Tag: 2016 Presidential Campaign (Page 2 of 6)

Eric Trump mislabels Dallas Mavs arena as being in “Pensacola, Fla.”

In a failed attempt to prove that Donald Trump drew a huge crowd to Pensacola, Florida on September 9, Trump’s son Eric tweeted a photo of his father giving a speech at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, home of the NBA’s Mavericks.

Trump, still stewing over Hillary Clinton’s dig that half of Trump’s supporters belong to a “basket of deplorables,” which includes racists, sexists, anti-intellectuals, and the alt-right, tweeted this:
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There’s just one problem. That’s not Pensacola, Fla.

It’s easy to see. Just take a look in the left corner. What is that flag? Hint: It’s not Florida’s flag.
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In response, a number of Twitter users have pointed out Trump’s stupidity:

Even the owner of the Mavs, Mark Cuban, got in a dig:

This isn’t the first time that a part of the Trump campaign has tweeted the wrong photo for a supposed Trump speech. In August Brietbart.com used a photo of a Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship victory parade for an article about a Trump speech:

Defeating Trump won’t save the GOP

There’s a popular fantasy amongst rational Republicans that a good thumping of Donald Trump can cleanse the party of its toxins and set the GOP up for success in the future.

The scammers, entertainers, anti-intellectuals, and alt-right bigots who have “taken over” the party will be ushered out by the undeniable reality that their brand of “nationalist conservative populism” doesn’t work, and honest, principled conservatives will take over. It’s a nice vision. It reminds me of the idea (expressed more on the left) that Romney’s loss in 2012 would break the GOP’s “fever.” The problem is it won’t happen.

In the first place, the cancer of the Trumpist alt-right won’t be easily dislodged from the host. Voters have the freedom to choose, at the end of the day, and those voters who nominated Trump because they agreed with his proposals to build a wall, ban Muslims, and with his core nativism won’t be convinced to suddenly become tolerant just because Jeb Bush and members of the “Illuminati” tell them to. The entertainment faction, led by Sean Hannity, is already building the groundwork for the excuse that it is the “establishment,” not the Trumpists, who are to blame for not voting for Trump. Nevermind that Hannity’s critique is anti-democratic or that Jonah Goldberg has much less influence over the votes of the educated suburban whites who are abandoning Trump than Hannity gives him credit for; the fact that this argument is illogical will not prevent it from influencing the views and actions of a significant proportion of the GOP electorate going forward.

Even if Trumpism could somehow be successfully purged from the Republican Party, the Republicans and the conservative movement would still be far from solving their problems. Recall that the Republican Party faced major problems even before Trump came along. The Republicans had lost 5 of the last 6 presidential popular votes. Mitt Romney’s performance with minorities was abysmal even by GOP standards–so much so that Trump blamed Romney’s rhetoric on illegal immigration being too harsh. When four Republican Senators took Reince Priebus’s post-2012 advice and tried to pass an immigration reform bill, the bill didn’t get a vote in the House, and Marco Rubio was scared into apologizing to the Tea Party.

Shrek once said that ogres are like onions–they have layers. The GOP is a rotten onion. When you tear off one putrid layer you are confronted with another.

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Taking a red pen to Donald Trump’s 1987 campaign ad

In 1987, Donald Trump placed an advocacy-style ad in the New York Times echoing the same basic foreign policy ideas that he would recycle for the rest of his political life about how America is being had. Even at the time, many of the arguments he made were typically questionable. In the long-view, however, his arguments have fared even worse. There he was praising Japan’s economic success just a few years before Japan’s Lost Decade began. He claimed the world was laughing at the United States, just a few years before the Soviet Union collapsed–and made no reference to the Soviet Union.

Yet the ideas he stated here are the same ones he’s pushing in 2016. He may refer to China’s economy in the place of Japan’s, but he still talks about making Japan “pay” for having troops there, which they do to the tune of US$4 billion a year in base-related expenses. You will see the rest:
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Trump voters are reality-denying SJWs

It is often said that Social Justice Warriors protesting on college campuses or writing non-scientific papers deny reality.

As the website The Declination says,

But, the point is, objective reality exists. If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, it did, in fact, make a sound. SJWs deny all of this. Everything is as you personally perceive if to be. Reality is entirely subjective to them.

Donald Trump has remarked that he could shoot someone in broad daylight and not lose most of his voters. He keeps doing and saying stupid things, and yet so far a good deal of his voters have proven him right. Moreover, many of these things are on tape. What gives? Do his voters admit they like this kind of incivility? Not always. Many of them simply deny the reality on the tape.

Here is one of them:

The tweet he was responding to:

So Trump supporters say he never mocked POWs. Well, here you are:

And he never mentioned assassination. Except here:

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Trump’s trend of bigotry can’t be easily excused

Donald Trump on July 2 tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton in front of a pile of money with the quote “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” inside the outline of a Star of David. As usual with acts of bigotry from Trump, Trump’s defenders are out in full force to defend him.

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“That’s not a Star of David, it’s just “a star”,” Mary Ann Arlotta wrote on Facebook.

“I’m fairly certain that same shape is on Microsoft PowerPoint,” Rhea Paseur wrote.

Mark Ross wrote, “Some call it the satanic star while others call it the Star of David.” (The pentagram, aka “the satanic star,” has five sides, but anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists do consider the Star of David to be a “Satanic Hexagram.”)

This is becoming a familiar pattern in the Trump campaign: Trump does something bigoted and/or incredibly stupid. Trump fans, whom Trump joked would support him if he killed someone on 5th Avenue, display their gymnastics abilities by defending him.

As Facebook user Kevin Wos wrote, in an explanation that anyone with the faintest understanding of history doesn’t need to read, “Oh yeah, because a Star of David combined with images of money and talk of corruption couldn’t possibly be a dog whistle for the far right. Nope, not anti-Semitic at all!”

The issue, furthermore, comes down to reputation and track record. People are granted a number of mistakes. Trump deleted this tweet afterwards and reuploaded the same image with a circle in the place of the Star of David, so one might be charitable if it was the first time he said or did something bigoted against a minority ethnic group.

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Trump appears to adopt Jeb Bush’s position on Muslim ban

While campaigning/promoting his golf course in Scotland, Donald Trump said it “wouldn’t bother me” if Muslims from the UK were allowed into the United States.

That was a big change from his proposal in December for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Trump has been blowing in the wind on the Muslim ban issue since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for president. In May, he characterized his proposal as merely a “suggestion.”

Now he said that not all Muslims from all countries would be banned. CNN’s Jeremy Diamond, talking with Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, says the campaign is claiming that only Muslims from “terror states” would be banned:

Is Trump taking up Jeb Bush’s position?

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Trump-sympathetic conservatives suddenly offended that Hillary attacked Trump

Is Hillary Clinton bringing down the tone of the campaign to Trump-like levels?

That’s the concern—the “bullshit”, I add, since this is 2016—concern raised by John Sexton of HotAir.com. After Twitter Trump attacked Clinton for receiving President Obama’s endorsement, Clinton’s account tweeted, “Delete your account,” at Trump. A funny and non-threatening dis to a man who has proven time and time again that the world would be a better place if he didn’t tweet?

No, to John Sexton, Clinton’s tweet was a “3 word put-down could have come from Trump himself,” and that “Clinton has sunk to his level.” (Incidentally, he’s probably wrong about that; Trump’s tweets and speeches are long-winded and self-referential.)

Sexton looks to the future and bemoans what he sees as a biased liberal media that will excuse Clinton’s terribly offensive response to Trump while blaming Trump for having lowered the discourse to a level that includes references to “losers,” “bimbos,” and allegations of murder against his opponent:

What this campaign is really going to be is months of back and forth insults with each side taking shots at the other. And yet, Trump will consistently be blamed for bringing down the tone of the campaign even as Clinton is praised for toughness. As in every election, the Republican has to fight a two front war, one against the other candidate and one against the media.

Oh, boo hoo if Tantrum Trump has to take responsibility for his tirades! He called an American judge “Mexican” and said a “Mexican” judges shouldn’t be allowed to preside over his case, and now he’s being called racist! Why isn’t Judge Curiel, or Hillary, getting blamed for Trump’s comments?! #LiberalBias

I recon

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Vote, don’t riot: Radical anti-Trump protesters aren’t helping

Chaotic scenes have become the norm at Trump rallies, where protesters and Trump backers have fiercely resisted one another, but at a rally in San Jose, California, it blew up into outright violence. Anti-Trump protesters punched and threw eggs and tomatoes at Trump supporters. Some left bleeding, according to photos shared on Twitter and in the press.

This follows a number of high-profile attacks on peaceful protesters at Trump rallies, who have been punched in the face by Trump backers while being escorted out, and aggressive protests by anti-Trump forces, who have blocked roads. Clearly this election is heated, and with Trump making racist and sexist attacks on judges and journalists, it makes sense that people would fiercely oppose him.

As Emmett Rensin, a Vox journalist who was later suspended for his comments excusing these riots said, Trump is a unique threat to democracy.

We at Bombs and Dollars agree that Trump is a fascistic type who is creating a dangerous cult of personality and who must be stopped. However, here’s the thing: You don’t stop an anti-democratic fascist by punching his supporters at a political rally.

Americans have a means of defeating Trump, and it’s at the ballot box. He’s already well-positioned to lose, with historically high unpopularity numbers. But these kind of overly aggressive left-wing protest tactics (even before the violence) are likely to help him.

Of course it doesn’t make any rational sense to support a candidate just because some of the people opposing him are extreme, but if we’ve learned anything from this election, it’s that rational logic doesn’t always determine people’s voting choices. Liberal protesters attacking Trump voters, and mainstream media outlets being seen as excusing it, are going to serve to unite some portion of the Republicans who are currently divided over Trump.

The Republican Party has perfected the art of playing to the resentments of middle class conservatives who feel they are under assault from “elitists” in the press and sneering liberal protesters.

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A demagouge’s disdain for a free press paves the way for tyranny

The media is holding Donald Trump accountable, but his angry response to scrutiny, highlights troubling aspects of the man who wants to be president. His attacks on the institution of the press shows a man who doesn’t like being held accountable, and he has rallied many of his followers to support him without regard to the facts.

The latest controversy, which bring forth the implications, concerns donations to veterans charities Trump bragged about having made. Four months after Trump claimed to have donated $1 million himself, Trump finally did so on May 23, after facing scrutiny from the press. On May 21, the Washington Post published an investigation that quoted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as saying Trump had raised $4.5 million, about $1.5 million less than the more than $6 million Trump claimed to have raised. On the day of the fundraiser, however, Trump said that they had “cracked” $6 million and (in third-person), “Donald Trump gave $1 million.”

Press Scrutiny Caused Trump to Donate

Thus Donald Trump didn’t actually give $1 million until after the press held him to account (and found him to be lacking). It was an important story for the public to know about, as Trump had made a big deal about his fundraising. After having decided to skip the January 28, Fox News debate, Trump decided to hold a fundraiser during the debate, so as to claim he had a reason for skipping the debate besides his previously-stated dislike for moderator Megyn Kelly.

As the record shows, Trump had already announced he was considering boycotting the debate on January 24, and he had cited Megyn Kelly as the reason:

Later, Trump used the fundraiser as a pretense for skipping the debate. (One could ask why Trump hadn’t held fundraisers before and during other time slots.) Since the Post has gotten Trump to (belatedly) live up to one of his promises, it should be commended for doing a public service. As the “Fourth Estate,” the press is supposed to function as a watchdog on power. Without a healthy press scrutinizing politicians, politicians could get away with anything.

A War on Watchdogs

However, Trump doesn’t want scrutiny, and his supporters don’t want to see their hero challenged. At a press conference, Trump personally attacked reporters, calling one “a sleaze” and another “a real beauty.” He said the reporters were all “unbelievably dishonest.”

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The lying, impotent rage of Sanders supporters as they flail to their conclusion

By now Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is a desperate cry for help. Losing by a logistically insurmountable margin even before the final six states—California and its 475 pledged delegates amount them—vote on June 7, Sanders has gone so far as to challenge Donald Trump to a debate. (Trump, after pledging to do the debate, backed out when a Silicon Valley company offered to raise $10 million for the debate.)

Left with the growing knowledge that they won’t—and can’t—win the nomination, Sanders fans are lashing out in anger against the process, the Democratic Party, and the voters.

The Daily Beast’s columnist Keli Goff, who supports Clinton, wrote on May 26 about the vicious attacks she and other blacks backing Clinton have endured for backing Clinton. As she wrote in February, “[N]ot caring about which candidate is actually electable might be one of the greatest forms of privilege there is.”

For Sanders supporters, Sanders isn’t losing because voters like Goff rationally chose the more qualified, more electable candidate who could actually have a chance to get her agenda implemented as president. No, those who admit Sanders is losing the votes say, Clinton voters are stupid and need to get “educated,” but another vast coalition of Sanders voters don’t even accept the reality that Sanders is losing.

You might call them postmodern or “metamodern.” Those are the words “experimental journalist” Seth Abramson of the Huffington Post used two dozen times justifying his inaccurate reporting on the Sanders campaign. It’s the kind of commentary that writes, “Make No Mistake, Sandersism Has Defeated Clintonism” when Clinton is leading by 3 million votes.

Now he has summed up his style in a post charmingly titled “On Bernie Sanders and Experimental Journalism.” His style can best be summarized as making shit up. After you get through five turgid paragraphs about “experimental journalism,” “postermodernism,” and “metamodernism,” you get to where Abramson tries to connect it to the 2016 election.

Journalism is based on “master narratives,” he asserts, and master narratives necessarily influence the outcomes of what journalists report on. Two narratives emerged for the two primaries: 1.) that Jeb Bush would win the GOP nomination, and 2.) that Hillary would win the Democratic nod. Well, we all know how those narratives turned out.

Of course the fact that “narratives” existed is, to a Sandersnista, clearly an example of media bias. It couldn’t be because of the objective facts that Bush had $100 million behind him, a powerful family, and was, in the spring, leading in the polls. No, because there is no place for objective reality in this new postmodern world of Trump and Sanders. As Abramson wrote, “[T]his is the first metamodern political campaign, and not only have all the old rules of politics gone out the window, so too have all the old modes of thinking about the Real.”

Clearly if one looks at Sanders’ agenda, that would appear to be the case, and not in a good way…

Abramson admitted in his own words he covered the election with an intentional bias to skew the results:

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