Yet as political observers review the most unexpected election outcome since Truman beat Dewey in 1948, they see a deeper story behind the arithmetic: a series of miscalculations by Hillary Clinton and shrewd moves by Donald Trump that enabled the New York businessman to eke out the narrowest Electoral College victory since George W. Bush’s 271 in the year 2000.
To defeat Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary contests, Hillary Clinton executed a series of policy left turns—and when she tried to pivot back in the general election, found voters cool to her latest efforts at reinvention.
The 12 Signs That Trump Will Win the White House
Unless the #NeverTrump people have been hiding a mad scientist with a DeLorean in a warehouse somewhere and haven’t gotten around to telling anybody, Donald J. Trump is now the certain Republican nominee for president of the United States. True to form, having learned nothing from their yearlong string of overconfident and embarrassingly wrong predictions about voter behavior and preferences, the D.C. pundit class has already proclaimed him a general election loser.
Not so fast. For the handful of polls that have Trump losing by double digits, there’s one or two that foretell a much closer race. And if enough major chips fall the tangerine billionaire’s way, he may get his shot at repainting the White House metallic gold. Want to know if you should join Lena Dunham on a house-hunting trip in Canada? Here’s a month-by-month guide of the signs of a looming Trump victory.
Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
What is needed among Republicans in Washington now is patience, soberness of thought, and a kind of heroic fairness. Reflection and humility wouldn’t hurt either.
One of our two great parties is either shattering or reconstituting itself. It is not united and has not been since the George W. Bush era. As the pollster Kellyanne Conway noted this week, if it were, there wouldn’t have been 17 candidates for president, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be the presumptive nominee.
The optimistic thought is that it is reconstituting itself. The past year the base of the party has been kicking away from its elected and established leaders in Washington and, simultaneously, broadening itself, with new members coming in. That suggests a certain dynamism: Maybe something’s busy being born, not busy dying. We’ll see.
But almost every conservative and Republican in Washington—in politics, think tanks and journalism—backed a candidate other than Mr. Trump. Every one of those candidates lost, and Mr. Trump won. After November, think tanks and journals will begin holding symposia in which smart people explain How We Lost The Base.
Inside the GOP effort to draft an independent candidate to derail Trump
A band of exasperated Republicans — including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a handful of veteran consultants and members of the conservative intelligentsia — is actively plotting to draft an independent presidential candidate who could keep Donald Trump from the White House.
These GOP figures are commissioning private polling, lining up major funding sources and courting potential contenders, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republicans involved in the discussions. The effort has been sporadic all spring but has intensified significantly in the 10 days since Trump effectively locked up the Republican nomination.
Those involved concede that an independent campaign at this late stage is probably futile, and they think they have only a couple of weeks to launch a credible bid. But these Republicans — including commentators William Kristol and Erick Erickson and strategists Mike Murphy, Stuart Stevens and Rick Wilson — are so repulsed by the prospect of Trump as commander in chief that they are desperate to take action.
Five Ways the Republican Convention Could Still Be Contentious
There will be no contested convention this year. But that doesn’t mean it won’t get contentious.
And while there is little doubt that Donald J. Trump will emerge from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the party’s presidential nominee, there is still some uncertainty about what could unfold there starting July 18.
Over the course of four days, Mr. Trump will have to navigate potential hazards, like hostile delegates suspicious of his conservatism and determined to thwart his candidacy. Complicating matters further, many of those delegates possess an intricate knowledge of the parliamentary process that establishes the convention’s rules and program. Any of them looking to make trouble certainly could try.
Recent political conventions have grown so scripted and choreographed that moments of true spontaneity are rare. This year, when history seems to be providing little guiding precedent, could be the one that shatters the calm. Here are some of the wild cards that could roil the event in Cleveland:
Republican Delegates Do Not Have To Go Through With Their Suicide Pact
Donald Trump is going to fundamentally alter the party and still lose to Hillary Clinton. With his loss will come recriminations. The party will cripple itself while the Democrats themselves do very little — very little except win.
All of this can be avoided. The delegates themselves can stop the madness and halt the party’s suicide. They can do it by unbinding themselves. The delegates have that power. They can take that vote. The delegates can save the Republican Party from those outside forces who have launched a coup of the party.
If the delegates refuse, the suicide of the Republican Party is on them.
6 convention fights for the GOP’s future
Ted Cruz has given up on running as the Republican party’s presidential nominee, but he hasn’t given up on running the Republican party.
When Cruz heads to Republican National Convention this summer, he’ll bring a list of ideas for changing the way the party governs itself and picks its presidential nominee. He’ll also bring plenty of backup: hundreds of delegates who were handpicked by the Cruz campaign. The delegates were assembled as part of Cruz’s now aborted bid to capture the party GOP nomination in Cleveland, but now they’ll be key allies on the rules committees and other panels that will set the party’s ground rules for the next four years.
Cruz is eyeing another presidential run in 2020, but it’s about more than that. Along with setting the rules of the GOP primary, the party will also hash out its official policy platform — and even to determine how much power the Republican National Committee has to make new rules of its own.
But Cruz isn’t the only one coming to the convention with an eye to the future. Donald Trump and his allies, fresh off a stunning primary run, have their own ideas about what’s next for the party. As do the parts of the party responsible for the 2013 GOP autopsy, which called for Republicans to consider immigration reform and take a more inclusive tone in its interaction with women, Latinos and other minorities.
They’re all coming to Cleveland, ready to rehash old fights and pick new ones — all against the backdrop of a party that has been turned on its head by the most unlikely of nominees. Here are the marquee battles.
How the GOP Can Stop Donald Trump With This One Weird Trick
For months, the GOP establishment has been mulling over what’s worse: A Trump candidacy, which could spell doom for the party come November, or a last-minute coup by party elders to restore power to a candidate who may be more electable in a general election. It now seems that they’ve got the first, with some serious establishment GOP elements weighing how exactly they might peel off or at least sit out this election.
But is it possible that there is another option?
Unlikely as it may be as an actual solution this year, history tells us there is indeed another possibility for winning the general as a party and managing to dump Trump. The strategy involves running not one, but three candidates—this year, say Trump, Cruz and Kasich—in the general election in November.
It’s farfetched, but it’s a scenario that is allowed by the Constitution, and in theory could be done with a tweak to the party’s bylaws. The goal is to block the Democratic nominee from winning an electoral majority by running the Republican candidate in each state most able to win there. If the Democratic candidate were held short of 270 electoral votes, the outright majority, then the House of Representatives would be asked to choose the president from the top three vote-getters, regardless of what party they are from. If the House stays under GOP control, it would almost certainly select a Republican as president.
Historically, it has been tried: The Whigs ran three candidates against Democrat Martin Van Buren in 1836—and although the scheme ultimately failed to secure an electoral majority, it saved the party, at least for two more decades. By embracing their regional differences and insisting that the Congress have a hand in selecting the president, the Whigs united around two core principles: fear of a dominant executive branch (which took power away from Congress) and a preference for localism over nationalism. Coincidentally, these are also two principles held dear by the many disparate branches of the modern conservative movement.
Trump or Clinton — a Hobson’s Choice?
What do conservatives do when there is no conservative candidate? I watched Donald Trump serially blast apart all my preferred candidates — Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz — as if for sport they were sent up in succession as clay pigeons. And now the November Rubicon — vote for Donald Trump, or stay home and de facto vote for Hillary Clinton — is uncomfortably close. Most of the arguments pro and con have been aired ad nauseam.
The choice is difficult for principled conservatives, because no sooner should they decide to vote for Trump than Trump will surely say something outrageous, cruel, or crude that would ostensibly now have their imprimatur on it. And note, this matters to conservatives much more than it does to liberals. Few Obama supporters at Harvard or the Ford Foundation or the New York Times worried much in 2008 that their candidate had dismissed his own generous grandmother as a “typical white person” or that he tried to get away with airbrushing out the obscene Reverend Wright and mythologized his close friendships with reprobates like Bill Ayers and Father Michael Pfleger. Aside from his dubious political loyalties, Trump persists in being mean-spirited. He seems uninformed on many of the issues, especially those in foreign policy; he changes positions, contradicts himself within a single speech, and uses little more than three adjectives (tremendous, great, and huge). But the problem with many of these complaints is that they apply equally to both the current president and the other would-be next president.
When Hillary Clinton, playing to the green vote, bragged that she would put miners out of work, and then, when confronted with an out-of-work miner, backtracked and lied about her earlier boast, we had a refined version of Trump’s storytelling.
The Clinton Foundation’s skullduggery and Hillary’s e-mail shenanigans seem to trump the Trump University con — and involve greater harm to the nation. Her combination of greedy Wall Street, for-profit schmoozing and paint-by-the-numbers progressivism is repulsive. Trump’s cluelessness about the nuclear triad is a lowbrow version of Barack Obama’s ignorance, whether seeking to Hispanicize the Falklands into the Maldives (wrong exotic-sounding, politically correct foreign archipelago, Mr. President), or mispronouncing “corpsman,” or riffing about those Austrian-speaking Austrians; or perhaps of Hillary Clinton’s flat-out lie about the causes of Benghazi, hours after she had learned the truth. I don’t think reset, Libya, Benghazi, red lines to Assad, step-over lines to Putin, and deadlines to Iran attest to Clinton’s foreign-policy savvy. It is easy to be appalled by crude ignorance, but in some ways it is more appalling to hear ignorance layered and veneered with liberal pieties and snobbery.
The choice in 2016 is not just between Trump, the supposed foreign-policy dunce, and an untruthful former secretary of state, but is also a matter of how you prefer your obtuseness — raw or cooked? Who has done the greater damage to the nation: would-be novelist and Obama insider Ben Rhodes, who boasted about out-conning the “Blob” D.C. establishment, or bare-knuckles Trumpster Corey Lewandowski?
The great Republican crackup has begun.
There is a growing group of Donald Trump partisans , including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie . Then there are Republican officials who publicly support Trump and privately hope he will lose in November — a group that could only be counted via lie detector, but I would test Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell first. And there are Trump opponents and skeptics, including the 41st president, the 43rd president , Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan . Ryan, in particular, is providing air cover for the unconvinced.
What common views or traits unite the most visible Trump partisans? A group including Limbaugh and Christie is not defined primarily by ideology. Rather, the Trumpians share a disdain for “country-club” Republicans (though former House speaker John Boehner apparently likes Trump because they were golfing buddies). They tend to be white and middle-aged. They are filled with resentment.
Above all, they detest weakness in themselves and others. The country, in their view, has grown soft and feeble. Their opponents are losers, lacking in energy. Rather than despising bullying — as Ryan, Romney and all the Bushes do — they elevate it. The strong must take power, defy political correctness, humiliate and defeat their opponents, and reverse the nation’s slide toward mediocrity.
The One Man Who Could Stop Donald Trump
Curly Haugland loves the rules. The stubborn 69-year-old pool-supply magnate is North Dakota’s top Republican gadfly, its rule-mongering crank, its official state pain in the ass. On the national GOP’s standing rules committee, he’s been the pedantic curmudgeon, the stubborn speed bump who for years has raised points of order only to watch establishment Republicans stampede over him.
Yet now, as his party teeters on the edge of civil war, Haugland has become one of the most dangerous men in politics: He’s the mainstream GOP’s last hope to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination in Cleveland. It would take a miracle—and almost certainly lead to a historic split in the party—but there is still a way, buried in the labyrinthine rulebook, that the party could free delegates from their obligation to vote for Trump. To get there, the convention’s rules committee would need to travel a perilous road. But nobody knows the terrain better than Haugland, a self-taught maverick expert on the Republican convention rules, who has spent a decade pushing schemes to take power away from Republican primary voters and give it back to party insiders.
There is one article of faith in the Republican Party: On the convention’s first ballot, bound delegates are required to vote for the candidate to whom they’re bound. What you need to know about Haugland’s radical vision is this: He insists that’s not the case. Haugland has been trumpeting this nuclear option for months. In March, he blasted out a letter to fellow Republican National Committee members with the subject line: “NEWS FLASH: All Republican Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention are Unbound!” He’s on a mission to let all the delegates at the convention in Cleveland to vote however they’d like on the first ballot, no matter whom their state’s voters chose
This article drew the more comments & attention than anything I have every posted…so I decided to share it again for those who missed it…
Democracies end when they are too democratic.
As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic . It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated in all hues.”
This rainbow-flag polity, Plato argues, is, for many people, the fairest of regimes. The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — with shame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema. But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.
The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. Patriarchy is also dismantled: “We almost forgot to mention the extent of the law of equality and of freedom in the relations of women with men and men with women.” Family hierarchies are inverted: “A father habituates himself to be like his child and fear his sons, and a son habituates himself to be like his father and to have no shame before or fear of his parents.” In classrooms, “as the teacher … is frightened of the pupils and fawns on them, so the students make light of their teachers.” Animals are regarded as equal to humans; the rich mingle freely with the poor in the streets and try to blend in. The foreigner is equal to the citizen.
And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.
He is usually of the elite but has a nature in tune with the time — given over to random pleasures and whims, feasting on plenty of food and sex, and reveling in the nonjudgment that is democracy’s civil religion. He makes his move by “taking over a particularly obedient mob” and attacking his wealthy peers as corrupt. If not stopped quickly, his appetite for attacking the rich on behalf of the people swells further. He is a traitor to his class — and soon, his elite enemies, shorn of popular legitimacy, find a way to appease him or are forced to flee. Eventually, he stands alone, promising to cut through the paralysis of democratic incoherence. It’s as if he were offering the addled, distracted, and self-indulgent citizens a kind of relief from democracy’s endless choices and insecurities. He rides a backlash to excess—”too much freedom seems to change into nothing but too much slavery” — and offers himself as the personified answer to the internal conflicts of the democratic mess. He pledges, above all, to take on the increasingly despised elites. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, even impetuously, repeals itself.
And so, as I chitchatted over cocktails at a Washington office Christmas party in December, and saw, looming above our heads, the pulsating, angry televised face of Donald Trump on Fox News, I couldn’t help but feel a little nausea permeate my stomach. And as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread. And when he seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life. It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyperdemocratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.
Could it be that the Donald has emerged from the populist circuses of pro wrestling and New York City tabloids, via reality television and Twitter, to prove not just Plato but also James Madison right, that democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention … and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths”? Is he testing democracy’s singular weakness — its susceptibility to the demagogue — by blasting through the firewalls we once had in place to prevent such a person from seizing power? Or am I overreacting?
Perhaps. The nausea comes and goes, and there have been days when the news algorithm has actually reassured me that “peak Trump” has arrived. But it hasn’t gone away, and neither has Trump. In the wake of his most recent primary triumphs, at a time when he is perilously close to winning enough delegates to grab the Republican nomination outright, I think we must confront this dread and be clear about what this election has already revealed about the fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself.
Report: China has reclaimed 3,200 acres in South China Sea
China has reclaimed more than 3,200 acres of land in the southeastern South China Sea. But the country’s focus has shifted to developing and weaponizing those man-made islands so it will have greater control over the maritime region without resorting to armed conflict, according to a new Pentagon report.
In its most detailed assessment to date of China’s island-building program, the Defense Department said three of the land features in the Spratly Islands now have nearly 10,000-foot runways and large ports in various stages of construction.
And it has excavated deep channels, created and dredged harbors, and constructed communications, logistics and intelligence gathering facilities.
The report argues that the accelerated building effort doesn’t give China any new territorial rights. But it says the airfields, ship facilities, surveillance and weapons equipment will allow China to significantly enhance its long-term presence in the South China Sea.
The 10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken In The World Today
Language evolution is like biological evolution – it happens minutely, generation by generation, so there’s no distinct breaking point between one language and the next language that develops from it. Therefore, it’s impossible to say that one language is really older than any other one; they’re all as old as humanity itself. That said, each of the languages below has a little something special—something ancient—to differentiate it from the masses.
The language family that most European languages belong to is Indo-European, but they started splitting apart from each other probably around 3500 BCE. They developed into dozens of other languages like German, Italian, and English, gradually losing the features that they had all shared. One language, however, up in the Baltic language branch of the Indo-European family, retained more of the feature of what linguists call Proto-Indo-European (PIE), which is the language that they postulate was spoken around 3500 BCE. For whatever reason, Lithuanian has kept more of the sounds and grammar rules from PIE than any of its linguistic cousins, and can therefore be called one of the oldest languages in the world.
NEW Mobile App for Parties & Candidates
We launched it…finally a new mobile app to help parties and candidates keep in touch with their members.
Our apps are native meaning they use the full power of smart mobile devices to provide rich features such as video, navigation, customized alerts linked to specific content, events calendaring, conventions, ballot registration and voting, breaking news, donations, blogs, instant polls and surveys and more.
And they are fully customizable. So check out one of the apps that is currently live. Just go to your app store on either an Apple, Android or Windows phone and search for:
New York GOP (New York State Republican Party)
TN GOP (Tennessee Republican Party)
Michigan Republican Party
WSRP (Washington State Republican Party)
Republican Party of Louisiana
Republican Liberty Caucus
Tea Party Nation
NYS Conservative Party
USVI GOP (Virgin Islands Republican Party)
Lisa Posthumus Lyons (State Representative-MI)
Triston Cole (State Representative-MI)
Gowan for Arizona (Gowan for Congress)
Follow the progress of Right Mobile and the various new parties and candidates that launch their own apps on Facebook at; https://www.facebook.com/rightmobileUS//
If any party or candidate is interested in getting an app of their own, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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