MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

With Midterms Done, Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy or Continue the Clown Show?

Donald Trump's candidates didn't do particularly well on Tuesday, but he continues to succeed at making himself the center of attention.

SIPA/NewscomSIPA/NewscomRegardless of affiliation or ideology, the aftermath of Tuesday's elections presents us all with a stark choice: We can either be serious about politics and policy, or we can be frivolous.

Given the immense amount of energy being directed at such non-events such as Acosta-gate—did the CNN reporter manhandle a White House intern during a post-midterm press conference?—it's likely we as a country are choosing the latter.

This is unfortunate for an infinite number of reasons, but chief among them is the simple idea that whether we pay attention to it or not, the federal government continues to function, to pass laws and regulation, and to spend more money that we don't have. Donald Trump's brilliance in many ways is to make the mundane seem somehow important and out of the ordinary.

Hence, he pretends his minor (though, in most ways, slightly to significantly worse) rewriting of NAFTA as The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a big deal, and his opponents and the press follow suit. Everything Trump does is oversized and off the charts. His firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn't a predictable outcome after months of administration infighting and recriminations, it "shows how Trump is eroding democracy." The only people attributing superhuman powers to Trump other than his own partisans are his enemies.

The reality is less sensational (which is a good thing). When you strip away the media noise and the self-generated acclaim, Trump has governed not so differently than what came before, whether we're talking Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama, all of whom at times deported massive numbers of immigrants, put up trade barriers, and spent stupidly. Trump has some real achievements from a libertarian angle, such as deregulating aspects of education, the FCC, the FDA, and the EPA. The Republican tax cuts are a decidely mixed bag (it's good that they changed corporate taxes and ended the deduction for state-and-local taxes; it's terrible that they massively increased debt and deficits), but there's no question he was instrumental to their passage. His immigration and trade policies are not simply ill-informed but deeply disturbing from a moral perspective (the United States shouldn't be keeping out refugees and asylees from countries we helped to destroy).

Not all congressional races have been called yet, but as of right now, the Democrats have taken the majority in the House of Representatives by gaining 30 seats. They will likely pick up a few more. The average number of seats an opposition party wins in midterms in 37, so Tuesday's results are largely unremarkable. Yet Trump made everything about himself. "Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well," he tweeted. "Those that did not, say goodbye!" As Trump loyalists such as Rep. David Brat (R–Va.) could tell you, that simply isn't true. Brat, who was MAGA to the max, especially regarding immigration, got beat in red-state Virginia. In fact, as the Brookings Institution points out, the president backed a lot of candidates, many of whose contests were in areas that strongly favor Republicans. Yet Trump's stats are pretty spotty:

Trump endorsed 75 candidates, of whom 21 or 28 percent won. This was the lowest win rate of the other national figures—nearly 50 percent of Vice President Pence's endorsements won, and over 50 percent of [Barack] Obama's and [Joe] Biden's endorsees won. [Bernie] Sanders does the best, as his endorsees won 66 percent of the time.

As Reason's Peter Suderman put it, the midterms were "surprisingly normal," and for the most part, "our political contests still revolve around essential policy and governing decisions that matter to the people casting their votes." You wouldn't know that from the way most of us are talking about politics.

It seems likely that House Democrats will spend more time investigating the president than pushing legislation. Rep Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) is already calling for an investigation of Trump's firing of Sessions. Back in October, Nadler, who is set to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, promised to re-investigate Brett Kavanaugh if the Dems took the House. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is likely to reprise her past role as Speaker of the House, has said she's not interested in impeaching the president immediately but her party is gearing up for multiple investigations about Trump's tax returns, business dealings, immigration policy, and more. Given all that, it seems highly unlikely that the Democrats will be serious about legislation, especially since the Republicans control the Senate.

The media, too, are playing a Trump-centric game, giving maximum exposure to every tweet the president emits as if they are new versions of the Gettysburg Address. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently said that many if not most mainstream journalists are taking Trump's presidency as an affront to everything they hold near and dear.

They're personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them and they dive in, and what he's done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego....

It's all about the fight. He's able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on the fight and he's going to win that fight.

Stewart is on to something here. The main way that Trump controls conversations—and elections—is by making everything about him, even when few things actually are. While we all spend time tracking every gesture and tweet the president makes, the fact is that our national debt is growing, and so-called mandatory spending on entitlements proceeds apace. The military budget grows, too, with bipartisan support. The trajectory is onwards and upwards.

These are the issues that the federal government needs to deal with, especially since runaway debt and spending is a clear threat to long-term economic growth, which is itself the best way to not simply to make America great again, but to make the country a nicer, more peaceful place to live. As everything becomes about the 2020 election, we'd be better off focusing more on substance and less on circus.

Photo Credit: SIPA/Newscom

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

  • Uncle Jay||

    I vote for the clown show.
    Its a lot more entertaining than business as usual politics.

  • Echo Chamber||

    Business as usual politics is also a clown show. It's clowns all around. Except on Halloween

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Business as usual politics is n't a clown show, it's an art gallery show of those awful said clown paintings.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The clown show, slows Democrat and RINO spending down a bit so Im all for it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And without the house there will be no spending cuts, so the clown show iś a must.

  • Barrie||

    Since when has the house cut spending...

  • Liberty Lover||

    Agreed, the clown show has been going on for over 40 years, why change now?

  • esteve7||

    Bwhahahahahahaha

    Oh I need that

  • Dillinger||

    clown show! clown show!

  • Rorschach||

  • John||

    His candidates did very well. The won the governorships in Florida and Georgia and knocked four incumbant Democratic Senators. Nearly all of the people who lost Tuesday were either Democrats or Republican critics of Trump.

    We can debate what that means. But saying that his candidates didn't do well is just a flat out lie. And if your worry is about a clown show, it is Nadler and the Democrats who want to spend all of their time trying to impeach Trump and Kavanaugh and God knows who else. That is their choice not the result of "Trump making it all about himself" whatever that means.

    Moreover, if this had been a Democratic wave election, Nick would sure as hell be claiming it was all about Trump. Yet, Nick now whines when Trump takes credit for it not being one. Nick seems incapable of making an honest argument when it comes to Trump or holding the Democrats accountable for their actions without blaiming Trump for those as well.

  • juris imprudent||

    Trump stumped for Wagner and Barletta in PA, both lost.

  • John||

    Doing well is not the same as doing perfectly. Overall, the candidates he stumped for won. And most of the Republicans who lost were critics of Trump.

    Again, I dont' see any reasonable way you can say "his candidates didn't do well".

  • juris imprudent||

    Walker? Was he a "Democrat or Trump critic"?

  • John||

    I said most not all.

  • juris imprudent||

    I got 3 that didn't, who are yours that did?

  • John||

    And I have ten (the governors in PA and Georgia and Tennessee, the Senators in Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Tennesee) who won. What about"most" do you not understand?

  • Gray_Jay||

    He probably, along with Tester's opponent, was the victim of election fraud. Both had decent leads, right up until a few urban districts mysteriously didn't finish counting. Which goes into the L column, but still.

    The PA guys were doomed after that redistricting butchery by their Supreme Court.

    Nobody's perfect.

  • juris imprudent||

    The PA guys were state-wide elections. How fucking stupid are Trumpistas?

  • Gray_Jay||

    Never mind. Thought they were running in the House races, and not the Gov or US Senate. I don't live in PA, and I didn't seriously consider that Senate race up for grabs.

    Though LOL at the idea that a guy consistently polling 14 plus points behind Casey had a shot of winning. Or a guy who was lucky to get within 10 of Wolf.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You don't become a Trump fan with a strong education, marketable skill, sound judgment, a record of accomplishment, or admirable character.

    Plenty of backwater Pennsylvania might as well be in Alabama or West Virginia, but Democrats gained four House seats (13-5 R became 9-9), crushed Republicans in the senatorial and gubernatorial contests, and had nice gains in the state legislature.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has switched recently from a Republican majority to a 5-2 Democratic majority and is positioned to prevent Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression.

  • John||

    You don't become a Trump fan with a strong education, marketable skill, sound judgment, a record of accomplishment, or admirable character.

    I will remember that driving home in my Porsche tonight.

  • DesigNate||

    It's a good thing most people here aren't actual Trump fans. They just don't fall onto their fainting couches every time he tweets.

    What's it like being so bigoted?

  • Sevo||

    "You don't become a Trump fan with a strong education, marketable skill, sound judgment, a record of accomplishment, or admirable character."
    I'm guessing, from your pathetic attempts at claiming your superiority, that all the money you've gained from you 'education' and 'marketable skills' wouldn't buy one the 'collectable artifacts' from my collections of same, not to mention what my first company sold for.
    -----------------------------
    "but Democrats [...] crushed Republicans in the senatorial and gubernatorial contests,"
    Yeah, they also 'crushed' them in the "Most Likely to Fail" contests and other votes irrelevant to the issue, you fucking ignoramus.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Republicans had a hard time because so many of the right wing of the Globalist Uniparty retired, opening up a whole lot of seats.

    Picked up seats in the Senate. Lost seats in the House.

    But in both chambers, the Republican party got Trumpier.

    A win for Trump.
    A win for America.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Oh, Nick, the Clown Show hasn't even started.

  • John||

    Trump made it all about himself. The Democrats have no choice but to spend the next two years looking for Russians hiding behind the draps at the White House and investigating Brett Kavanaugh's high school drinking habits. How could anyone expect anything else after Trump made everything about himself?

  • juris imprudent||

    It is like Nick is defending the cult of the Presidency, instead of enjoying watching Trump treat it like a pinata.

    Oh and Nick, poor form to shout-out to Shikha.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Her colleagues actually take her seriously. That's a clown show story right there.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's that time of the cycle for everyone in DC to run for president. How is that a recipe for improvement?

  • some guy||

    Trump's in his first term, so only every Democrat in DC will be running, plus maybe one or two elephants trying to primary him.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "With Midterms Done, Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy, or Continue the Clown Show?"

    Are journalists going to stop making everything that happens about Trump? If a tree falls in the forest, it doesn't really matter unless you can blame it on Trump somehow.

    Are the Democrats going to keep pushing social justice for LGBTQI+, Hating Cops Matters, Illegal Immigrants, etc. at the expense of whites (because they're racist), Christians (because they're homophobic), and men (because of rape culture)? Self-hatred for being white, blue collar, and middle class--isn't that what the left is talking about when they talk about "issues"?

    I don't think a lot of journalists really understand that TDS is all about ignoring policy because they're so in love with the clown show--the journalists themselves being the biggest clowns of all. They also don't seem to understand that as bad as Trump has ever scored in the opinion polls, he's never been lower than the American people's opinion of the press. And a big chunk of that disgust with the press has to do with the way the press covers Trump.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. Apart from the social justice war, the left doesn't have any issues left. What are they going to do--criticize Trump for slapping China with tariffs? He's taken every one of the issues on which they were popular. The left has nothing left to offer swing voters. They're an empty shell, so of course they won't stop with the clown show. Without the clown show, they'd have nothing.

  • John||

    All they can offer is to impeach Kavanaugh and raise taxes. How that appeals to anyone beyond the derranged left is a mystery known only to them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Impeaching Kavanaugh is about rape culture.

  • John||

    Yes and that sells with maybe 1/3rd of the electorate. The other 2/3rds are either offended by it or tired of hearing about it and want them to move onto more important things.

  • Ordinary Person||

    The Dems shouldnt make a public affair of it but they should investigate whether Kavanaugh committed perjury and conspired with others to present dishonest information.

  • John||

    So instead of doing the business of passing laws and conducting oversight, they should spent their time going on a witch hunt looking into Kavanaugh's high school drinking habits. yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Good luck with that. I am sure that will play well with everyone who has an IQ above 70.

  • Ordinary Person||

    It's not about politics or scoring political points or public spectacle. It's about truth and holding powerful people accountable. I want it done professionally and discreetly. If there isn't to present to the FBI then so be it. This ain't Benghazi and showboating.

  • Ordinary Person||

    "isnt 'evidence' to present to the FBI

  • Sevo||

    "The Dems shouldnt make a public affair of it but they should investigate whether Kavanaugh committed perjury and conspired with others to present dishonest information."

    I'd suggest they look into whether Ford committed perjury, which seems far more liekly.
    But I'll bet you still whine about 'the Russkis!'

  • Ordinary Person||

    If there's evidence of her lying then it should be revealed.

  • Sevo||

    "If there's evidence of her lying then it should be revealed."
    Not being able to remember much of anything, and having it denied by supposed witnesses should make to questionable to 'ordinary people'.
    Ordinary lefties, OTOH, are dim enough to ignore such evidence.

  • Dillinger||

    no, they shouldn't

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "The Dems shouldnt make a public affair of it but they should investigate whether Kavanaugh committed perjury and conspired with others to present dishonest information."

    Only a kook like you wants to investigate BK.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    There's Trump's tax returns, which they seem to think will reveal... something.... 1099s from Putin for bribes?

  • Robert||

    The "left" in the USA still has socialized medicine, college financing, parental leave, criminal amnesty, & fire.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The Left has nothing to sell but the fear, hatred, and resentment of identity politics.

    But in a multi cultural country, that can easily be enough.

    Divide and conquer. Use power to reward your tribes and punish the enemy's tribes. That's the way politics works for most of history, and for most of the world now.

  • DiegoF||

    By the way, has any president on record ever been as steady in the polls over his first two years as Trump? I think he's steadily risen about six points or so--high 30s to low 40s. Not quite at 24 months yet, and his polls only stabilized in May 2017, but I'm thinking they'll probably have pretty damn good staying power in this pattern.

  • John||

    Obama is a pretty close analogy. Like, Trump Obama had a floor of supporters in the low 40s that never went away regardless of events. And like Trump, Obama after a short honeymoon was always divisive enough never to have approval ratings much above 50%.

  • some guy||

    I think you just described every president we will have for the foreseeable future due to the partisanship that has become the norm.

  • John||

    Probably so. The media pissed away so much credibility carrying water for Obama, I doubt we will see a Republican President go underwater as badly as Bush II did. And as long as the media are dem operatives, no Democrat ever will.

  • some guy||

    I think they've lost more credibility for the way they've handled Trump than how they treated Obama.

  • John||

    It was the contrast between the two.

  • some guy||

    That it was. Though, there was a lot of contrast between Bush II and Obama. It just wasn't as glaring because they were virtual carbon copies of one another on the policies that were forefront in 2008.

  • Gray_Jay||

    The flip side of that is we will probably never see approval ratings as sky-high as Bush the Greater had immediately post-Desert Storm.

    Which, considering the modern analog would be that we'd just gotten into a big conventional war, and amazingly won without it going CBN, is a good thing I guess.

  • Oli||

    We surely don't see Trump going underwater, he even refuses to go outside when it rains.

  • DiegoF||

    That was my thought nearly as soon as I typed that. And I did check. Obama started with a much more astronomical honeymoon, then deteriorated over those first two years until he got to basically where Trump is now, then basically slooowly and weakly teetered around that level for the rest of his presidency. Trump dropped from 45 at his inauguration about nine points over the next six months, and then very slowly and nearly steadily gained almost all of it back. No other presidents in the history of regular polling even come close to that level of steadiness--and so far Trump is even steadier than Obama. They're not unalike, in their level of "divisiveness." Obama could have shot someone on Fifth Avenue too--he just was not gauche enough to say so.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Well, if i recall correctly, there weren't "respectable" journalists seriously calling for Obama's impeachment on November 9, 2008.

  • damikesc||

    Obama is a pretty close analogy. Like, Trump Obama had a floor of supporters in the low 40s that never went away regardless of events. And like Trump, Obama after a short honeymoon was always divisive enough never to have approval ratings much above 50%.

    If Trump has Obama's media, how high would he be in the polls?
    If Obama had Trump's media, how low would he have been?

  • buybuydandavis||

    To fairly compare Trump's popularity poll numbers to past Presidents, you have to normalize them to Congressional leaders.

    Ryan, Pelosi, Schumer, and McConnell are all *much* lower than Trump.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Bimbo held a press conference yesterday saying she was the best person to be Speaker. It is clown show all the way, at least in the House.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It will be interesting if the Democratic youngins revolt. I wouldn't put it past them.

    "Never trust anyone over 30."

    They are the future they've been waiting for.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    With Midterms Done, Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy, or Continue the Clown Show?

    Why, yes, I think you will probably continue this Clown Show.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Gillespie thinks that Bozobama was a serious policy person and not a clown. That gives you an idea of his standards.

  • John||

    The best sentence in this article is this one

    The main way that Trump controls conversations—and elections—is by making everything about him, even when few things actually are.

    That is actually true. Nick just can't comprehend that it is the media's own fault that Trump is able to do that. No one makes them take the bait.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    I'm amazed that the members of the press are so bafflingly stupid or self-important that, more than three years in, they still haven't figured out Trump's game.

  • John||

    I think they have but so lack self control they still can't help themselves. They are just children.

  • some guy||

    I think they understand his game and play into because they're customers want them too. Trump is the perfect president to generate page hits and ratings.

  • Bubba Jones||

    They know the game. They benefit from it.

  • Here for the outrage||

    It sells... to both sides

    clicks clicks clicks

  • MoreFreedom||

    Policy won't really change much, because mostly Congress controls policy, and with the RINOs dominating the GOP and Democrats always being big government proponents, the only policy that will change will be in the areas where Congress went derelict in its duty and told the executive branch to "write the rules" which is the law. They didn't expect anyone like Trump to be elected, which is why Trump has been successfully deregulating.

    As for any other policy changes, Gillespie should know better. The establishment (the RINOs, the Democrats and most of MSM) are all working to get rid of Trump. That's the establishment's real policy. Which is why they are all focusing on Trump. And Trump defends himself via his tweets and speeches. That's what Gillespie should expect, though he has higher aspirations for our elected leaders but is way off the mark for politicians in Congress. Trump would be happy to deal with and talk about policy, but the establishment doesn't like his policies.

  • some guy||

    Well, it has always been an incredibly low bar.

  • DiegoF||

    Gillespie is right about at least one thing--the media is paying too much attention to an event that few people give a shit about, and seems clueless enough not to know it. Even conservative alternative media; Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra or whatever the fuck his name is kept tweeting about it endlessly as though everyone would be endlessly fascinated about it. Maybe he thought of himself as engaged in a sort of meta-reporting, but whatever it was I seriously doubted anyone gave much of a shit even from his perspective.

  • John||

    What event are you talking about?

  • some guy||

    The Midterms.

  • DiegoF||

    Acostagate.

  • John||

    Yeah no one outside the media gives a shit about that. Trump could stop giving press conferences altogethe and disolve the White House press corps and no one would care.

  • some guy||

    He's probably already given more press conferences than Obama did over 2 whole terms, so it's funny to watch the media complain about access.

  • DiegoF||

    This is probably the biggest example thus far of media narcissism at its very purest, because even the Right got sucked in. Normally at least their criticisms of leftist mainstream media is over something that can hold their audience's attention for a bit. But this is like a soap opera that no one outside the cast itself is watching.

  • John||

    The whole Cory Lewendoski Michelle Fields affair was just as bad. An a lot of people on the right got sucked into that. Lewendoski grabbed her arm!! That any of them thought anyone cared about that is just amazing.

  • DiegoF||

    Yes. No one ever did care that much about the White House press corps, especially in the newer media age; W and O basically made that obvious to everyone.

    Their lameass circle jerk annual blacktie is probably another good example too. They have lied to themselves so long about their own importance that it's still not evident that they cannot get America to pay attention if they all attended it in the nude. Last one they had some comedienne basically go on there and try to be as vile and ranty as humanly possible, and still they couldn't get the public to give a shit what went on at the Correspondents' Dinner; their manic efforts to draw attention desperately with handwringing and analyses about the "controversy" and its significance started to look so embarrassing that even they gave it up rather quickly.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    "they cannot get America to pay attention if they all attended it in the nude."

    Ainsley Earheardt
    Kayley Mackaninny
    Jenna Lee
    Sandra Smith
    Megyn Kelly
    Brooke/Kate Baldwin

    I'd fucking tune in

  • Kivlor||

    I'd fucking tune in

    In the competition for my time:

    1. Watch some elitists at the correspondence dinner because it will include some decent looking women.
    2. Fuck my wife.
    3. Play with my kids
    4. Improve on my leatherworking
    5. Work on a household project
    6. Anything else

    I'll take options 2-6 in that order over option 1 every time.

  • Juice||

    Has anyone said, "more like Accoster, amirite" yet? I haven't seen it. You'd think it would be what the people on the street were saying.

  • DiegoF||

    "Acosta? I barely even touched 'a!"

  • Rossami||

    What a stupid question. Of course, we're going to continue the clown show. People were already talking about the 2020 election before the 2018 election was even done. Neither side has any intention of letting it go.

  • some guy||

    Politics is a sport that has no season. It's a year round rodeo. A few people actually care about the riders and how they perform. Most just want to see someone get gored.

  • Gray_Jay||

    "Season 3" as some pundit called it recently. With uglier tits and less violence than Game of Thrones.

  • John||

    Trump is running a reality show. Season 1 was all about Mueller and Russia and Lil Kim, and the Never Trumpers in the Senate. Now all of those guys are being hustled out the door for Season 2, which will be all about Nancy Pelosi and the art of the deal with Congress.

  • Kivlor||

    Politics truly is America's version of the Roman Circus. Instead of being partisans of the Green and the Blue, it's Red and Blue. And much like the Roman crowds at the circus, we are seeing people rioting over their particular color winning or losing and even demanding the heads of people.

  • juris imprudent||

    "Send in the clowns..."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    CLOWNS AND CLOWN PANICS ARE NOTHING TO TAKE LIGHTLY.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Can't go to sleep, clown will eat me...

  • Sevo||

    "With Midterms Done, Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy, or Continue the Clown Show?"

    Note the "We". That includes whose who spent ink and electrons with concerns about Trump's 'tiny hands', his 'tight wrist watch band', the fact that he 'eats fried chicken with a knife and fork', the fantasy of 'THE RUSSKIS!'.
    When that "We" gets serious, get back to "us".

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    He does eat a big NY slice with a knife and a fork. I have a hard time not taking issue with that.

    Is it an impeachable offense though?

    ...maybe...maybe

  • DiegoF||

    All this clown talk is making me horny as fuck.

  • kevrob||

    I would have gone with some cute chick cosplaying Harley Quinn, or Margot Robbie from Suicide Squad, but whatever floats one's boat.

  • Bubba Jones||

    "As Reason's Peter Suderman put it, the midterms were "surprisingly normal," and for the most part, "our political contests still revolve around essential policy and governing decisions that matter to the people casting their votes.""

    This is bullshit. My wife spent weeks with her Beto mommy friends and none of them ever mentioned any policy or governing decisions. It was all about Beto being awesome and Cruz being an asshole. These were dedicated volunteers and poll workers. In the absence of any substantive discussion from her friends, wife did her own homework and voted for ... Cruz.

  • John||

    I couldn't tell you a single policy Beto supported other than that he thought the caravan was groovy. None of my prog friends can name any either. He was a total empty suit. He is the vanilla Obama.

  • Gray_Jay||

    He wanted to, full stop, ban AR-15s, took pride in his NRA "F" grade, and he wanted healthcare for all. With the magical sky fairy to pay for it.

    That's about all I heard him concretely say during one of his debates with Cruz.

  • DiegoF||

    Vanilla Obama is right. Or Texan Trudeau. The bougified Left has indeed become so vapid that apparently all you need now is to be dreamy. That is, unless instead of spending your extended youth as an overgrown child in stereotypical spoiled-class aimless indulgences, you got your eyeball blown out by the Afghans. Then you get laughed at. Because who can relate to that shit?

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    For how much you are into politics this is actually a pretty damning statement against yourself, if actually true and not just shit talking Beta-O.

    He had lots of positions on things. They were shit positions. You would be unlikely to agree with any of them, since they were indeed, shitty.

    But to be unaware of what they were given the ridiculous amount of coverage of that senate race, one of the more watched races in all the midterms? Are you hanging out with Boehner too much these days?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    wife did her own homework and voted for ... Cruz

    Some women are attracted to the kind of husband who, after another man calls the wife a pig and hideous, tongues the guy's ass. Your wife seems to be one of them, and it looks like you are her kind of guy.

  • ||

    Some women are attracted to the kind of husband who, after another man calls the wife a pig and hideous, tongues the guy's ass. Your wife seems to be one of them, and it looks like you are her kind of guy.

    So how many marriages did you go through to learn this gem? Next are you going to tell us how you eat pieces of shit like him for breakfast?

  • DesigNate||

    Man, you are one fucked up evil person. I hope you get the help you need before you join one of the mobs and get hurt.

  • Sevo||

    "...Some women are attracted to the kind of husband who, after another man calls the wife a pig and hideous, tongues the guy's ass. Your wife seems to be one of them, and it looks like you are her kind of guy."

    Notice how the annoying asshole avoids any examination of the argument presented.
    Assholes do that...

  • buybuydandavis||

    The good "Rev." lives with hatred in his veins.

  • Kivlor||

    women are attracted to the kind of husband who

    Smacks their ass, tells them to stop behaving inappropriately because he's not putting up with it, and make me a sammich.

    At least, IME that's what pretty much all women are attracted to. Far left women who bitch about the patriarchy are usually begging for you to smack them and tell them to knock it off. They want it. Badly.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "We can either be serious about politics and policy, or we can be frivolous."

    The kavanaugh hearings told me everything I need to know about where we're heading Politically.

  • John||

    And the Kavanaugh hearings were in no way Trump's fault. Trump nominated someone everyone agreed was qualified and that had near universal support from his own party. There is no way you can accuse Trump of not taking the nomination seriously or sending up a serious candidate.

    The fact that it became a clown show is entirely the responsiblity Diane Feinstein and the Democrats in the Senate. Yet, Nick continues to blame Trump for it.

  • Tony||

    Democrats attempting to hold people accountable for bad behavior and not succeeding? Par for the course.

  • John||

    Is there any lie the Democrats tell you that you won't believe? They could tell you that the sun rises in the West and you would believe it. The allegation was 35 years old and she couldn't even say where or when it happened. And she didn't have a single witness who supported her account. And yet, you believe it because you will believe anything. And that is really terrifying to think that there are so many people out there just like you.

  • DRM||

    Yeah, when they tried to make Newt Gingrich president by spearheading the removal efforts regarding Bill "It Depends On What The Meaning Of Is Is" Clinton and Al "No Controlling Legal Authority" Gore, the Democrats really proved that they would attempt to hold people accountable for bad behavior. If only the Republicans had been willing to go along with them.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Puppet show.

  • Juice||

    No, you're a puppet.

  • Echospinner||

    Told them one hundred times.

    Spinal tap first puppet show second.

  • Tony||

    The Republican death cult doesn't care about policy except tax cuts for the rich, which is itself an expression of political nihilism. Their experts, for what they're worth, must know that tax rates are not anywhere nearly high enough for cuts to provide any meaningful social good. It's just plain looting. The racist stuff, if I'm charitable, is pure demagoguery of the worst kind so they can get people to vote for the tax cuts.

    You tell me one thing they've even bothered trying to do with their power.

    Of course totally useless, deficit-busting tax cuts are apparently sufficient for most "libertarians" to continue supporting this death cult.

  • John||

    If only the federal government stole more than the meger 3.44 trillion dollars it currently does every year from the public. Those irresponsible monsters. How in the world can you have a civilization on $3.4 trillion a year?

    Civilization was built on gay marriage, aborting children, and forcing women to shower with transgendered men. Everyone knows that.

  • Tony||

    Baaa baaaa.

  • DiegoF||

    Well, Afghan civilization was built on child marriage, aborting women, and forcing transgenders to shower with gay men. So joke's on you, philistine.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    I was just listening to The Marshall Mathers LP today and all I can think of was that if Trump was a rapper he'd be Eminem.

  • Juice||

    I was just listening to The Marshall Mathers LP today

    Good god, why?

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Nostalgia? Its a great album imho but whatever floats your boat to get through the day is alright with me as long as I'm not paying for it.

  • ||

    I had almost the exact same thought the other day. 'The Real Slim Shady' came up on the playlist and I couldn't help but wonder how we didn't see Trump coming. Like all the way, misogyny, 'homophobia', racism, then flip-flopping for popularity reasons... then 'cheating' on Melania with Daniels the way Jay Z and Beyoncè capitalized on his infidelity. The question is almost backwards; how/why didn't we get a President like this sooner?

  • Sonny Bono's Ghost||

    Clown Show.

    Hope that helps clear things up.

  • SIV||

    Trump has some real achievements from a libertarian angle, such as deregulating aspects of education, the FCC, the FDA, and the EPA.

    ChuggaChuggaChuggaChuggaChuggaChugga......WooWoo!

    Ride that Trump Train Nick.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nick has The Deplorables to thank for all those achievement.

  • Nardz||

    Wait: does Nick G not think he isn't part of the clown show?
    Damn dude, get some perspective

  • Nardz||

    *does Nick G think he isn't part of the clown show...

    I'm really struggling with the typos today.
    Mea culpa

  • The Last American Hero||

    Send in the clowns. Don't bother, they're here.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "With Midterms Done, Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy, or Continue the Clown Show?"

    You tell me, Nick.

    Have you fired Shikha yet?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Are We Going To Get Serious About Policy, or Continue the Clown Show?

    Magic 8 Ball Says: Clown Show

  • Robert||

    Which do you prefer to report on?

  • XM||

    The clown show was always here. Trump's arrival merely galvanized the relevant players to dizzying new levels. You're talking about a country that experiences a heart attack over a bunch of college kids attending a Halloween party wearing a sombrero and a fake moustache.

    Sites like Reason gets readership because the terrifyingly inept and biased MSM almost never do their job. Back when Obama rolled out such genius moves like cash for clunkers only the likes of John Stossel did any serious and critical analysis on such economic policy. Obama (improbably) suggested that ACA wouldn't add a cent to the deficit.

    You can't ask a bunch of partisans who run the media and news outlet "when are you going to get serious about the deficit and spending and less about Trump" when they have NO political motivation to be interested in those topics. Rachael Maddow is never going to see that medicare is running out of money, because things like that aren't in the interest of social justice.

  • AER1972||

    Correction: Reason used to... they now are just another progressive "clown show" Nick G treasures his appearances on Mahr's show much that he has sold out the movement. Of course the movement lost me when they chose the despicable Bill Weld as the VP pick, Such a sad end.

  • tlapp||

    I am certain the headline was rhetorical.
    So here are a few of mine.

    1. Isn't the clown show better than most policy that has come out in the past 20 years?

    2. Do you think either party wants an immigration solution or just to keep alive and issue to rile up the base?

    3. Do you think there is the political will or a mandate from the voters to balance the budget?

    4. Same question as #3 regarding entitlements.

  • AER1972||

    So Nick lost me when he quoted the highly partisan progressive news source, Vox. Again he is showing under his feckless leadership Reason is another tool of the Progressives. What Libertarians miss but I thought they knew is the real enemy of the Republic is not establishment republicans but Progressives both right and left. Trump is all about Trump. While this is unattractive it can be effective in getting things done like drilling in ANWAR. Unfortunately most modern Libertarians seem more concerned about getting legally high on heroin than economic growth, free markets or saving the Republic. I am sure Nick's concern is getting a better grade of heroin over the counter. Y es Trump is his own worst enemy but he is getting things done and some of it is good. Obama unlike what the progressives at Reason will tell you was a disaster and almost sent us into the oblivion. I don't doubt that the editorial board at Reason is wetting their pants at the thought of a forced Trump resignation and the possibility of Corey Booker presidency. What happened to you all? Do the Koch Bros have photos of Nick and a Labrador?

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Is this a trick question?

  • NotMrNice||

    This Nadler putz just announced her wanted to see Trump's tax returns. And how does this improve anything Nadler; you sorry vindictive shitball?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online