Thursday, August 25, 2016

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them the First Time

Maya Angelou said this, warned this we should say now regarding Trump.

Yet there is a real danger that the media buys this fake 'pivot' towards an allegedly kinder, gentler immigration policy.

"I'm sick with worry that media talking heads, in their fetish for making this a horse race, are doing real damage."

But just because he said the word 'softening' doesn't mean his position has changed.

Matt Yglesias:

"As far as I know, this is still Trump’s position on immigration:

By the way, this is what the Trump campaign is saying. That Trump has changed a few words, full stop.

"He isn't changing his position, he's changing the words he's using" Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson on Trump changing immigration stance."

Greg Sargent put together this good primer to the media to warn them to actually hold Trump to his positions. It's sad the media needs to be reminded of this.

Mark Murray at NBC RTed it so that's a good sign at least.


"Why won't anyone interviewing Trump advisers ask: "Would he back changing law so undocumented can get legal status without leaving first?"

That's the key. Trump hasn't changed his position-as he, Katrina Pierson, and Kellyann Conway keep insisting.

The idea that the media would actually allow Trump to get away with 'changing his mind' after 14 months of mass deportations is in itself a sorry commentary.

Josh Marshall:

1: Most pundits will say this changes everything. Most pundits are dumb. It just makes it stupider. Non supporters now embrace? Not likely."

Well it definitely doesn't help Trump with POC. As for Blacks if it were possible to fall beneath 0% it would after this talk of 'What do you have to lose?'

But the target is not Blacks and Hispanics but white people who don't want to vote for a racist.

2: This doesn't make him look more moderate. It makes the whole thing seem more bizarre."

Marshall wrote a post about this:

"Lots of pundits will now say that Trump has upended the playing board. They will say this changes everything. That's not smart. It doesn't change anything. It just makes it all more stupid."

"Are non-Trump-supporters now more likely to embrace his candidacy? Not likely. This doesn't make him seem more moderate. It makes him seem more erratic and now desperate."

'You had doubts about me. But now I've jettisoned the centerpiece of my campaign. So hopefully that gives you confidence that I'm solid presidential material!'

"That makes no sense."

"This is more like Trump's grotesque and disastrous response to the massacre earlier this summer in Orlando. Republicans can usually mobilize national security as a cudgel. But it doesn't work when the Republican faces severe doubts about their mental fitness for the presidency. People want to be reassured in moments of danger and look for a president who can do that. They're not looking for someone who scares them more than reassures."

"This latest stunt has a comparable effect. We are less than three months before the election. And it's not even clear what platform Trump is running on. Is he a white nationalist or a compassionate conservative? Will he keep ranting at African-Americans and Hispanics tomorrow about how stupid they are for not voting for him? Or will he lead the crowd with a chant of 'Si Se Puede!'? Really who knows? It depends on who the last person it was he talked to, the feel of the crowd at the given moment."

"The biggest liability Trump faces across the electorate is that he seems too mentally unstable to be president. He comes off as a charlatan. It is true that certain segments of the white community of scared off by his too open, too vehement racism. But with this latest twist he's done little to convince anyone that he's less racist or more moderate. He's mainly confused people. On the more driving issues of temperament, values or emotional grounding to be president this bizarre about face (which might about face again next week) just confirms the worst impression of the man."

"I've heard a number of people say they don't believe any change of position or policy betrayal will shake his supporters. By and large I think that's right. The connection is emotive and thematic, not tied to any specific policy. But Trump's supporters in that sense of the word don't make up enough of the electorate to avoid a historic blowout. Even for them, some sense of being his mark rather than having him as their avenger can't help but blunt some of their enthusiasm. In any case, for the voters Trump needs it won't work."

As Greg Sargent chronicles, Hillary's Alt Right speech today is about removing any illusions about who Trump is regardless of talk of 'having regrets' and 'softening.'


  1. Mike, I really liked this Sumner comment, which I'll quote below in it's entirety (and adding some emphasis):

    Everyone, People ask me why I have no respect for Trumpistas. It’s not because I disagree with them. I also disagree with people who like Hillary, but don’t look down on them. It’s because they won’t admit the obvious—that Trump’s been lying about being tough on immigration. They admit he lies about everything else, but insist he’s sincere about immigration. And when he admits he’s not tough, and even thinks Obama’s detention centers are too tough, they cover their eyes and pretend it never happened.

    Ben, You said:

    “Far spookier than Trump’s indecipherable positions on immigration is his budding friendship with billionaire Robert Mercer (gold nut) and neocon John Bolton (warmonger).”

    Didn’t I tell you that nothing Trump says can be believed? But at least you admit there is a problem. People like Harding criticize me for saying Trump is not sincere on immigration, and then when I’m proved correct they don’t have the class to admit I’m right.

    BP, Yes, I have seen that.

    dtoh, If nothing Trump says can be believed, then why do you support him? It can’t be personality, as he is perhaps the most obnoxious personality in America. You say nothing he says can be trusted. OK, I agree, Then why vote for him? You must have some reason. What is it?

    Seriously, most politicians can be believed on most issues. Yes, Hillary lies about her corruption. But on policy, Hillary really will try to raise taxes on the rich, expand child care, reduce student debt and build infrastructure. Maybe she lies about TPP. Trump’s not a normal politician. He lies about EVERYTHING. We have zero information on what Trump would do on any issue. All we know is that he’s really dumb on policy, really impulsive, really arrogant, really authoritarian, really vindictive, has incompetent advisors and is obnoxious.

    So let’s make him President?

    1. Yes. Some great remarks by Sumner including that he disagrees but doesn't look down on Hillary supporters

  2. Also, check out Harding's reasons for voting Trump (this is amazing [emphasis added]):

    *Build the wall.

    *Cut taxes for the middle class.

    *Institute a temporary shutdown on Muslims entering the United States.

    *Work with Russia on defeating the Islamic State.

    *Institute penalties on companies moving jobs overseas.

    *Remove some regulations.

    *Re-institute waterboarding

    *Target terrorists’ families

    *Support infrastructure bills.

    *Repeal and replace Obamacare with something much better.

    *Make “allies” shoulder a greater part of their defense burden.

    *Make NATO more focused on combating terrorism.

    *Be very tough on whistleblowers.

    *Appoint Supreme Court justices with similar views to Justice Scalia.

    *Pull out of the TPP

    *Renegotiate NAFTA

    *Take the oil from newly liberated countries