Monday, February 29, 2016

According to RCP Average, Hillary Leads in Texas by 30 Points

Hillary's team hopes to come up with at least a 100 point delegate win on Tuesday.

Here are Joseph Lenski's projections:

"Here are my delegate projections for 3/1: Clinton 512; Sanders 353; Trump 284; Cruz 160; Rubio 133; Kasich 15; Carson 3."

So he has her winning by 159 delegates which would be insurmountable going forward.

But if we are to believe the Texas polls, she could have close to an 100 delegate win on Tuesday just based in Texas alone. A new Emerson poll has her up by 42 points.

Meanwhile the news just about everywhere else is great for Hillary. There was a poll that showed Bernie up by 5, though she still has a small lead in the averages there.

But in light of the huge wins she will have down South, a 5 point win in OK wouldn't do much.

Meanwhile, in what has to be very worrying for Bernie, she has lead in 4 straight polls there, with a new Emerson poll showing her with  her biggest lead there yet lately, an 11 point lead.

Nationally a number of polls came out today showing her back up by about 20 points. In the interim between her big loss in NH and Nevada, the national polls had tightened and the day before Nevada one poll had her actually down by 3.

Sooner or later-and if she wins Massachusetts, sooner-Bernie is going to have to ask himself what the point of pushing this race to go on and on when he clearly has no path to victory beyond helping Donald Trump who may be done by late March.

Harry Enten notes Rubio trying to be Trump isn't working.

"If you look hard enough, there is perhaps some evidence that Cruz has picked up some ground heading into Super Tuesday. We'll see..."

But I see pretty much no evidence that Rubio has gained any ground... Anywhere."

Rubio Loses His Voice Trying to Out Trump Donald Trump

Many thought he did great in that last debate. But I agreed with Josh Marshall that Trump was still dominant.

I mean later on when you just looked at the optics, it's partly just a function of height. Trump was in the middle with Rubio and Cruz on either side trying to get a word in.

This strategy of Rubio's is not really his nature and it sort of throws his own theory out the window-that he's the adult in the room.

In any case today's polls were not good for him as he is now 33 points behind in a national CNN poll, just a point ahead of Cruz.

A lot of people may have thought Rubio won, but then a lot of people thought that Trump bombed in the SC debate. Yet it was Jeb who went after Trump the most whose numbers tanked subsequently.

And what is happening to Rubio now reminds you of what happened to Jeb post that debate supposedly Trump lost.

Now we hear that Rubio's attempt to out Trump Donald Trump has led him to lose his voice.

Rubio spoke with a hoarse whisper during a campaign event in S.C. on Monday."

By the way, why is he in SC anyway? He already lost the state. You know that right, Marco? Do you know that? I mean I know you say it's not about winning states, but surely it's counterprodutive to campaign in states that have already voted?

Anyway, this story of the would be Cuban Obama, the allegedly Republican Obama-unfortunately Rubio thinks this is 2008 and his party wants a'forward looking message' losing his voice trying to do Trump better than the man himself-where else can you find it than on Alex Jones. Go to Alex Jones for the real scoop-LOL.

"I don’t have a voice and [if] I have to whisper how strongly I feel about the future of this country, then I’m willing to do it,” he said softly.

"The Florida senator has been desperately trying to shore up support after polls revealed he was actually losing ground to Trump."

"Rubio dropped five points over the weekend to third place, one point behind Ted Cruz, and both are distantly behind Trump."

“If Rubio hoped that going negative on Trump in the most recent GOP debate and on the campaign stump would reap benefits with voters, it hasn’t resonated with our national respondents,” the Morning Consult revealed."
If you look at Rubio's numbers on Morning Consult they have dropped 5 points since the debate.

Harry Enten has been so invested in Marco Rubio doing well. I guess to prove the theory that the Party Decides right? He has loved the Rubio attacks on Trump.

"The idea that Rubio should just sit back and do nothing about the giant press imbalance in terms of coverage is laughable."

Yet, going after Trump has never helped anyone so far. It didn't help Lindsay Graham, Scott Walker, certainly not Jeb, and what we are seeing today is not encouraging over Rubio.

Enten does also observe:

"Indeed Rubio's conservatism is perhaps the best case for Kasich being the better candidate to take on Trump..."

Exactly. That's why I want Rubio to go down hard. Looks like we're on the right track for that.

Scott Sumner is Also Unhappy Chris Christie Endorsed Donald Trump

I just commented to Greg and Tom Brown that with all this politics I have no inclination to wade back into the econ and monetary debates right now.

I will again when the election is over. Of course, Sumner always says that politics knocks 20 points off your IQ and there may be some truth to that. At least it leads you to a different focus.

But while we are so focused on politics, the question is where is the economy going? The US economy seems strong but the market has had problems. Does the market foresee trouble? It's clealry worried about China, the drop in oil, etc.

But it is what it is. Right now politics is my focus. Even during the Super Bowl I realized that, I was not nearly as invested in it as usual. That was partly of course because my NY Giants were a flop again and nowhere near the SB.

But Trump did make an accurate tweet that night-the SB this year is not nearly as exciting as politics.

Despite Sumner disdain for politics he's been wading his share lately. I was struck by this:

"No Hollywood film has even come close to portraying the insanity of politics. Here is the latest headline:

"Christie Deeply Insulted by Rubio Voicemail."

"Wow, why would Rubio deeply insult Christie, when he needs his support? So I read on:"

"And after losing the race, the call came from Rubio."

"In his voicemail, the junior Florida senator sought Christie’s support and assured him that he still had a bright future in public service — and Christie didn’t appreciate the words, sources close to the governor said."

"Instead, Christie, 53, took the message to be patronizing and deeply disrespectful, and wanted to know why 44-year-old Rubio would be telling him about his future, and the two politicians never held a direct conversation."

"Shame on Rubio. I don’t think I’ve ever been that deeply insulted, not even by my most vicious commenters. I can’t even imagine the stress that Christie has to go through being a public figure. No wonder he put his ego ahead of the well-being of America. Who wouldn’t, if in his shoes?"

This is interesting. So the good of the country requires supporting Marco Rubio? From my standpoint I'm not so sure. I agree that the good of the party might require that. But what's good for the GOP is more or less the opposite of what's good for the country, so I'm all for what Christie did: as it's not good for the GOP.

To be sure, the one thing to come out of Christie's run is he doesn't like Marco Rubio. He feels that the Rubio team played some very dirty pool against him with al the attack ads in NH. 

Remember what Christie had said at the time: Rubio is not going to slime himself to the nomination.

Anyway, supporting Trump was the only way Christie could get some attention and try to stay in the game. He's a term limited Governor who after Bridgegate is probably finishes for future office. Nothing left for him to do than hitch himself to Trump's wagon. 

As I think the good of the country is actually what's bad for the GOP-the good of the country is for the GOP to lose-Christie's move was actually in the best interest of the country, whatever his own motivations. 

P.S. Sumner does put this well:

"Meanwhile, as always occurs in Presidential campaigns, the former head of the CIA is now speculating that the military would refuse to obey orders from one of the two leading Presidential candidates:

"Michael Hayden, the former head of the NSA and CIA, thinks some of presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s campaign promises are so unlawful that the U.S. Armed Forces could not follow them as orders."

"These include Trump’s claim that people deserve to be waterboardedeven if it doesn’t work and that he would target the families of terrorists. The internationally recognized Geneva Conventions bars such action."

“If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” Hayden said Friday during an appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “You are required not to follow an unlawful order that would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”

"So I guess we can cross our fingers and hope for a mutiny by the armed forces and the CIA against the Commander in Chief. (And for God’s sake make sure the White House is well stocked with strawberries.)"

UPDATE: I left out the best part:

"There is literally nothing Trump could say, no matter how mindbogglingly stupid, that would drive his poll numbers below 30%. America faces 8 more months of insanity, if not 5 more years, or God forbid 9 more years. And if the forces of sanity do somehow cobble together enough delegates to deny Trump the nomination, he’ll cry foul and tell his supporters to stay at home, giving the House, Senate and Presidency to the Dems. And that nightmare is the best outcome!"

Resolved: Rubio Didn't Lay a Glove on Trump in Last Debate

Many in the media felt he had but a new CNN poll sure doesn't betray this.

It was taken between February 24 and 27 so a good portion of it is post debate.

"Nearly half of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters now back Donald Trump, according to the results of the latest national CNN/ORC poll released Monday. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton's lead edged closer to 20 points over Bernie Sanders."

"Trump grabbed 49 percent, a full 33 points higher than Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 16 percent. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz earned 15 percent, followed by Ben Carson at 10 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 6 percent. Nearly seven in 10 — 68 percent — said they have decided on their candidate, while 32 percent said they might change their mind."

Read more:

This poll doesn't cover the dustup over Trump's needing to do 'More research' on David Duke but I wouldn't hold my breath in waiting to see that hurt him. 

This poll also seems to throw more mud in the eye of the Trump has a low ceiling theory. What's more, Republicans prefer him on virtually all issues across the board:

"The Manhattan real-estate magnate holds wide leads over his opponents on all issues, from effectiveness at solving the United States' problems to honesty and trustworthiness. But asked whether they would support each of the Republican candidates, only 25 percent said they would "definitely" support Trump as the nominee in November, compared to 38 percent who said the same thing of Rubio and 35 percent of Cruz."

"Among Democrats, Clinton led Sanders 55 percent to 38 percent, slightly increasing her margin over the Vermont senator from the same survey in January. Roughly two-thirds of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters said they have locked in their decision."

"Regardless of their preference, 70 percent of both Republican and Democratic voters said they see Trump and Clinton winning the nomination of their respective parties."

Read more:

Hillary has her almost 20 point lead, before she blew Bernie away on Saturday. You might expect that to further raise her numbers. 

In primaries, once voters think they know who will win those undecided often jump on the winner. 

Her low point was post NH. There was that long lag of 12 days for her between getting blown out by over 20 points there and Nevada. On the Friday before Nevada a poll actually showed him ahead nationally for the first time. Her win there stemmed the bleeding and it's been up and onwards since. 

David Plouffe and the Golden Rule of No Bedwetting

Ok, I apologize for the crude title. I could just have said the Golden Rule of not questioning your priors too often as the economists put it but that seemed less arresting some how.

The former Obama campaign guy is advising Hillary. He has some interesting observations that I think are made with love.

“I think you build your team, and you stick by your team, and you run,” said Plouffe. “It's got to be very hard for the Clintons. They’ve been on the scene for decades. So any time things go wrong, they have dozens of people, you know, in their email box, and probably calling, saying, ‘Told you so. You’ve got to do this. You’ve got to do this… You’re going to have your valleys, and that’s always a test. And if the thing you do is sew internal tension, and allow voices from the outside to really, I think, affect the campaign in a negative way, you may not win.”

"Early on, it seemed like the Clintons were headed to the same dark place they inhabited for much of 2008. Both were in a sour, question-everything mood in the days after her microscopic victory in Iowa, when it was clear Sanders was about to deliver a humbling and decisive win in New Hampshire. There was talk of accelerating a reevaluation of staff that had been expected after Super Tuesday, or after she secured the nomination. (Some in Clinton’s orbit even floated the non-starter idea that Plouffe abandon his lucrative Uber gig and jump aboard the campaign.)"

"Despite the finger pointing, Clinton decided to stay the course, and was rewarded with game-changing victories in Nevada and South Carolina – and Plouffe hopes she doesn’t get itchy-scratchy when things go south, as they inevitably will, in a general election fight. “I think what you do need to figure out whether it’s one voice,” Plouffe said of the campaign’s overall strategy – and please do away with Clintons propensity to summon the clans for 10-to-20-person conference calls anytime things went wrong, he urged."

Read more:
This was always a big part of Obama's message discipline. He always just had a few folks he trusted-Plouffe, David Adelrod, Robert Gibbs- and kept the circle small.

Leaks are the price of having a larger circle.

The one time Obama tried a bigger circle at the start of his re-election campaign in 2011, there were a bunch of leaks.

Stay the course is usually the best choice in general. We see this in economics and the other-harder? LOL-sciences as well.

If you change your theory of the case too often you get nothing done. A lot of times the virtue of a theory is not that its' the best possible one but that it helps you focus your action in a singleminded way.

P.S. Hugh Hewitt comes up with no less than six reasons as a conservative he will support Trump over Hillary.

Great. I want them all to get behind Trump so he becomes the nominee.

This is going to be a fun general if you're a Democrat.

Did Donald Trump "Make a Mistake' on David Duke Yesterday?

Even Morning Joe is saying he stepped in it this time. Steve Schmidt is saying he 'has to clean it up.'

But did he make a mistake?

If you look at how Trump has gotten here, this has been the road he has travelled from day one. He became a political force by fomenting the birther stuff.

He has not apologized once in any previous comment that was felt to be over the line.

If you read his book, Art of the Deal, this is in his wheelhouse. Sometimes you gain even by getting press criticism. It seems quite plausible to me that:

1. It was no mistake. He knew that what he was saying would lead to an outcry.

2. But that's good in his view. It gives him exactly what he lives by: Lots of media attention.

Morning Joe says that Trump doesn't get any votes by playing it agnostic about David Duke.

Again, I would remind Morning Joe that the third ranking Republican in the House is a an old buddy of David Duke, Steve Scalise.

When Trump talked about banning Muslims we heard similar comments. Then his numbers went up. I'm not at all sure that this doesn't again remind his supporters why the like him so much:

He's a tough guy. He doesn't backdown. He doesn't have time for political correctness. 

We know that a majority of his supporters wish that slavery was back. So does David Duke.

Meanwhile, Trump penalty for saying this was: Jeff Sessions who was supposed to be Ted Cruz's buddy endorses Trump.

P.S. Now of course, this hurts him in the general. But the beauty of it is that many now believe that Trump could give Hillary a run for her money. Chris Christie in his endorsement now says Trump is the one to beat her as he 'throws out the playbook.'

When I hear people say this, I don't argue with them. Of course, the day he becomes the GOP nominee, is the day the Dems put out the ad of Trump's interview with Jake Tapper.

Norm Coleman in one Sentence Shows the Problem With the GOP

Yes times are tough to be a GOPer. Trump is in line to win most states. He's now been endorsed by Chris Christie, Paul LePage, Jan Breuer, and now Jeff Sessions-who was supposed to be a Ted Cruz guy.

Nate Silver has been waiting for the party to decide on Marco Rubio. But some are beginning to decide on Donald Trump.

Again, The Party Decides theory is not a bad one at all. I believe this is usually roughly how a nominee is chosen. But the theory has to be adjusted to A Healthy Party Decides.

But the 2016 GOP is anything but a healthy party. Indeed, it's not clear that they are a party at all. Scott Sumner himself said he's never in his lifetime seen a party so humiliated-and he remembers the 1968 Dems. Actually he might remember the 1964 GOP which was a rough one as well.

"The implosion over Donald Trump’s candidacy that Republicans had hoped to avoid arrived so virulently this weekend that many party leaders vowed never to back the billionaire and openly questioned whether the GOP could come together this election year."

"At a moment when Republicans had hoped to begin taking on Hillary Clinton — who is seemingly on her way to wrapping up the Democratic nomination — the GOP has instead become consumed by a crisis over its identity and core values that is almost certain to last through the July party convention, if not the rest of the year."

"A campaign full of racial overtones and petty, R-rated put-downs grew even uglier Sunday after Trump declined repeatedly in a CNN interview to repudiate the endorsement of him by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump had disavowed Duke at a news conference on Friday, but he stammered when asked about Duke on Sunday."

Ok, so these are symptomatic problems. One trouble with the GOP is they never get beyond reacting to this or that symptom for a larger malady. They never even ask themselves if this could be a larger malady. 
I mean you can go on all day about how unsuitable Trump is as a nominee but the question the GOP should ask itself is how did it get here? How is a Donald Trump in this position where he's going to win most Super Tuesday states tomorrow?
Listen to Norm Coleman for an answer:
“This is an existential choice,” said former senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who is backing Rubio. Asked how the party could unite, Coleman said: “It gets harder every day when you hear things like not disavowing the KKK and David Duke. It’s not getting easier; it’s getting more difficult. . . . I’m hopeful the party won’t destroy itself.”
"I'm sorry, but when did Norm Coleman call out Steve Scalise, the third ranking GOP member in the House, who has a history with David Duke? Duke campaigned for him in the past.
Explain to me why it's wrong for Trump to not disavow Duke, but it's ok to have a friend of Duke as you're third ranking member in Congress?"
Could there be a mixed message here?

The Bernie Team Theory of March 1

His team hasn't talked strategy too much, and this is because this campaign just like Bernie's policy proposals was never about reality.

His campaign was never about Jamil Smith's 'How will you?'

Smith had predicted that without explaining this, black voters would never trust him. Well, I guess what happened in South Carolina speaks for itself in that light.

Bernie's run was always meant to be like Obama's run 'Yes we can.'

The difference is that despite Obama's soaring rhetoric, he had a very capable team that had thought things through. For one thing they always understood it's not about states or votes, it's about delegates.

Yet when Bernie's team talks best case scenario it betrays little consciousness of delegate math.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign is desperately fighting to prove that Super Tuesday isn’t his final stand.

"The outlook is grim: He likely needs comfortable wins in at least five states to realistically keep pace in the delegate hunt. Coming off a deflating loss in Nevada and a thorough pummeling in South Carolina, Sanders’ brain trust views March 1 as a swinging gate that could either reveal — or effectively close off — his path to the nomination."

"It’s a trying moment that his increasingly nervous top aides have been prepared to face for months, just not so soon. His campaign wasn’t expecting national news coverage after Hillary Clinton’s 6-point Nevada win to be quite so tough on him. Nor did staffers envision the brutal, 48-point beatdown in South Carolina — where Clinton won every county by double-digits and captured over 80 percent of black voters — and its stifling effect on the Vermont senator's attempts to regain momentum."

"Their best-case Super Tuesday scenario looks like this: Of the 11 states holding Democratic contests, Sanders wins Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma -- four states where he’s invested in television advertising. Then he blows out Clinton in Vermont, and keeps it close in Virginia. As long as Clinton’s margins of victory in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas – states with sizable African-American populations — aren’t too overwhelming, he could march onto a trio of friendlier contests the following weekend with a credible case to make. His campaign could argue that Super Tuesday was a split decision, one that would still likely see him trailing Clinton in delegates, but not by an insurmountable margin, thanks to their proportional allocation."

Read more:

But why wouldn't her victories in Southern states be overwhelming? They are very similar states to SC. In the polls coming in to Saturday she had bigger leads in states like Alabama and Georgia than SC.

Secondly he could conceivably win all 4 of these states he mentions though there is no clear evidence he will. The state you would think he has the best shot at is Massachusetts. Yet the last few polls there have showed her ahead.

But even if he wins all 4, they won't be large margins and so he won't get a huge lift in delegates.
The Hillary team strategy of coming out of Tuesday with a 100 delegate win is likely to happen even if he wins all 4.

And, as we saw above, he may well not win all 4. Recently his team has been saying they don't think caucuses like Minnesota and Colorado give them an advantage as it's such a tough process to register to vote.

As I argued last night, she will effectively put this away tomorrow. The issue of Bernie winning these other 4 states is mostly symbolic. If he wins them he can claim that it was a close day-6 wins to 5.

But the delegate math is still a blowout.

On the other hand if he doesn't do so well in the 4, he may not even be able to claim that. If he loses Massachusetts he cant make an argument that is in any way plausible.

In another sign things are going well for her: she is in Massachusetts today. Think about that. You know you're doing well when you have the luxury to go to the states your opponent is most optimistic about.

Note how Bernie gave up on South Carolina last week-as he had no chance.

P.S. Hillary now has an almost 95 percent chance of winning the primary according to the betting odds.

Thanks again Tom Brown for letting me know about this great site that updates the odds every 5 minutes.

For the general, she now has a 61.5 percent shot, while Trump is at 24.7 percent at winning the White House

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Suffolk University Poll Has Hillary Leading Bernie by Eight in Massachusetts

A lot of good signs for Hillary lovers. She no longer even has to mention the guy anymore.

But if this Suffolk poll is true, then Bernie is even more wrong than he clearly already is in saying that this campaign is just beginning.

If he is down by eight in Massachusetts, then turn out the lights, this puppy is over.

This poll was conducted between February 25 and 27-so before Hillary's 50 point SC win.

There was a poll a few weeks ago that by PPP that showed Bernie up by 7. However, since then, another showed them tied, another showed her up by 5 and this one says by 8.

The PPP poll was conducted prior to her Nevada win. So that was at the height of whatever momentum Bernie had coming off his 22 point win in NH.

Furthermore, PPP qualifies it considerably:

Last wk we had BS up 49/42, but HRC up 53/47 w/committed voters. Bernie has lots flirting with, but not choosing him.

PPP actually discovered this in state after state. HRC has a strong lead in committed voters in every state.

Let's get real. I know there are people who love to tell you 'Anything can happen', but we have a pretty good idea of what will happen Tuesday on the Dem side-we also know what will happen on the GOP side. Trump will win most states, though Cruz probably takes Texas and Rubio finishes a distant third.

For the Dems, we know two things will happen:

1. Bernie wins his home state by a huge margin.

2. Hillary wins six Southern states by huge margins including Texas which is worth 256 delegates. Unfortunately for Bernie, Vermont is worth only 26 delegates.

3. She will then have a big, insurmountable lead in delegates.

4. However, there are four states Bernie thinks he's competitive in: the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, the Oklahoma primary, and especially Massachusetts.

5. In terms of substance, 4 really doesn't matter. Even if Bernie wins all four none of them would be by more than a couple of points and so would not make a dent into the huge delegate wins she's having in the South.

6. However, for pure symbolism, he could then say 'The Secretary won six states and I won five. It's a very competitive primary and it's going all the way to July.'

7. This will sound good though be completely meaningless. Basically it will be false but to see this you have to get that it's not about how many states you win, it's about delegates.

8. If you go by PPP's poll of those who have made up their minds, HRC leads 57-43, which suggests this might not be as close a race as Bernie presumes. There was one poll which showed it at 2 points.

As for Minnesota and Colorado, it has been thought these could be good states for Bernie they are less diverse states-though Colorado does have a good amount of Latinos.

But recently his team have suggested they don't see the caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota so hospitable. They made the rather counter-intuitive claim that they would have won Nevada if it weren't a caucus.

So they aren't confident of winning caucuses. So maybe that means HRC wins Minnesota and Colorado. She has the 14 point lead among decideds in OK.

That leaves Massachusetts where the last two polls have her up by 5 and 7.

Bottomline. This race will be over regardless of what happens in the Bernie Four. But it's not impossible she could win all four and he win only Vermont.

If he's able to sweep the BF or win 3 of 4 at least maybe he can plausibly claim something will change on March 15. It won't but it can buy him time maybe before the demands that he wrap it up become deafening.

But if she wins 3 or even all 4 then he might not even have the time. I think it's fair to say that if he loses in MA it will be very difficult for him to plausibly claim to have a path to victory.

Ok, one more good sign for Hillary: she is now at 94 percent in the betting markets, and over 60 percent to be President with Trump at 26.5 percent.

Meanwhile Bernie has dropped to just 4.4 percent to win the primary-he was close to 10 before the SC primary.

The Party of Steve Scalise is Outraged Over Trump and David Duke

If you want to know how the GOP Establishment got here this is it. 

They are trying to act outraged about Trump not condemning David Duke when their number three ranking Republican in Congress has a history with David Duke-Steve Scalise, the House Whip. 

"1:45 p.m. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump refused to condemn prominent white nationalist David Duke on Sunday or distance himself from the support the former Ku Klux Klan leader gave last week."
"CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked Trump if he would "unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his support."

"Trump dodged the question."

"I don't know anything about David Duke," he said. "I don't know what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don't know. I don't know, did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you're asking me a question that I'm supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about."

"Tapper pushed back. Trump suggested Tapper send him a list of "the groups" and he could research them. At which point, Trump said he would "disavow if I thought there was something wrong."

"The Ku Klux Klan?" Tapper asked.

"It would be very unfair," Trump continued talking over Tapper. "So give me a list of the groups and I'll let you know."

"I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here," Tapper said.

"Honestly, I don't know David Duke," Trump said. "I don't believe I've ever met him, I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him, and I just don't know anything about him."

Trump had a harder stance when asked about it at a rally on Friday. He reportedly said about the endorsement, "I disavow." Trump tweeted about the exchange Sunday afternoon:

As I stated at the press conference on Friday regarding David Duke- I disavow."

Gawker also trickedTrump a RT of Mussolini.

Still, Trump is right: the GOP is badly run.

If it weren't would Donald Trump be leading across the board?

When Did MSNBC Become Morning Joe TV?

There is a lot to unpack in what happened between Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC.

"MSNBC intends to part ways with host Melissa Harris-Perry after she complained about preemptions of her weekend program and implied that there was a racial aspect to the cable-news network’s treatment, insiders at MSNBC said."

"Harris-Perry refused to appear on her program Saturday morning, telling her co-workers in an email that she felt “worthless” to the NBC-owned network. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” wrote Harris-Perry, who is African American. “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC executives] or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

"The rebuke, which became public when it was obtained by the New York Times, has triggered discussions involving the network, Harris-Perry and her representatives about the terms of her departure, said people at MSNBC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks with Perry have not been finalized."


1. In one sense I don't see it as unreasonable that MSNBC has pushed election coverage during an election. I myself do enjoy a lot of their coverage.

Harris-Perry in this email at least clearly argued it was not just personal but racially based. In later comments, she seemed to walk the charge of racism back.

"In her email to her colleagues, Harris-Perry wrote, “Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”

"In a follow-up phone interview with the Times, Harris-Perry softened the racial aspects of her criticism, saying, “I don’t know if there is a personal racial component. I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person.”

Again, it's election season so this doesn't seem unreasonable. And it's not just her-a lot of MSNBC shows have been preempted by election coverage, including, thankfully, Andrea Mitchell.

2. On the other hand, while I for one enjoy the election coverage and the ratings show many viewers do, why does Joe Scarborough dominate this coverage so dramatically?

I mean aren't three hours enough? Evidently not:

"The network earlier faced some outcry on social media over its irregular preemptions of Jose Diaz-Balart, who hosts a two-hour bloc from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays. Diaz-Balart’s disappearance from the air prompted a hashtag —#MasJose — and a petition to encourage MSNBC to feature him on the air more often."

"Diaz-Balart’s hosting duties are also in question at the network. Scenarios under review include extending the “Morning Joe” program into Diaz-Balart’s slot or creating a new program hosted by one of “Morning Joe’s” regular personalities. Diaz-Balart, who also anchors for NBC-owned Telemundo, is based in Miami, which complicates his role anchoring weekday coverage for New York-based MSNBC. He will continue anchoring “NBC Nightly News” on Saturdays."

"All of the changes carry a potential perception risk that MSNBC — known as the most liberal among the three leading cable-news networks — is diminishing the contributions of its minority personalities, network officials acknowledge. In addition to the issues with Harris-Perry and Diaz-Balart, the network’s new emphasis on news during the day have led to the demotion of two African American hosts: the Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid, both of whom have been moved from daily shows to lower-profile weekend slots. (Reid assumed Harris-Perry’s hosting duties on Saturday.)"

"At the same time, the network brought back Brian Williams to be its leading daytime news anchor. Williams was suspended by NBC and ultimately lost his job as the anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” last year after he exaggerated the details of his reporting exploits in a series of media appearances."

In a statement, MSNBC spokesman Mark Kornblau said, “We are proud of the diverse backgrounds and viewpoints of our journalists, opinion hosts and analysts. We will gladly put that up against everyone else in the news business.”

I don't get why only Joe Scarborough can do election coverage and while they may have a diverse network it seems to becoming less so. It might also want to consider optics.

Yes Bernie Cant Stay in This Race Forever

I argued last week that with no clear path to victory he can't simply milk this forever.

If it's clear he can't win he will have to get out. Or, he will see his standing deteoriate. After all, why continue to attack her when you can't win?

Doesn't that just help a well rested Trump?

Now here is a clear sign of this in a comment a Bernie supporter named David Polston left at Huffington Post:

"Bernie ran a great race and I supported him all the way. Now that Hillary has basically won the democratic primary(with probably a huge Super Tuesday win), it's time to rally around her and get her and the democrats in office. Congratulations Hillary Clinton!"

Look, you get the HA Goodman types who say Bernie or bust but there are also a lot like Polston out there. By the way, his comment got 1183 likes.

The drumbeat is only going to get louder.

I mean I agree he's run a great campaign. He's had a real impact. But going forward, there is nothing more he can gain. I think if he keeps pushing this beyond when he can win he loses a lot of credibility. 

Democrats are going to get irritated with him.

P.S. My praise of him here isn't insincere. If nothing else he forced her to be a better candidate. She's better off now than if she had just nominal opposition. Her buddy Eric Boehlert a year ago had said she needed a tough primary fight.

She's always at her best then. 

Yes Everything Came Up Roses for Hillary Clinton in SC

Did I not predict this yesterday?

No one predicted just how sweet it would smell for her though. The RCP average had her up 28 points. Nate Silver's polls plus had her at plus 38 but even he was skeptical about that margin.

I myself was thinking it would be great if she could beat him 2 to 1-maybe 67 to 33-but scarcely dared to hope that. In my mind a great night might be 64-36.

But 48 points? 

The betting odds are also coming up roses. She is now a 93.5 percent lock to win the Dem primary-she was under 88 just yesterday and is up 11.8 percent over the last 7 days. She is also now just under 60 percent likely to win the Presidency at 59.9 percent. That's up over 5 points since yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile Trump is up to 77.2 percent likely to win the GOP primary. He is now up 12 points since Christie endorsed him.

Christie is clearly pulling his-considerable-weight as he's got two other governors to sign in already with Paul Lapage and Jan Breur.

 With all the bad press she's gotten since early January things are going pretty much perfect for her with the properly bird's eye view.

P.S. Predictiwise has similar numbers as Krugman highlights.

You Mean White Millennials Love Bernie Sanders

As Wyeth Ruthven points out on Twitter:

"So when you say millennials love Bernie, you mean white millennials."

He lost the black millennial vote in SC 58-42. Yes, that's better than he did overall-he lost the black vote overall 87-13 and lost the over 65 AA vote 96-3, if you can believe it, but even so 58-42 is a very comfortable margin and it's rather jarring how different this was than among white millennials whom Bernie wins with 80 percent support.

There is just nowhere to spin SC for Bernie. When he lost Nevada he pointed out that a year ago he trailed by 50 points, that in Iowa he trailed by 50 a year ago and he tied, and he trailed by 50 in NH and won by 22.

Now in SC he actually lost by 50 when some polls just a few weeks ago showed him within 20 points.

"A bruising, 48-point loss to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina Saturday night dramatically narrowed the path forward for Bernie Sanders, raising serious doubts about his ability to win the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination."

"South Carolina will widen Clinton’s delegate lead, currently at one after her Nevada win. But more significant, the contest here demonstrated that the Vermont senator has failed to make any headway at all with African-American voters in the South – even with 200 paid Sanders staffers on the ground and nearly $2 million in television spending, Clinton swept the black vote by a five-to-one ratio, according to exit polls. Among black voters 65 and over, Clinton won by a stunning 96 to 3 percent."

Read more:

P.S. Great line by Harry Enten:

"Voters in South Carolina were apparently bought off by "the corporations".

South Carolina Makes itself Heard

Bernie tried to explain his earth shattering loss last night by saying you win some, you lose some.

True. But you don't lose South Carolina by 50 points in the Democratic primary and then win the nomination.

We knew he was going to lose but by 50 points? 

We knew he'd lose the black vote badly but by 74 points? 

Let's just be clear: if you lose the black vote by 74 points not only can you not win the nomination, you really don't deserve to.

I mean Bernie is saying there is still some magic formula with which he wins the nomination despite losing the black vote by numbers normally reserved for a Republican.

If he did that would basically split the party in half. Of course he won't' as no such formula exists. But the strategy was always to neutralize the black vote-his team knew they couldn't win it.

"Last October, Sanders's strategist suggested that the candidate only needed to win 30 percent of the black vote in the state to win the state. He appears to have barely hit half of that. FiveThirtyEight estimates that, if national numbers on demographics were to hold, Sanders would lose South Carolina by 20 points. He appears likely to underperform against that measure."

For the record, he also lost the state's white vote, 53-47. The media is shocked to realize that maybe Bernie's NH win did have something to do with geography after all.

Making America Whole Again

Hillary is often criticized for having no simple catchphrase, no overriding theme. In many ways that's never been a problem for me.

I mean she tells you what she will do for her constituents.

South Carolina showed last night that some folks appreciate pragmatism to making promises you can't keep.

But as for an overarching theme, I think something is forming.

She gave a very passionate victory speech last night. She even led the audience to silence for a few minutes in talking about the mothers of victims of police violence.

That takes confidence and mastery to let the audience go silent like that.

She also declared that 'America has always been great but it's time to make America whole again.'

This was Jon Favreau, the Obama 2008 speechwriter who had such a low estimation of Hillary then but came to change his mind.

Think about that! An Obama 2008 alumni-particularly Favreau who made a notorious gesture of his disdain for Hil in 2008-coming to say that electing her in 2016 is more important than the election of Obama in 2008.

Eric Dyson made lots of waves when he argued that Hillary would do more for black folks than Obama was able to do.

This is the primary of Trump. Even his opponents are picking up the Trump style. Marco Rubio is now trying to out Trump Trump which I think will be a losing proposition for him but I digress.

As Favreau argues even Bernie while not selling xeonphobia is still yet another ranting male voice who is about dividing the country rather than bring it together.

Hillary has been talking a lot about 'love and kindness' lately.

"The "love and kindness" line @HillaryClinton used tonight isn't just a line. Read this @rubycramer profile."

The country needs some love and kindness right now with so much hate and divisiveness. Bernie's speech last night was more Trumpian than about bringing us together as a nation and healing our divides:

"That South Carolina Democratic primary? Bernie Sanders made no mention of the outcome during a rally in Rochester, Minnesota, Saturday night.

"The rally was his first public appearance after the polls closed in South Carolina. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won decisively in the first Democratic primary in the South, with the race called for her almost immediately after the polls closed at 7 p.m. So Sanders opted not to mention the results at all in Minnesota, instead ticking off the major points of his policy platform on healthcare, economic inequality, and free tuition at public universities."

"But the Vermont senator did include some digs at Clinton and real estate mogul Donald Trump. Clinton came first. He dinged her on the fact that she had an active super PAC working for her while Sanders did not. Then he attacked the Democratic front-runner for refusing to release the transcripts of her private speeches to major banks."

"Secretary Clinton gave some speeches to Goldman Sachs for $225,000 a piece. Now, I think if you get $225,000 dollars for a speech, it must be a really excellent speech and therefore you should be really proud to release the transcript of that speech," Sanders said.

"Then the Vermont senator pivoted to his vote on the Iraq war and contrasted it to Clinton's position."

Read more:

So much about politics is timing. I feel like Bernie is running on 2008 themes more than 2016.

In his own way Marco Rubio is trying this too-running on a 2008 theme. He wants to be the Republican Obama, the Cuban Obama for a party that is about Obama hatred.

John McCain had this same problem in 2008. He was running on 'Don't cut and run in Iraq'-Bush's 2004 theme-when the real issue was the financial crisis.

Bernie is trying to do what Obama did to HRC in 2008 in 2016 and trying to highlight the same Iraq vote. Sorry, but there is a lot of water under the bridge since.

So the nation needs love and kindness now. Or to put it in Tom Brown's terms: the nation needs some level of sanity back. I argue Hillary is the only way to get there.

In the year of Trumpism-of fulminating, screaming, divisive male rhetoric, we need a sane woman in the job. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

HIllary Got More Votes Than Trump in SC

Rachel Maddow keeps whining about Dem turnout. I don't think this is something to worry about in the general.

And in any case, some very interesting numbers are out in comparing the Dem to GOP primary in SC.

In his SC win Trump got 239.851 votes. In her win, HRC got 271,366 votes.

1. Assuming that Trump and Hillary are the nominees, turnout and enthusiasm may not be a worry.

2. Bernie has mocked Hillary's campaign as lacking enthusiasm.

3. Tonight HRC showed him what enthusiasm looks like.

4. Bernie talks about how he's the guy to generate all this turnout but he's failed to do this. In NH, he had fewer votes than Trump.

5. In SC HRC had more. So what this tells you is Hilary can generate the turnout.

An interesting point by Jamelle Bouie:

A Bernie supporter said this:

Dems better hope they can figure out a way to keep the kids engaged. Hard to see them showing up in overwhelming numbers for HRC."

Bouie pointed this out:

"In terms of winning a national election, HRC's ability to win black women is much more important."

P.S. It turns out that Hillary even won the white vote 53-47.

A Bernie Sanders Supporter is Disappointed in Black Voters

See, they failed to do research that would have showed them that Hillary is the devil and Bernie is a Saint.

Here is a comment by Pamela Lewis:

"I'm really disappointed with the black community for not doing sufficient research before voting."

Debbie Kelley responded:

"Maybe they did."

Ms. Kelley responds:

"Debbie Kelley If they did, they would realize the Clintons are for themselves and not for miniorities."

"Lewis's initial comment garned 381 likes. Ms. Kelley garned 152."

Another commentator, Phillip Quin said this:

"The condescending "I know what's best for black people" white person."

This attitude of many Bernie fans-you see it on Twitter all the time-doesn't exactly win any friends. Black folks don't take kindly to it, that's' for sure-who would?

Look, Bernie never was going to win the black vote for a whole host of reasons-first of all he lacks the history and she has a great deal of it- but Nate Silver caught a little flavor of the divide this afternoon.

"When I wasn’t at church, I spent part of the weekend visiting campaign offices in Charleston. At one Sanders office, everyone was white. I spoke to Sanders staffers face to face and repeatedly followed up with others, including the state coordinator, by phone trying get an interview from a black volunteer or supporter. None was offered."

"By contrast, when I went to a local Clinton headquarters, the staff and volunteers were a mix of black and white. While the staff skewed considerably younger, many of the volunteers were of retirement age. One of them, Helen A. Rivers, 71, was phone banking. A Charleston County native who was a medical intensive care nurse at the the VA hospital for 30 years, Rivers said she supported Clinton because “we need someone who would be fair to all races, not just one.”

Her numbers here are just amazing. I mean 84-16? She won 96-3 among AAs over 65.

It's interesting to consider the racial divide with the Clintons. Lately we've heard Bill slammed for the crime bill and welfare reform-both bills have had some very negative effects to be sure. 
But black folks always like Bill Clinton. White folks didn't like him. That's what's funny. For months we've been hearing how much people don't trust Hillary Clinton. Turns out that is mostly true of white folks. 
With black folks it switched in SC. There they trust her and he's the one they find less trustworthy. I agree. I've said all along he's running a political telemarketing campaign.
Again, she had the right history and he doesn't. Ok, he might have marched in the 60s but what has he done since? That was John Lewis' point when he said 'I never saw him.'
The black community of Vermont also said that Bernie didn't have much to say to them. 
But, when you factor in her role in the Obama Administration, there's just no way. Like I wrote earlier, a lot of folks in SC feel that they owe Hillary. That's a strong word but it was their word. She had been so supportive of Obama. 
But I am more and more getting Eric Dyson's point.
I think that Hilary's Presidency may well be a very important one in terms of race relations. Overall, it's like what 2008 Obama speechwriter John Favreau says.
Hillary in many ways is going to be about healing the nation. With all the wild Trumpism going on, she will be that President, I'm coming to believe. 
As to Bernie Sanders, Favreau points out that Bernie in his own way is also very polarizing, promising a junta against the banks. 
A lot of who wins the Presidency. You have to be the right candidate for America at the right time. Hillary I think will prove to be the right one for this time. 
P.S. David Axelrod makes the same point:
"Lesson in this moving portion of @HillaryClinton speech: speaking is more powerful than speechifying."

"We also see preview of potential general: "breaking down barriers" versus "building walls."

An Obama Like Turnout for Hillary in South Carolina

No surprise here. At exactly 7 with the polls closed, this one was called by every network. I say Hillary is getting Obama like turnout in 2008, if anything, it's even stronger:

"In South Carolina today, Hillary Clinton scored her biggest victory yet in the Democratic presidential primary. She beat Bernie Sanders by what looks to be at least 30 percentage points, according to exit polls, thanks to overwhelming support from African-Americans. As the race heads into Super Tuesday, Clinton has clear momentum: She has big leads in many of the 12 contests that will take place, according to the polls."

"According to the South Carolina exit poll, Sanders lost black voters 16 percent to 84 percent. That doomed him in a contest in which 62 percent of voters were black. If white voters were more supportive of his candidacy, Sanders might have been able to keep the race closer. But they split 58 percent for Sanders to 42 percent for Clinton. That’s simply not good enough to overcome Clinton’s advantage among black voters. It also makes the result among white voters in New Hampshire look more like an outlier compared to South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada. Maybe the Vermont senator had more of a next-door-neighbor advantage in New Hampshire than we initially thought."

It was always obvious there was a next-door neighbor advantage and it's not clear why the media every thought there wasn't. I mean NH and Iowa are quite similar in terms of a lot of rural white voters and yet she won a close win in Iowa and lost by over 20 in NH. What is the main difference between the two states but that NH is next door to Vermont?

Bernie's team is defiant about Super Tuesday but that will be more of the same. He will lose all those Southern states by the same sort of margin. 
Maybe he wins Massachusetts but even if he does, it will be close enough that he won't get a big jump on her in delegates. Other than Vermont there is no state that he will do. He will maybe get all of his home state but remember those are only 26. 
One other thing of interest. His team evoked Donald Trump. It's almost like Bernie hopes to steal some of the excitement of Trump. 
It is sort of embarrassing for him. Trump is the one leading to record turnout. Bernie's campaign is unfortunately wrongly predicated on the idea that what the Dems need is to win over white swing voters. 
He should have read this book before he started. 
"Despite the abundant evidence from Obama's victories proving that the U.S. population has fundamentally changed, many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars chasing white swing voters. Explosive population growth of people of color in America over the past fifty years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23 percent of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28 percent of all eligible voters). These two groups make up 51 percent of all eligible voters in America right now, and that majority is growing larger every day. Failing to properly appreciate this reality, progressives are at risk of missing this moment in history--and losing."
Black voters-and any real Democrat in my mind-are not going to do Obama dirty anyway and reject his hand chosen successor. It's that simple. 

It's What Bernie Doesn't Say That Says it all About What to Expect in SC

Hillary has the win today-we will know about this very soon after the six o'clock hour I'm guessing.

She will win and it won't be close. It will likely be a win of 20 points-or perhaps more based on recent polls.

But you don't have to look any further than what Bernie is not saying to know what we have here.

"South Carolina is holding its Democratic primary today, but you wouldn’t know it just by listening to Bernie Sanders.

Jetting off to Austin from Columbia, S.C. this morning — before stops in Dallas and Rochester, Minnesota — Sanders made no reference to the state voting today during his early afternoon rally at a Formula One racetrack here."

“We were more than 30 points down in Iowa and it was a virtual tie. We were 30 points down in New Hampshire and we won. We were 25 points down in Nevada and we came within five points,” said Sanders to a crowd of over 10,000, while voters were going to the polls back in South Carolina. “And now we move on to Super Tuesday."

"Sanders has bristled at the implication that he’s written off the state entirely, but Hillary Clinton is expected to win there by a wide margin."

"The Vermont senator spent much of the last week in March-voting states where he thinks he has a chance to rack up strategically important delegate hauls, including Michigan, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Toward the beginning of his outdoor Austin event, he reminded the crowd that Texas is the biggest delegate prize of all on March 1."

Read more:
He's not going to come close in Texas either judging by recent polls there.

She has over a 26 point average lead with some poll showing it as much as 40 points. He won't win a single Southern state. He's hoping to win Massachusetts-he will win Vermont, obviously.

But even here it's basically a jump ball.

For all the Southern states, Hillary fans should apply what Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said to Hillary regarding Georgia: Worry about something else cause she's going to win Georgia.

I was just struck by a reporter in SC who noted that many of the AA folks in SC feel that they even owe Hillary. Their words not mine after she has had Obama's back the last eight years.

This is why Bernie never had a chance. To vote for him would be a slap in Obama's eye. It was never in the cards. 

With SC Voting Today, Everything is Coming Up Roses

Just check out the election betting odds.

On the prediction site, HRC is now 90.5 percent, Bernie is down to 8.2 percent.

Trump is now up to almost 75 percent-so higher now than before the debate and Rubio is down to under 19 percent

Meanwhile in the general, Hillary is now over 56 percent.

While Trump's numbers had dropped from 71 percent to 65 percent after the debate, he's now higher than ever. 

The Christie endorsement was as Trump says yuge. It seems that other GOPers may be following suit soon.

Rather than deciding on Rubio the party is once again splitting. 

Hillary is now herself admitting that Trump is the likely GOP nominee.

Hillary herself is going to win by double digits today and by double digits in all Southern states on Super Tuesday. The white millennials may be in love with Bernie but the real base of the Democratic party is with Hillary. 

At the end of the day, Bernie's team should have read this:

“Any discussion of the Democratic base must include the acknowledgment that that base is heavily Black,” explains Steve Phillips in his insightful new book “Brown is the New White.” Phillips argues that a “New American Majority” has formed within the voting-age population in the United States: “Progressive people of color now comprise 23 percent of all the eligible voters in America, and progressive Whites account for 28 percent of all eligible voters,” he writes. “The New American Majority electoral equation requires securing the support of 81 percent of people of color and 39 percent of Whites.

The point of Phillips' book is that the Democratic party has for years wrongly focused on getting the votes of swing white voters. I

"Despite the abundant evidence from Obama's victories proving that the U.S. population has fundamentally changed, many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars chasing white swing voters. Explosive population growth of people of color in America over the past fifty years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23 percent of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28 percent of all eligible voters). These two groups make up 51 percent of all eligible voters in America right now, and that majority is growing larger every day. Failing to properly appreciate this reality, progressives are at risk of missing this moment in history--and losing."

The Bernie theory of revolution assumes yet again the key to Democratic success is winning over these white swing voters.

The trouble is he totally misses the importance of demographics in terms of the strength of the Democratic party.

The Dem base is people of color and women, along with a growing number of suburban whites.

For How We Got Trump, David Brooks Should Look in the Mirror

A very good piece by Elias Isquith points this out.

I've noticed that Brooks has been in a sort of nostalgic mood lately.

1. In a recent post he was looking all the way back to 1995 and thought that maybe the GOP should have worked with Bill Clinton on his deficit reduction plan.

True-from their own point of view this would have been smarter-but what was Brooks saying then? Was he urging the GOP to work with Clinton then?

The GOP has consistently been its own worse enemy. In 2011 Obama was willing to make all kind of compromises that was outraging many in his own base. Chained CPI, raising the retirement age for Medicare. Nancy Pelosi asked only that the Bush tax cuts expire on those making more than $1 million per year.

As usual, the GOP just said no.

In 2013 the Bush tax cuts were eliminated for all those who make more than $450,000 per year. Well played.

As for chained CPI or Medicare, forget about it. Happily from my standpoint this will never happen now.

This has been the trouble of Brooks and his party. Looking back now and wishing you had behaved better misses the point. The barn door is already open and the cows are all gone.

2. He even said he missed President Obama now.

Great that you miss him now, but how did you treat him while he was here? Again, Brooks should have appreciated Obama during the Obama years and not only now that he sees the rise of Trump.

Again, after the barn door opens.

"David Brooks won’t admit it, but Donald Trump is partially his fault."

"The star pundit is tired of so-called antipolitics. But before he makes accusations, he should look at himself."

For years, Brooks and the rest of the serious pundits played 'Both sides do it' ignoring the dysfunction of his own party:

"I’ve written about some of the likely causes already. But there’s at least one likely contributing factor that I haven’t previously touched on, in part because it’s not really in my wheelhouse. It has to do with how Trump’s Republican supporters feel they’ve been treated by the party apparatus; by its bureaucrats and donors, and by its leading media figures — such as best-selling author and center-right columnist David Brooks."

"It’s impossible to deny, after all, that part of the reason Republican voters have flocked to Trump is in order to send the party establishment a signal. (And that that signal is basically a middle finger, upturned.) Elevating Trump — which goes against the urgings of nearly every party leader, apparatchik and pundit — is a form of mass insolence. It’s the kind of behavior that’s usually accompanied with declarations, like “enough is enough!”

"Brooks' problem is he's always too late. 25 years later he thinks maybe the GOP could have worked with Bill Clinton. As Obama is in his last year, he suddenly realizes his virtues. Both Brooks and his party are always too late."

Fight Camille Paglia's Maureen Dowd Feminism

She's at it again. The media loves her act: Look at me, I'm a brillaint female scholar and feminist and my obesession in life is attacking other woman scholars and feminists. See I'm authentic and they're not.

Just recently she was up to her usual tricks-attacking Gloria Steinem. She loves playing this game of I'm the feminist who hates all other feminists who are so politically correct and clueless

In this primary she is doing what she lives to do: help the media sell the noxious idea that this is a post gender election and that Hillary has not been the victim or relentless misogony in so much of the coverage. She's hte only one who has to relase her transcripts or apologize for using private emails-as if most govenrment officials don't use prviate email

Don't get me wrong-Camille Paglia is a formidable writer. When you read her in more detail in her books I find that while I disagree with her more current point, her bigger picture argument has some merit.

But if she's going to play the feminist who hates Hilary Clinton, then she's stepping into an arena where she has to be pushed back hard on.

"Fight the soulless juggernaut: Big money, machine politics and the real issue separating Sanders and Clinton."

Democrats face a stark choice: A money-mad, scandal-plagued establishment, or the potential of decency and change

It's this idea that Sanders is so 'decent' I have an issue with. I sometimes get the sense that his supporters are telling us he's the right choice because he's so much more morally superior than other politicians. That makes me nervous.

Is politics a vocation as Max Weber said? I mean would I fly a plane with a pilot with no experience-as Bernie has no relevant executive experience in Washington-because he's 'more decent' than pilots with actual training and experience?

I'm skeptical that we simply want to elect a Saint.

"Despite Bernie Sanders being tied with her for pledged delegates after last weekend’s Nevada caucuses, the media herd has anointed Hillary Clinton yet again as the inevitable Democratic nominee. Superdelegates, those undemocratic figureheads and goons of the party establishment, are by definition unpledged and fluid and should never be added to the official column of any candidate until the national convention. To do so is an amoral tactic of intimidation that affects momentum and gives backstage wheeling and dealing primacy over the will of the electorate. Why are the media so servilely complicit with Clinton-campaign propaganda and trickery?"

Look, in 2008 Hillary got more votes but Obama beat her in delegates. You could argue that was undemocratic but of course a Hillary hater like Paglia would never have said that then.

Why can't' the party have some influence over the process? In reality, a healthy party always wants to have this. The GOP is the dysfunctional party as they aren't able to do this, not the Dems.

But Paglia has the argument wrong, anyway. It's not just about the SDs. Just on pledged delegates, it's clear Bernie has no path to victory. After he goes down to hard defeat in all these Southern states, it will be 'Hey, hey, hey Bernie, goodbye.'

"Democrats face a stark choice this year. A vote for the scandal-plagued Hillary is a resounding ratification of business as usual–the corrupt marriage of big money and machine politics, practiced by the Clintons with the zest of Boss Tweed, the gluttonous czar of New York’s ruthless Tammany Hall in the 1870s. What you also get with Hillary is a confused hawkish interventionism that has already dangerously destabilized North Africa and the Mideast. This is someone who declared her candidacy on April 12, 2015 via an email and slick video and then dragged her feet on making a formal statement of her presidential policies and goals until her pollsters had slapped together a crib list of what would push the right buttons. This isn’t leadership; it’s pandering."

Whether or not you want to say the Clintons are Tammany Hall is one question.

Let's play Devil's Advocate however: what is so bad about Tammany Hall? Hasn't it gotten a raw deal?

I love President Obama, have voted for him twice and would vote for him two more times if I could.

But one weakness of him was his utter disdain for transactional politics. This poise of being mortified about a quid pro quo is a big part of what has left our politics so dysfunctional.

Obama was dead set against earmarks back in 2009 which would have made passage of his agenda much smoother. Then when earmarks finally were used it was the scandal of scandals: the Cornhusker Kickback.

But this is how you oil the wheels of government.

So Paglia is dead wrong. The Clintons aren't business as usual here in 2016, far from it. Obama repudiated Clintonism in terms of LBJ logrolling and not for the good of either the Democratic party or the nation at large.

Then the GOP came in on the Tea Party wave of 2010 and totally eliminated earmarks. No wonder Boehner was doomed to go down as the most ineffective House Speaker in modern times.

You could argue as Garry Wills did, that in many ways the reformers made things worse rather than better in their holy zeal to end machine politics. There is a case to be made for and against Tammany Hall style government.

"Tammany Hall was far more than a disinterested detached city government for several million poor, working-class New Yorkers. It was also a successful city government delivering municipal services, a social welfare agency assisting the immigrant poor and their children in adjusting to the new country, a political interest group giving working-class people at least a modest voice in an economic world increasingly dominated by rich corporations." --James S. Olson

"In essence: the machine politicos, for all their genuine resonance with their constituencies, saw the average voter as a creature of appetite; the scientific progressives, for all their hauteur, expected something better of the public and were prepared to work for it."

--James W. Mooney

I would argue that the idea that it is wrong to treat voters as creatures of appetite is behind the zeal with which the Tea Party came out against ear marks and any kind of government social spending.
You could argue that this is the definition of the modern Republican party: 'For the good of your soul I don't mind if you starve.'
The gesture of giving homeless people a bible but no food to eat is classic of this 'reformist hauter.'

My point is that machine politics is what we could use more of. When you look at the shocking levels of dysfunction in recent years in Congress, it has been correlative with the shutting down of any sort of machine politics.
We now have a government full of people who think government itself is the root of all evil. This is our problem today. Maybe a return of Tammany Hall would be welcome.

For more on this, I'd recommend Garry Wills' "Nixon Agonistes."

See pages 508-510 especially.
As Wills notes, a number of social scientists link urban discontent to the decline of city machines.

Sorry. What Democrats need in 2017 is not yet another Saint, but an actual flesh and blood politician who can get things done.