people to believe onto them as a way to justify your being hideous. It is so transparent and sad.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I cant wait until she croaks, Tony.

    It's a war, right, Tony?

    Since it is, I want non-Lefties to win.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|11.8.18 @ 12:08PM|#
    "Abject morons are trying to govern the biggest nuclear power on earth?"

    No, shitbag. She lost two years ago.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony is so freaking out right now.

    Lefty-dum are blowing up their twatters about RBG.

    Trump getting replace RBG soon is totally worth the Democrats getting a 5 House seat majority.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Kavanaugh pushed her?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I heard she was training for a jew-jitsu tournament.

  • John||

    She does a work out that no douchy woke reporter can endure.

  • BigT||

    She just leaned too far left for her walker.

  • DiegoF||

    There were rumors that Sotomayor joined her for a few rounds but that was just PR.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>the same morning as the formal investiture of Justice Brett Kavanaugh

    RBG misses no party.

  • Jerryskids||

    "The Trumpening" of the GOP is a misnomer. Ever think about what the phrase "Only Nixon could go to China" really means? Only *a Republican* could go to China. A Democrat making the googly eyes with a Communist dictatorship would have been burnt at the stake by all of the GOP and half the conservative wing of the Democrat Party, but when a Republican does it, the GOP is going to clap like a pack of trained seals. "Principled?" They've always been willing to trade their principles for an electoral advantage and supporting Trump no matter how many Republican principles he violates is just the latest iteration of the art of the deal.

  • John||

    What Republican principles has he violated Jerry? Is obeying the courtly rules of Washington a "Repubican principle"? Seriously, people always say that but then they never say what principles he is violating and how.

  • BigT||

    Um....budget busting spending is not exactly a conservative principle. Tariffs aren't exactly conservative. Most of the other stuff is at least compatible with conservative principles.

  • Cathy L||

    Sorry, BigT, tariffs are part of the true meaning of conservatism, as John explains above.

  • John||

    History is what it is Cathy. Just because you too ignorant to know anythign about it, doesn't change it. It is easy to live in a fantasy world and not know anything I suppose. But, I don't see it that way.

  • Cathy L||

    I don't know what your problem is, I 100% agree that conservatism is unlibertarian.

  • John||

    I misunderstood you. My apologies.

  • John||

    Reagan ran huge deficits. I defy anyone to claim Republicans or conservatives have a good enough record on spending to claim it as a "republican principle" . And every Republican before the Bushes believed in tarriffs when they were in the interests of the country. Conservatism never meant some fetish like obsession with "free trade" at any cost or under all circumstances. That is just a result of the half ass libertarians who took over the movement in the 90s and 00s.

  • Vince Smith||

    Okay, Republicans run deficits, but they shouldn't.

    Republicans oppose free trade in practice, but they shouldn't. The libertarians are correct, IMO. We should be advocating for unilateral free trade.

  • ||

    What Republican principles has he violated Jerry?

    In order to have that discussion, I think you would need to start with an agreed-upon list of "Republican principles."

  • John||

    Yes we would. And that is a bit harder to come up with than people like to believe. And that is not a slam on Republicans. Any national party is necessarily not going to be ideologically pure. If it were, it woudln't be a national party.

    The bottom line is that there is not a single thing Trump has done in office that hasn't also been done by other Republican Presidents. So, I really don't see how anyone can say he is some huge departure from Republican principles, whatever those are.

  • Tony||

    Other Republican presidents are vulgar, demented assholes with no manners, moral centers, or motivations other than pure narcissism? Don't be so hard on your party, John.

  • John||

    No Tony. In that sense, Trump is more like Bill Clinton than previous Republicans. That is a fair point but I don't consider his offendign your sensibilities to be that important. And he does seem to have the impulse control not to molest women in the oval office. So, it seems to affect his performance in office much less than it effected Bill Clinton's.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    At least Clinton *said* "the era of big government is over". Trump doesn't even pretend to care.

    Oh, yeah, and that whole free[er] trade thing. Trump don't dig that.

  • John||

    So cutting all of those regulations that Trump has isn't cutting big government?

  • Dillinger||

    not compared to what Clinton *said* dude.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Clinton also said he thought he lowered taxes too much because the average taxpayer does not spend his money as wisely as Clinton would.

  • Zeb||

    The major parties don't have principles. They just tailor their stated positions so that they can get roughly half of the vote each nationally. That's how a two party system works.

  • bocoran sgp||

    Trump is now the center of conservatism.
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  • Jerryskids||

    What would you know, spambot? You don't even speak English.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You know, I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Trump wearing sunglasses, and yet...

  • ||

    I never noticed that before, but now that you mention it . . .

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Those are from the eye protectors in the tanning booth.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How dare you.

  • Fancylad||

    Spray paint booth.
    You don't get that lovely pumpkin hue from UVA and UVB.

  • Bubba Jones||

    IIRC Trump's approval rating is the same as Obama's was at this time. (citation needed)

    Trump's midterm performance in congress was median.

    GOP gained seats in the Senate (that seems like luck. Dems won 2/3 of the senate elections this week, but were defending more than that?)

    Obviously we must find new ways to explain how Trump is an aberration. Got it. He says irresponsible things on twitter! No President would ever do that!

    "We begin bombing in five minutes" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ve_minutes

  • BigT||

    Given Trump's twitter babble, this truly is the most transparent administration ever. Take that O'Bama!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The Dems were defending in more states, and they had the bad luck of several of them being in states that went for Trump. They might have survived without the Kavanaugh vote; Tester's the only one of those Red State Dems who survived his "no" vote while Manchin voted "yes" and was easily re-elected.

  • Tony||

    Is there anything Trump cultists want besides shoving boots in the faces of minorities? What is this shit even about?

  • Mr. JD||

    Proof that you don't have a factual position to stand on ^

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Tony, for a guy with wind in his hair, surfing on the #BlueWave... you seem awfully butthurt.

  • FreeRadical||

    Hyperbole about boots aside, I just can't figure out this belief that Trump is literally going after minorities. And actually it seems like many progressives literally do believe that boots are on faces.

    What is it Tony? What actual events or statements are you talking about?

  • Tony||

    Or shoved in cages as children after being separated from their parents. Whatever.

  • FreeRadical||

    Well dang. I don't know why I always expect an actual response from you when all you ever do is deflect and redirect.

    I hate the cage thing too, but that policy pre-dates Trump. He's simply enforcing the law more vigorously than previous presidents.

    So it's not him. Its the law that needa changed.

  • Fancylad||

    besides shoving boots in the faces of minorities
    Whereas the left plants it jackboot in everyone's face.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Equality!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What will principled conservatives do now that it's clear they have no home in the GOP?"

    Well, they're not coming to the Libertarian Party because of anything happening at Reason--I can tell you that. Half of the commenters here left in large part because they felt like the staff was abandoning Libertarian principles in their overblown efforts to condemn "Trumpism". Why would we expect "conservatives" to come to the Libertarians now when libertarians are fleeing the place because of anti-Trump hysteria? Do you imagine "conservatives" are more libertarian than the principled libertarians you all but kicked out of the tent?

    Opportunity blown!

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    What? You expected libertarians to kiss Donald's ring too? How odd.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, that's exactly what I wrote.

    Did you just learn to read? Did you understand what you read?

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    So, hey, Trump-humpers: I just wanted to thank you for turning my suburban district blue with your orange a-hole.

    Trump's biggest gift to America is going to be the equally wacko democratic-socialist that gets in the white house next.

  • Sevo||

    Butler T. Reynolds|11.8.18 @ 12:28PM|#
    "So, hey, Trump-humpers: I just wanted to thank you for turning my suburban district blue with your orange a-hole."

    Hey, TDS victims! Seek help.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    So, hey, Trump-humpers: I just wanted to thank you for turning my suburban district blue with your orange a-hole.

    Hey, liber-cuck: every moderate GOP candidate got their ass kicked. That really says more about your suburban district than it does about Trump-humpers.

    Trump's biggest gift to America is going to be the equally wacko democratic-socialist that gets in the white house next.

    The party was already going in that direction with its increasingly anti-white ideological stances and the national importation of disaffected and alienated third world labor.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    So, hey, Trump-humpers: I just wanted to thank you for turning my suburban district blue with your orange a-hole.

    Hey, liber-cuck: every moderate GOP candidate got their ass kicked. That really says more about your suburban district than it does about Trump-humpers.

    Trump's biggest gift to America is going to be the equally wacko democratic-socialist that gets in the white house next.

    The party was already going in that direction with its increasingly anti-white ideological stances and the national importation of disaffected and alienated third world labor.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The up side of this election is that a bunch of RINOs got the boot.

    Now when the 2020 Census shifts House seats from Blue states to Red states, some actual conservatives or Libertarians can get in there.

  • Vince Smith||

    The Dems taking over the House means the ACA is safe for at least another two years. The GOP was going to try to get rid of it had they won both houses.

  • Vince Smith||

    So in other words, I don't agree with the people who say it's not a big deal that the Democrats took the House.

  • vek||

    Yeah, because it would be CRAZY to call a party The Party Of XYZ right... Nobody has EVER said The Party Of Reagan or anything...

    Fact is, RINOs and cuckservatives were always lame and losers. Trump has good policies, and bad policies. But the MOST important thing about Trump is that he isn't a total pussy. The biggest thing the Republicans have been lacking for decades is BALLS.

    I think if congress had delivered a bill to Trump that slashed federal spending on all the useless crap it does (but left the military untouched of course) by 50% he would have signed the damn thing. Because he's "crazy" like that. He's pushing for aggressive stuff in some areas, and that's exactly what the right needs.

    Cucking and simply being "the same as the democrats, but a little more moderate" is a losing strategy. Trump is on the ADVANCE, or at least trying to be.

    The GOP will probably be the Party Of Trump for at least the next several years, if not long after he is out of office, and even MORE extreme on some of his issues. Why? Because things like immigration NEED to get handled.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

  • Agammamon||

    You know it funny - all these guys who 'distanced themselves' from Trump and lost their seats, but you know who kept theirs?

    Two Republicans who've all but distanced themselves from the Party. Amash and Paul.

    So guys, maybe its not the anti-Trump stance you've taken but the abandonment of both Party and principle? You need at least one to make it in politics.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    That's because Amash and Paul are smart enough to pick their battles; Amash in particular is very good at engaging with his constituents and explaining, in detail, his votes for various bills and his opposition to party stances when it occurs, rather than indulging in a lot of pointless grandstanding.

    He'd be better than a country mile than most of his colleagues as a politician and really deserves more attention on a national scale, but it's only the parties' respective chimps that get most of the spotlight.

  • Vince Smith||

    Rand Paul wasn't up for election this year. Also, Rand Paul has been very cordial towards Trump. He has distanced himself from the establishment without distancing himself from Trump.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The Republican Party is returning to its roots as the party of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    The right wing of the anti-democratic globalist uniparty will be moving out and onto the Democratic Party.

    Bye bye, Bill Kristol.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    "And in the aftermath of Tuesday's midterm elections, the Republican Party is increasingly exclusively the party of Trump."

    the Republican Party is increasingly exclusively the
    party of a privileged, self entitled Democrat!

    FTFY!

  • Heraclitus||

    Rest assured, Trumpian loyalty is based purely on transactionalism. As soon as Trump's ship starts to sink he will be abandoned overnight. It's all game theory without any principles. GOP politicians choose to support Trump only because they think Trump will punish them and his current supporters will ostracize them. But if enough supporters cooperate and abandon him that incentive vanishes instantly. It will be interesting to see how they react when Trump starts cutting deals with the Dems in the house. How far are they willing to sacrifice their principles to this guy? And how willing will the Dems be to sacrifice their integrity to cut deals with him?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Democrats should cut no deals. They have won the culture war. They have won the economic battles. They have the educated, accomplished, reason-based, modern element of the electorate. They are positioned to continue to win.

    What are Republicans going to do to change the course of American progress and make goobers able to compete economically? Rescind graduate degrees? Compel successful Americans to move to desolate backwaters? Require accomplished families to send their children to downscale religious schools? Ban bright flight?

    Losers don't become winners by getting lathered up at rallies conducted by the political analog to faith healers and televangelists.

    Democrats should continue to prefer education, tolerance, science, progress, modernity, and successful communities, leaving the backwardness, superstition, ignorance, bigotry, and emptying-out rural stretches to Republicans, and simply wait for time to continue to sift this.

  • vek||

    Rev., you never responded to my post on the other article... What size do you wear? I need to know what size uniform to get for you when we throw you in the reeducation camp!

  • celtnorse||

    You have cause and effect inverted.

    First, understand Trump is a cause of neither of this crisis, or of so called "Trumpism". He's a natural showman with keen instincts. He may even believe he is in natural alignment to the "populist" movement that has his name cast disparagingly upon it, but he had no part in articulating this cultural force, which might be wryly called a response to - "a long train of abuses and usurpations".

    You don't need to back to the 60s though that certainly will inform your thinking on where the "train" came from. You need only to look back at the Tea Party with honest eyes to see how the architecture of the present crisis is framed.

    Trump is a perfect foil for a movement as "grass roots" as can be. He is only a "republican" to the extent of occupying its space. Indeed, BOTH parties are effectively walking dead in terms of their governing philosophies or binding "principles" (please).

    The crisis is real. It reaches from the Constitution itself, to the shared meaning of the Republic and what "authority" is.

    Many are declaring that "crisis" talk is overblown. But the breadth of formerly "bulwark" institutions that are crumbling is new. This matters.

    Other people are taking comfort in the idea they can hang their sense of societal unease on a living effigy of orange. This is weak minded nonsense.

    Forget "Trumpism" and how it's "taking over the GOP". If that's even a thing, it's a tiny thing next to the mountainous thing you ought to consider.

  • Echospinner||

    All I know is we had another election and the traffic on route 8 still sucks.

  • FreeRadical||

    You'd think that maybe liberals would think about reducing the powers of government now that their worst nightmare is in charge.

    Well shit, I just cracked myself up!

  • Fancylad||

    It boggles my mind about how they scream Trump is Hitler and it's Handmaiden's Tale all over the place, and then they press for more censorship and restrictions on speech.
    Either they don't actually believe their own shit, or they're batshit insane cultists who think the maxim "The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice", is an actual phenomena.

  • Truthteller1||

    A Pelosi house of representatives is a gift for 2020. I thought it was obvious what Trump meant. Guess the author doesn't get it.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Republicans are consolidating power in every uneducated, economically inadequate, whining, bigoted, religious, downwardly mobile district in America.

    The liberal-libertarian alliance, building on a half-century of controlling the course of American progress, claims our modern, successful, reasoning, educated, attractive districts.

    From these trends, and a series of rousing, mid-sized rallies of lathered-up rubes in third-class towns, Trump fans see bigly victory.

    In the reality-based world, principled conservatives will continue to occupy their natural role in America, muttering bitterly and inconsequentially at the sidelines about all of this damned progress.

    Trump fans will eventually notice no wall, no funding from Mexico, no lock her up, no Obamacare repeal, no economic salvation for uneducated dumbasses in Outer Jesusland. They'll shrug, swallow a handful of street pills, bitch about blacks and gays and immigrants, and go back to their shambling existence in desolate towns.

  • vek||

    Rev. Did you miss the part where Trump WON the $100K a year on up vote?

    Smarter, higher income people DID elect Trump.

    This is actually an ongoing thing for the D vs R races.

    See, Dems used to have the working class. They lost them by not giving a fuck about them anymore, and instead focusing on the WELFARE class instead. They now go R.

    The middle class used to be split, and would lean one way or another. Now the college educated middle of the middle class tends to go left... Mostly because the indoctrination at universities has become so over the top.

    But the people who have always been at the top of the heap, the TRULY intelligent, and TRULY capable... They've always gone Republican. Executives, business owners, investors, etc. The people that actually have brains don't tend to lean left... And for good reason. Leftists are fucking morons. Morons like you Rev.!

    So, if you're going to try to claim intellectual superiority because a cubicle worker with some BS degree votes Democrat... Don't you think that falls apart if all his managers up the chain of command, AND the company owner all vote Republican?

    Just sayin' bro.

  • Tony||

    You seem to be defining "having brains" rather narrowly. As only those people who work in the money-grubbing industry. Ask the actual most intelligent people how they vote. Like scientists, academics.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Scientists that think socialism works and vote that way are clearly morons. Maybe not in their fields but they dont know shit about history.

  • cynicalretiree||

    Europe adopted socialism for health care and public transportation after WW2's devastation.. Israel adopted socialism for health care and agriculture when Israel was founded after WW2. In both cases, private enterprise continued. Survival and pragmatism might require the best of 'isms' from time to time.

  • cynicalretiree||

    Does Donald Trump cheat firefighters and emergency services when he cheats on taxes?

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