Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Now Howie Carr Says Trump Has Gone Too Far

Trump has survived every instance when the Very Serious Pundits said it's over for Trump. We know when folks like Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Cillizza say Trump is done this is just profiles in wishful thinking.

With as much fun as I've had dismantling these arguments, I do think there is a new test for Trump now. He has offended everyone else and lived to tell about it, but can he survive calling Ted Cruz a maniac?

It is interesting that with all the things Trump has said about Latinos, about Muslims. about John McCain, about Carly Fiornia's face, none of it has earned him any criticism from Right wing talk radio.

Until now. When he called Cruz a maniac for his admittedly maniacal Senate conduct, Right wing radio said this is a bridge too far. Rush Limbaugh criticized him though later qualified that he hadn't turned on The Donald.

Mark Levin was actually much sharper in his criticism of Trump. It turns out that attacking Cruz is a real no-no among Right wing talk radio. Last night Trump was very nice to Cruz who returned the favor.

Levin seems to have moved on and praised Trump for being 'very thoughtful' last night. However, I see that Howie Carr has been getting rather cool on Trump lately. He seems to still be bent out of shape:

"But the big news this week is not last night’s desert debate. The real story is that Trump may have finally peaked this weekend, when he called Ted Cruz a “maniac.” Cruz is not exactly warm and cuddly, but he is One of Us. Calling Cruz a maniac – that’s something Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid would say."

"Granted, “maniac” is one of The Donald’s favorite words. That’s how he describes Bernie Sanders – but Sanders is a maniac. Trump called somebody else a maniac last night, and that was an unforced error as well. It reminded the voters of what he’d said about a guy who’s right on the issues."

This is interesting. Trump is more than just a movement conservative like Ted Cruz-his base is beyond the traditional MC base of Cruz. We have seen the Beltway media has no ability to stop Trump. We will see now if some cagey Right wing hosts like Carr have the ability to do so.
It will actually be interesting if they aren't able to do so. This could be like the outrage of Jesse Jackson and Cornell West at President Obama back in 2008 when he was able to soar without their help. I don't know that the Trump fans are totally one in the same with a Howie Carr listener-I suspect some Carr listeners don't agree with him anyway. 
So this is a dynamic to watch for going forward.

UPDATE: Not to worry too much though-Alex Jones is very much on board.


  1. But Alex Jones is NOT a movement conservative. Here's some examples of why:

    1. He's a 9/11 Truther in the strong sense: he just doesn't think that Bush may have an inkling of foreknowledge about the 9/11 attack, and chose not to pursue it (much like the FDR conspiracy theorists, like me dad think FDR may have had an inkling about Pearl Harbor, and thus moved the carriers out to sea)... Jones actually thinks the Bush administration actively planted charges on the buildings to bring them down... because "there's no way those buildings would have come down otherwise!" I suspect my crazy neighbor (a retired fireman) hears a lot of Jones all day... I see him outside working on stuff (he's a surfer and kayaker and putters around in his garden... so he's outside much of the day... and he's always got the radio on: tuned to Jones, Hannity or Rush, etc). So I don't hear a lot of Jones personally, but I try to figure out where his conspiracy theories come from, and he's definitely in the "The Bush admin planted demolition charges!" camp. I figure that came from Jones. I think I've actually seen Jones say things like that on youtube clips. There's NO WAY that Rush or Hannity would go there.

    2. Other conspiracy theories I hear my neighbor talk about that I suspect Jones may have had a hand in: That Bush 41 was involved in cocaine smuggling. That Bush 41 was involved in the attempted Reagan assassination (before he was Bush 41). Tons of Clinton conspiracies and LBJ conspiracies (like the both have personally killed people). The "Chemtrails" conspiracy, the "UFOs over Los Angeles in the 1950s" conspiracy, the "The AMA destroyed some guy with a radio-wave cure to cancer" conspiracy, and the "dark forces destroyed Tesla" conspiracy (to name just a small sampling!).

    3. Jones is a Federal reserve / "international banker" conspiracy theorist. I get the idea that the latter part of that is indeed a little on the "Elders of Zion" side of the antisemitism coin. That he suspects the "Rothchilds" somehow are still the puppet masters for international banking. I personally have seen some crazy whack-a-doodle Jones theories here, but again, I'm going off my neighbor too (whom has an "end the Fed" bumper sticker on his serial killer van, and never hesitates to tell me about the evils of some underhanded banking plot). Plus I've seen William Black (of MMT fame) actually interviewed in a favorable way by Jones.

    4. Jones' flirtations with antisemitism go a bit beyond the banking thing: he's a guy that regularly calls out Israel and "Zionists" for various underhanded crimes. Again, from my neighbor I hear about the "Liberty" ship incident, and other dark forces the Zionists are up to. Here's where I personally have a harder time drawing a line: while I think the vast bulk of that stuff is nonsense, Jones doesn't go full Nazi AFAIK. That is, he doesn't think the Jews have corrupt genes, and are a threat to the gene pool. On the other hand, to a very very small extent, I think he might right about some of this stuff, only so far as perhaps a Norman Finklestein or a Chomsky might go: that is I personally think there's a bit of a hairtrigger on people getting called "antisemite" when perhaps all that's happening is criticism of Israel or the US pre-Israel political forces. For example, some pro-Israel types will call just about call you an antisemite for using the term "neocon." Jennifer Rubin is one of those. Anyway, Jones is WAY over that line! Lol.

    1. BTW, I'm not saying William Black is an over the top nut like Jones, but he definitely is on the left politically regarding banking and law enforcement of banking. Black was the guy who got me interested in econ in 2010... I heard him interviewed on NPR and really was fascinated by what he had to say. Since then, I'm a little more leery of him, but I'm not at all suggesting he's a lunatic like Jones.

      Ah, another place Jones goes that no self respecting movement conservative would: "Bohemian Grove," trilateral commission, and Bilderberg group conspiracy theories.

  2. I noticed that Matthews yesterday on Hardball was very bent out of shape by Christie threatening to down Russian jets if he was managing a Syrian no-fly zone. I agree with him: that's a stupid and dangerous thing to suggest. Matthews brought up the point "what does he think? We can just set up an airspace anywhere in the world, and then tell people 'we'll kill you if you go there'?" ... but most alarming is the WWIII aspect of this. That Christie so nonchalantly being so reckless in risking WWIII.

    Which is why I think Trump should maybe consider adopting this idea, but take it a lot further: threaten to nuke Russia on his first day in office, because "Putin needs to be taught a lesson." It's risky, I know, but I think it might give him another boost in the polls. Like I say, I think the brutish simian Neanderthal dimwits that love Trump will go absolutely ape shit with testosterone fueled glee over a "bold" (Yes, yes he really did "go there!") idea like that. They get off on being delighted by their candidate pushing them to new levels of "anti political correctness" that they never even knew they could go before. Think how liberating it would be to now be allowed to openly promote nuking various nations on Earth that are perceived to be emasculating older white males in the Old Confederacy. ... "If Mexico doesn't pay for that wall I'm going to build... we nuke 'em! ... it has to be done people! We have to get tough to make America Great again!" He could also threaten to nuke China, Japan, and the UK if they ban him. I suspect this would help him, and maybe win back the Howie Carr crowd? (Just a guess: all I know about Mr. Carr is what I read here).

    1. I know it doesn't quite fit your "America First" vs "Neocon" dichotomy, but in a sense it does, and here's how: it's simple! One of the best things about "America First" is you don't have to think about it. Trump can just state that "we can win in a nuclear shootout and the whole world knows it!" ... he can just say that "there's no way we'd get hurt" and his fans will believe him. Cruz will probably not criticize him for it, which will give them another reason to be friends again. Cruz might be the ONLY other candidate to not criticize him for him, thus binding them together in a special bromance.

    2. ... I can practically hear the "USA! USA! USA!" chants at the campaign rally where Trump first presents his "we'll nuke their asses" bold new foreign policy.

    3. ... another good think about adopting a "nuke 'em" policy: there won't be an establishment figure anywhere or main steam media figure or beltway press figure ANYWHERE who will agree with him.

      The more anybody in that crowd despises Trump and his new bold ideas, the more the GOP will like him.

    4. ... can you imagine Jeb or Kaisich "tsk tsk"-ing Trump over his bold new "nuke-em" policy, and Trump simply looking at the audience, making one of his special faces (perhaps while simultaneously making a combo eye-roll & "jerk-off" hand gesture) and saying "Listen to them: they talk like fags!"... and then the hall exploding "big gales of stupid laughter" soon followed by more chants of "USA! USA! USA!"

    5. See Trump would not say something as stupid as Christie did. I actually just published a new post. Putin is a Trump fan LOL.

      But see Trump is a America First not a Necon. This is what I try to suggest to you-Trump may say crazy things but he's not indisciriminate. He has a strategy.

      What Christie said is a Neocon thing.

      Trump seems to have Putin's vote

    6. I agree with you: Trump has not interest is doing anything but America First. But what I'm suggesting is that America First isn't necessarily anti-war: it's just anti-complicated war for the purpose... of God knows what the neocons purpose is.

      If you can keep it simple, like "You fuck with us, we'll nuke you!"

      And Trump assures his fans that nuking people is not what it used to be: it's safe now. I have no doubt that they're stupid enough to believe him and feel liberated in the process. The more outrage and pushback he gets for a statement like that, the more they'll use their feelings (rather than their brains) to determine that it must be true.

    7. I don't think Trump has any ethics, he'll use whatever works, and if that works, then great. He doesn't care at all about bullshit like world stability. If he can make things unstable on Obama's watch, then that looks good for his narrative, so what's the downside for Trump?

    8. I think you can go too far in assuming he is purely amoral. If say I'm the biggest opportunist in the world I still wouldn't go for nuclear war-the downside is that I too live on this planet.

      Mutually assured destruction was how we survived the Cold War. So because someone is a pure narcisistic opportunist doesn't mean they have no sense of self preservation-often narcissits are particularly good at self-preservation.

  3. What you may not get is my argument is that the base is not Neocon. They don't want more regime change, etc.

    Why do you think Trump so consistently criticizes the Iraq war and the Bushes and yet his numbers keep going up?

    My point is that there really is a divide here.

    Trump says lots of crazy things, yet. But there are Trump crazy things and then there are crazy things Trump wouldn't say. You know the Christie crazy things

    Same with Scalia. He isn't indiscriminate.

    1. What's "regime change" about nuking people? Nuking people is about "strength" not about messy complicated things with hard to pronounce names. You don't need to learn geography or which group is which or which government is which... you just nuke 'em and be done with them! Simple! I think "America First" is completely consistent with that if you're stupid enough, and I have no doubt that Trumps supporters are that stupid.

    2. Also, Trump's supporters don't care about Putin other than Trump says he's a threat and we have to get tough with him. So fuck him! Nuke the piece of shit if he doesn't bend to our will.

    3. ... and BTW, that underlying attitude is what scares hyper pro-Israel people so much, like Jennifer Rubin. The idea that America would turn inward, build a wall, and stop caring about the outside world (which includes Israel) scares the crap out of her.

    4. Jennifer perhaps senses the new focus on Cruz too... she's very eager to see him fall as well. The last few days have focused on him much more than anybody else.

    5. But her hyper Zionist focus is far from ideal itself. Everything for Israel to the exclusion of our own interests even. You see the Republicans having Netanyahu speak before Congress to undercut the American President

  4. For the base-that likes Trump and Cruz-sure they want 'strong' but strong for them mostly is about border security and keeping the wrong people out of the country.

    It's Fortress america. Read Pat Buchanan and you'll see that this is a real sensibility

    1. I'm saying that if Trump says it, then it's true. If everyone else (except maybe Cruz) criticizes him for it, then it REALLY must be true! That's how you feel your way to truthiness if you worship strength, you hate thinking, and you feel angry.

    2. I guess for me the True Believer has been the real problem in US politics in recent years. The dogmatic Party of No-all comes from being an ideological True Believer.

      To me an opportunist is better-given the choice.

  5. Yes on Alex Jones, not every criticism of Zionism means you're Hitler. I do think that the reason Pat Buchanan is anti Israel is anti Semitic-but then the reason a lot of conservatives are so pro Israel is based in anti Semitism too, ironically.

    They want the Jews in Israel so they will be there for when in the Apocalypse, Jerusalem is destroyed.

    1. The #1 "Christian Zionist" that I'm aware of (John Hagee) basically let that slip back in 2008 (when John McCain and he has a brief bromance): Hagee said that Hitler did God's will in inspiring the Jews to leave Europe and set up the state of Israel. That and his equating the Catholic church with Satan got him in trouble, and McCain broke relations with him. Bill Donahue (the right wing "leader" (one man show?) of the Catholic League was very upset with Hagee for that latter bit, but they eventually patched things up.

  6. See here's the difference between Christie and Trump (should trump go pro nuke em):

    1. Christie pains a complicated picture of no-fly zones, about countries in far off lands with all kinds of complicated actors: Kurds, Turks, Lebannon, Assad, Iran, Iraq, Russia, China (if you're a Carson), etc. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Al Qeda, Free Syrian Army, Yazidis, Shiites, Alawites, Sunnis, Al Nusra, Hezbollah, blah blah blah. Trump supporters don't care about that stuff. Do you think any of them know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?

    Simple is "Build a wall to keep the scum out, and nuke 'em if they give us trouble!"

    Trump makes it simple for them, and they love him for it. He's generated 100% fake crisis (like there's a giant wave of Mexican rapists flooding across the border --- when actually net immigration is back to Mexico in recent years), but it doesn't matter to Trump supporters: they don't give a shit about the truth: it feels good to blame their problems on brown people, so there's no talking them out of it. They feel the truthiness of what Trump says, and when he's criticized, then that's just more proof he's right. Simple! Go with your gut feelings, and stop thinking.

  7. And like I said I don't want a President Christie or a President Trump but given the choice I'd go Trump.

    I know you worry that Trump could somehow just do anything but if he wanted to do something crazy like nuke Canada believe me he'd never get the chance. Our system of government wouldn't allow that. Worse come to worse like Greg said the military would have him out of there by nightfall.

    I don't think Trump is just plain crazy quite like you do. I think he understands the real world a lot more than perhaps you imagine.

    Rand Paul nailed it, the kind of person who would shutdown a bridge to punish someone politically is the kind who thinks that shooting down a Russian plane makes sense.

    I'm not America First or Neocon but I'd take AF before Necon which would had for eight years.

    Of course when Trump pointed out all that 5 trillion we spent in Iraq could have been spent on it struck a chord with a lot of people-even liberals. Like when he made fun of 'My brother kept us safe.'