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Taibbi writes: "Donald Trump isn't the beginning of the end. George W. Bush was. The amazing anti-miracle of the Bush presidency is what makes today's nightmare possible."

GOP insiders are now frantic at the prospect of an uncultured ignoramus winning the presidency. (photo: Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images)
GOP insiders are now frantic at the prospect of an uncultured ignoramus winning the presidency. (photo: Aude Guerrucci/Getty Images)

Revenge of the Simple: How George W. Bush Gave Rise to Trump

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

01 March 16


Bush was just an appetizer — Trump would be the main course

o hear GOP insiders tell it, Doomsday is here. If Donald Trump scores huge on tonight and seizes control of the nomination in the Super Tuesday primaries, it will mark the beginning of the end of the Republican Party, and perhaps the presidency.

But Trump isn't the beginning of the end. George W. Bush was. The amazing anti-miracle of the Bush presidency is what makes today's nightmare possible.

People forget what an extraordinary thing it was that Bush was president. Dubya wasn't merely ignorant when compared with other politicians or other famous people. No, he would have stood out as dumb in just about any setting.

If you could somehow run simulations where Bush was repeatedly shipwrecked on a desert island with 20 other adults chosen at random, he would be the last person listened to by the group every single time. He knew absolutely nothing about anything. He wouldn't have been able to make fire, find water, build shelter or raise morale. It would have taken him days to get over the shock of no room service.

Bush went to the best schools but was totally ignorant of history, philosophy, science, geography, languages and the arts. He once had to read War and Peace. His take? There were "thousands of characters" in it.

"I guess it had an influence because it was a discipline," he said. "It was more that than remembering anything in it."

So Bush's main takeaway from reading one of the greatest books ever written was that it contained many things to memorize. But he couldn't remember any of those things.

Bush showed no interest in learning and angrily rejected the idea that a president ought to be able to think his way through problems. As Mark Crispin Miller wrote in The Bush Dyslexicon, Bush's main rhetorical tool was the tautology — i.e., saying the same thing, only twice.

"It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce" was a classic Bush formulation. "Our nation must come together to unite" was another. One of my favorites was: "I understand that the unrest in the Middle East creates unrest throughout the region."

Academics and political junkies alike giddily compiled these "Bushisms" along with others that were funny for different reasons ("I'm doing what I think what's wrong," for instance).

But Bush's tautologies weren't gaffes or verbal slips. They just represented the limits of his reasoning powers: A = A. There are educational apps that use groups of images to teach two-year-olds to recognize that an orange is like an orange while a banana is a banana. Bush was stalled at that developmental moment. And we elected him president.

Bush's eight years were like the reigns of a thousand overwhelmed congenital monarchs from centuries past. While the prince rode horses, romped with governesses and blew the national treasure on britches or hedge-mazes, the state was run by Svengalis and Rasputins who dealt with what Bush once derisively described as "what's happening in the world." 

In Bush's case he had Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove thinking out the problem of how to get re-elected, while Dick "Vice" Cheney, Donald "Rummy" Rumsfeld and Andrew "Tangent Man" Card took care of the day-to-day affairs of the country (part of Card's responsibilities involved telling Bush what was in the newspapers he refused to read).

It took hundreds of millions of dollars and huge armies of such behind-the-throne puppet-masters to twice (well, maybe twice) sell a voting majority on the delusion of George Bush, president. Though people might quibble with the results, the scale of this as a purely political achievement was awesome and heroic, comparable to a moon landing or the splitting of the atom.

Guiding Bush the younger through eight years of public appearances was surely the greatest coaching job in history. It was like teaching a donkey to play the Waldstein Sonata. It's breathtaking to think about now.

But one part of it backfired. Instead of using an actor like Reagan to sell policies to the public, the Svengalis behind Bush sold him as an authentic man of the people, the guy you'd want to have an O'Doul's with.

Rove correctly guessed that a generation of watching TV and Hollywood movies left huge blocs of Americans convinced that people who read books, looked at paintings and cared about spelling were either serial killers or scheming to steal bearer bonds from the Nakatomi building. (Even knowing what a bearer bond is was villainous).

The hero in American culture, meanwhile, was always a moron with a big gun who learned everything he needed to know from cowboy movies. The climax of pretty much every action movie from the mid-eighties on involved shotgunning the smarty-pants villain in the face before he could finish some fruity speech about whatever.

Rove sold Bush as that hero. He didn't know anything, but dammit, he was sure about what he didn't know. He was John McClane, and Al Gore was Hans Gruber. GOP flacks like Rove rallied the whole press corps around that narrative, to the point where anytime Gore tried to nail Bush down on a point of policy, pundits blasted him for being a smug know-it-all using wonk-ese to talk over our heads — as Cokie Roberts put it once, "this guy from Washington doing Washington-speak."

This is like the scene from the increasingly prophetic Idiocracy where no one can understand Luke Wilson, a person of average intelligence rocketed 500 years into America's idiot future, because whenever he tries to reason with people, they think he's talking "like a fag."

The Roves of the world used Bush's simplicity to win the White House. Once they got there, they used the levers of power to pillage and scheme like every other gang of rapacious politicians ever. But the plan was never to make ignorance a political principle. It was just a ruse to win office.

Now the situation is the opposite. Now GOP insiders are frantic at the prospect of an uncultured ignoramus winning the presidency. A group of major donors and GOP strategists even wrote out a memo outlining why a super PAC dedicated to stopping Trump was needed.

"We want voters to imagine Donald Trump in the Big Chair in the Oval Office, with responsibilities for worldwide confrontation at his fingertips," they wrote. Virginia Republican congressman Scott Ringell wrote an open letter to fellow Republicans arguing that a Trump presidency would be "reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous."

Hold on. It wasn't scary to imagine George "Is our children learning?" Bush with the "responsibilities for worldwide confrontation" at his fingertips? It wasn't embarrassing to have a president represent the U.S. on the diplomatic stage who called people from Kosovo "Kosovians" and people from Greece "Grecians?" 

It was way worse. Compared to Bush, Donald Trump is a Rutherford or an Einstein. In the same shipwreck scenario, Trump would have all sorts of ideas — all wrong, but at least he'd think of something, instead of staring at the sand waiting for a hotel phone to rise out of it.

Of course, Trump's ignorance level, considering his Wharton education, is nearly as awesome as what Bush accomplished in spite of Yale. In fact, unlike Bush, who had the decency to not even try to understand the news, Trump reads all sorts of crazy things and believes them all. From theories about vaccines causing autism to conspiratorial questions about the pillow on Antonin Scalia's face to Internet legends about Americans using bullets dipped in pigs' blood to shoot Muslims, there isn't any absurd idea Donald Trump isn't willing to entertain, so long as it fits in with his worldview.

But Washington is freaking out about Trump in a way they never did about Bush. Why? Because Bush was their moron, while Trump is his own moron. That's really what it comes down to.

And all of the Beltway's hooting and hollering about how "embarrassing" and "dangerous" Trump is will fall on deaf ears, because as gullible as Americans can be, they're smart enough to remember being told that it was OK to vote for George Bush, a man capable of losing at tic-tac-toe.

We're about to enter a dark period in the history of the American experiment. The Founding Fathers never imagined an electorate raised on Toddlers and Tiaras and Temptation Island. Remember, just a few decades ago, shows like Married With Children and Roseanne were satirical parodies. Now the audience can't even handle that much irony. A lot of American culture is just dumb slobs cheering on other dumb slobs. It was inevitable, once we broke the seal with Bush, that our politics would become the same thing.

Madison and Jefferson never foresaw this situation. They knew there was danger of demagoguery, but they never imagined presidential candidates exchanging "mine's bigger than yours" jokes or doing "let's laugh at the disabled" routines. There's no map in the Constitution to tell us how to get out of where we're going. All we can do now is hold on. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+194 # lonestarcornhusker 2016-03-01 22:45
Matt Taibbi: we are not on target, as always. You are the 50-cent word Molly Ivins...and I mean that as a compliment--to you both! Hold on, is right!
+153 # pernsey 2016-03-01 22:51
What did they think would happen, after Bush the crazy had to get amped up and now they cant control the monster they created. They have a whole bunch of uninformed people who are to lazy to check any facts outside of their bubble and now Trump is taking advantage of what Bush created...the patients are now running the asylum!
+54 # HowardMH 2016-03-02 10:59
You said, "They have a whole bunch of uninformed people who are to lazy to check any facts outside of their bubble" They maybe lazy but the bigger issue is they are Ignorant.

Back in 1998 People Magazine posted a picture of Trump over laid with what he said. "If I were to run, I'd run as a republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific." That was 1998, and it sure looks like he nailed it. So is Trump, ignorant like Bush?
+20 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-03-02 12:17
Of course not. He is very calculating. He is telling the R base what they want to hear. Once he wins the nomination he will go after Hillary and she will not do well when attacked by him assuming he is not in the race to throw it to her. Once in the general he can say whatever the polls tell him to say because he has hardly espoused any policies in the primaries. He will not be a flip-flopper because he never said anything substantive. He is being provocative because it is getting him free press.

I will give him this: He is against the TPP. That is more than we can say for Hillary. She was part of the administration that negotiated this abomination. As far as the wall goes, I think we will never have an honest conversation about immigration until we control the border. The fact is we need immigrants but that fact is obscured by the fact that the borders are porous and both parties at their core want the illegals here for cheap labor. Once the cheap labor dries up we can finally have an honest conversation about immigration instead of the demagoguery we have now. Controlling our borders and preserving the sovereignty of our country by opposing TPP are just common sense. I think Democrats oppose these at their peril.
+3 # James38 2016-03-03 22:41
Has anyone you know of lately tried to pin Hillary down about the TPP? That question should be tossed at her as often as possible.

Being challenged by Bernie has made her move on some issues. It would be excellent to get her to repudiate this TPP nastiness.
+16 # CL38 2016-03-02 19:34
As we've read, Psychiatrists and psychologists have labeled Trump, NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder,

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics ,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump presidency.

Also a book "Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, 2004 by psychoanalyst Justin A. Frank.
+4 # wrknight 2016-03-03 12:28
Quoting CL38:
As we've read, Psychiatrists and psychologists have labeled Trump, NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Well, I certainly wouldn't argue with them, but their diagnoses are superfluous (like a blinding flash of the obvious) and I would take them with a grain of salt. I personally view psychiatrists as people who are in the greatest need of their own services.
+4 # dickbd 2016-03-03 16:46
I would recommend that everyone read "Psychology Gone Wrong," a great analysis by two scientists about the errors in non-science-bas ed psychology.

One of the conclusions is that talk therapy, other than that of the cognitive variety, doesn't even rise to placebo effectiveness.
+4 # RaW 2016-03-03 09:44
Oh, I wish that quote were true. But check out Snopes:
If we're going to be any better than the other side, let's make sure we don't spread made-up memes.
"They have a whole bunch of uninformed people who are to lazy to check any facts outside of their bubble" - let it not be us.
+2 # James38 2016-03-03 20:17
Well dang. I went to the link. Sigh. But thank you very much for clearing this up.

This is a perfect example of the absurdly pervasive effect of lies being promoted as truth in the internet. We definitely need something like Snopes that automatically attaches a +{LIE}+ warning on all such stuff.

If something is clearly a lie, there is no reason to allow it to be repeated without the identifying mark. That isn't infringement of speech, it is just adding a layer of reality to it. It is not part of freedom of speech to be able to mislead people, including yourself. So you can tell a lie, it just would be identified as such.

I have tried to remind myself to use Snopes in such cases, but this one I accepted without even thinking to check. Hate to admit it, but I was just too ready to be delighted that Trump said that to remember to check.

Quite a lesson. Thanks again RaW.
+4 # wrknight 2016-03-03 12:19
Quoting HowardMH:
You said, "They have a whole bunch of uninformed people who are to lazy to check any facts outside of their bubble" They maybe lazy but the bigger issue is they are Ignorant.
Ignorant or stupid? Remember, stupid is as stupid does.
+12 # mh1224jst 2016-03-02 21:18
Quoting pernsey:
What did they think would happen, after Bush the crazy had to get amped up and now they cant control the monster they created.
Indeed. It's the world of the Cuckoo's Nest. The Tea Party invasion was also a direct consequence of GW's mindless reign, and it is fitting revenge on the GOP establishment picks, Cruz and Rubio, that their own brand of mindless insanity is being decisively answered with Trump mockery.
+137 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-01 23:01
Beware. MANY of your family, friends, and neighbors are Trumpists. They sure are coming out of the closet. It began with Ronnie "Bonzo" Raygun legitimizing racism and the genius of illiterate bigots. Irony: Trump, who hates, and berates, LOSERS, is the beloved Strongman of the losers.
+33 # bigkahuna671 2016-03-02 14:36
I have to agree. Ronnie Raygun is the father of all stupidity. People think he was brilliant, his speeches were so well-written, he just knew what was important. Crap!!! Raygun was a fool who could read a speech with passion and great timing, but that didn't mean he understood everything he said. All the great quotes attributed to him were written by others, even his great one about the Marine Corps. Once he started the world of stupidity, it just got worse.
+11 # dickbd 2016-03-03 16:50
Nixon and Ford both thought he was stupid. Ford!

Isaac Asimov wrote during his presidency that we have a president who is clearly stupid. How right he was, but Reagan was lucky and likable.

Nevertheless, he should have been impeached for the Iran-Contra debacle, and on one ever mentions the Savings and Loan disgrace.
+3 # bigkahuna671 2016-03-04 15:08
Totally agree. If Obama had done either of these, he'd have been impeached or maybe shot by some right-wing troll.
+136 # danireland46 2016-03-01 23:09
The MSM is also responsible for Donald's popularity. Without main stream media concentrating on Trump all the time we might not be in this mess. Too many people go with the familiar. It doesn't require any research or thinking. part of the reason HRC is doing well.
I just returned from our caucus meeting. Bernie won in my Precinct.. But here's a problem. Every poll shows Bernie beating Donald head to head. NOT HRC. she'd lose. so the DFL hierarchy better consider this FACT. By pushing HRC they could be guaranteeing a Trump presidency. Just saying! Go Bernie Go..
+43 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 02:37
Given One Percent ownership of both parties, "guaranteeing a Trump presidency" is almost certainly the purpose behind Hillary's candidacy.

That way -- when the civilized world begins pointing with fear and loathing at the Usian Empire's open embrace of fascism and damning the empire as the Fourth Reich -- the imperial propagandists can say "it is the will of the people."

Precisely as Hitler's propagandists said after the citizens of the Weimar Republic voted the Nazis into power.
+16 # Caliban 2016-03-02 10:41
Sorry, lorenbliss, but I see no evidence that HRC doesn't want the Presidency just as urgently as husband Bill did when he ran.

Whether she can be as effective a campaigner as William Jefferson Clinton is open to much doubt--but there is no doubting her desire to occupy the Oval Office herself.
+5 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 18:01
Of course Hillary wants the presidency. The Big Lie of USian "democracy" wouldn't work if she didn't.

But her One Percent masters want to straitjacket the U.S. in overt fascism as soon as possible because people are beginning to awaken to the fact Marx/Engels/Len in were not only correct but prophetic: because capitalism is the ultimate pyramid scheme, fascism (they called it "imperialism"), is the only way capitalism can sustain itself.

Hence, from the One Percent's perspective, the necessity of Trump as der Fuehrer and Hillary as the Goldwater-girl patsy who ensures Trump's election.
+11 # CL38 2016-03-02 19:44
When she lost in '08, Bill went after everyone who went after Hillary. He's used his power & clout to secure her DNC sponsorship over Bernie this year. We've seen the Bernie attacks by both Clinton's, especially after their corruption and past policies have been exposed. See  "Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote"
By Michelle Alexander

From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decim ated black America.

Also "15 Ways Bill Clinton’s White House Failed America and the World"
-1 # tgemberl 2016-03-02 13:33
I response to something I said on the "With Donald Trump Looming" article, you said that bringing people like Werner Von Braun to America probably turned us into a fascist state. But wouldn't that depend on those people being lifelong believers in Nazism? They can't turn us fascist unless they're fascist themselves. Was Von Braun a fascist till the end?

That analysis seems doubtful to me, and that's why I believe fascism is a temporary state people fall into in a period of social disintegration, not something elites aspire to.

I think the problem with the idea of fascism as the "ultimate form of capitalism" is that it goes against the basic human social impulse. People naturally want to be at peace with those around them. You can hold people in a repressive social setting through force for awhile. We see that in North Korea today. Apparently the power of the army keeps people under control for now. But eventually that is certain, I think, to collapse. It all depends on keeping all the leaders of the military and the party under control. It can't go on forever.

Another problem with your analysis is that the capitalist elites depend on the lower classes to buy their products. If they oppress them too much, eventually they lose out themselves.

The rise of conservatism in America makes more sense to me as a temporary attraction to an ideology rather than some sort of long-term plot to enslave us.
+1 # tgemberl 2016-03-02 13:43
(cont.) If your analysis is true, there's no hope for humanity. Donald Trump will be president, and the fascists already control China. So we're doomed to be under fascist control. Why even try to fight it?
+4 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 18:09
Contrary to Martin Luther King Jr., the "arc of history" tends not toward justice but toward ever-worsening tyranny.

At least since the advent of patriarchy, the moments of social justice in our species' history have been no more than tiny sparks in an infinity of darkness.

We in the United States -- we white people that is -- were privileged to live in one of those pathetically brief moments.

Now however we are witnessing humanity return to the tyrannical, devil-take-the- hindmost savagery that has been our species' norm at least since the advent of patriarchy.
+4 # tgemberl 2016-03-02 19:22
So why bother to support Bernie? And how did we manage to get that brief period of goodness before the Kennedy assassination?

Don't get me wrong: it's not that I think America is some sort of beacon of goodness in the world. I do think the rise of Trump may show a decline in our culture, maybe an irreversible one. But I'm still hopeful for humanity as a whole.
+3 # lorenbliss 2016-03-03 16:55
Why support Sanders? Quite simply, because of the ideas he is managing to force into the Moron Nation mind despite the fact it is armored by the world's most pridefully aggressive anti-intellectu alism.

Though StuperTuesday demonstrated Moron Nation's self-destructiv e reality -- it is now obvious the notion of a Sanders presidency was never more than a pathetic he-will-rescue- us-fantasy (a modern version of the Weimar German belief the socialists could rescue them from Hitler) -- his candidacy is nevertheless cleansing socialism of the 71-year accumulation of slanderous mud that besplattered it due to malicious moronation.

And that development is pivotal -- not the least because only socialism can save us from capitalism (and therefore from extinction) -- though only if (1)-we acknowledge the extent to which -- even before der Trumper takes office in January 2017 -- capitalism has already reduced us to a disempowered, conquered and enslaved people, and (2)- then mobilize accordingly.

Sanders is the beginning of that mobilization process. Whether the seeds he is sowing lie fallow or sprout and blossom is (mostly) up to us and how much we truly value "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
0 # tgemberl 2016-03-03 19:48
Good to dialogue with you. I'm more in favor of a "mixed economy." I think capitalism can be good with limits. Canada, Germany, and other European states show that capitalism doesn't have to be enslaving.

I think our biggest problem today is not capitalism, but the fact that our constitution is archaic. We need some serious constitutional reform. We have things like the 2nd Amendment and the Electoral College that do not make sense in our current stage of development.
0 # lorenbliss 2016-03-04 01:33
The problem with a "mixed economy" is that capitalism is like cancer: it will always metastasize into fascism or Nazism.

It has already done so in the U.S., killing forever the Keynesian ideology of the New Deal, and (both as "austerity" and as the resultant rebirth of the Hard Right), it is rapidly doing so in Europe.

This is because the core mandate of capitalism is the rejection of every humanitarian principle our species has ever articulated and -- as the replacement for those moral precepts -- the elevation of infinite greed into ultimate virtue.

In other words, capitalism is institutionaliz ed moral imbecility -- the utter amorality of the serial killer focused on the accumulation of victims not by outright murder but by profit -- which of course includes murder, as at Bangladesh or Bhopal or Triangle Shirtwaist or the Mingo County War or, for that matter, both World Wars, Vietnam, the re-colonization of the Middle East and Africa, etc. ad nauseam.

Footnote: Probably the only good thing that can be said about the Roman Catholic Church -- apart from the work done in secret by a handful of subversive Irish and German monks to preserve what few remnants we have of the 35,000 years of pagan culture that preceded the forcible Christianizatio n of Europe -- is that its medieval clergy typically (albeit too-often ineffectually) insisted profiteering was a mortal sin. (See for example
-1 # tgemberl 2016-03-04 17:31
This morning I was thinking about a problem in the economy of France, a "mixed economy." It has a huge youth unemployment problem, which feeds unrest.

About 10 years ago the conservative government of France tried to pass a law that would've allowed employers to fire anyone up to age 26 without giving any reason. It failed, but they really needed that law. France's work laws make it almost impossible to fire someone. I know myself from having been a rather poor worker myself early in life that you should be able to fire young workers. It takes awhile for a worker to learn what kind of contribution he can make in the work world and develop good work ethics. If you can fire young workers, you can also hire young workers. That would lesson the unemployment problem. Currently, it's too risky for companies to hire young people, so they don't hire much.

Now, as a capitalist economy, France gives workers over 26 an incentive to do good work. If you goof off on the job or otherwise do a bad job, let's say at a restaurant, people will not want to come to eat there. Though you will not be fired, the restaurant will fail and you'll lose your job. (cont.)
-1 # tgemberl 2016-03-04 17:33
In other words, in a capitalist economy, people buy goods and services because they want to, not because they have to. That creates an incentive to create new things. In a society where production is planned and obligatory to buy, the result will almost certainly be products and services that inspire no one.
+87 # m... 2016-03-01 23:36
I humbly think:
Ronald Reagan, the Reaganmoics/Tri ckle Down/Smaller Government Scam, the deregulation of Media Ownership rules which quickly followed bringing about the concentrated ownership of media and with it the 'free' press and all the rightwingnut crap that flows from it like a polluted river set upon humanity by a dynamited pig shit damn, plus the subsequent cash-filled-sea of Corporate-Olgar ch corruption of government and both parties, especially the Republican Party, AND, THE VOTERS WHO LISTEN TO ALL THAT SLURP&SLURRY AND THEN VOTE FOR IT ANYWAY--- collectively paved the way for the rise of the 'Trumps and Cruzes'
I also think the feeble and largely corpo-corrupted Democratic Party/DNC has done little to stop it and much to enable it.

G.W. BuSh is the simple result of bad genes and a wingnut-silver- spoon syndrome backed by very wealthy connections and accommodating DEREGULATED Corpo-Media Empires.

If one person is responsible for the rise of The Donald, its Murdoch.

Trump is Trump. He's an opportunist, but with bigger brains, bigger balls, mountains of confidence, more money and a much larger mirror in which to admire the fuzzy crown topping his gigantic ego that carries him forth with strong 'Mirror Mirror On the Wall' motivation.
I think Trump simply looked around America, saw a LOT of Americans easily led by Crafted Foxfied Nonsense to keep voting nonstop for the biggest ongoing Flim Flam in history and smiled at the possibilities and so, here we are.
+9 # wrknight 2016-03-03 12:40
Bush was simply a stupid, willing puppet for those who pulled the strings. The big difference is Trump is not a willing puppet. And that's why he scares the shit out of the establishment politicians.
+43 # moonrigger 2016-03-01 23:54
So far, Trump is getting away with everything--fro m his racist & sexist remarks, constant put-downs, and porn model wife he thinks would make a good FLOTUS. Can anyone imagine Obama or even Romney being considered for the Presidency under the same circumstances (or any one of the above?) Why is Trump the sacred cow? Because instead of fixing what's wrong with their party, the GOP would rather put all their money on a bully they think can succeed, so they don't have to do any "inner work". Taibbi is so right. Trump is his own moron, and the great orange hope is to be both courted and respected in their eyes.
+28 # guomashi 2016-03-02 00:05
"We want voters to imagine Donald Trump in the Big Chair in the Oval Office, with responsibilitie s for worldwide confrontation at his fingertips," they wrote. Virginia Republican congressman Scott Ringell wrote an open letter to fellow Republicans arguing that a Trump presidency would be "reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous."

... yeah, so can we do the same thing with cruz and imagine him nuking syria?
... or hillary launching war in lybia AND syria AND russia?
... or rubio doing the same?

or should we imagine trump changing directions with israel and working towards a balanced settlement in the mid-east? or negotiating and coordinating with russia rather than attacking and starting a new cold war?

i think that particular threat backfires on the republican party if you think about.

granted, there is plenty to dislike in trump. on the other hand, maybe less than most of the others, which is likely why they all hate him.
+37 # jcdav 2016-03-02 07:19
Key words "if you think about it" seems thinking has become a largely unpopular pass time. I'm unable to comprehend how so many people (90%) could be duped into voting against their own best interests.
+28 # USuncutMN 2016-03-02 00:16
The DNC played its role in this de-evolution we must not forget. From the Clintons' coded white Supramacist positions and policies, soothed over with saxophone playing.
To the Third Way strivings of Rahm&Co. which refused to hold the RePUGs responsible and accountable for MurKKKa's disgraceful and illegal WAR behaviour. You don't want smart soldiers, do you?
Obama's message has been that he likes vacations, reading a few books, working out in the gym, wearing nice duds .. It hasn't been a heavily artistic/cultur e- laden 8 years! It's indicative of the neoliberal idea that us slobs at the bottom don't need to have our potential filled, but subverted by runners, cellphones, headsets and hoodies -- and lots and lots of drugs.

Two wings, the duopoly has set this up.

Credit where credit is due ..
+26 # economagic 2016-03-02 07:18
But of course even in THIS venue we don't really want to hear that. "We have met the enemy and he is us" (Walt Kelly, 1972, and that's the direct quote, got the original right here, recommended).
+62 # grandlakeguy 2016-03-02 00:22
If the Republican insiders are so worried they always have their standby and infallible remedy at hand....
electronically manipulate the vote count like they always do.They can easily put their other Republican candidate into office, her name is Hillary R Clinton!
For all we know that process may very well have begun tonight!
G W Bush didn't win either presidential election.
All elections in this country are suspect today be they primaries, local bond measures, state offices, congressional or for President.
Until we return to a completely transparent hand counted paper ballot system (such as now used in so many European nations that have thrown the electronic vote switching or tabulating machines in the garbage) we will never know who the voters actually choose.

Joseph Stalin famously said: "true power does not rest with those who cast the votes
it is in the hands of those who count the votes."
+31 # Vegan_Girl 2016-03-02 05:12
Exactly my thought. I have long suspected that (with the exception of the most extreme factions) the oligarchs are secretly very content with the idea of a Hillary presidency.
+24 # davehaze 2016-03-02 08:43
That Hillary won the Iowa caucus is suspect.The DNC refuses to release the raw data.

And I agree Hillarys policies are Republican. The oligarchs will have no complaint with her in the White House while Trump would be problematic. Trump loves himself more than he loves the oligarchs. President Trump might do less damage to the nation then another president Clinton.

Just speculating.
+38 # davehaze 2016-03-02 08:53
There is only one candidate running who would make a decent president and he is being opposed by both parties and the entire corporate media. And in long political discussions he seldom gets his name mentioned except negatively.

Tell Matt Tiabi there is a Bernie Sanders out there.
+5 # Vegan_Girl 2016-03-03 00:10
He knows.
-15 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 15:36
Oh for the love of God....conspira cy theory....really???
Dave, go back to your neo-con sites. This kind of shit will go over so much better there.
+10 # davehaze 2016-03-02 18:30
Of the media presidential discourse only about 3% of it is devoted to Sanders and a lot of that is negative. Hillary gets about 7% coverage the other 90% goes to mostly Trump then bits to Rubio Cruze etc.
Do you think the Democratic Party and the DNC are at all interested in Sanders becoming president? Does anyone think the Republicans want Sanders to be President?

Where is the conspiracy? And how is what I said identify me as a neocon?
-6 # bmiluski 2016-03-03 12:08
Dave......I'm referring to your conspiracy theory about the Iowa caucuses.
Try to keep up honey? Or better yet, stop throwing so much dreck around. It's easier to keep track of it then.
+2 # davehaze 2016-03-03 22:17
Don't believe me do some homework start with the Des Moines Register February 3rd 2016 and their editorial entitled something smells in the Democratic Party. Oh and by the way the Des Moines Register endorsed Hillary Clinton. Keep that in mind.

And try some anger management. I am willing to chip in to get you a psychotherapist with a wry sense of humor and immense patience.
+2 # wrknight 2016-03-03 12:51
Never forget that loyalty trumps every other virtue in party politics. Bernie has run as an independent as long as I can remember and never declared himself to be a loyal Democrat. Party leaders will never support anyone who is not loyal to the party.
+2 # davehaze 2016-03-03 22:32
I always thought that corruption trumps virtue in a politician.
+29 # Shades of gray matter 2016-03-02 00:36
I believe the case can be made that "Bonzo" Raygun opened the door for illiterate bigotry to rule, and OxyContin "Rush" paved the runway for Loudmouth Bigoted Buffoonery, thus jet set Don. I love what Rove, Limbaugh, FOX have done to the GOP. The GOP base is like the defrauded students who LOVED Trump U., until they HATED Trump U. And, boy, do they ever!
Berners are probably angry at E.W. for "letting" HRC steal MA. But those Boston Catholics could not embrace "Godless socialism." Like the AAs in SC, et al.
+38 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 00:48
H.L. Mencken wrote the epitaph for the United States in 1920:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

Now, with the Dunce-ocrats having ended the Sanders fantasy and ensured the candidacy of a woman who snickered at and applauded the agonizing death of a man anally impaled on bayonets, and the Republ-idiots sure to Trump the election with a man who channels Il Duce if not der Fuehrer himself, there will soon be no place here for those of us who are old and/or poor and/or disabled or simply, by some accident of birth – geography, race, whatever – deemed no longer exploitable for profit.

This means we have but two choices: we can try to find another country – probably impossible for most of us older than about 55 (though I have some faint hope my analytical skills might prove useful elsewhere) – or we can remain here and wait to be exterminated, either by the slow-motion genocide of the social-safety-n et cuts that will be inflicted no matter whether the president is Trump or Hillary, or by the death camps Trump is bound to establish to rid the nation not only of the minorities he openly despises but all of his critics as well.

Globally speaking, the American Dream has just become the Humanity Nightmare. The “sweet land of liberty” is dead. The only question is whether its successor nation will render our entire species extinct.
+29 # economagic 2016-03-02 08:09
Yeah, but I wish people on the lame excuse for a Left that we have in this country would quit conceding the election before it happens. That is as "sheepish" as some other activities lambasted in these pages. I was amazed upon waking up this morning to find that Sanders had captured not two states but FOUR, including (of all places) my former home state of Oklahoma. The "dumb Okie" stereotype is not entirely unjustified. North Carolina, where I live now, is enough like Okieland that it is conceivable that Sanders could take even this genuinely Southern state away from Clinton.

Minnesota is not all that surprising. After all, they elected both Jesse Ventura (?!?) and Al Franken. But there are big pockets of Xian Extremism and other Right Wing Nonsense in Colorado.
+9 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 17:52
Sorry, but the one lesson I have learned in my 75 years and 11 months of living in this country is "never under-estimate the U.S. citizenry's propensity for inflicting harm -- whether on itself or on the rest of humanity and the planet."

Now, with Trump, we are going to witness all of the bigotry, hatefulness, misogyny, Christian fanaticism and associated violence that was kept hidden in our national closet by political correctness.

And I fear we are now going to discover what credible polls have long hinted at (but never articulated simply because the proper question was not asked): that somewhere around 75 percent of the white majority, long tacitly sympathetic to Nazism, was merely awaiting the emergence of a proper Fuehrer -- that is, someone bearing the prerequisite imprimatur of Hollywood-style fame and celebrity.

Such is realpolitik in this nation where Britney Spears could win the presidency with nothing more than name-familiarit y but Bernie Sanders can't win it even with overwhelming majority support.
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+8 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 18:21
The great mistake the civilized Weimar Germans made was not nearly enough of them took Hitler seriously. I fear we in our classically USian ("it-can't-happ en-here") arrogance are making the same deadly mistake.

As to the unfashionable-n ess of death camps, that is precisely the reason for the slow-motion genocide euphemized as "austerity." Not only are there no stinky crematoria to disrupt gentrification, the victims' themselves are blamed for their fate (failure, laziness, ineptitude etc. ad nauseam), and the victims' friends and families are left to dispose of the corpses.

And as to the sadistic savagery of "austerity," one has to be among its victims -- as am I and all my immediate neighbors -- to know its malice and wretchedness and thereby clearly see its murderous purpose.
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+7 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 18:30
Actually, Germany might indeed be the perfect place for persons in my circumstances. Most Germans learned their lesson c. 1941-1945. The Red Army, the Royal Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Corps were most effective teachers. Since then, Germany has embraced civil liberty and economic democracy with a fervor formerly found only across the Rhine in France.
+4 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 19:32
Alas, truth is -- given my age and imperfect health -- the probability is no nation would have me, never mind my enduring journalistic skills.

Thus I have to face the USian future: the absolute certainty of more slow-motion genocide under Hillary (who in this regard remains a privatize-Socia l Security/slash Medicare Goldwater Girl); or the absolute certainty of more obvious (and obviously more forceful) forms of genocide under der Trumper.
+6 # John Escher 2016-03-02 12:38
Quoting lorenbliss:
H.L. Mencken wrote the epitaph for the United States in 1920:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”.

I have already quoted you, Loren, and Mencken at Common Dreams. This quote by H.L. Mencken cannot be disseminated enough.
+5 # lorenbliss 2016-03-02 19:19
Thank you. That quote -- and the grotesque reality it describes -- is the source of my derisive label for the U.S. (Moron Nation), and for the made-up word describing how it was dumbed down:(the verbs moronate, moronating, moronated; the noun moronation).
+2 # mh1224jst 2016-03-02 22:42
Quoting lorenbliss:

Globally speaking, the American Dream has just become Humanity's Nightmare. The “sweet land of liberty” is dead. The only question is whether its JesuNazi successor will render our entire species extinct.

Awesome, lorenbliss! well said. I was mortified when the first word came of global warming. Now, not so much. The inevitablity of our extinction takes the edge off the nightmare.
0 # James38 2016-03-03 22:26
Loren, I agree with much of what you say, but I find inaccuracy and needless nihilism and negativity in some of your Blissisms:

"Given One Percent ownership of both parties, "guaranteeing a Trump presidency" is almost certainly the purpose behind Hillary's candidacy."
"Almost certainly" means exactly what? Is that your considered opinion? Is it propaganda?

"the death camps Trump is bound to establish"
Similar objection to "Almost certainly". He is? Bound? And you are sure of that why?

"The “sweet land of liberty” is dead."
No, it isn't. Or we wouldn't be starting a movement toward a better day by taking Bernie seriously. Now we need to follow through so win or lose this time, we win next time, or the time after. This is a process of education of the populace.

"Contrary to Martin Luther King Jr., the "arc of history" tends not toward justice but toward ever-worsening tyranny."
Again just too damn authoritarian and exaggerated, and if you look at the idea of who Hillary would put on the Supreme Court instead of the nominees likely to issue from any Republican, a different layer of importance to the Possible Presidency of Hillary shows up. Sure I would prefer Bernie, but Hillary’s support of women’s rights is better than any grotesque alternative.

0 # James38 2016-03-03 22:28

"it is now obvious the notion of a Sanders presidency was never more than a pathetic he-will-rescue- us-fantasy"

Which you at least follow with the self-contradict ory "Sanders is the beginning of that mobilization process. Whether the seeds he is sowing lie fallow or sprout and blossom is (mostly) up to us and how much we truly value "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.""

On the other hand, you provide us with some gems of cynically accurate thought such as (the full quote follows) "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H. L. Mencken

I find some of your thoughts needlessly clouded by excursions into your own form of absolutism and demagoguery. I hope I can encourage you to be more rigorously straightforward and less propagandistic. The mixture is dizzying. (Advice I try to follow myself with mixed results.)
0 # lorenbliss 2016-03-03 23:48
A couple points in rebuttal, the making of which will overrun the 1500-character limit.

Firstly, there's no contradiction between my statement "the notion of a Sanders presidency was never more than a pathetic he-will-rescue- us fantasy," and my statement "Sanders is the beginning of (the) mobilization process" prerequisite to nonviolent revolution.

Sanders' presidential candidacy failed -- exactly as those of us who understand the totality of the One Percent's control of USian governance knew it would.

More specifically, it was defeated by a combination of the Democrat Party apparatus and the so-called "Mainstream Media."

The party apparatus is a zero-tolerance instrument of the One Percent. Note for example the Democrat debate schedule maliciously arranged to minimize the audience.

Mainstream Media is owned and controlled by the same One Percent cabal that owns and controls the two major parties and thus all USian governments at every level. This means Mainstream Media is literally the world's first privately owned, for-profit government ministry of propaganda.

The One Percent's ownership of government and media imposes a tyranny no single election campaign could ever overcome.

But Sanders has also sparked a socialist renaissance. In this sense he is more akin to Martin Luther King Jr. than to any USian politician. And though Sanders' candidacy was never more than a lost cause, its embryonic socialism could grow into a veritable giant.

0 # lorenbliss 2016-03-04 00:13
Secondly, your statement regarding "Hillary's support of women's rights" is gravely misinformed.

Hillary's ongoing support for Free Trade is as implicitly anti-abortion as her clandestine collaboration with the forces of Christian fundamentalism is explicitly anti-abortion.

Free Trade -- as U.S. feminists are at long last beginning to realize -- throws millions of U.S. workers either into permanent joblessness or into sweatshop labor with radically diminished fringe benefits, or more likely no benefits at all.

In either case, the victims -- male and female alike -- lose their health insurance. And for women -- especially with the devastating success of the JesuNazis' war against Planned Parenthood and all other birth-control providers -- this means loss of the gynecological care essential to female sexual freedom.

To imagine the Machiavellian-m inded Hillary is unaware of this deadly Free Trade side-effect is like imagining Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust.

And there is also, on pages 272-277 of "The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" (Jeff Sharlet, Harper: 2008), a strong suggestion Free Trade's role in the war on women is part her collaboration with the JesuNazi Sam Brownback. Quoth Sharlet (page 275): "Hillary fights side-by-side with Brownback and others for legislation dedicated less to overturning the wall between church and state than to tunneling beneath it."

In other words, exactly as Free Trade does.
+34 # EternalTruth 2016-03-02 04:49
"George Bush, a man capable of losing at tic-tac-toe."

That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Oh the shame!
+12 # PeacefulGarden 2016-03-02 06:23
omg, the Waldstein Sonata and donkey in the same sentence. I am kicking Ludwig so he farts.
+19 # RMDC 2016-03-02 06:35
This is good. The dumbing down of amerikkka is now so complete and pervasive that it runs on its own. While Reagan and Baby Bush needed to be carefully stage managed, Trump and his followers are on their own. They are in free fall, only there is no bottom underneath them. They will fall forever, or until the whole nation collapses.

I have to say there is a bit of a sadistic pleasure in seeing the most fucked up empire on earth go down this way. All empires collapse. Mostly they collapse into corruption of all institutions -- government, banks, corporations, etc. Everyone is on the take and the people are too weak and stupid to know anything else. That is where the US is and Donald will be its president. Or Hillary. And she is only Donald Trump is very ugly pants suits,.
-4 # bmiluski 2016-03-03 12:11
The most fucked up empire on earth. RMDC....please before you make anymore such ignorant statements, go and travel....outsi de of the U.S. And try to read some history. Better yet, move to Russia. There's a cuddly empire you can snuggle up to.
+3 # RMDC 2016-03-03 15:23
bmil -- i have travelled quite extensively and I've probably read more history than you even know exists. Try thinking about the statement before you react vicerally. The USSR was a great experiment. Too bad it did not last longer. YOu must know that world renowned historian, Eric Hobsbawn, wrote that the USSR was the greatest and most important thing to happen in the 20th century. I'm sure you have read his 4 volume history of the 19th and 20th centuries.
0 # lorenbliss 2016-03-03 17:21
Hear, hear!

Apropos the U.S.S.R.: it was as if the Paris Commune became a nation and -- against all odds (and in the face of an entire planet-full of declared enemies) -- prevailed for 75 years.

Yes, the Soviets failed to evolve the economic democracy they sought -- the oppressive undertow of Russian history is relentless -- but the fact the effort was made at all is far beyond glorious. Too bad it is probably also the only such chance our species will ever be allowed -- that capitalism, now triumphant, will go on to eradicate all sentient life from this planet.

But let us not forget that all the socioeconomic gains we wrested from capitalism were in fact gifts the U.S.S.R. gave to the rest of the world, gifts extracted from capitalism by the sheer terror the reality of the Red Army inflicted on the One Percent: "better give those workers something or there'll be a revolution here." That was the fear that prompted the New Deal and every other concession to economic democracy whether in the U.S. or anywhere else in the capitalist world.

Which is precisely why -- now that the Soviet Union is history -- the capitalists are methodically abolishing all those concessions and returning to the serial-killer moral imbecility of "business as usual."
+16 # 2016-03-02 07:09
Come on people, these folks are only puppets, running for or already in the White House. They promise, but can't deliver. The real power is in the hands of well monied international corporations and the oligarchy. They are focused on their own short term interests. The best these political figureheads can do is inspire and present a vision of the future to aspire to. Yet "the people" keep falling for the bluster and empty promises. If there are any morons in this game, they are among the voters. May the man with the most inspiring vision win -- the rest is up to us.
+1 # RMDC 2016-03-03 15:25
kando -- yes, you nailed it. The job is a puppet's job. That's why no one with any integrity or intelligence would run for the job. Sanders is claiming he will return it to a real presidency and end the political corruption that has destroyed it. But the rest are happy to be puppets. Obama sure as hell is.
-59 # MidwestTom 2016-03-02 07:14
Being in the eighth year of the Presidency of a man who cannot speak without a teleprompter, I find the theme of this article off base. Before Saudi money arrived and bought his way through the Ivy League, Obama was a "C" student at Occidental Junior College, not a pinnacle higher eduction or great academic competition.
+31 # kyzipster 2016-03-02 07:32
You folks are still whining about the teleprompter? That's so 2009.
+25 # kalpal 2016-03-02 10:21
How fascinating that Obama's weak point is using a teleprompter to make elegant speeches. At the same time Bush spouted off in free flowing native spoken gibberish at every opportunity.
+15 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 11:21
It's a pity GWB didn't use a teleprompter. He might nothave sounded so stupid. Or was it too much for him to do?
+7 # RMDC 2016-03-02 19:55
GWB used a teleprompter. You could see him reading. it was only in the questions and answers from the press that he did not. But he got the questions before hand and someone wrote out answers for him and he sort of memorized them.

Trump does not use a telepromtper but he will for his state of the union address and other formal speeches in which the text of the speech is released to the media before the speech actually begins. Drafts are circulated to all the important people.
+23 # kyzipster 2016-03-02 07:39
Excellent and disturbing article. I'm trying to see the cup as half full. I'm convinced the Conservative Movement has been crumbling since the disaster of the Bush Presidency. No one is talking about it, 'leaders' on the left refuse to step up and embrace progressive principles and point out the massive failures of Ayn Rand mythology, mainly because both parties sanctified Alan Greenspan and no politician can admit their mistakes in this environment.

We shouldn't measure conservative success by how many Republicans gain seats in Congress, it's about ideology and both parties will have to move away from rightwing extremism in coming years. The last 7 years of conservative success is measured only by obstruction, not on selling voters on more Ayn Rand bull chit. Alan Greespan has been completely discredited, this was the first sign that the Reagan era was coming to an end.

Republicans will do a lot more damage before they fall completely, Trump is the latest symptom of their demise. The party has become nothing but a cult with its own distorted reality legitimized by Fox News and the like. Even the KKK is no longer participating on the down low, they've come back out of the closet. I hope we survive.
+32 # geohorse 2016-03-02 07:49
The electorate knows that Bush trashed the planet after a stolen election even if the media and mainstream politicians don't say it out loud. The Democrats are equally to blame for not fighting to count those Florida votes then not repeating at every occasion that Gore won by millions of votes to highlight the truth at every occasion.
+16 # davehaze 2016-03-02 09:02
Instead the Democrats found a scapegoat to blame, Ralph Nader, then they supported tax cuts for the rich and two wars. Nice.
+1 # ericlipps 2016-03-03 13:14
Quoting davehaze:
Instead the Democrats found a scapegoat to blame, Ralph Nader, then they supported tax cuts for the rich and two wars. Nice.

Well, it's kind of hard to avoid blaming Nader, who actually said he preferred Bush win over a Gore victory because it would "teach the Democrats a lesson about ignoring their progressive base."

And it's worth noting that if even ONE PERCENT of Nader's voters in Florida's balloting had gone over to Gore instead given their man's zero chance of winning, Bush's alleged 538-vote edge (curiously, the exact number of members of the electoral college) would have turned into a 400-vote margin for Gore, making the election MUCH harder to steal. Nader, though, insisted that his followers vote for him no matter what--and the rest is history.
+1 # davehaze 2016-03-03 23:02
Aprox 200000 registered Democrats in Florida voted for Bush. Katherine Harris knocked off aprox 50000 Democratic voters with black and Hispanic names. Polling places in democratic areas lacked voting booths and of the voting booths that were there most didn't work after a while. Democratic voters waited in lines for hours and never got a chance to vote. No matter how many votes Gore would have ended up with, Bush would have had more because the votes were constructed. Jeb Bush promised that he would deliver the state of Florida to his brother and he did.

But don't believe me read Greg Palast.

Oh, and I never met a Nader voter who would have voted for gore or bush.
+15 # Robbee 2016-03-02 08:23
so many awards! - so little time!

while we're at the bush 2-rump ascendancy, we need to bestow a big dishonorable mention on bill, for nafta and for tearing up glass-steagall - creating the skids whereby bush 2 wrecked our economy - and on nader, the so-full-of-hims elf jerk who ran 3rd party in contested states!
+1 # glyde 2016-03-03 11:32
Quoting Robbee:

... 'and on nader, the so-full-of-himself jerk who ran 3rd party in contested states!

Nader had nothing to do with Gore's downfall - PLEASE stop parroting the two parties' Koolaid. They just want to keep us a two-party country so as to better control us.
+21 # Blackjack 2016-03-02 08:34
Here's the most frustrating thing to me. These IDIOTS get out and vote! Dems have some perfectly sane, well informed voters, but they don't care enough about the welfare of the nation to get out of their comfy little cocoons and go vote. Look at the total vote tallies in the primaries--Dems outnumbered sometimes by 25%. If you have something effective at your disposal and you choose not to use it, then the result is the same as if you didn't have it.
+1 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-03-02 14:47
Many think the parties are the same for good reason. They don't want to waste time and energy when the result is the same. I am an optimist when it comes to voting and I always vote so I can un-hypocritical ly criticize whichever duopoly candidate wins and inevitably disappoints: See Bush, Bush and Obama! All the same, all horrible war criminals!
+9 # lfeuille 2016-03-02 15:43
I think some of that is the extent to which the Republicans have been able to institute voter suppression laws since the last election. They target our voters.
+31 # dkent600 2016-03-02 08:41
I disagree with the fundamental thesis. I think Ronald Reagan is more accurately Trump's forebear.

Reagan was an authoritarian figure scaring and reassuring a fearful populace.

(Also recall, Bush wasn't actually elected. He lost the popluar vote and then was chosen by the Supreme Court.)
-1 # Crumbling Empire 2016-03-02 19:09
Quoting dkent600:
I disagree with the fundamental thesis. I think Ronald Reagan is more accurately Trump's forebear.

I, too, disagree with Taibbi's thesis, DKENT, although I am a huge Taibbi fan, generally.

PUPPET. W. was a puppet of the corporate-funde d powers, including Cheney/Hallibur ton and Rumsfeld's Pentagon, and had no independent decision-making authority. During W.'s first term, Cheney actually acted as President, including authorizing the shooting down of the remaining 2 hijacked 9/11 jets, just to cite an example.

TRUMP COULD BE BETTER THAN W. in that Trump MIGHT be more independent of the corporate Oligarchs and Plutocrats, although I doubt that.

TRUMP COULD BE FAR WORSE THAN W. given that The Donald appears to be an egomaniacal loose cannon - I can't imagine him with the Nuclear Football.

REAGAN. I'm not big on your Reagan comparison, either, DKENT, although I give you points for creative thinking. I believe The Great Communicator was more in the W. vein, just a mouthpiece playing a part, although Reagan possessed much more charisma.

ADOLF. Trump reminds me a bit more of Hitler, smart, strong-sounding , yet really insecure, charismatic and persuasive, jingoistic, and parochial in many respects, but less than Hitler on all counts.

CONGRESS TO THE RESCUE??? However, unlike The Fuhrer, The Donald will not have the Reichstag subservient to him, and is not "benefiting" from a massive economic Depression.
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-19 # WaaDoo 2016-03-02 10:12
Does this essay mean that Matt Taibbi would prefer the treasonous Clinton sleaze and sludge in the White House?
+3 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 11:23
Oh, you're back herr troll?
Got bored posting on your repug site, did you?
+7 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 11:25
Firstly, I don't think that Georgie was that stupid. I think he was that lazy.
And I'd like to thank the Kochs and the teabags for the mess the GOP is in.
+9 # reiverpacific 2016-03-02 14:06
Quoting bmiluski:
Firstly, I don't think that Georgie was that stupid. I think he was that lazy.
And I'd like to thank the Kochs and the teabags for the mess the GOP is in.

He was actually simply vapid and incurious; a ghost of a politician who, in his time as governor of Tejas, turned it into what Molly Ivins called "the University of Bad Government" and until he stepped on board Air Force One, had never been out of the US.
My favorite illustration of this is when he was told that he would be dealing with Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, replied "Oh -I thought they were all Arabs"!
I don't expect much more from Drumpf, in terms of world affairs -unless he's bought or built a golf course for the elite stinkin' rich in some other country but here and in Scotland, where he's now decidedly NOT welcome.
'Nuff said.
+10 # Kauai John 2016-03-02 11:34
So, seriously, how do we know what is really going on in the management of information presented to the public? How do we know that the voting machines are not rigged? Kerry was robbed in 2004.

The oligarchs each support their own "puppy" and that means they support "yes men" who have no spine. Trump wins only because he (claims to) owns himself.
+12 # jazzman633 2016-03-02 13:00
I will never forget two things about W:

(1) The perpetual idiotic smirk that said, "even a C student can become President, ha ha, though I'm not sure why."

(2) "It's not easy to put food on your family." (All of the male Bushes had language problems which, esp. in W's case, were indicative of deeper cognitive disabilities.)
-15 # jtatu 2016-03-02 14:19
I think we need to give a lot of credit for Trumpism to Barack Obama's 7+ years of racism and divisiveness.
+15 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 15:42
Wow, another troll heard from.
Gee jtatu, I suppose Mitch McConnel saying the GOP's #1 priority was to make sure that President Obama was a one term president didn't spur on the racism and divisiveness in the congress?
-3 # jtatu 2016-03-03 16:05
Mitch McConnel only spoke the unfortunate truth. The losing party's intent has always been to make sure the winner is a one-term president.
-2 # PABLO DIABLO 2016-03-02 15:08
and get the USA over with now.
+3 # bmiluski 2016-03-02 15:44
You mean Drumpf......... If you're going to vote for an asshole, least get his name right.
And by the way....mama is calling you for dinner.
+7 # chaucer2 2016-03-02 16:09
My heart is heavy, having voted for many me who made it...Stevenson did not...nor did Humphrey, and horror of horrors, neither did Al Gore....and now our only hope of becoming what we should be as a nation and a people appears lost with Bernie's latest showing.on Tuesday........ Certainly from "Ronnie", whose very name is revered and 'is in our faces' with Hospitals, statues, Air-ports...all undeserved since he read from the scrip of his 'Kitchen Cabinet' dictators (gladly)who didn't have to lobby for the oil companies, etc. they had "Ronnie".... (remember this was the Democrat who named names before the brainless committee who were imbeciles but had the power...UN AMERICAN! ....and all he ever wanted was.....NANCY.. .so he made a bargain with the devil and it was her daddy that got the best of the bargain which he engineered for his wealthy friends......An d Ronnie became her daddy's key to the door that led into the world thru this "actor"..who had his brains below his belt! Small wonder Jane Wyman divorced him.... and from there the course for our country has been....DOWNHIL L. I am very sad!
+11 # boomerjim 2016-03-02 16:16
"And we elected him president."

Did we? Well, no, he was selected by the SCOTUS after the Florida vote was fixed. And his "reelection" came when the Ohio vote was fixed.

At least so far, Drumpf seems to be somehow evading the primary fixers -- though that may not last.

Of course, if Drumpf becomes president, the whole country (rather, the whole world) will be fixed -- perhaps beyond repair.
+3 # Charles3000 2016-03-02 19:44
Assume Trump is dumb at your peril. I do not know his IQ but am pretty sure he ranks in a high percentile area.
+8 # JSRaleigh 2016-03-02 20:16
The one part of this article I strongly disagree wit is the contention, "And we elected him president."

... either time.
+11 # angelfish 2016-03-02 21:12
You're wrong, Matt. Reagan was the beginning of the end of life as we knew it in America. When the Oligarchs saw that they could get an affable Moron elected to the Presidency, our collective Goose, was cooked. Reagan made way for the destruction of Labor, Consumer Protection, decent LIVING Wages, competence of ALL kinds and gave Big Business the ability to write it's OWN Laws, destroying ALL hope for the rest of us who were then, able to have fairly decent lives. We have been in decline since then, despite the efforts of a few, with Bush II came near ruination ALL paid for courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public! Having decimated ANY penalties for corporate fraud and greed, NOTHING much has changed, the ReTHUGlicans care MORE about Partisan Politics than they do about the country and have created the Frankenstein Monster that is Donald Trump. God save us from the worst Case Scenario!
+3 # glyde 2016-03-03 11:27
[quote name="RMDC"]GWB used a teleprompter. You could see him reading. it was only in the questions and answers from the press that he did not. But he got the questions before hand and someone wrote out answers for him and he sort of memorized them.'
Does no one recall the "false pleat" on Bush's back when he was debating Kerry in 2004? I had taped the debate and ran that part three times to make certain it was not as stated by the tailor but really a little box - for relaying answers?
+4 # wrknight 2016-03-03 12:07
"But Washington is freaking out about Trump in a way they never did about Bush. Why? Because Bush was their moron, while Trump is his own moron. That's really what it comes down to."

That truly says it all.
0 # ericlipps 2016-03-03 13:05
It took hundreds of millions of dollars and huge armies of such behind-the-throne puppet-masters to twice (well, maybe twice) sell a voting majority on the delusion of George Bush, president.
But he didn't "convince a voting majority" twice.

Whether or not Bush legally won the election in 2000 due to the vagaries of an electoral college originally designed to increase the political power of slave states to delay the evil day of slavery's abolition, it's a matter of record that he lost the popular election nationwide by approximately 500,000 votes.
0 # chapdrum 2016-03-03 13:53
Exactly right.

The metastasis of the Republican Party DIRECTLY spawned Trump.

Their handwringing over his candidacy is yet another insult to the American body politic. As if they care about that, either.
0 # kasta626 2016-03-03 14:09
Bush said: In Texas we have a saying: "FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU; FOOL ME AGAIN,....YOU CAN'T GET FOOL AGAIN"
+2 # jhoughton1 2016-03-04 10:13
I think it did begin with Reagan, in the sense that everyone could see he was a hand-puppet. Though we had other presidents subsequently who were not hand puppets -- Bush I and Clinton -- Reagan was the first time people accepted that state of affairs when it was held right under their noses.

But the one thing that has to be said over and over, no matter how we got here -- people need to VOTE. The rationale that it is no longer worthwhile to vote is the most poisonous, destructive, doom-bound element in American politics today.
0 # librarian1984 2016-03-14 07:28
First the GOP gave us Reagan, who offered the USSR our unilateral nuclear disarmament. Then they gave us W and Cheney, and we're still paying a heavy price for that. I remember how relieved they were that Obama was willing to take on their mess, though the gratitude didn't last a month.

Now they are trying to choose between a violent demagogue and a government-hati ng zealot.

The GOP should be groveling in apology for their past crapfests, but instead they just get worse, and more unapologetic. They send out pompous patriarch Mitt Romney to lecture the ignorant voters that they had created, and they STILL can't figure out what people are angry about. Aren't things going swimmingly?

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