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The Authoritarian Minds

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At last night’s Republican debate, Jake Tapper asked this of Donald Trump:

Mr. Trump, I want to start with you in this block. Earlier today, a man was arrested and charged with assault after sucker- punching a protester in the face at your rally in Fayettville, North Carolina. This is hardly the first incident of violence breaking out at one of your rallies.

Today, Hillary Clinton, your potential general election opponent, clearly indicated she sees this as an issue for the campaign. She said, quote, “this kind of behavior is repugnant. We set the tone for our campaigns, we should encourage respect, not violence.” Do you believe that you’ve done anything to create a tone where this kind of violence would be encouraged?

As you would expect, the Donald responded in true George Wallace fashion with a bunch of gibberish about how awesome the police are. Clearly, Trump must be stopped! In contrast, consider the response of Ted Cruz:

Listen, I think for every one of us, we need to show respect to the people. We need to remember who it is we’re working for. You know, we’ve seen for seven years a president who believes he’s above the law, who behaves like an emperor, who it is all about him and he forgot that he’s working for the American people.

And let me — let me ask, turn the camera our here. How many of y’all feel disrespected by Washington?​

Washington isn’t listening to the people. And that’s the frustration that is boiling over. And we need to nominate and elects a president who remembers, he works for the people. You know, at Donald’s rallies recently, he’s taken to asking people in the crowd to raise their hand and pledge their support to him.

Now, I got to say to me, I think that’s exactly backwards. This is a job interview. We are here pledging our support to you, not the other way around.

And the only hand raising I’m interested in doing is on January 20, 2017 raising my hand with my left hand on the bible and pledging to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of United States.

“Senator Cruz, are you concerned about people beating up protesters at Donald Trump’s rallies?” “I am outraged that Barack Obama has taken the unprecedented action of instructing executive branch officials to do things. It’s great to be here tonight in Miami. We play for you. Are you ready to rock?”

After Trump was given the opportunity to dodge the issue by calling the press liars, we turn to the moderate, respectable candidate John Kasich:

Well, I worry about the violence at a rally period. I mean, it’s — you know, elections are important but the unity of this country really matters.

Jake, here’s what I think is happening. There are people out there who are worried about their jobs. They’re worried that somebody is going to come in and tell them they’re out of work and they’re 54 years old and they don’t know where they’re going to get another job, a man and a woman.

Maybe they’re worried about a trade deal. They’re worried about the fact that their wages haven’t gone up. They’re worried that their kids went to college and the promise was, you go to college, you get a job, things are going to be great.

They went to college, they rang up debt and they’re still living in their parents’ basement. People are uptight. Our seniors are worried they’re going to lose their Social Security. There’s two ways to treat it.

You can either prey on that and be negative about it, or you tell people that these things can be fixed. If we’re Americans rather than Republicans and Democrats, we get together, we can solve all of these problems.

We can provide financial security, we can drive the wages up, we can get kids jobs with a more robust economy.

And you know what? They want to help solve these problems right where they live and I’ll give them the power to do it.

“Allow me ignore this question with the parts of my stump speech with the least content.”

What about Marco Rubio? His political career is on the line. Maybe he could condemn violence against protestors?

I do. A couple of points. The first is, I’m concerned about violence in general in this society. And by the way, the first people that are facing that violence are our law enforcement officers. And they deserve our respect and they deserve our thanks for everything they do for us.

On the issue of anger. Yes, people are angry. Of course they’re angry. Every institution in America has been failing us for the better part of 20 years or 30 years. But leadership is not about using the anger, leadership is about using the anger to motivate us, not to define us. But to motivate us to take action. Being here in Miami is special. My grandfather lived with us most of his life while I was growing up. And he would sit on the porch of our home and tell me all kinds of stories and things I learned about history.

My grandfather was born in 1899 before there were airplanes in the sky. One night in the summer of 1969, he watched a man set foot on the moon.

You know what he said when he saw that? He said Americans can do anything. Americans can do anything. There is no problem before us we cannot solve and we can solve it if we come together in a serious way, in this generation.

“The real victims here are the police. They can’t bust heads like we used to. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere – like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…”

So, for the record, four candidates asked about violence against protesters, zero condemnations.

Republican elites would like to claim Trump is an outlier. He’s not.

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  • Mike in DC

    Trump is rolling the dice that there won’t be a death. Bothsidesdoitism only can be stretched so far.

    • Old No.38

      And if there is a death, I’m sure the guy wasn’t an Angel, so I guess he had it coming.

      • Malaclypse

        Should there be a death, Trump will say that it was caused by the disrespect for authority caused by Obama and/or BLM, and his support within the party will rise.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        “hey, Altamont wasnt the end of the Stones, was it?”— D Trump

        • Scott Lemieux

          To be Scrupulously Fair, it was the Grateful Dead who had the brilliant idea of hiring the Hell’s Angels.

      • Aaron Morrow

        Clearly a Hero taking care of a Bozo.

  • All I’m sayin’ is, I got my 2×4 ready!

    Chuck Todd, by the effin’ way, couldn’t be bothered either.

    • Colleen

      So, lawyers, since you are here
      Trump said “So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ’em, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.” Now that guy has been arrested for punching a protester in the face as he was being escorted out of an event.
      If Trump doesn’t pay for his lawyer, can the guy sue Trump for breach of promise?

      • dr. fancypants

        Contracts for an illegal purpose (in this case, assault and battery) are generally not enforceable.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          I agree that offering compensation for hitting someone would be a contract for an illegal purpose and probably not enforceable, but I’m not so sure that an offer to pay for a legal defense for someone in the event they are arrested for committing an illegal act is unenforceable. If the person isn’t arrested, then the obligation to pay for their defense never accrues, so I can see an argument that the promise to pay for the defense isn’t being given as consideration for committing the unlawful act.

          • Gratuitous promise, no consideration?

          • dr. fancypants

            If the person isn’t arrested, then the obligation to pay for their defense never accrues, so I can see an argument that the promise to pay for the defense isn’t being given as consideration for committing the unlawful act.

            The fact that Trump’s obligation would be contingent upon an external condition (prosecution of the offender) doesn’t change what the underlying consideration is, though.

      • muddy

        If Trump offers in advance to pay his supporter’s legal bill as he encourages them to do violence in the moment, why isn’t he guilty of aiding and abetting, or conspiracy or something.

        If the supporter killed the protester after Donald shouts, “get him” and “I will pay the legal bills”, would Donald also be guilty for felony assault?

        • rea

          If Trump offers in advance to pay his supporter’s legal bill as he encourages them to do violence in the moment, why isn’t he guilty of aiding and abetting, or conspiracy or something.

          He absolutely is guilty of that.

        • Inciting a riot

      • Rob Patterson

        Throw a tomato?

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      All I’m sayin’ is, I got my 2×4 ready!

      There’s some old white Trumpsters in dire need of a lumber massage, it’s true.

      • twbb

        I detest violence but part of me wants to see them try these things on non-peaceful leftist protestors like black bloc.

  • Sue.K.Mabels

    Did you seriously expect a republican candidate, during a republican primary, to take any position that could be remotely considered “agreeing with democrats”?

    I mean at this point I’m starting to think reverse psychology is a legitimate strategy.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      I, for one, welcome Obama’s new executive order prohibiting the consumption of chlorine bleach. And double-prohibiting it with an ammonia chaser.

      If this be tyranny, let’s make the most of it.

  • wengler

    I’m surprised they actually found the sucker punch guy, since the cops’ first reaction was to take down and arrest the black protester that got punched.

    • efgoldman

      I’m surprised they actually found the sucker punch guy

      There were multiple phone videos, and the guy was clearly identifiable and easy to spot in a Western outfit with a big cowboy hat.

      • Rob Patterson

        Shaun King tweeted a couple of the vids and was asking all week for help in ID’ing this wretch, and I would guess that others did the same.

    • The cops’ first reaction was to keep the protestor from going back to the guy and keeping the confrontation going.

      That crowd was a step or two from lynching those people, and the cops were hustling them out.

  • wengler

    Trump also praised Putin once again as a ‘strong leader’. On the day where it came out that a former Putin aide and co-founder of RT didn’t die of heat stroke but rather blunt force trauma.

    • At the debate, someone should have asked him if he thought Putin would have signed off on Obama’s Iran deal: “The worst deal in the history of foreign policy!” I wonder what he could have said or if he knows that Putin did in fact do so.

  • pianomover

    Cruz from Princeton and Harvard but still says y’all how quaint.

    • muddy

      I saw video of him at Princeton and he didn’t have the accent back then. He puts it on with his cowboy boots.

    • Thom

      He’s an asshole, but it’s nearly impossible to live in Texas, or in the South, and not say y’all. You have to work very hard not to say it, even if you grew up not saying it. Conversely, most southerners drop it when they are in the north, in order to fit in. And accents are pretty malleable when one is young, Henry Kissinger aside.

      • Rob in CT

        I’ll be in the UK for a week this summer and I guarantee that by the end of that week, there will be subtle differences in the way I’m talking.

        I’ve occasionally used ya’ll in the past year or so because I see people use it in internet comments! Being immersed in it? It would be part of my normal speech within months.

        • Thom

          You will be saying Raaaab.

          • Rob in CT

            More likely there will be a slight lilting cadence, since I’ll be in Wales.

            • N__B

              You can try singing in Welsh to find out how severe the LGM troll policy really is.

              • Ken

                Surely the enforcers will take pity on him, or at least wait for his throat to heal?

              • Rob in CT

                I had an uncle who once said:

                “A gentleman is a man who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.”

                Apply to singing in Welsh as needed.

                • N__B

                  I once attended a musical evening at the annual Welsh National Festival. Three choirs – men’s, women’s, children’s – singing for two hours. One song was in English and one spoken sentence was in English*, everything else was in Welsh. I believe that my experience keeping a smile plastered on face for that long, so as to not offend my Welsh hosts, qualifies me for the Miss America pageant.

                  *At the end of the ten-minute introduction to the evening, the MC switched from Welsh to English to conclude with “You ain’t seen nothing’ yet.”

                • Caepan

                  I once worked an annual Welsh singing festival, the Cymanfa Ganu, for Welsh TV (annually held in the US).

                  Over two hours of hymns sung in Welsh by a choir on stage as well as the sold-out audience. While all the while stuck inside an armory on one of the most glorious Labor Day Sundays in memory.

              • sibusisodan

                [clears throat]

                Wele’n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd

                Wrthrych teilwng o fy mryd;
                Er o’r braidd ‘rwy’n Ei adnabod
                Ef uwchlaw gwrthrychau’r byd:
                Henffych fore! Henffych fore!
                Caf ei weled fel y mae.
                Caf ei weled fel y mae.

                (you’ll have to imagine the Cwm Rondda backing, but still…)

        • JL

          I still don’t understand why so many people on the Internet think it’s spelled “ya’ll.” It’s “y’all,” people. Even my spellchecker knows.

          I grew up with y’all and used it sometimes, lost it for a while living in the Northeast, and then brought it back because it’s such a nice no-gender-implications alternative to “you guys,” a phrase which doesn’t personally bother me but does bother some of my friends who (like me) are among the few non-guys in guy-dominated work environments.

          • Rob in CT

            Yeah, I think I started using in part to replace “you guys.”

            Y’all, fine, whatever.

          • witlesschum

            It’s a great word, probably everyone should use it.

            • Downpuppy

              Please, not yuns yinzers.

              • Pat

                Y’uns is the plural of y’all in some parts of the South.

                • DW

                  I though “all y’all” was the plural of “y’all”.

            • rea

              “You all” is simply the plural of “you,” in ordinary English.

          • CHD

            No, no, no, it’s not “you guys”, it’s “Youse guys”. Get it right!

            • No, it is not “youse guys.”

              I’ve heard “youze” or “yiz” enough that it almost sounds natural (“Whaddayaz doin”), but won’t use it. “Youze guys” is just wrong.

          • One of my favourite moments is when I said “Cheers, y’all” when leaving a room. NC + UK = linguistic hilarity.

            (I have no idea why I combined them. I only recognised that I did it when all the Brits looked at me funny.)

        • sonamib

          I’ll be in the UK for a week this summer and I guarantee that by the end of that week, there will be subtle differences in the way I’m talking.

          Good, I see I’m not the only accent camaleon there is out there. I don’t like people to notice me, so I tend to adapt to the local rythm of speech.

          • q-tip

            I did political calls for a telemarketer for the ’96 elections (I can still picture our supervisor coaching us on how to pronounce “Thune” – the man’s name is a trigger for me).

            After half a shift talking to people in Montana or Kentucky or wherever, it was hilarious to listen to my coworkers drawling up a storm during the smoke breaks.

            • I telemarketed to Louisville, KY for a few wks. We were reminded it would be pronounced “Lou-uh-vul” by the residents, & we should at least attempt to do the same.

              • Tehanu

                I lived for a year in “Bm’ennum,” Alabama — spelled “Birmingham,” of course. (Actually, now I wonder how people in England pronounce it?)

        • JG

          I was in Belfast for a week and I could already feel the accent pull

      • davidjoseph1

        (Kissinger’s father was my grandfather’s tutor; Hank talked like a Noo Yawker back in ’56. It’s all a goddamn put-upon.)

        • rea

          A little-known fact is that Kissinger took Dr. Strangelove as a model.

      • dr. fancypants

        It’s also such a useful word, for those of us who speak a dialect that doesn’t distinguish between singular and plural “you”.

  • Nick056

    Weirdly, Trump managed to have the LEAST bizarre answer about this. Trump, at least, flat-out said his fans are angry people, and then (dishonestly, maliciously but inevitably) said some of the protestors are “bad dudes.” But at least he gave a kind of answer!

    Rubio going in 20 seconds from a question about violence at his opponent’s political rallies to talking about the moon landing may be the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in a debate; it’s also the weirdest invocation of the moon landing ever, outside of people who only mention it to deny it ever happened. (Perhaps Rubio meant to say that sometimes punching a protestor in the face is the right thing to do, like when it concerns the moon landing, just ask Buzz Aldrin.)

    • LosGatosCA

      What he really meant was:

      “I’m a space cowboy, bet you weren’t ready for that.’

    • rea

      But why, some say, punch protestors? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

      We choose to punch protestors. We choose to punch protestorrs in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

    • Rubio is not the first to equate a punch to the face to landing on the moon. “One of these days Alice, Bam! Pow! To the moon.”

  • I just happened to watch Chris Hayes’ show this evening, and at the end he had Thomas Frank on to argue that Democrats are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump, because they abandoned the White working class.

    • weirdnoise

      There is a kernel of truth in that, though Trump’s party is more culpable for that abandonment than the DLC wing of the Democratic Party. But in context it’s like blaming Obama for the rise of Trump because having a Black man as president is just so divisive.

      • The Republicans are 100% responsible for the horror show their current presidential candidate field has become. The idea that Democrats had anything at all to do with it is ludicrous.

        The DLC was founded in 1985, based on the faulty premise that there was something called a “Reagan Democrat”. Those people became “Republicans” long before the DLC.

        • weirdnoise

          But Democrats actually have drawn away — though not entirely — from support of the working class. I agree that this in no way excuses either the racism of the white working class or the GOP’s exploitation of them. Frank is certainly exaggerating the Democratic Party’s shift away from workers, and his pasting responsibility on Democrats for the GOP slide into authoritarianism is ludicrous.

          • Malaclypse

            But Democrats actually have drawn away — though not entirely — from support of the working class.

            Reg: All right, Stan. Don’t labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?
            Xerxes: Medicaid.
            Reg: Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That’s true.
            Masked Activist: And the sanitation!
            Stan: Oh yes… sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like.
            Reg: All right, I’ll grant you that Medicaid and the sanitation are two things that the Democrats have done…
            Matthias: And the roads…
            Reg: (sharply) Well yes obviously the roads… the roads go without saying. But apart from Medicaid, the sanitation and the roads…
            Another Masked Activist: The ACA…
            Other Masked Voices: Medicine… Education… Health…
            Reg: Yes… all right, fair enough…
            Activist Near Front: And the minimum wage…
            Omnes: Oh yes! True!
            Francis: Yeah. That’s something we’d really miss if the Democrats lost, Reg.
            Masked Activist at Back: Safe drinking water!
            Stan: And it’s safe to walk in the streets at night now.
            Francis: Yes, they certainly know how to keep order… (general nodding)… let’s face it, they’re the only ones who could in a place like this.

            (more general murmurs of agreement)
            Reg: All right… all right… but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order… what have the Democrats done for us?
            Xerxes: Brought peace!

            • Scott Lemieux

              Yeah, I’d say the most recent Kentucky elections are a pretty serious problem for Frank’s assertion that the white working class would return to the Democrats if they were provided by them with important material benefits.

          • Sly

            I agree that this in no way excuses either the racism of the white working class or the GOP’s exploitation of them.

            You’re right. It just treats the racism of the white working class as if it didn’t exist.

            No one abandoned the white working class. The white working class abandoned “working class” in favor of “white.”

            • This. And Mal’s comment. The white working class was not a toddler left behind by a neglectful parent.

              • Colin Day

                No, it was a toddler left in the back seat of a car with a loaded 45. Hope it doesn’t shoot its mom.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  +1 in the chamber.

                • tsam

                  This comment is fucking sublime. I’d like to build a pipe bomb with it.

            • witlesschum

              The Democrats abandoned active support for white supremacy and white people who otherwise agreed with Democrats got to choose whether they went along or not.

              Obviously there’s some chicken and egg with the Democratic Party’s retreat from New Deal era policies on control of the economy and the unraveling of the New Deal coalition, but I think white supremacy is the biggest factor. There’s just not a good way to go from A to B there, but credit Lyndon Johnson for doing it anyway.

              Though I still don’t think white working class is the right formulation for who is voting for Republicans and I don’t know why people keep using it. Doesn’t match up to the data.

              • John F

                Though I still don’t think white working class is the right formulation for who is voting for Republicans and I don’t know why people keep using it.

                Because they don’t want to say “rednecks”

                “working class whites” in the former confederacy vote 90% to 10% for the GOP

                “working class whites” outside the former Confederacy are more evenly split

                • tsam

                  NASCAR dads. Right. I remember this being a thing for about 5 minutes.

              • Linnaeus

                Though I still don’t think white working class is the right formulation for who is voting for Republicans and I don’t know why people keep using it.

                I think there’s a tinge of classism at work here. If you break down the white working class by region, union membership, etc. the picture is more complicated. But it’s easier to put the burden of racism on to someone else than it is to consider that the nice “people like you” could also be racists who vote Republican.

            • Origami Isopod

              Not just the white working class.

              I don’t have the link handy, but I shared it here the other night. White-collar whites aren’t necessarily less racist than working-class whites. They just express their racism more “respectably.”

            • Tehanu

              They are the same people who refuse to raise taxes on the rich because they’re absolutely sure that they’re going to be rich someday, and then if they have to pay high taxes they’ll be really upset!

          • efgoldman

            But Democrats actually have drawn away — though not entirely — from support of the working class.

            Actually, no. Tricksie Dicksie Nixie’s and Sanctus Ronaldus Magnus’ dog-whistle cultivation of, first, the public safety unions, and then the rump of other unions entirely over the issue of admitting minority members (blacks, women, and later Hispanics) which has now come to it’s logical end, created the “Reagan Democrats” and lost those voters to the Dems for at least a generation, and likely longer.

            • tsam

              Right. It was the Southern Strategy mixed with the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

              Democrats didn’t abandon them, they just focused on making some progress on a 300 year old stain on our society. The fucking nerve of some people.

              This is about race.

        • Sly

          The worst thing you can say about the DLC is that it was founded on the stupid notion that if the Democratic Party tacked right on economic issues they could make up the ground it lost since the late sixties years by tacking left on race. It’s a dumb idea, but its no more dumb than the idea that if the Democratic Party abandoned free trade than all those white guys with hardhats would come running back into the fold.

          Actually, the latter actually manages to be dumber. Both get wrong the basic reason why those white guys with hardhats left in the first place, but at least the DLC was making its dumb argument 20-30 years ago when most of those white guys with hardhats were still alive to vote.

          • I don’t know why you think the DLC’s strategy was so dumb. Did Bill Clinton not win the presidency twice? Did he not do much better among white working class voters than the liberal Democrats who came before and and those (Kerry, Obama) who came after him?

            • But that wasn’t because he tacked right on economic issues. It was more “Sister Soulja”, death penalty, tough on crime, welfare reform, etc.

        • tsam

          Yeah–it wasn’t the democrats. They got picked off because the republicans used guns, abortion, racism and all manner of other fuckery to pick off the dumb ones. Democrats didn’t abandon anyone–unless you call a huge Medicaid expansion and federal subsidies for health insurance abandonment. I don’t.

    • The part of the process that I am not understanding is how the Democrats not only abandoned the white working class, but also turned them into racist fascist jackboot-licking gobshites.

      • LosGatosCA

        Separation anxiety leading to mass hysterical personality disorder.

        All Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.

      • N__B

        The Democrats abandoned them in the Mein Kampf aisle at Walmart.

        • tsam

          I award these 3 comments 32 Sanders’ each.

      • Linnaeus

        Democrats not only abandoned the white working class, but also turned them into racist fascist jackboot-licking gobshites.

        Wow.

        • Origami Isopod

          Yeah…. there’s more than a little classism going on in this discussion. Middle- and upper-class white people aren’t exactly beacons of racial enlightenment. They’re just more “polite” about how they express their opinions.

    • Uh. Wow. Frank said that?

      • John F

        Go look at some conservative sites, RWNJs have been saying that to eachother in their echo chambers for months

    • FlipYrWhig

      To be fair, Thomas Frank _always_ says that Democrats abandoned the white working class. It’s kind of his thing. It’s how he explains the cosmos.

      • Ken

        The tides go in, the tides go out – the Democrats abandoned the white working class.

        Huh, I see what you mean. Let me try another.

        Magnets, how do they work? The Democrats abandoned the white working class.

        • tsam

          “Why do you have such stupid ideas about undereducated white people?”

          “Democrats abandoned…”

        • witlesschum

          He used to sometimes say that embracing quote unquote Hollywood culture was the Democrats’ problem, too.

          Frank’s book mocking Wall Street and surrounding corporate and political foolishness, One Market Under God, is a straight up classic, but other than that I’m not sure he has much to contribute because he’s basically offering a lot of conventional pundit wisdom with a leftwing gloss.

  • If “angry black guys” had been hitting people at Obama rallies I can imagine Fox would have given it 24/7 coverage.

    • Jeebus when you think about what the media does with a nip slip at a big concert you have to figure they would really have gone to town with any violence at an Obama rally. I’m actually waiting for Trump to order a “KissCam” style coverage of public beatings. Calling out “isn’t it beautiful?” while his rally fans shout “hit him! hit him!” and the various old vets and codgers or young white supremacists shyly wave and then punch out the nearest person of color.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “…and the various old vets and codgers or young white supremacists shyly wave and then punch out the nearest person of color.”

        Good thing they don’t have many of those. Gee, I wonder why.

    • Sly

      In 2012, a member of the New Black Panthers stood outside a polling place and did nothing more than hold open the door for old white women, and Megyn Kelly treated it like it was Kristallnacht.

      • witlesschum

        Wasn’t that actually during the Bush Administration or did the other member of New Black Panthers do something in 2012?

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      Um, Barack Obama had COLUMNS. I rest my case.

      • N__B

        COLUMNS

        No wonder Trump feels he has to prove something about size.

        • Schadenboner

          Trump has columns: 2 Corinthians!

      • Lee Rudolph

        Are they CORINTHIAN???

        • tsam

          Only the finest, my man. Only the finest.

      • He’s always carrying around a golf club like a common street thug.

        • tsam

          Bob Hope WAS a common street thug.

    • JG

      Imagine if Obama talked like Bernie?

  • The beatings of black people will continue, until the morale of white people improves.

    • Rob in CT

      Nice. Well, not, but you know what I mean.

    • Casey

      +1861

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    “I WANT YOUUUU….TO WANT…MEEE!!!”

    • steverinoCT

      That concert was in Japan, and so he spoke slowly and loudly: that’s how you talk to furriners, after all.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    “You know, we’ve seen for seven years a president who believes he’s above the law, who behaves like an emperor”

    If only.

    Because, were that the case, Cruz would be having a hard time uttering those words, with his head on a stick and all.

    • Malaclypse

      I believe it was Caligula who said “keep your friends close, and let your enemies obstruct your every attempt to govern.”

      • Schadenboner

        Cesare Borgia, surely?

      • Ahuitzotl

        caligula had friends?

    • Thom

      The name of this band is Talking Heads on a Stick.

    • ajay

      “You know, we’ve seen for seven years a president who believes he’s above the law, who behaves like an emperor”

      If only.

      Well, you know, it is perfectly possible to be an emperor and still to have your attempts to actually get anything done constantly frustrated by a deeply divided legislature full of idiot nationalists who keep threatening to shut down the government and block the budget process in order to get their way. That is actually a pretty good description of the late 19th century Habsburg Empire.

      • JG

        The Habsburg Empire had a bizarre government

        • Hogan

          Exactly.

          • rea

            The problem wasn’t the Hapsburg Empire so much as the Hapsburg Kingdom of Hungary.

      • so-in-so

        I doubt Cruz or Trump’s followers think of the Habsburgs or even the British empire. More likely Rome, or the Ottoman’s or Genghis Khan.

  • Srsly Dad Y

    There seem to be a lot of misconceptions in these comments that maybe our resident political scientist and historian could help clear up.

    AFAIK:

    1. People who make around the median income or below, regardless of race, overwhelmingly vote Democratic, when they vote. The Frank thesis that poor white folks mysteriously vote in Republicans is just mistaken, in Kansas and everywhere else.

    2. One source of confusion on the latter point may be that people who write for a living can’t get their heads around how low the median U.S. income really is. They meet someone who has a menial-sounding job for what sounds like shit pay, and they register “working class,” whereas in the scheme of things that person might consider themselves pretty well off.

    3. The history and goals and membership of the DLC were a lot more interesting than we ever read about at LGM, although it probably doesn’t matter anymore. The Democrats have an electoral issue with white voters in the sense that whites “bail out” and vote GOP at much lower rungs of the income scale than non-whites do. It is this tipping point, more than anything else, that makes red states red. Poor people vote D, rich people vote R, everywhere.

    You don’t have to defend the DLC or any of its policies to recognize that one of the things good people like Ed Kilgore and the Clinton team were trying to do there was not to “attack black people” but to achieve progressive ends with policies that were repackaged to resonate better with the “values” (charitably construed) of mid-income Southern whites.

    Like the rest of us, the lesson I took away is Don’t Try That Again. But then, 25 years later, demographics have changed and there’s no reason to try it again. I just think the cartoon villain image of B Clinton and the DLC does not historically explain how we got to today.

    Nuff.

    • Rob in CT

      1. People who make around the median income or below, regardless of race, overwhelmingly vote Democratic, when they vote. The Frank thesis that poor white folks mysteriously vote in Republicans is just mistaken, in Kansas and everywhere else.

      Isn’t it actually that they vote D, except in the Deep South? edit: or maybe the “bail out” effect is just stronger in the South? Anyway, IIRC there’s a big regional split.

      2. You’re probably right.

      3. I, for one, don’t think the DLC is the root of all evil. I think it was a more or less rational response to repeated electoral defeats.

      • Srsly Dad Y

        Yah but you and I are a minority here. My source for #1 is Red State, Blue State, I defer to whatever that book actually says, but I think the nub of it is that the electorate is skewed toward the middle and UM classes, so the % of low income people voting D is outweighed by higher participation among the better off.

        • Rob in CT

          Thing is… the thing people are actually reacting to is that “bail out point” you mentioned.

          So technically wrong but getting at a real issue. That issue being that white solidarity can fairly easily trump working-class solidarity.

          And yes, the fact that higher-income voters vote at higher levels + voting R increases with income = more R wins than there “should” be.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          well for what it’s worth I think a lot of the criticism of the DLC comes from people who didn’t have a *better* idea at the time. It was a moment in evolution, so to speak

        • Rob in CT

          Also, “working class” is a fuzzy thing, just like “middle class.”

          I mean, I see articles that open up with “white without a college degree…”

          Which is a decent proxy but there are still some people w/o a college degree that make a lot of money (and, IIRC, those are STRONGLY Republican).

          edit:

          http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/11/05-america-white-working-class-jacobs

          Scholars have weighed in on the political behavior of the white working class. And, unlike many academic disputes, the friction amongst political analysts focused on white working class politics occasionally creates sparks that fly out of the academy and onto the pages of national newspapers. Most recently, political psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s “Why Working Class People Vote Conservative” sparked a vigorous debate well-summarized by Thomas Edsall in an online New York Times article. Haidt argues that most working class people in the United States vote Republican. In response, political scientist Andrew Gelman counters that, in fact, working class Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Haidt responded by more clearly defining the population of interest: he meant the white working class, defined as white employed Americans without a college degree. Defined this way, he argues, white working class Americans have indeed defected from the Democratic Party. Political scientist Larry Bartels provides yet another counter-argument, suggesting that the defection from the Democratic Party represents a regional story about Southern white working class voters, rather than a national trend.

          • Srsly Dad Y

            Yeah, basically I’m on Team Gelman there.

            • Pat

              People with jobs and families to support have a harder time making it to all the little elections that towns and states hold on working days.

      • John F

        Isn’t it actually that they vote D, except in the Deep South?

        yes

        • Srsly Dad Y

          No, “they” (if by “they” we mean “white working class”) vote somewhat less D in the Deep South, which, combined with middle-class and rich R votes, is enough to go red. Unless you define “working class” to mean “no college degree,” in which case you sweep in a lot of small business owners, their spouses and principal employees (foremen, line cooks, etc.), and the category loses a lot of meaning.

          • Srsly Dad Y

            ETA – Yeah I’m kinda wrong, Dems have actually slipped to < 50% among “low-income” "WWC" in the South according to Jacobs. I'm not sure she's measuring it against median income, but whatever, she's the expert, not me.

    • Sly

      1. People who make around the median income or below, regardless of race, overwhelmingly vote Democratic, when they vote. The Frank thesis that poor white folks mysteriously vote in Republicans is just mistaken, in Kansas and everywhere else.

      3. The history and goals and membership of the DLC were a lot more interesting than we ever read about at LGM, although it probably doesn’t matter anymore. The Democrats have an electoral issue with white voters in the sense that whites “bail out” and vote GOP at much lower rungs of the income scale than non-whites do. It is this tipping point, more than anything else, that makes red states red. Poor people vote D, rich people vote R, everywhere.

      All true. Democrats do better among the least financially secure, but don’t do as well among the least financially secure whites.

      I’d add that the glaring issue for Democrats in this context is that the least financially secure are also the least likely to vote, and the reasons for this have more to do with structural problems with how elections are run than a lack of a preferred candidate. The number one reason non-voters cite for not voting – consistently – is “too busy,” and that’s going to be a much more salient reason for people who live paycheck to paycheck.

      • Rob in CT

        Voting day should either be on a weekend (small help, as many people work weekends) or, ideally, a holiday. R’s would, no doubt, fight that tooth and nail.

        • Pat

          Voting by mail is a nice alternative to help the working class vote.

      • witlesschum

        The lady, who by skin color and accent would likely fall under the actual definition of working class, behind me in line on Tuesday said she arranged to get out of work early by an hour to make sure she could vote in the primary. She did it, but I assume there were others who couldn’t or would have had to make things too hard on themselves or their families.

        National holiday with strong disincentives for any businesses to be open or we aren’t a damn democracy.

        • q-tip

          I have had a couple of pretty menial jobs that I was surprised to learn offered paid time off to vote. In theory. It’s the kind of benefit nobody wants to jump through hoops to use, though. I never did, except for one time my workplace was a polling station. (Actually, I think I probably just walked over to vote on my lunch break, so never mind.)

          I always thought it was at least a token gesture of civic responsibility, like paying for jury duty, but it turns out thatCalifornia state law requires it. As do laws in a surprising number of states, to some degree.

          I wonder if public education campaigns informing workers about their right to time off to vote, paid or not, would be worthwhile?

          • In California posters in break rooms making clear your right to time off for voting are I think, legally mandated, although I can’t remember any public service campaigns to that effect.

  • tsam

    Maybe he meant to say that Democrats abandoned the George Wallace wing of the party in ’64 and ’68.

  • Rob in CT

    A post from the 538 GOP debate liveblog:

    Julia Azari 8:48 PM

    Authoritarianism Is For Other People

    I’ve seen three compelling analyses of what explains the support for Donald Trump so far. There’s the authoritarianism argument, which suggests that what distinguishes Trump supporters from other Republican voters is their preference for strong leadership and intolerance for deviation. Then this week, two political scientists wrote a piece for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog arguing that Trump supporters are not authoritarians but populists who identify with those out of power.

    And on Vox’s Mischiefs of Faction blog (where I am a regular contributor), Lilliana Mason and Nicholas Davis find that Trump supporters have a fully “sorted” Republican social identity — that is, strong identification with all three groups associated with the Republican Party: whites, traditional Republicans and conservative Christians.

    Can these theories all be true? Perhaps one explanation will emerge as the correct one. But I wonder if this also suggests that Trump supporters simultaneously embrace authoritarian values when it comes to those who don’t share their politics, race and religion, and have a healthy populist suspicion of power for themselves and those like them. This would be consistent with research on the tea party that suggests its appeal is not so much about limiting government programs, but limiting programs that provide for undeserving outsiders.

    Bing-effing-o.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      And the sound of fascist boots grows louder in the distance ….

    • ColBatGuano

      but limiting programs that provide for undeserving outsiders.

      Yeah, they love their Medicare and Social Security, but black folks getting them are obviously part of the “waste, fraud and abuse” portion of those programs.

  • Aaron Morrow

    While I don’t support all of the analysis in Elisabeth Jacobs’s “Understanding America’s White Working Class,” I find the data interesting, especially the breakout between white working class voters within the South and outside the South. Also, this is great:

    Much of the debate is one of definitions; the political behavior of the “white working class” look somewhat different depending on how white working class is defined.

    I’d really like to see some historical data incorporating 2012, so please suggest more papers.

    Finally, I’d like to see some more data that breaks out the overall low voter turnout of 1996 and 2000 to see white working class voter turnout. Did the DLC convince white working class voters to turnout for Democrats or did they convince white working class voters not to turnout? Or both in different regions of the country?

  • JG

    “Moderate” Kasich wants a permanent Israeli occupation of Palestine……

  • Alex.S

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-carson-endorsement-violence-rallies

    Asked if he’s “playing a character” when he says things like “I want to punch a protester in the face,” Trump responded there have been “some violent people” protesting his rallies.

    “These are people that punch. People that are violent people,” Trump said. “The particular one where I said ‘I’d like to bang him,’ that was a very vicious – a guy who was swinging, very loud, and then started swinging at the audience.”

    He continued: “You know what? The audience swung back. And I thought it was very, very appropriate. He was swinging. He was hitting people. And the audience hit back. And that’s what we need a little bit more of.”

    After the debate and the GOP’s response, the Trump campaign has made their decision on how to handle the problem of violence at rallies.

    In completely unrelated news, a Breitbart reporter is filing charges against Trump’s campaign manager from when the campaign manager knocked her to the ground.

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