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Thread: The US 2020 Presidential Election

  1. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Being private companies they can set whatever rules they want. If you are in my house I can tell you to shut your mouth, your first amendment right be damned. Want to talk then walk outside onto public property.

    Trump should create his own social media company with some of his billions.... cough, cough

    By the way TH you are engaging the President (Oooo) of the United States with your own partisan, political viewpoint. We will be coming after you and your social media site! Are you shaking now as the FCC breaths down your back???
    Yep, I'm shaking in my boots lol
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Being private companies they can set whatever rules they want. If you are in my house I can tell you to shut your mouth, your first amendment right be damned. Want to talk then walk outside onto public property.

    Trump should create his own social media company with some of his billions.... cough, cough

    By the way TH you are engaging the President (Oooo) of the United States with your own partisan, political viewpoint. We will be coming after you and your social media site! Are you shaking now as the FCC breaths down your back???
    Twitter is a public website, and the question is whether it qualifies as a publisher. The New York Times is not allowed to broadcast "HAMAS ATTACK TOMORROW AT NOON." Facebook and Twitter are legally protected if users do that. Legislators have indicated they are not comfortable with this situation, and Twitter trying to curate content does not help them make their case that they are not a publisher.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  3. #408
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    Why Trump will relish a war with Twitter

    President Trump has a fresh feud, this time with Twitter, the social media platform he uses to attack enemies, spread propaganda and brag. Twitter has taken the audacious step of labeling two Trump tweets as factually suspicious, with a blue link at the bottom urging readers to “get the facts” about mail-in voting. Twitterers need to “get the facts” because Trump’s claims about mail-in voting fraud are bogus.

    You’d be disappointed if Trump were anything less than outraged by Twitter’s action. Twitter, he now says, is interfering in the 2020 election and stifling free speech—claims Twitter should have labeled as bogus, too. Trump plans to issue an executive order meant to punish Twitter and other social sites if they interfere with his proclamations. It will face an immediate legal challenge and probably never go into effect. But that’s beside the point.

    What’s going on here is exactly what Trump wants: A fake scandal metastasizing into yet another opportunity for Trump to indulge his persecution complex and portray himself as the victim of Deep Media. Who knows if it will help him get reelected, but Trump wants to distract Americans from the awful coronavirus death toll, which recently topped 100,000, and a deep recession that has put 41 million Americans out of work. A war with Twitter is right out of the Trump playbook.

    The trigger for Twitter’s action is a shameful Trump smear addressed at MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a vigorous Trump critic. In 2001, when Scarborough was a member of Congress, a 28-year-old aide died in his Florida office in a tragic accident, apparently passing out from an undiagnosed medical condition and hitting her head on a piece of furniture. Trump claims it’s a “cold case” in which Scarborough is a suspect, which is completely false. The aide’s widowed husband has asked Trump to desist, because it’s cruel to surviving family members. Trump has ignored the request and continued with the attacks, prompting calls for Twitter to suspend his account or take some other action.

    Trump’s bogeyman strategy
    So Twitter labeled two Trump lies with the blue exclamation point, focusing not on Trump’s heartless attacks on the deceased aide but on election integrity. Better than nothing? Maybe. But it plays right into Trump’s strategy. Here’s how this is likely to unfold.

    A 1996 law gives Twitter and other online networks broad discretion in terms of how they treat content posted by users. Trump wants to tighten the law to his advantage and find a way to punish networks that control content in ways disadvantageous to conservatives. That’s blatantly political and it would require Congress to pass a new law, which isn’t going to happen any time soon, because Democrats control the House. This is why Trump’s order probably has no chance in court.

    Trump has no authority to shut down Twitter, which is a publicly held company—and he’d be crazy to shut it down if he could. Trump has 80 million Twitter followers, and the platform is his best tool for sidestepping traditional media. He needs Twitter, and wouldn’t be Trump without it. No other platform foments outrage as effectively as Twitter’s short-form, rapid-fire posts, and that outrage is Trump’s lifeblood as a politician.

    Trump will still thrash Twitter, however, because it’s a useful whipping boy for him. Three months ago, Trump’s reelection strategy was to run on a strong economy. With a ravaging recession underway, Trump can’t do that anymore. He has also earned poor marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He has little interest in the details of leading during a crisis, deferring to Vice President Mike Pence and various governors. As a politician, Trump is floundering, and his future in public life is looking short.

    So Trump needs villains, bogeymen and enemies to distract voters from the problems he can’t fix and make them think only he can protect them from imminent threats. He used the bogeyman strategy in 2016, when a central theme of his campaign was rolling back immigration. He’s demonizing China now as a way of deflecting blame for his dismissive response to the coronavirus, hoping American voters will blame foreign spreaders of the virus and forget about his notoriously slow response to the threat.

    Twitter fits neatly onto Trump’s enemies list. He has already accused tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube of discriminating against conservatives (! get the facts). Twitter is practically giving him fresh ammunition. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is smart, and he probably gamed out multiple scenarios for what could happen if Trump declared war on his company.

    The worst case is probably a lot of verbal abuse Trump and his allies will hurl at Twitter that won’t harm Twitter’s business prospects at all. It’s notable that Trump’s threatened retribution against Twitter came in a tweet. Millions of Trump supporters are rallying around Trump—on Twitter. Some discrimination.

    If Trump really wanted to hurt Twitter, he’d sign off, encourage his followers to do the same, and decamp to a competing platform, preferably one with a conservative mindset, like the Breitbart news site. But there is no such platform, and Twitter has scale on its side. Trump craves attention, good or bad, and no other platform can deliver the audience or immediate reaction Twitter can.

    Facebook has the scale, but it’s too broad for Trump to get the immediate, concentrated response he does on Twitter. Instagram is for lifestyle gurus and celebrities, not smash-mouth politicians. Snapchat is too narrowly focused. TikTok is for kids, not angry old men. YouTube videos require too much effort. For Trump’s purposes, Twitter is a monopoly, and he can’t leave.

    Besides, Twitter has some good company on Trump’s enemies list, including Amazon, CNN’s parent company AT&T, General Motors, the NFL and most media organizations. They’ve all survived. Twitter will too.
    __________________

    That's one of the most sickening things about Trump and Trumpism: The same routine, the same old song-and-dance, over and over and over again. It's practically scripted, word for word. And Trump's followers just lap it right up, Every Single Time.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  4. #409
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    Former top Justice Department official warns Trump may 'not cede power'

    A former top Justice Department official told Yahoo News she is deeply worried that President Trump could “delegitimize a lawful election” this November “and not cede power.”

    Vanita Gupta ran the civil rights division at the Department of Justice from 2014 to 2017 and is now part of an informal, bipartisan group that has spent the past year preparing for Trump to potentially contest the results of the election. She argued the president’s attacks on vote-by-mail programs signal that he intends to say the election was unfair and should not be considered legitimate if he loses.

    “He's already talking about how this will be a rigged election and saying if more and more people are voting using these so called mail-in ballots, that the election will be rigged,” Gupta told Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast. “This is out of a playbook.”

    Gupta said she believes that while some people might consider her fears a “cuckoo crazy conspiracy theory,” she says the group she is working with anticipated Trump’s attacks on vote-by-mail programs. She sees those attacks as a deliberate attempt to undermine the election well in advance of voters casting ballots.

    The coronavirus pandemic makes the possibility of Trump disputing the election results all the more likely, Gupta said, and the media and other observers should resist the urge to call the election quickly. As Yahoo News has reported, the expansion of vote-by-mail in the coming months — an effort driven largely by the coronavirus outbreak, which may make in-person voting risky — could mean that results are delayed by a week or more due to the time it takes to count those ballots.

    “In a country where the media wants to be the first to call the election, there's breaking news alerts at every moment, we may need to educate ourselves and the media and resist the urge to be the first out of the gate to call the winner because we aren’t going to be able to call the winner on election night,” Gupta said. “It’s going to take days ... so we’ve got to be setting the tone and the culture right now to anticipate that in order to have every ballot counted.”

    Gupta predicted that this year’s election could be decided by the Supreme Court, which is what happened in the 2000 election, which pitted Republican George W. Bush against Democrat Al Gore. That election eventually hinged on a recount in Florida, with Bush eventually being declared the winner weeks after Election Day.

    “It’s going to be more complicated even than a Bush vs. Gore because this will be nationwide,” Gupta said. “The need for election officials to be able to count these ballots, to litigate in possibly many, many states around the country around how these ballots are being counted — it could be even more complex.”

    Gupta was quick to add that her worst fears may not materialize, but she warned that it is critical for voters, election observers and members of the media to be ready. She said litigation is now under way to “preemptively take charge of this and to set the rules around how voting by mail systems are set up.”

    She pointed to the recent elections in Wisconsin as an example of how easily elections can be manipulated by partisan actors. Republicans refused calls to postpone that election when it was held at the height of the pandemic last month; Democrats believed their insistence that the election be held amid the crisis was driven by their interest in maintaining control of the state’s Supreme Court.

    Gupta called the events in Wisconsin “a wake-up call for all of the work that’s needed to actually run a smooth general election in November.”

    She added: “We’re building the infrastructure to be ready to protect the right to vote because the forces that exist to make voting difficult, to suppress the rights of voters — historically disenfranchised black voters, Native American voters, voters with disabilities, all of this — are also hard at work.”
    ___________
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  5. #410
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    So, it seems the end of Trump's rule is rising on the horizon. Or is it

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...d59_story.html

  6. #411
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    Nine-term Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King may lose his seat at the hands of his own party

    Rep. Steve King is among the most conservative members of Congress, and he represents a district so red that Donald Trump won it by 27 percentage points in 2016. Yet the nine-term congressman is at risk of losing his seat — at the hands of his own party.

    A broad spectrum of Iowa and national Republicans — from moderate establishment types to conservative evangelical leaders — are leading an expensive effort to oust the controversial congressman. On Tuesday, he faces off with well-financed GOP state legislator Randy Feenstra and other rivals in a primary that many Iowa strategists say is too close to call.

    “I think Steve King is in trouble, and it’s been probably one of the most fascinating things to watch," said Craig Robinson, a former state GOP official who founded the Iowa Republican website. "In my time in politics, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

    King is arguing that he is being chased from office by “the swamp” because he has never wavered in his conservative principles about issues such as border control and abortion.

    “You’ve seen attack ads and mailers paid for by billionaire coastal RINO-NeverTrumper, globalist, neocon elites,” King wrote in an editorial in the Sioux City Journal, urging voters in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District to remain with him. “… I’ve said 'no' to them for years. I know their names and their agenda. I answer only to 4th District voters.”

    King, 71, has a long history of making incendiary statements about race, immigration, rape and other matters, and for having associations with far-right European leaders.

    In 2013, when speaking about immigrants, King said, "For every one who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."

    Four years later, as he tweeted in support of nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders, King wrote, "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

    In 2018, he called Mexican immigrants "dirt" during a campaign event.

    For more than a decade, these remarks and these relationships drew rebukes but did not appear to matter to many of Iowa’s GOP leaders and voters, though they enraged Democrats.

    “I don't like him. I don't think he's a very good representative. And I don't appreciate his rhetoric,” said Dana Cheek, a mental health therapist from the town of Nevada. “It's not based in logical thought, it's not based in fact, and it's not really based on much of Iowa.”

    Cheek, who gave her age as late 40s, said she would prefer that King’s Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten win the November election. But she would take Feenstra over King.

    “The rhetoric would be different, and it wouldn't embarrass Iowa,” she said.

    Iowa Republicans’ views appear to be changing. During the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats regained control of the House, King won his race by less than 4% over Scholten. Republicans worry that if King does as poorly in November, it could affect President Trump and Sen. Joni Ernst’s reelection bids because his district is the greatest source of Republican votes in the state.

    Two months later, in January 2019, King received widespread condemnation after telling the New York Times: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" King said he was misquoted, but GOP leaders condemned him and stripped him of his seats on the judiciary, agriculture and small business committees.

    The outside groups opposing King and supporting Feenstra, which have spent about $800,000 in the race, have not directly seized upon King’s controversial statements in an effort to avoid alienating voters who have long supported the congressman.

    Instead, they are arguing that he has been neutered because in one of the most rural and socially conservative districts in the nation, King can no longer represent farmers on the agriculture committee, or antiabortion advocates on the judiciary committee.

    “He’s never been a very effective congressman and now he’s completely ineffective,” said David Kochel, a veteran Iowa GOP strategist who is advising Priorities for Iowa, a super PAC supporting Feenstra.

    It’s a message that resonated with Alex Burgher, a 58-year-old mechanic from Ames.

    The independent has voted for Republicans before, but he does not support King.

    “I just don't think he's done a very good job for us,” Burgher said as he sipped an amaretto and Coke at the Whiskey River restaurant in downtown Ames. “You know, getting kicked off the committees and everything else. He can’t do much for Iowa.”

    The Priorities for Iowa group is run by political operatives with ties to Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has declined to weigh in on the race. King served as a co-chair of her campaign in 2018.

    King supporters say such betrayal is proof of King’s unbendable principles.

    “Congressman King won’t go along to get along. He’s his own man. He has convictions and principles and he’s not afraid to stand on them,” said Jacob Hall, 36, a conservative blogger in Sioux Center.


    He questioned how Iowans’ lives were affected by not having King serve on committees in a Democratic-controlled House, and said no minority has ever accused King of racism during a nearly two-decade career in Congress.

    “The reality is the people in the 4th District know Congressman Steve King. They know his principles. They know his values. They know his beliefs,” Hall said. “I don’t think Republicans in the 4th District put their faith in the New York Times.”

    The race was also affected by the coronavirus crisis, which has devastated meat-packing plants and nursing homes in the district, and which ended the traditional retail campaigning that was King’s forte. Instead, the campaign largely played out on television, which greatly benefited Feenstra, who raised almost $1 million through May 13 — three times as much as the congressman. King, who limped into May with $32,000 in cash, isn’t on television.

    “There’s no doubt Steve King has always been a retail candidate who would go to the chicken dinners, shake everyone’s hands, be the last one standing,” said evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, who with King co-chaired Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's Iowa presidential campaign in 2016 and is now featured in a pro-Feenstra ad. “He hasn’t been able to do that, and he also hasn’t been on TV, and Randy has.”
    ______________

    Looks like the GOP may be turning on at least one white supremacist in their midst. That's really odd. He's completely against abortion, hates immigrants (thinks Mexicans are "dirt")

    Huh, and look at what that guy Jacob Hall said about him: “Congressman King won’t go along to get along. He’s his own man. He has convictions and principles and he’s not afraid to stand on them,”
    “The reality is the people in the 4th District know Congressman Steve King. They know his principles. They know his values. They know his beliefs,”

    Who else does that sound like?
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  7. #412
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    So obviously you need to pre-register predictions on polling due to the recent protests/riots.

    It looks like Biden had a 6-10 point lead heading into this.

    My range is ranges from Biden +5 to Biden +14, with a lead settling in around 8-12

    Elections tonight should be interesting
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  8. #413
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    George F. Will today:

    While Will has harsh words for Trump -- "this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron" -- he saves his true condemnation for the members of Congress who have enabled the President.

    "In life's unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation's domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for ... what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world's most risible deliberative body."

    That is an absolutely stunning paragraph from anyone. That it is from one of the longtime leading minds of the conservative movement is all the more devastating.

    Yes, Will has long made clear his distaste for Trump and the ways in which the party has capitulated to him. (Will left the Republican Party officially in the summer of 2016, after it became clear Trump would be the nominee.)

    But to call for not just Trump's defeat but also the loss of Republicans' Senate majority is a striking move on Will's part. As a longtime advocate for the conservative overhaul of the judiciary, Will knows better than most what a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Senate would mean.

    It would mean, in short, federal court vacancies being filled by judges far more liberal than Will -- and with far more expansive definitions of how the Constitution should be interpreted. And with lifetime appointments to their jobs.

    (If you doubt how important controlling the Senate -- and, therefore, the judicial nominating process -- is, just look back at the last three-plus years, where Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have effectively overhauled the bench in their image.)

    What Will is advocating is nothing short of an electoral destruction of the party that he called home for decades.

    His thinking is reflective of the view Ra's al Ghul took of Gotham in "Batman Begins":

    "Gotham's time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we've performed for centuries. Gotham... must be destroyed."

    Will's view is, effectively, that the Trump version of the GOP is so corrupted, so broken, so beyond repair that the only solution is to raze it -- and start from the ground up again.

    As he writes:
    "The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear "magically," as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting."

    As if to prove Will's point, Senate Republicans raced to defend Trump's "law and order" speech on Monday night and his decision to clear out protesters from in front of the White House so that he could stroll across H Street to hold up a Bible in front of St. John's Church.

    "You can characterize it the way you want, but obviously the President is free to go where he wants and to hold up a Bible if he wants," Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, told CNN's Manu Raju Tuesday morning.

    Dismiss Will as a disaffected old-timer if you will. But remember too that he is someone who was a conservative long before the age of Donald Trump.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/polit...ump/index.html

    I'd be curious how Buckley would feel? I would surely like to hear Vidal's opinion especially because Trump wouldn't even understand what Vidal is saying given his abysmal lack of the English language. Alas I will hear neither of them. As for Will I wonder if there are many like him that are left for him to influence versus all those who have sold out their souls.

  9. #414
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    I like George Will a lot, but....he lost. That era is done. That's what happens when you are 80 and your opinions are aligned with political consensus for almost 40 years.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  10. #415
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I like George Will a lot, but....he lost. That era is done. That's what happens when you are 80 and your opinions are aligned with political consensus for almost 40 years.
    Clarification please.

    Are you saying the Republican Party he wishes to see is dead (by lost) and the Trump Republican Party is ascendant (he won)?

  11. #416
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    joe,

    Looks like the GOP may be turning on at least one white supremacist in their midst. That's really odd. He's completely against abortion, hates immigrants (thinks Mexicans are "dirt")

    Huh, and look at what that guy Jacob Hall said about him: “Congressman King won’t go along to get along. He’s his own man. He has convictions and principles and he’s not afraid to stand on them,”
    “The reality is the people in the 4th District know Congressman Steve King. They know his principles. They know his values. They know his beliefs,”

    Who else does that sound like?
    wouldn't read too into this as some sort of triumph. King made the mistake of yelling stuff out loud which should have just remained a dog-whistle-- and he's not Trump.

    his fellow GOP members stripped him of his Congressional powers because he just wouldn't shut up, despite repeated entreaties. so he literally did nothing, and constituents finally got tired of paying a salary for it.

    his replacement is already talking about how he will now have the power to effectively support the MAGA agenda.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #417
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    George Will belongs to the big-tent Reagan Republican era-- and his side of the tent was the even older school Ivy League educated, country club William Buckley type.

    that Republican Party is dead.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #418
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Basically that, he had outsized influence in a totally different era in which the Democrats already had political responses 30 years ago, was dying 15-20 years ago, on life-support 10 years ago, and absolutely dead now.

    Trying to do the same thing you did to win an electorate which wasn't even alive when Reagan first won office is basically pointless. You can argue "blah blah blah Trump," and that's wrong, but George Will doubts AGW and certain culture war narratives, which means he will be persona non-grata among the new electorate, which means he is an electoral liability
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  14. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    joe,



    wouldn't read too into this as some sort of triumph. King made the mistake of yelling stuff out loud which should have just remained a dog-whistle-- and he's not Trump.

    his fellow GOP members stripped him of his Congressional powers because he just wouldn't shut up, despite repeated entreaties. so he literally did nothing, and constituents finally got tired of paying a salary for it.

    his replacement is already talking about how he will now have the power to effectively support the MAGA agenda.
    Oh I don't really read too much into it. I point it out only because it's an outlier, certainly not a trend.
    The GOP has become, almost unabashedly, a party of authoritarian bigots and kleptocrats. How else to explain their lickspittle fawning over a "man" like Donald Trump.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    Basically that, he had outsized influence in a totally different era in which the Democrats already had political responses 30 years ago, was dying 15-20 years ago, on life-support 10 years ago, and absolutely dead now.

    Trying to do the same thing you did to win an electorate which wasn't even alive when Reagan first won office is basically pointless. You can argue "blah blah blah Trump," and that's wrong, but George Will doubts AGW and certain culture war narratives, which means he will be persona non-grata among the new electorate, which means he is an electoral liability
    and the end result will be that even if Trump is crushed this November, Junior will be waiting on the sidelines to carry that torch.

    you can only reform the Party if there's actually a reformist faction within that can take over.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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