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Taibbi writes: "In an age when Donald Trump is a presidential nominee, what does 'serious' even mean? In any case, the cybercomics who fanned the flames of the Cruz-Zodiac meme will someday be first-ballot entrants in the Trolling Hall of Fame."

Donald Trump. (photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Donald Trump. (photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

RIP, GOP: How Trump Is Killing the Republican Party

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

19 May 16


ndianapolis, Indiana, May 3rd, 2016, a little before 8:30 p.m. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz strode onstage beneath a gorgeous stained-glass relief in the city's Union Station. The hall was doubling as a swanky bar for an upscale local hotel, and much of the assembled press was both lubricated and impatient. The primary had been called for Donald Trump more than an hour before. What was the holdup?

"God bless the Hoosier State!" Cruz said to whoops and cheers after he finally emerged. He was surrounded by a phalanx of American flags, family members and his gimmick running mate of six and a half days, Carly Fiorina, who stared out at the crowd with her trademark alien-abducted smile.

Cruz glanced back and forth across the room with that odd, neckless, monitor-lizard posture of his. He had to know the import of this moment. Nothing less than the future of the Republican Party had been at stake in the Indiana primary.

A Cruz loss effectively meant ceding control of the once-mighty organization to Trump, a seemingly unrepentant non-Republican more likely to read Penthouse than the National Review.

Before the vote, Cruz put it this way: "We are at the edge of a cliff, staring downward."

Now, Cruz was over that cliff, having been trounced 53 to 36 percent in his last-gasp effort to keep Trump from the nomination. In a detail the film-buff candidate Cruz would appreciate, he left Indiana with the same number of delegates as future senator John Blutarsky's grade-point average in Animal House: zero-point-zero.

Still, Cruz looked like he was ready for the "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" speech. He was going to fight.

"Will we hold fast to our founding values of rewarding talent, hard work and industry?" he asked. "Or will we continue on that path of creeping socialism that incentivizes apathy and dependency?"

The crowd roared.

"Will we keep America safe from the threats of nuclear war and atomic terrorism?" he thundered. "Or will we pass on to future generations a land devastated and destroyed by the enemies of civilization?"

More raucous cheers.

Cruz smiled. If he has a good quality, it is that he's not easily deterred by criticism. As he took the stage that night, he surely knew that former Speaker of the House John Boehner had recently called him "Lucifer in the flesh," and that fellow senator Lindsey Graham had said, "If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you." Likewise, when it was revealed Cruz once stated that one has no inherent right to "stimulate one's genitals," his college roommate Craig Mazin popped up to call him a hypocrite who'd whacked it plenty in college.

During the campaign, surprising numbers of Americans were even willing to believe Cruz might also be the Zodiac Killer. The infamous Bay Area murders began two years before Cruz was born, but 38 percent of Floridians at one point believed Cruz either was or might be the Zodiac. 

Were they serious? In an age when Donald Trump is a presidential nominee, what does "serious" even mean? In any case, the cybercomics who fanned the flames of the Cruz-Zodiac meme will someday be first-ballot entrants in the Trolling Hall of Fame.

Finally, on the morning of the Indiana primary, Cruz woke up to hear opponent Trump babbling that Cruz's own father had been hanging out with Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a bizarre take on a ridiculous National Enquirer story that Trump, of course, believed instantly. Trump brought this up on Fox and Friends, which let him run the ball all the way to the end zone. "I mean, what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death – before the shooting?" Trump asked. "It's horrible."

American politics had never seen anything like this: a presidential candidate derided as a haggardly masturbating incarnation of Satan, the son of a presidential assassin's accomplice, and himself an infamous uncaptured serial killer.

Despite the media humiliations, Cruz talked passionately of his supporters' resolve. "Just a few days ago, two young kids, ages four and six, handed me two envelopes full of change," he said. "All of their earnings from their lemonade stand. They wanted the campaign to have it."

The crowd cooed: Awwww! There was no way he could quit now and let those kids down. Except that moments later, Cruz did just that, announcing he was suspending his campaign because "the path to victory has been foreclosed." Then he fled the stage like he was double-parked.

The air vanished from the ballroom. Cruz supporters went nuts.

Nooooo! they screamed, hugging each other and crying. Many volunteers were from faraway states. They expected to be continuing on somewhere the next morning. Now they were all basically fired.

"What the fuck do we do now?" whispered one.

The pundits present were less emotional. "Does he get to use the lemonade money to pay campaign debts?" wondered one.

As ignominious an end as this was for Cruz, it was a million times worse for the Republican establishment.

The party of Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes had needed a win by Cruz, a man not just disliked but loathed by the party elite, to stave off a takeover by Trump.

And yet Cruz's main pitch to his voters had been that between himself and Trump, he was the one less connected to the Republican Party. "Cruz is the true outsider," was how one supporter put it in Indiana.

Cruz volunteer Dan Porter seemed stunned with grief after the results came in, but his sadness was reserved for Cruz, not the Republican Party. He couldn't seem to wrap his head around the fact that so many people had voted for Trump, a man who'd "been a Democrat his whole life," while a dedicated constitutionalist like Cruz had been so roundly rejected. 

So lost in thought that he stared at the carpet as he spoke, he gave just an incidental shake of the head when asked what the future of the GOP would be now. It was as if the question wasn't even that important.

"Oh, there won't be a Republican Party," he said. "It's basically over."

Cruz had at least won nearly 600 delegates and had passionate supporters shedding real tears for him at the end. But nobody anywhere was crying for the Republican Party. Even Custer had a less-lonely last stand.  

Trump, meanwhile, spent the night basking in voluble self-admiration from Trump Tower in New York. This is becoming his victory ritual. The lectern from which he spoke said it all: TRUMP – VICTORY IN INDIANA – NEW YORK CITY.

Trump's naked disdain for the less-glamorous American flyover provinces he somehow keeps winning by massive margins continued to be one of the livelier comic subplots of the campaign.

From seemingly wondering if Iowans had eaten too much genetically modified corn to thanking the "poorly educated" after his Nevada win, Trump increasingly doesn't bother to even pretend to pander. This, too, is a major departure for the Republican Party, whose Beltway imageers for decades made pretending to sincerely prefer barns and trailers to nightclubs and spokesmodels a central part of their electoral strategy.

Not Trump. Hell, he went out of his way to brag about being pals with Tom Brady in the week before the Indiana primary, and still won by almost 20 points. Given the level of Colts-Patriots antipathy, this is a little like campaigning in Louisiana wearing a BP hat, or doing a whistle-stop tour through Waco with Janet Reno.

After his crushing win, Trump gave a breathless victory speech. It was classic Trump. "The people of Indiana have been incredible," he said. "I campaigned and I made lots of speeches and met lots of incredible people... You don't get better. The crowds got bigger and bigger... I didn't want to leave... We had a tremendous victory tonight... Boy, Bobby Knight was incredible." 

He had a few choice words for the GOP leadership. "I want to thank and congratulate the Republican National Committee, and Reince Priebus," he croaked, as his heavily-made-up, Robert Palmer-chicks collection of wives and daughters twisted faintly in a deadpan chorus behind him.

"It is not an easy job, when you have 17 egos," Trump went on, smiling. "And now I guess he's down to one."

The crowd roared. The RNC had kissed Trump's ring. That was it, right there, the death of the modern Republican Party.

After 9/11, it felt like the Republicans would reign in America for a thousand years. Only a year ago, this was still a party that appeared to be on the rise nationally, having gained 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 11 governorships and 913 state legislative seats during the Obama presidency.

Now the party was effectively dead as a modern political force, doomed to go the way of the Whigs or the Free-Soilers.

After Indiana, a historic chasm opened in the ranks of the party. The two former President Bushes, along with Mitt Romney, announced they wouldn't attend Trump's coronation at the convention in Cleveland. Additionally, House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to say he would support the nominee.

There were now two Republican Parties. One, led by Trump, was triumphant at the ballot, rapidly accruing party converts, and headed to Cleveland for what, knowing the candidate, was sure to be the yuugest, most obscene, most joyfully tacky tribute to a single person ever seen in the television age. If the convention isn't Liberace meets Stalin meets Vince McMahon, it'll be a massive disappointment.

From there, this Republican Party would steam toward the White House, which, who knows, it might even win.

The other Republican Party was revealed in the end to be a surprisingly small collection of uptight lawyers, financiers and Beltway intellectuals who'd just seen their chosen candidate, the $100 million Jeb Bush, muster all of four delegates in the presidential race. Meanwhile, candidates whose talking points involved the beheading of this same party establishment were likely to win around 2,000.

Like French aristocrats after 1789, those Republicans may now head into something like foreign exile to plot their eventual return. But whether they will be guillotined or welcomed back is an open question.

This was all because they'd misplayed the most unpredictable and certainly most ridiculous presidential-campaign season Americans had ever seen.

On the one hand, they'd been blindsided by Trump, a foulmouthed free-coverage magnet who impulsively decided to make mocking the Republican Party mullahs his pet project for the years 2015-2016.

But they were also undone by a surge of voter anger that was in significant part their own fault. In recent years, the Koch brothers/Tea Party wing of the GOP had purged all moderates from the party, to the point where anyone who was on record supporting the continued existence of any federal agency, said Mexicans were people, or spoke even theoretically about the utility of taxes was drummed from the candidate rolls.

Their expected endgame here was probably supposed to be the ascension of some far-right, anti-tax, anti-government radical like Scott Walker, or even Cruz. 

Instead, this carefully cultivated "throw the bums out" vibe was gluttonously appropriated by Trump, who turned the anger against the entire Republican Party before surging to victory on a strongman's platform of giant walls, mass deportation and extravagant job promises that made the moon landing or the Bernie Sanders agenda of free college look incrementalist in comparison. 

One could say this was just a calamitous strategic misread on the part of the Koch-brothers types. But another way to look at it is that this was the inevitable consequence of the basic dynamic of the party, which by the end was little more than a collection plate for global business interests that were, if not foreign exactly, certainly nationless.

There was a time in this country – and many voters in places like Indiana and Michigan and Pennsylvania are old enough to remember it – when business leaders felt a patriotic responsibility to protect American jobs and communities. Mitt Romney's father, George, was such a leader, deeply concerned about the city of Detroit, where he built AMC cars.

But his son Mitt wasn't. That sense of noblesse oblige disappeared somewhere during the past generation, when the newly global employer class cut regular working stiffs loose, forcing them to compete with billions of foreigners without rights or political power who would eat toxic waste for five cents a day.

Then they hired politicians and intellectuals to sell the peasants in places like America on why this was the natural order of things. Unfortunately, the only people fit for this kind of work were mean, traitorous scum, the kind of people who in the military are always eventually bayoneted by their own troops. This is what happened to the Republicans, and even though the cost was a potential Trump presidency, man, was it something to watch.

If this isn't the end for the Republican Party, it'll be a shame. They dominated American political life for 50 years and were never anything but monsters. They bred in their voters the incredible attitude that Republicans were the only people within our borders who raised children, loved their country, died in battle or paid taxes. They even sullied the word "American" by insisting they were the only real ones. They preferred Lubbock to Paris, and their idea of an intellectual was Newt Gingrich. Their leaders, from Ralph Reed to Bill Frist to Tom DeLay to Rick Santorum to Romney and Ryan, were an interminable assembly line of shrieking, witch-hunting celibates, all with the same haircut – the kind of people who thought Iran-Contra was nothing, but would grind the affairs of state to a halt over a blow job or Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

A century ago, the small-town American was Gary Cooper: tough, silent, upright and confident. The modern Republican Party changed that person into a haranguing neurotic who couldn't make it through a dinner without quizzing you about your politics. They destroyed the American character. No hell is hot enough for them. And when Trump came along, they rolled over like the weaklings they've always been, bowing more or less instantly to his parodic show of strength.

In the weeks surrounding Cruz's cat-fart of a surrender in Indiana, party luminaries began the predictably Soviet process of coalescing around the once-despised new ruler. Trump endorsements of varying degrees of sincerity spilled in from the likes of Dick Cheney, Bob Dole, Mitch McConnell and even John McCain.

Having not recently suffered a revolution or a foreign-military occupation, Americans haven't seen this phenomenon much, but the effortless treason of top-tier Republicans once Trump locked up the nomination was the most predictable part of this story. Politicians, particularly this group, are like crackheads: You can get them to debase themselves completely for whatever's in your pocket, even if it's just lint.

That's why the first rule of any revolution is to wipe out the intellectuals. Trump is surely already dreaming of the vast logging camp he will fill with the Republican thinkfluencers who are at the moment making a show of being the last holdouts.

Not surprisingly, in the past weeks, there was an epidemic of Monday-morning quarterbacking among the Beltway punditocracy, as GOP cognoscenti struggled to cope with the reality of Trumpism.

There were basically two responses among the tie-and-glasses sect of Republicans to the prospect of kneeling before the philistine Trump: In the minority stood New York Times lonely-hearts moralist David Brooks, who took the remarkable step of looking at Trump's victories and wondering what part of this unraveling could be his own fault. In Brooks-ian fashion, this essentially noble response came out as painful pretentious comedy. He concluded that the problem was that upper-crust conservatives like himself hadn't spent enough time getting to know the dirtier folks below decks.

Instead of "spending large chunks of my life in the bourgeois strata," Brooks promised to "go out into the pain" and "build a ladder of hope" by leaping across "chasms of segmentation."

Translated into English, this might have meant anything from trying the occasional domestic beer to actually hanging around the unemployed. But at least Brooks recognized that on some level, the rise of Trump pointed to a connection failure in the Republican kingmaking class.

No others among his conservative brethren saw it that way. Most Republican intellectuals recoiled in blameless horror from the Trumpening, blaming everything from media bias to the educational system for his rise. Some even promised to degrade themselves with a vote for Hillary Clinton before ever supporting Trump.

George Will of The Washington Post might have been the loudest objector. Will increasingly seems like a man who is sure history will remember him for his heroic opposition to Trump, and not for those 40-plus years of being an insufferable spinster who writes bad columns about baseball to prove his ties to the common man.

His diatribes against Trump, a "coarse character" who reads the National Enquirer and brags about the size of his "penis" (one could almost feel the pain it caused Will to have to commit this word to paper), took on an almost religious character.

Just before Indiana, Will began treating the nomination of Trump like a forest fire or a SARS outbreak, something that with the right spirit of sacrifice could be contained with minimal loss of life, and perhaps only four years of a Hillary presidency.

"If Trump is nominated," Will wrote, "Republicans working to purge him and his manner from public life will reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of their 162-year-old party."

But the crowning effort on the right-wing snobbery front came from none other than British blogging icon and noted hairy person Andrew Sullivan. The aforementioned came out of semiretirement to write a 7,000-word jeremiad for New York magazine about how Trump was the inevitable product of too much democracy.

The CliffsNotes summary of his monstrous piece, "Democracies End When They Are Too Democratic," might go something like this: When I read Plato in grad school, I learned that in free societies the mob eventually stops deferring to the wisdom of smart people, and therefore must be muzzled before they send Trump to wash the streets with our blood.

Sullivan's analysis was a balm to the decades of butt-hurt that await the soon-to-be-ex-elite of the Republican Party. It blamed Trump's rise on everyone but Republican intellectuals: Obama, Black Lives Matter and even "the gay left, for whom the word 'magnanimity' seems unknown."

"A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to 'check his privilege' by students at Ivy League colleges," Sullivan wrote, in a sentence that would probably be true enough, if those two groups ever interacted. Sullivan was right that white conservatives in places like Indiana hate Ivy Leaguers and Black Lives Matter and the gay left and safe-spacers and feminists and all the other mocking, sneering, atheistic know-it-all types from cosmopolitan cities who scoff, as Obama famously did once, at their guns and their religion.

But they also hated all of those people eight years ago, 16 years ago, 30 years ago. What's new about the Year of Trump is that they have now also suddenly turned on their own party. Why?

Sullivan basically ignored this question. The closest he came to an explanation was a passage saying that "global economic forces" hurt blue-collar workers in particular, forcing them to compete with lots of other unskilled and basically fungible human beings around the world. Which made them, he guessed, pissed off.

This avalanche of verbose disgust on the part of conservative intellectuals toward the Trump voter, who until very recently was the Republican voter, tells us everything we need to know about what actually happened in 2016.

There never was any real connection between the George Wills, Andrew Sullivans and David Brookses and the gun-toting, Jesus-loving ex-middle-class voters they claimed to embrace. All those intellectuals ever did for Middle America was cook up a sales pitch designed to get them to vote for politicians who would instantly betray them to business interests eager to ship their jobs off to China and India. The most successful trick was linking the corporate mantra of profit without responsibility to the concept of individual liberty.

Into the heartland were sent wave after wave of politicians, each more strident and freedom-y than the last. They arrived draped in the flag, spewed patriotic bromides about God, guns and small-town values, and pledged to give the liberals hell and bring the pride back.

Then they went off to Washington and year after year did absolutely squat for their constituents. They were excellent at securing corporate tax holidays and tax cuts for the rich, but they almost never returned to voter country with jobs in hand. Instead, they brought an ever-increasing list of villains responsible for the lack of work: communists, bra-burning feminists, black "race hustlers," climate-change activists, Muslims, Hollywood, horned owls...

By the Tea Party era, their candidates were forced to point fingers at their own political establishment for votes, since after so many years of bitter economic decline, that was the only story they could still believably sell.

This led to the hilarious irony of Ted Cruz. Here was a quintessentially insipid GOP con man culled straight from the halls of Princeton, Harvard, the Supreme Court, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Republican Senatorial Committee to smooth-talk the yokels. But through a freak accident of history, he came along just when the newest models of his type were selling "the Republican establishment sucks" as an electoral strategy.

Cruz was like an android that should have self-destructed in a cloud of sparks and black smoke the moment the switch flipped on. He instead stayed on just long enough to win 564 delegates, a stunning testament to just how much Republican voters, in the end, hated the Republican kingmakers Cruz robotically denounced.

All of these crazy contradictions came to a head in Indiana, where Cruz succumbed in an explosion of hate and scorn. The cascade started the Sunday night before the primary, with a Cruz stump speech in La Porte that couldn't have gone worse. 

Things went sideways as Cruz was working his way into a "simple flat tax" spiel, a standard Republican snake-oil proposal in which all corporate, estate and gift taxes would be eliminated, and replaced with a 10 percent flat tax and a 16 percent consumption tax. Not because the rich would pay less and the poor would pay more, but because America and fairness, etc. He was just getting to his beloved money line, claiming, "We can fill out our taxes on a postcard," when a 12-year-old boy interrupted with cries of "You suck!" and "I don't care!" 

Cruz couldn't quite handle the pressure and stepped straight into the man-trap the moment presented. He lectured the kid about respecting his elders, then suggested the world might be a better place if someone had taught a young Donald Trump that lesson. It was a not-half-bad line of the type that the Harvard lawyer is occasionally capable. But Cruz couldn't help himself and added, "You know, in my household, when a child behaves that way, they get a spanking."

Boom! Within hours the Internet was filled with headlines about how Ted Cruz had suggested spanking someone else's 12-year-old for telling him he sucked.

This was on top of the ignominy of having already called a basketball hoop a "ring" while giving a speech on the gym floor in Knightstown, the home of the fictional Hickory team from Hoosiers. No American male would call a basketball hoop a ring, and even a French immigrant would know better than to do so in Indiana, but this was the kind of run he was on.

The rest of the race was a slapstick blowout. Carly Fiorina fell off a stage, and Cruz's wife, Heidi, actually had to answer a question from a Yahoo! reporter about her husband being called the Zodiac Killer. Heidi Cruz calmly responded that she'd been married to Ted for 15 years and "I know pretty well who he is." This, of course, was exactly what the wife of the actual Zodiac Killer would say, making for a perfectly absurd ending to a doomed campaign.

As anyone who's ever been to high school knows, there's no answer to "You suck!" When a bully pulls that line on you, it's because he can smell the weakness: the Jonas Brothers album in your closet, your good grades, your mantleful of band-camp participation trophies, whatever. When the mob smells unorthodoxy, there's no talking your way out of it. You just have to hold on for dear life.

Trump has turned the new Republican Party into high school. It will be cruel, clique-y and ruled by insult kings like himself and Ann Coulter, whose headline description of Cruz ("Tracy Flick With a Dick") will always resonate with Trump voters more than a thousand George Will columns.

And anyone who crosses the leader from now on will be fair game for the kind of brutal fragging Cruz and his circle experienced in Indiana. Dissenters will be buried under a cannonade of abuse coming from everywhere: Trump, other politicians, reporters, Internet memers, 12-year-olds, everyone. Add tough economic times to the Internet, and this is what you get: Nationalist High.

Indiana was the end of an era. As Fiorina moved through a pancake house on primary morning, her supporters meekly bowed and curtseyed as though she were the Queen Mother, calling her ma'am and showing off the small-town civility and churchy hospitality that was once a defining characteristic of Republican campaign-trail events. In the Trump era, this seems likely to be replaced forever by the testosterone-fueled diss-fests that had undone Cruz in this state.

"People don't care about civility anymore," said Cruz supporter Julie Reimann with a sigh. "It's another sad state of affairs, and when you see it across the Midwest and in our small towns, it's like, 'What has happened to us? Why are we so mean?' "

The real question might be, "Why weren't we meaner before?"

Politics at its most basic isn't a Princeton debating society. It's a desperate battle over who gets what. But during the past 50 years, when there was a vast shift in the distribution of wealth in this country, when tens of millions of people were put out of good, dignified jobs and into humiliating ones, America's elections remained weirdly civil, Queensberry-rules reality shows full of stilted TV debates over issues like abortion, gay marriage and the estate tax.

As any journalist who's ever covered a miners' strike or a foreclosure court will report, things get physically tense when people are forced to fight for their economic lives. Yet Trump's campaign has been the first to unleash that menacing feel during a modern presidential race.

Some, or maybe a lot of it, is racial resentment. But much of it has to be long-delayed anger over the way things have been divvied up over the years. The significance of Trump's wall idea, apart from its bluntly racist appeal as a barrier to nonwhite people, is that it redefines the world in terms of a clear Us and Them, with politicians directly responsible for Us.

It's a plain rebuttal to the Sullivan explanation for why nobody between the coasts has a decent job anymore, i.e., that there are "global economic forces" at work that we can no more change than we can the weather. Trump's solutions are preposterous, logistically impossible and ideologically vicious, but he's giving people a promise more concrete than "tax cuts will stimulate growth that will eventually bring jobs back." He's peddling hope, and with hope comes anger.

Of course, Trump is more likely than not to crash the car now that he has the wheel. News reports surfaced that Donald Trump, unhinged pig, was about to be replaced by Donald Trump, respectable presidential candidate. No more schoolyard insults!

Trump went along with this plan for a few days. But soon after Indiana, he started public fights with old pal Joe Scarborough and former opponents Graham and Bush, the latter for backtracking on a reported pledge to support the Republican nominee. "Bush signed a pledge... while signing it, he fell asleep," Trump cracked.

Then he began his general-election pivot with about 10 million tweets directed at "crooked Hillary." With all this, Trump emphasized that the GOP was now mainly defined by whatever was going through his head at any given moment. The "new GOP" seems doomed to swing back and forth between its nationalist message and its leader's tubercular psyche. It isn't a party, it's a mood.

Democrats who might be tempted to gloat over all of this should check themselves. If the Hillary Clintons and Harry Reids and Gene Sperlings of the world don't look at what just happened to the Republicans as a terrible object lesson in the perils of prioritizing billionaire funders over voters, then they too will soon enough be tossed in the trash like a tick.

It almost happened this year, when the supporters of Bernie Sanders nearly made it over the wall. Totally different politicians with completely different ideas about civility and democracy, Sanders and Trump nonetheless keyed in on the same widespread disgust over the greed and cynicism of the American political class.

From the Walter Mondale years on, Democrats have eaten from the same trough as Republicans. They've grown fat off cash from behemoths like Cisco, Pfizer, Exxon Mobil, Citigroup, Goldman and countless others, companies that moved jobs overseas, offshored profits, helped finance the construction of factories in rival states like China and India, and sometimes all of the above.

The basic critique of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that you can't continually take that money and also be on the side of working people. Money is important in politics, but in democracy, people ultimately still count more.

The Democrats survived this time, but Republicans allowed their voters to see the numerical weakness of our major parties. It should take an awful lot to break up 60 million unified people. But a few hundred lawyers, a pile of money and a sales pitch can be replaced in a heartbeat, even by someone as dumb as Donald Trump. 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

+58 # guomashi 2016-05-19 09:18
It may be a bit optimistic to state that Democrats have survived this time. Their survival through to November appears very unlikely at this point.

They have stacked the decks of their own private party with superdelegates, but superdelegates won't count when the votes come in in November.
+3 # mmc 2016-05-20 09:49
Most of the posts responding to Matt Taibbi's article are proof that the posters took away zero lessons from the article. The Republican party imploded, leading to Trump. Without unity behind whichever Democratic candidate wins the Democratic primary the Democratic party will go the same way, down the tubes, and very quickly. Trump will be President and the country will disintegrate, all because you hate Hillary Clinton more than you love your country and respect your party.
+68 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 09:24
A wonderful article, as always, but I hope Sanders isn't finished yet.

If he doesn't get the nomination I assume, and hope, he will be a rabble rouser in the Senate.

I don't know why it's taken SO LONG for the electorate to rise up against 40 years of abuse, but this is definitely a populist moment, and the Democratic Party will face its own accounting soon.

I hope we start by nominating and then electing Senator Sanders -- and let's get DWS out of her seat as well.

Does anyone have any idea what will take the place of the GOP? Where will the business people go? Probably right to Hillary Clinton, and where does that leave progressives?

No wonder they blow off Sanders' supporters. They intend to augment their numbers with moderate Republicans.

One teenager in the house is really interested in the election, though too young to vote. He says that kids online (mainly young men) think if Clinton gets the nomination that Sanders should run as Trump's VP, let Trump do all the state functions and have Bernie run the government.

But other young people don't think Bernie is strong enough because he hasn't attacked Secretary Clinton more, and is letting her off too easily.

I thought it was interesting to hear how some very young people were interpreting the events of this election cycle.
+75 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-05-19 10:12
I would argue we rose up in 2008 and voted for change! What we got was a crap sandwich.

We got Republican healthcare plans. We got more war and more torture. We got more rights taken away. We have legalized warrantless wiretapping of everyone in the world.
+67 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 10:25
I didn't expect Obama to be a California* liberal, but I sure expected a constitutional law professor to work toward MORE transparency and protections for whistleblowers.

*I mean that with the utmost admiration and affection.
+43 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:17
I think we all expected much more from Obama. At least with HRC, despite trying her best to sell otherwise, it is obvious that she isn't a Progressive. When she tries Progressive rhetoric, it looks like she's passing a kidney stone.
+20 # vilstef 2016-05-19 16:49
Quoting Buddha:
I think we all expected much more from Obama. At least with HRC, despite trying her best to sell otherwise, it is obvious that she isn't a Progressive. When she tries Progressive rhetoric, it looks like she's passing a kidney stone.

She looks a lot like W did when he tried to make empathy mouth noises.
+25 # 666 2016-05-19 12:57
No one "rose up" in 2008. A whole lot of people drank that "hopey changey" kool-aid crap! All one had to do was look at his voting record and political associations to predict more of the status quo. Obama sold a bullshit line and alot of people bought it. That's another reason there's the possibility of change now--people are sick of him and the Democrats. Still no one has "risen up". People want change but are they really ready to work for it? Galindez claims Sanders supporters are not sheep but that remains to be seen. DWS has the dnc locked down and is absolutely unlikely to admit any concessions to Sanders. I think taibbi is wrong here --- the Democrats reckoning is coming very soon---hopefull y it will be spectacular. And like the modern Republicans, there "is no hell hot enough" for the modern Democrats who have betrayed the American people and the working class and joined with the gops to sell this country to the 1%. And at the top of the list of those traitors are the clintons...
+23 # wrknight 2016-05-19 14:50
Quoting librarian1984:
A wonderful article, as always, but I hope Sanders isn't finished yet.

If he doesn't get the nomination I assume, and hope, he will be a rabble rouser in the Senate.

I don't know why it's taken SO LONG for the electorate to rise up against 40 years of abuse, but this is definitely a populist moment, and the Democratic Party will face its own accounting soon.

I hope we start by nominating and then electing Senator Sanders -- and let's get DWS out of her seat as well.

Now that the two parties have exposed their underbellies, it's a good time to toss out the two party system and support third parties and independents. We need to start electing politicians who are more concerned about their constituents' welfare than corporate welfare to the Congress, the state's legislatures, and governorships regardless of political party.
+1 # Depressionborn 2016-05-23 02:24
In the entire West only money counts. There is no such thing as Washington’s word, government integrity, truth, or even empirical facts. There are only well-propagated lies. The entire West is a lie. The West exists for one reason only–corporate profits.
+32 # guomashi 2016-05-19 09:26
...Otherwise a good article which hits the main problem with modern politics: the parties are merely graft engines which use voters to line their own pockets.

This situation will not be remedied until a reasonable challenge can be mounted to the one-party-posin g-as-two system we have now.

No reasonable challenge will be mounted until we abandon the electoral college. The death grip on power the two parties maintain is a direct product of problems created by the electoral college.

For anyone who does not know about the national popular vote initiative here is a link:

It is an efficient way to restructure American politics.
-26 # FIRSTNORN1 2016-05-19 09:50
They have stacked the decks of their own private party with superdelegates, but superdelegates won't count when the votes come in in November. Well said, Guomashi.
It's "High Noon" for the Democratic Party; they must become smart enough to see that "If no Bernie, then we are far better off with TRUMP."
+30 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:21
No, we most certainly won't be "better off" with the Orange Duce. But like any alcoholic needs to hit rock bottom before that moment-of-clari ty that allows them to kick the habit, perhaps the country needs the wreckage that a Trump would cause and perhaps the DNC needs to lose big by low "Left voter turnout" after foisting HRC on us to realize that they can no longer continue taking the bribes of and serving the Donor Class, and still expecting the working-class to keep falling into line.
+13 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 17:36
Quoting Buddha:
the DNC needs to ... realize that they can no longer continue taking the bribes of and serving the Donor Class, and still expecting the working-class to keep falling into line.
More likely they'll try to figure out a way to disenfranchise more of us.

They seem to have forgotten where the high road is.
+13 # Radscal 2016-05-19 17:04
Clearly there is a YUGE anti-establishm ent movement awakened in this country. We on the left CANNOT cede the anti-establishm ent vote to Drumpf.

Please consider signing Kshama Sawant’s petition for Bernie Sanders to NOT endorse HRC, but instead to continue running as a left alternative to Drumpf.
+1 # Merlin 2016-05-20 06:41
Radscal 2016-05-19 17:04

Please consider signing Kshama Sawant’s petition.

0 # librarian1984 2016-05-22 07:12
Ditto. Done.
-2 # ericlipps 2016-05-20 14:16
Quoting Radscal:
Clearly there is a YUGE anti-establishment movement awakened in this country. We on the left CANNOT cede the anti-establishment vote to Drumpf.

Please consider signing Kshama Sawant’s petition for Bernie Sanders to NOT endorse HRC, but instead to continue running as a left alternative to Drumpf.

Hello, Nader 2016. Welcome to the White House, Emperor Donald I.
+1 # Radscal 2016-05-21 12:18
If you wish to avoid a President Drumpf, then INSIST that the Democratic Party nominate Senator Sanders.
-1 # librarian1984 2016-05-22 07:17
What you don't account for is that Trump has a very good chance of defeating Clinton. Therefore, if you are sincere in wanting to keep Trump out of office, you need to back a Sanders nomination. HE will defeat Trump.

We are giving plenty of notice and have been for a while. If the DNC knows a significant number of us WILL NOT vote for Clinton, then a Trump victory is up to them -- and you.

You can't have it both ways, that Trump will destroy the country, but we also have to nominate the worst possible candidate to run against him.
+33 # Buddha 2016-05-19 10:15
Quoting Matt Taibbi:
Now the party was effectively dead as a modern political force, doomed to go the way of the Whigs or the Free-Soilers.

You might want to take a look at the most recent polls showing Trump beating Clinton, and their relative "approval" ratings. If the GOP is "dead", it is dead in the sense of "The King is Dead, Long Live the King". It is very likely Trump and the "New GOP" takes the White House because HRC is such a horrible candidate.

Quoting Matt Taibbi:
That sense of noblesse oblige disappeared somewhere during the past generation, when the newly global employer class cut regular working stiffs loose, forcing them to compete with billions of foreigners without rights or political power who would eat toxic waste for five cents a day.

Lucky enough for them, the DNC is still "Open for Business", pushing "free trade" bills like the TPP, ignoring unions as they face assault by the Donor Class, only rhetorical support for a long-overdue raise in the minimum wage, putting cuts in Social Security on the table instead of removing the payroll cap, giving us HeritageFoundat ionCare instead of a true cradle-to-grave government run healthcare system, opposing free college and the taxes on the rich and Wall St that could pay for it, etc. We mock the GOP voter...but at least they recognized the corruption in their party e Left seems incapable of doing likewise as HRC becomes the Democratic nominee.
+20 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 10:30
"You might want to take a look at the most recent polls showing Trump beating Clinton"

The new Fox poll shows Clinton and Trump statistically tied nationally (42-45).

Trump wins men by 22 points (55-33), Clinton wins women by 14 (50-36).

Clinton captures 90% of black respondents, 62% Hispanic and 31% of the white vote. (Why are Asian and Native Americans never in the polls, or 'others'?)

Trump wins white women by 9 points!

Trump wins Independents (46-30), with 1 in 5 saying they'll vote third party or not at all (that's me).

Though they both have very high negatives, Trump is considered stronger and more trustworthy, and he wins big with men and whites without degrees (61-24) -- and why not? He LOVEs the low education voters.

They are statistically tied with a majority of respondents seeing them both willing to say anything to get elected, both out for themselves, neither caring about others, both immoral and both unreliable leaders.

When asked who is more corrupt, 37% said Donald Trump, 49% said Hillary Clinton. (Hey, she wins! Do you see that, DWS? Do you think your shenanigans are helping? Are you not smart enough to LOOK honest?)

And just to repeat: 49% said Hillary Clinton is more corrupt than Donald Trump.

In April the national poll had Clinton ahead of Trump by 7 points. Today's poll has Trump ahead by 3, with a margin of error of +/- 3 points.

11% of Sanders' supporters said they would vote for Trump.
+21 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:28
Not sure why you are getting negatives. These are exactly the polls I am talking about. Democrats are whistling past the graveyard here. They see the Democratic Primary vote going for their preferred candidate, but aren't getting that this support is mostly in Red states she won't carry anyways and in closed primaries where Independents have no input. Well, in the General, she needs those Independents. And she doesn't have their support, even close. And the shenanigans and outright disrespect and condescension her campaign has thrown at Bernie and his supporters are likely to alienate many of us. Makes me sick to say it, but we're failing this IQ test, Trump is very likely to win.
-8 # rocback 2016-05-19 13:58
That Fox poll is already been dismissed since it used 41% Repubs and 41% Dems and the rest independents. No other poll uses those metrics.
+13 # Buddha 2016-05-19 16:18
Nobody here believes FOX isn't putting its finger on the scale (hey, just like Debbie Wasserman-Schul tz!), but the trending for HRC's favorables has been in dozens of polls. Go take a look at it over time on RealClearPoliti cs...the more people hear of HRC, the worse her favorables go. And that FOX poll isn't the only one showing this to be closer and closer to a dead heat.
+40 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 10:33
Quoting Buddha:
Lucky enough for them, the DNC is still "Open for Business", pushing "free trade" bills like the TPP
And yesterday Secretary Clinton said if she is elected Bill Clinton will be in charge of the economy.

The guy who triangulated us into parity with the GOP. The guy who hung out with toe-sucking Dick Morris and got the free trade agreements started. The guy who looked like a genius because the internet entered the economy at the same time he looted the coffers and lined up a contacts list for his new foundation.

THAT guy is going to be in charge of the economy?

Oh I feel all better now.

+19 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:31
The DNC and HRC are in la-la land. They have a total complacency after winning the Dem Primary, and don't see the anti-Establishm ent anger out there today. They only see what they want to see. Just yesterday Maddow was talking about how nobody in the DNC is concerned that turnout for Dem Primaries is below 2008 and 2012 numbers, while turnout for the GOP Primaries to vote for the Orange Duce is breaking records.
+20 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 17:49
Let's see how unconcerned they are in November.

Ex-PA Gov. Ed Rendell said in an interview a couple of weeks ago that whether Sanders is in the White House or the Senate he will have a lot of power to wield, and that he is smart enough to make the most of it.

Even if Hillary says she is nominated, even if she becomes president, Sanders and Warren will not ever let up on her. We will make her miserable.

It would be easier to change the system from the Oval Office, but that doesn't mean it can't still be done.

I loved Occupy Wall Street but think they were ultimately ineffectual. They needed a leader and a list of demands.

This time around there are many engaged people who aren't going to let this go, and this time we have a strong leader. With a list of demands.

You go, Bernie!
+7 # Majikman 2016-05-19 21:44
"I loved Occupy Wall Street but think they were ultimately ineffectual. They needed a leader and a list of demands."

I think they've been UUUUGELY successful. 99% is now part of our vocabulary and implanted in our psyche--the entire world knows what it means. Those DNC fools think "socialism" will be Sanders' downfall. To the contrary, because of the "99%" shorthand, people grasp what democratic socialism is and want it.
+4 # librarian1984 2016-05-20 07:50
I don't want to start a fight. I know some people believe it was a very successful movement, and IMO it was in some ways, as you say increasing the consciousness and drawing together a network of activists.

But I also saw the same old problem the liberals always have: no focus. I think OWS started navel gazing about process and purity, and let a remarkable opportunity slip by.

As someone who is very interested in history, I've become aware of the Great Man theory that lies at the heart of some debates, and I would say that the past 5 years has gone a long way toward showing the difference between having a resonating message and having a message with a leader attached.

It reminds me again of how the liberal movement has suffered from the violent loss of so many of our great leaders.
0 # Buddha 2016-05-20 08:33
Quoting librarian1984:
I loved Occupy Wall Street but think they were ultimately ineffectual. They needed a leader and a list of demands.

As a person who attended my local Occupy rallies, I'll say that we were "ultimately ineffectual" for the exact same reasons Bernie isn't going to win the Primary. Those who most want change largely sat on their ass and didn't participate, making the movement easier for Obama and his Stormtroopers to crush. As Majikman points out, Occupy changed the discussion and shed light onto the issue...but we are still getting a Democratic candidate who is bought and paid for by the corporate donors, we are still getting these free trade screwjobs (TPP will be passed in late Nov or Dec after the election so nobody can be held accountable electorally). So in terms of moving POLICY and moving us away from our current corrupt Oligarchic state, Occupy Failed. Its spirit will also Fail if after Bernie has to concede, that the "political revolution" dies with it and we again sit on our ass, and don't protest in front of Congress and in cities across this country 24/7. Bernie was asking us for that activism even if he got will be needed even more when he doesn't. We are going to be fighting either a corrupt DNC or a fascist Orange Duce, either of which is going to need feet in the streets.
+4 # Majikman 2016-05-20 10:39
@librarian & Buddha
I'm not disagreeing with either of you but see it from a different angle. If Occupy had a leader & defined goals, the momentum could have died with the leader jailed (as Obama would have done) or otherwise desposed. With the concept firmly planted in the cognizant public, it will survive if Bernie is defeated politically. The political revolution will happen, even if we're not certain of its timing. Watch the DNC...its implosion will be the arbiter. Whether the revolution is peaceful or violent remains to be seen. The point is that the people are beginning to awaken. Occupy has been the germ of a movement that cannot be stopped and is gaining momentum. Today Bernie is the leader...there are others who will rise to take his place.
0 # librarian1984 2016-05-21 09:08
MLK and Gandhi accomplished a lot from a cell! (Not that I'm wishing that on anyone.)

This is what Sanders' staff are doing, using the infrastructure he's created to work on getting a slate of 400 progressive candidates for the 2018 midterms. This is a good place to start. I will help them for now, and see what Sanders gets up to.

The revolution, as I see it, is peaceful. It would be wrong to be violent against clowns, and the Democratic Party and the US have lost too much to violence already.
+1 # librarian1984 2016-05-21 09:14
I had kids at home so I couldn't camp out at our local OWS but I marched with them, spent time in the camp, brought in supplies.

So, very limited perspective, but I rarely spoke to anyone who was actually DOING anything, other than occupying and sometimes marching. I spoke to more than a few people who were frustrated by inactivity and felt their talents weren't being used.

It was a nice moment of solidarity, but it was a wasted opportunity. And you're right, Buddha, most people, even those who care, do nothing.

Hey I just bought some new tennis shoes -- I'm ready for feet in the streets!
0 # librarian1984 2016-05-21 09:41
Quoting Buddha:
Bernie was asking us for that activism even if he got will be needed even more when he doesn't.
Indeed, and well stated.

In the interview I noted elsewhere with Ed Rendell, an HRC supporter but a decent guy and a great pol, he said that if Sanders doesn't get the nomination he can call for a show of power at the mall in DC. Oh I would *so* be there -- and would hope to see a bunch of you.
+35 # drew 2016-05-19 10:33
Great article! I love the raw truth about the vile & traitorous GOP and the total scam they've perpetrated on us (ie. Trickle Down, deregulation, globalization, privatization, engorging the military-indust rial complex, flooding politics with $$, denying science, Fox News, etc).
# Guest 2016-05-19 10:39
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
+34 # danireland46 2016-05-19 10:43
The death knell of the GOP actually started tolling in the heyday of St. Ronald when he famously said, "Government isn't the solution, it's the problem". The next toll was Grover Norquist's No Tax Pledge, by which hopeful new GOP candidates vow to never raise taxes, and then Citizens United which guaranteed fealty to whichever super pact owned them, culminating with their congressional leaders who, going back to St. Ronald’s lead, proved government was the problem by obstructing its functions with tactics like no-effort "Filibusters".

There were lots of other calamitous actions like gerrymandered locked districts. or obstructionisti c state houses, having read the ALEC script book. The 2016 GOP clown car proved that the GOP has fallen to the depths of dysfunction, but there's a history to the fall.
+35 # mtnthai 2016-05-19 10:45
Matt, good article, but now you need to write one about how Debbie and the DNC have totally let the Dems down with the rigging of the Dem selection process, and soon superdelegates.

IMHO, this election cycle could also be the end of the Dem party as we knew it too.
+21 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:34
The media hasn't gotten over their shock and awe that Trump has so easily overthrown the GOP Establishment. Remember everyone in the media a year ago laughing at the very idea Trump could win? I'm not surprised that they are in similar denial about the viability of HRC against Trump in the General. The media is PART of that Establishment, and it wants to believe it still has the Left and Independents bamboozled.
0 # librarian1984 2016-05-21 09:46
I know I've said this before so please pardon me, but an ex-DNC pollster said the Clinton campaign is focused SOLELY on a strategy of making people afraid of Trump. According to him, that is their ONLY plan.

I'm not sure even our votes could help, though I sort of hope they are crucial, because I would love to see the faces of DWS and HRC when the results come in and they lose by a few million votes.

Maybe the Dems and GOP would finally unite to hogtie Trump. Who knows? I DO know that I will NEVER take part in knowingly bringing a sociopath to power.
+21 # Blackjack 2016-05-19 10:47
The DNC is corrupt and DWS has been the corrupter-in-ch ief. This woman needs to be taken down, both from her house seat and as DNC Chair. The Dem Party has become as blinded by money as the Repuke Party and neither party will survive as it presently stands. The natives are restless, and for good reason. Dems either pay attention to that and to Bernie and his solutions, or they won't last either. They may, in fact, survive one more 4-year term in the presidency; beyond that, if they don't change, they're toast. The worst part is that in 4 more years, the Repukes may actually have gotten their act together. That will put the Dems 4 years behind and the party will be in political chaos trying to figure out what hit them. They won't be able to depend on HRC and her ilk because she will not be reelected. That will put the Dem Party playing catch-up again.
+20 # Maybe 2016-05-19 10:47
This wonderful article spells out in great and emphatic reasons why Bernie Sanders is the only one deserving of, and I still hope will get, the Democratic Nomination. He's competing with a not-so-lite Republican in his own party, and a personality that should have been voted off the island months ago. The fact that he has survived is testimony to the fall of America - comparable to the fall of Rome. Rome did not fall - it changed. Marauders who came to Rome (it had stretched it's defenses far to thin) - decided they liked it and stayed. Rome didn't change them. They changed Rome. So are this combination of fat cats (the Koch Bros.) and idiots come to America and decide they'll stay. And fashion it to their own taste. The animal kingdom always had it over on us. They accepted that one doesn't change the environment to suit them... they adapted to the environment. The result? Survival. At least until man got into the equation. It's no longer "God Bless America" ... it's God SAVE America!
+24 # Vivelevin 2016-05-19 10:47
I had this article for breakfast...del icious! Lots of ingredients I love: humor, sarcasm, truth, analysis and a conclusion that the GOP is dead. The DNC/Dems are not far behind...that's my sweet aftertaste. #Bernie2016
+1 # anarchteacher 2016-05-19 10:59

Donald Trump’s Policies Are Not Anathema to U.S. Mainstream, but an Uncomfortable Reflection of It

Will Trump Declare War Upon The Deep State?

Ballot Law “Blowback” May Lead To GOP Disintegration

The Deep State: “The Unspeakable” Truth Avoided in Election 2016

Strategy of Tension 2016

Trump, Assassination, and War


Trump Conquers the GOP

None Dare Call It Treason: The Illusion of GOP Party Loyalty
+15 # Observer 47 2016-05-19 11:11
"The basic critique of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns is that you can't continually take that money and also be on the side of working people. Money is important in politics, but in democracy, people ultimately still count more."

You had me until that comment, Matt. Bernie is NOT taking that money. That's the crucial difference between him and HRC/Trump. Bernie doesn't hold $320,000-a-plat e dinners and depend on Big Oil for funding. To suggest he's as corporately corrupted as HRC/Trump, lumping him in with the takers, is dishonest and unfair. Bernie has done nothing BUT fight for working people throughout his career. His campaign may be a lost cause, thanks to MSM, but it's nevertheless a noble one.
+11 # Buddha 2016-05-19 11:37
I think he is saying that is the critique Trump and Sanders are making of the Establishments of both parties, not that this is the critique of their campaigns.
+12 # davehaze 2016-05-19 11:53
Amusing. But just read the last five paragraphs where he mentions Sanders who is always religated to the last half-minute of any political discussion these days.

Okay Mike Tiabi, you showed what suck-asses the Republicans are, not that we didn't know, now take on the Democrats.

To those who couldn't read this article for whatever reason here is the best line: Politicians are like crackheads you can get them to debase themselves completely for whatever is in your pockets even if it's only just the lint.
0 # davehaze 2016-05-23 16:49
Oh the same with journalists reporters and pundits.
+9 # dascher 2016-05-19 12:41
Hillary reminds me too much of Martha Coakley who managed to blow the election for Ted Kennedy's seat and lose to Scott Brown - a complete non-entity who ran an aw shucks campaign, driving around the state in an old red pickup truck instead of using any of his other cars (he was a moderately successful real estate lawyer). Martha had "experience" having been MA Attorney General for a couple of terms and good name recognition. She had no idea what she was running for, hated to campaign (shaking people's hands, kissing babies, etc.) and had no idea why she was running other than because she'd "earned it".

She lost the governorship to another non-entity (Charlie Baker) with virtually no experience in government (he was in Bill Weld's cabinet, meaning that he might have gotten to sit in on the weekly poker game that the very bored Weld hosted) and he was a town selectman.

Trump is a delusional, ignorant, stupid, vicious whacko with nothing to recommend him other than having managed Gary Busey and Dennis Rodman on the Celebrity Apprentice. He learned all he ever learned about making friends and influencing people from his buddy Roy Cohn who tutored him in the fine art of stalking supermodels.

Since Cohn he's managed to spend his time between bankruptcies hanging out with "really smart people" like Howard Stern and Vince McMahon, who know how to be rich and "successful" by peddling decadence and stupidity.
+6 # RMF 2016-05-19 13:03
As a long-time member of the Democratic party and all-in strong supporter of Bernie I am now wondering where these events may lead in the near future. If the Democratic party does not wake up to the mounting unrest of the public and working class, could we ultimately see a reversal in party philosophy. If Trump wins the presidency, and the Democratic party stays on it's corporate course, could the "new" GOP be the new liberal party, with an emphasis on worker welfare, and thus leaving the Democrats as the conservative party of business interests. It does seem mind boggling to imagine, but imagine we must if analytically asking what-if....
+3 # rocback 2016-05-19 14:07
Sure if you think we will like Trumps stance on min wage,nomination of Sup ct justices, abolishing the inheritance tax, reducing taxes on the wealthy, repealing Rowe v Wade, giving nukes to Japan and S Korea, carpet bombing ISIS in civilian areas and then bombing their widows and children, violating the Geneva convention using torture "and worse", cutting the EPA, FDA and programs for the poor while cutting the top rate from 39.6% to 15%.
+4 # tgemberl 2016-05-19 18:17
No. The Trump movement is all about white anger and resentment. It will not turn into any kind of pro-worker movement.

I think you may be listening a little too much to Bernie supporters. Don't get me wrong, I like Bernie and wish I could vote for him this year. But there's no way he could win at this point.

Do we want this to be a country that continues---wit h all its flaws--to open up doors to people, that breaks down barriers between white and black, rich and poor, or do we want to put hate and anger first? If you believe the first answer is better, work to keep Donald Trump from getting elected.
0 # RMF 2016-05-20 12:31
rocback and tgemberl -- good points, and I agree that a Trump-dominated GOP is unlikely to moderate it's core philosophy on business regulation, tax policy, and economic mobility for working class, etc.
Also agree it's imperative that we keep Trump from the WH -- and although a supporter of Bernie I will be voting Hillary in the national, for that specific reason.
After the convention I hope Bernie will campaign for her, and expect him to do so, avoiding the mistake we on the progressive side collectively made in the election of 2000.
+1 # angelfish 2016-05-19 13:24
Welcome to Wonderland.
+6 # HenryS1 2016-05-19 16:31
Matt is a terribly entertaining writer. But some of his articles that are the most fun to read, have very little content. Lots of his readers, myself included, would love to think the Republican party is dead/dying/woun ded/"fill in the blank". Its historical hypocrisy has never hurt it that much. The party apparatus is now figuring out how to get Trump elected despite facts, history, or American's own self-interest by using hate, prejudice, redirected anger, fear, and all the tools that it has mustered for its accomplishments and successes of what Matt sees as its past heyday.

I am all too concerned that it can turn this corner, cover Trump with the flag, and usher in a presidency that could make the Bush era look like heaven.
+5 # Radscal 2016-05-19 16:58
“There was a time in this country… when business leaders felt a patriotic responsibility to protect American jobs and communities.”

There are still patriotic business leaders. But they are NOT part of the Wall Street supra-national financial/corpo rate cabal. Cozying up to that cabal will NOT change their minds about exploiting us.

“Democrats have eaten from the same trough as Republicans.”

Yes. Those Democrats who serve at the pleasure of Wall Street, and promoted NAFTA, GATT II and now TPP and TTIP are equally the enemy of “American jobs and communities.”

Clearly there is a YUGE anti-establishm ent movement awakened in this country. We on the left CANNOT cede the anti-establishm ent vote to Drumpf.

Please consider signing Kshama Sawant’s petition for Bernie Sanders to NOT endorse HRC, but instead to continue running as a left alternative to Drumpf.
-2 # HenryS1 2016-05-19 17:57
Radscal's suggestion would help elect Trump. I don't want that.

Bernie running as a third party candidate is a very bad idea if he fails to get the Democratic nomination, and luckily Bernie knows it. I support him so long as he is running, but NOT as a weapon to help Trump.

Support Bernie's ideals and platform, but if the election is between Trump and Hillary, don't waste your vote. Remember Nader, Bush, and Gore, and what effect Nader's candidacy leading to Bush's win had on the history of the world.
+5 # Radscal 2016-05-19 19:12
The only wasted vote is the one cast for a candidate you don't want.

I do NOT want HRC. She stands for the exact opposite of my progressive values in pretty much every way.

If the DNC denies Sanders their nomination, it will be THEM who help elect Drumpf.
+2 # Merlin 2016-05-20 06:43
Radscal 2016-05-19 19:12

Hear! Hear!
+7 # angelfish 2016-05-19 20:27
ReTHUGlicans remind me of the man who wore the Turd in his hat. They, like him, can get used to ANYTHING! How DARE they put forth this empty headed, empty-hearted Moron for the Presidency? All the money in the World will not buy him a scintilla of grace, intelligence, charm or common sense. God forgive them if he is elected because I NEVER will!
+4 # librarian1984 2016-05-19 21:40
Can I just go on the record as saying I would love Love LOVE to see a verbal cage match between Matt Taibi and Andrew Sullivan.
+1 # Robbee 2016-05-19 22:30
lie! - # Radscal 2016-05-19 19:12
"The only wasted vote is the one cast for a candidate you don't want."

- the only wasted vote is the one not cast for the candidate, the dem, with the only chance to beat the candidate who promises - and is capable, as prez, of delivering on his reactionary promises, to -

1) torture prisoners;
2) kill spouses and children of enemies whom our law says he names;
3) regulate the press;
4) on his first day in office, tear up the iran treaty (that prevents iran from building nukes);
5) deport 11 million illegals;
6) build a wall clear across mexico;
7) make mexico pay for it (which takes invading and occupying mexico!)

pants on fire! half-truth! -
# Radscal 2016-05-19 19:12
"If the DNC denies Sanders their nomination, it will be THEM who help elect Drumpf."

first - it is not certain that bernie will beat rump! that's why we vote! to find out who wins! - however great polls look now! alot! good and bad! will happen by november! - what this means is that there is also no guarantee that if the DNC denies hill their nomination, it will be THEM who help elect Drumpf!

next, the part that may be true, but, if it is, certainly only part true! - "If the DNC denies Sanders their nomination, it will be THEM who *HELP* elect Drumpf." - IN ADDITION TO the DNC, THOSE WHO FAIL TO VOTE DEM WILL ALSO HELP TO ELECT RUMP!

rad, you are a liar! and a rump trojan! you need to stop peddling your rump garbage here! begone troll! - go dem!
+2 # Radscal 2016-05-19 22:39
Despite your duplicitous claim to support Sanders, you have proven yourself to be a heartless moron.

I will do everything in my (legal) power to prevent your candidate from killing the families of my loved ones. She is by far the most dangerous Presidential candidate of my lifetime.
+4 # Merlin 2016-05-20 07:17
Robbee 2016-05-19 22:30

You continue to call people liars. Now it is Radscal's turn. You wouldn't know an opinion from a lie.

OK, its your turn Robbee. Tell us how you feel about this. She is your candidate.

sHillary states:
"We came, we saw, he died!"
-1 # Robbee 2016-05-19 22:57
rad, pt. 2

my error, omitting -

8) nominate to scotus, a "justice", or 3, just like scalia!
10) massive tax cuts for the rich.
-1 # Robbee 2016-05-19 23:00
rad, pt. 3

my error, omitting -

11) register and ground muslims.
+3 # Radscal 2016-05-21 12:20
More babble.
-3 # Dred Pierce 2016-05-19 23:40
Good article. My uncle was a cop in Georgia in the 1960s. He told me that hippies were very dangerous because anyone who seriously professed pacifism were suppressing their rage and when the time came they would attack you with almost superhuman strength and destroy you. Writing on the wall for Clinton, we hippies will lay waste to your plans to sell us all out. Don't even try to appeal to our good manners, when you are done we will grab our bayonet and say WE CAME, WE SAW, YOUR ASS IS GRASS.
-2 # Robbee 2016-05-19 23:46
rad, you never supported bernie! - you only claimed to do so!

- regarding rump! you never listened to bernie! - nor reich! - nor warren! - who fear rump! - not hill!

- choosing to go your own way! - because, about rump, as a matter of fact, you hate what each of them says!
+3 # Radscal 2016-05-21 12:23
Having a mind of my own, I do not take marching orders from ANYONE.

If Senator Sanders tells me to vote for a candidate who has already caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of mostly brown-skinned civilians, and who has promised more if given the power, then I will tell him to go for a hike.
+7 # librarian1984 2016-05-20 00:34
New CBS national poll shows Clinton beats Trump (47-41), while Sanders beats Trump (51-38), +/-3.

Trump and Clinton are tied with 64% saying they are both dishonest and untrustworthy.
-2 # ericlipps 2016-05-20 14:21
Quoting librarian1984:
New CBS national poll shows Clinton beats Trump (47-41), while Sanders beats Trump (51-38), +/-3.

Trump and Clinton are tied with 64% saying they are both dishonest and untrustworthy.

If Bernie Sanders were to (somehow) become the Democratic nominee, Trump would scream "SOCIALIST!" all the way to the White House and would back himself up with Sanders' own words.
+1 # librarian1984 2016-05-21 09:16
Because people don't want to hear about 'free' stuff and Swedes? I don't think so. This would be an incredibly easy cognitive sell.

And I'll just jump in before grandlakeguy gets here: HE'S A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST! MUCH LIKE FDR!
+1 # Radscal 2016-05-21 12:27
The type of person who wouldn't vote for Sanders because the Drumpf calls him a "socialist" are the same people who would never vote for HRC.

The corporate media and HRC's campaign have been calling Sanders a "socialist" from day one, and yet his approval ratings keep climbing, and his support from groups that are allegedly HRC's "fire wall" have risen even faster.
+1 # revhen 2016-05-21 12:03
Trump did not kill the Republican party. He's just the logical culmination of what that party has done since the late 19th century. He epitomizes all they have really supported and stood for. They have just committed political Hara kiri.
-2 # Robbee 2016-05-22 01:07
responds - # Promoting Peace 2016-02-20 00:28
To not vote, or to vote green, or throw away your vote in some other manner sends a major message that one doesn't truly support Bernie. Bernie knows extremely well what's at stake here, and I support and believe in him exquisitely.

He wants, at all cost, to keep the GOP from taking the White House, especially if we don't regain control of the Senate or the House. I feel this is why he's biting his tongue at times, and not openly trying to destroy Hillary.

He truly knows what he's doing, and I feel he has incredible wisdom and courage, and the ability to put his personal emotions aside for the sake of this precious country of ours.

One can only imagine who the GOP will appoint to the Supreme Court, possibly 3 or more upcome openings in the next 8 years, if they have the ability do do so.

If they have no constraints, I feel they will appoint truly horrific members who will set our country back for literally generations.

I feel we have no right to do this to our children and their children. We have no right to throw up our hands and say, if we can't have Bernie, then the hell with it, and let the GOP have it all.

I'd rather only have my foot burnt, than to have my whole body destroyed. Getting part of what I desire is far better than getting nothing, or even worse, having so much taken away from us, especially after the extremely hard fought progress we've made.
0 # countmarc 2016-05-22 23:47
Ted Cruz is so lame he could jack off and not satisfy his partner. Problem is he is probably going to come back in the future for another attempt.

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