Trump’s Tragic Flaw May Finally Send Him Down In Flames

Donald Trump is being brought down to earth by his most powerful enemy.

Source: HuffPost

Author: Howard Fineman

Emphasis Mine

Donald Trump has defied the laws of political physics from the moment he rode down that gold-toned elevator in his own Manhattan tower to announce his candidacy last spring.

Time and again he’s proved every pundit and all of his fellow Republican candidates wrong, and he remains the only GOP contender with a plausible chance to collect a majority of delegates before the Cleveland convention in July.

But after a year of hovering above the skyline like a giant dirigible, Trump is being brought down to earth by his most powerful enemy: his own need to demonstrate his masculine “strength” by disparaging others, particularly women.

It has taken a year for relevant, campaign-related examples to accumulate, but they reached critical mass just in time for a pivotal primary in Wisconsin next week that could see the start of a slow, steady decline in his chances.

He is simply so unpopular with female voters — who make up at least 54 percent of the turnout in presidential general elections — that a victory by him this fall seems all but impossible. In a new NBC News poll, Trump is viewed favorably by only 1 in 5 female voters.

To be sure, his ratings among men aren’t dramatically better, and his main GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is almost as poorly regarded by women. Still, 1 in 5 doesn’t work.

“He can’t win, and women are a main reason why,” said Charlie Black, a Republican consultant advising Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump critics also note that, despite his vow to ferociously attack Hillary Clinton in a general election, his salvos could be countered by Democrats as just another example of his corrosive attitude toward women.

There are plenty of examples already: his long-running firefight with Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, which included a veiled reference to menstruation; his high-school-level disparagement of Carly Fiorina’s looks; his vow to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi; and Trump’s full-throated defense of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was arrested this week in Florida and charged with using unwanted physical force to yank a female reporter away from his boss.

Trump’s own family and close advisers have been worried about Lewandowski’s short fuse and aggressive behavior for months, but Trump is sticking by him in the din.

Then, on Tuesday, Trump struck a match to the whole pile, telling MSNBC host Chris Matthews that women who get “illegal” abortions (and Trump wants to make them all illegal) should face “some form of punishment” — details unspecified.

In the hourlong face-to-face interview — no phone-ins this time — Matthews pressed Trump on whether he thought abortion should be illegal. The answer was “yes.” So if it is, should women be punished in some way? After hesitating several times, Trump answered “yes.”

After meandering around on the issue for years, Trump in the campaign has run as somewhat of a hard-liner: in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade and of banning so-called partial-birth abortions, but not endorsing a human life amendment or a ban on abortions even in cases of rape or incest.

But the comments to Matthews took him much further to the right, and away from the mainstream of female voters, 55 percent of whom think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Minutes after the taping of the show, and the airing of that key excerpt, the Trump campaign tried to walk the comments back, but it was too late. Democrats, liberals and leaders of women’s rights groups attacked with gusto.

So did Cruz, though his complaint came from the opposite political direction: that Trump was masquerading as a totalitarian foe of abortion, a role that rightly belongs to the Texan.

We’ll know soon enough whether Trump is on trouble, let alone going up in flames, when Wisconsin primary voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

The most recent poll, out on Wednesday and taken during the days that the Lewandowski story dominated the political news, showed Trump falling behind Cruz by 10 points.

Look out below.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

 

See:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-women-flames_us_56fc47efe4b0a06d5804b0b4?

How the U.S. Went Fascist: Mass Media Makes Excuses for Trump Voters

Networks and newspapers are trying to explain away racism from a prominent GOP candidate. That he won the evangelical vote again in Nevada is helpful for us in seeing that American evangelicalism itself is in some part a form of white male chauvinist nationalism and only secondarily about religion.

Source: AlterNet

Author: Jaun Cole/Informed Comment

Emphasis Mine

The rise of Donald Trump to the presumptive Republican standard bearer for president in 2016 is an indictment of, and a profound danger to the American republic.

The Founding Fathers were afraid of the excitability of the voters and their vulnerability to the appeal of demagogues. That is the reason for a senate (which was originally appointed), intended to check those notorious hotheads in Congress, who are elected from districts every two years.

But it isn’t only the checks and balances in government that are necessary to keep the republic. It is the Fourth Estate, i.e. the press, it is the country’s leaders, and the general public who stand between the republic and the rise of a Mussolini. The notables have been shown to be useless. Donald Trump should have been kicked out of the Republican Party the moment he began talking about violating the Constitution. The first time he hinted about assaulting the journalists covering his rallies, he should have been shown the door. When he openly advocated torture (‘worse than waterboarding’), he should have been ushered away. When he began speaking of closing houses of worship, he should have been expelled. He has solemnly pledged to violate the 1st, 4th and 8th Amendments of the Constitution, at the least. If someone’s platform is unconstitutional, it boggles the mind that a major American party would put him or her up for president. How can he take the oath of office with a straight face? The party leaders were afraid he’d mount a third-party campaign. But who knows how that would have turned out? Someone with power needs to say that Trump is unacceptable and to define him out of respectable politics, the same way David Duke is treated (Trump routinely retweets Duke fellow-travellers).

Then there is the mass media. As Amy Goodman has pointed out, corporate television has routinely pumped Trump into our living rooms. They have virtually blacked out Bernie Sanders. Trump seems to have connived to have 10 or 15 minutes at 7:20 every evening on the magazine shows, such as Chris Matthews’ Hardball, who obligingly cut away to Il Duce II’s rants and gave away his show to him on a nightly basis.

Not long ago, extremely powerful television personalities and sportscasters were abruptly fired for saying things less offensive than Trump’s bromides. Don Imus was history for abusive language toward women basketball players. But Trump’s strident attack on Megyn Kelly as a menstruating harridan was just allowed to pass. Jimmy ‘the Greek’ Snyder was fired by CBS for saying African-Americans were ‘bred’ to be better athletes. But Trump issued a blanket characterization of undocumented Mexican labor migrants as rapists, thieves and drug dealers. Of course this allegation is untrue.

I watched the Nevada caucus coverage on MSNBC and was appalled at the discourse. One reporter tried to assure us that Trump voters were not actually voting for racism and bullying politics, they were just upset. But polling in South Carolina demonstrated that Trump voters were significantly to the right of most Republicans on some issues. In SC, 38% of Trump voters wished the South had won the Civil War, presumably suggesting that they regretted the end of slavery.

Another MSNBC reporter helpfully explained that Trump voters feel that ‘political correctness’ has gone too far. But what does Trump mean by ‘political correctness’? He means sexism and racism. So what is really being said is that Trump supporters resent that sexist and racist discourse and policies have been banned from the public sphere. There is ample proof that Trump’s use of ‘political correctness’ identifies it with sexist and racist remarks and actions.

Yet another asserted that ‘some of’ Trump’s positions ‘are not that extreme.’ Exhibit A was his praise for Planned Parenthood. But he wants to outlaw abortion, i.e. overturn the current law of the land, which is extreme. (A majority of Americans support the right to choose, so he is in a minority).

Chris Matthews explained to us that people hoped he would do something for the country rather than for the government.

But Trump has made it very clear that he is not interested in a significant proportion of the people in the country. He is a white nationalist, and his message is that he will stand up for white Christian people against the Chinese, the Mexicans, and the Muslims. Just as Adolph Hitler hoped for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon Britain on racial grounds (much preferring it to the less white Italy), the only foreign leader Trump likes is the ‘white’ Vladimir Putin. That he won the evangelical vote again in Nevada is helpful for us in seeing that American evangelicalism itself is in some part a form of white male chauvinist nationalism and only secondarily about religion.

By the way, the idea that Trump won the Latino vote in Nevada is nonsense. In one of a number of fine interventions at MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out that something on the order of 1800 Latinos voted in the Nevada GOP caucuses, of whom perhaps 800 voted for Trump, i.e. 44% of this tiny group. Trump lost the vote of even this small group of hard right Latinos, since 56% of them voted for someone else.

There are 800,000 Latinos in the state of Nevada (pop. 2.8 million). In 2012, 70 percent of Latinos voted for Barack Obama, while Mitt Romney got 25%. My guess is that Trump can’t do as well among them as Romney did.

It has been a dreadful performance by the press and by party leaders. They are speaking in such a way as to naturalize the creepy, weird and completely un-American positions Trump has taken.

This is how the dictators came to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Good people remained silent or acquiesced. People expressed hope that something good would come of it. Mussolini would wring the laziness out of Italy and make the trains run on time.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a lady after the Constitutional Convention what sort of government the US had, he said, “A Republic, Madame, if you can keep it.”

You have to wonder if we can keep it.

Juan Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and maintains the blog Informed Comment.

 

See:http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/how-us-went-fascist-mass-media-makes-excuses-trump-voters?akid=14008.123424.GcZEKd&rd=1&src=newsletter1051277&t=8

Republicans In Full Meltdown As Donald Trump Bails On Fox News Debate

Source: PoliticsUSA

Author: Jason Easly

Emphasis Mine

The Republican Party is in the midst of a huge meltdown. After Fox News sent out a press release mocking Trump for whining about Megyn Kelly, the billionaire held a press conference and announced that he is pulling out of the Fox News debate.

The Fox press release stated, “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

Trump held a press conference in Iowa and hit the roof.

According to The Hill:

“Most likely I’m not going to do the debate,” Trump said. “I didn’t like the fact that they sent out press releases toying, talking about Putin and playing games. I don’t know what games Roger Ailes is playing or what’s wrong over there. But when they sent out that press release talking about it – I said what are these people, playing games? So most likely I won’t be doing the debate.”

Trump said he had told Fox that he’d do the debate if they donated the proceeds to Wounded Warriors, and so instead on Thursday night, he’ll hold his own event simultaneously that will raise money for the group.

“We’ll do something else where we raise money for the veterans and Wounded Warriors,” he said. “We’re going to do something simultaneously with the debate.”

On her show, Megyn Kelly told Trump that he doesn’t get to control the media, “While he’s made his position clear about me, after that first debate, Roger Ailes made his position clear, too. When Trump started it up again this past Saturday and resumed it again and again and again, he was told repeatedly our debate team is settled and then came that Instagram video he put out today. Trump is not used to not controlling things as the chief executive of a large organization. But the truth is, he doesn’t get to control the media.”

Kelly’s message is true, but she needs to tell that to all of the Republicans. Every Republican thinks that they control the media. Trump is nothing more than the most extreme example of the kind of thin-skinned retreat that exists in the conservative bubble.

Outside of the curiosity factor, debate ratings will certainly decline without Trump. Republican viewership of their debates was already shrinking, so the Fox News debate is likely to continue this trend.

The media has been fed up with Trump’s incessant complaining for a long time. Fox has also been dying to get rid of Trump. By making it seem like Trump is afraid of Fox and Kelly, Roger Ailes has given the rest of the Republican candidates the ammo that they need to crush the myth of the billionaire as a tough guy. The Republican Party is in full meltdown mode. The conservative network is at war with the Republican frontrunner as Fox News is trying to force Donald Trump out of the Republican race.

 

See: http://www.politicususa.com/2016/01/26/republicans-full-meltdown-donald-trump-bails-fox-news-debate.html

Fox News’ 5 Worst Moments of 2013

It was another banner year for Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda shop. Here are the most cringeworthy moments.

Source: Salon, via AlterNet

Author: Elias Isquith

“Along with death and taxes, Fox News is one of the few things we can depend on in this world. Just as the sun rises and sets, it’s a given that, over the course of 12 months, many ridiculous, offensive, stupid and bewildering things will be said by persons seated in front of a Fox News studio camera. Whether it’s from the hosts, guests or mere contributors, you can be assured that someone is going to say something that was better left unsaid.

With that in mind, join us as we go through some of the lowest lows from Fox News, moments to remind us that when it comes to lizard-brained inanity, no one holds a candle to the guys and gals at Fox.

5. Bill O’Reilly says Asians aren’t liberals because they’re “industrious and hard-working.” 

O’Reilly may be considerably less relevant today than he was around 10 years ago — but he’s still totally racist! While this aside about Asian people isn’t quite so outlandishly bigoted as his infamous recollection of that one time he ate at a place with black people, it’s still a brain-dead comment founded entirely on a racial stereotype. And, in fact, it’s kind of doubly (or triply) racist because it implies that people who vote for liberal politicians are not industrious or hard-working. Other than that, though, it was a totally defensible thing to say.

4. Megyn Kelly insists Santa Claus is white.

As Salon’s Daniel D’Addario has argued, Kelly is basically a slicker version of Bill O’Reilly, so it shouldn’t come a surprise to find her world rocked by the possibility that a fictional character isn’t necessarily white. Yet there’s something remarkable about seeing a grown person, someone who is supposedly relatively sophisticated, so overcome with cultural panic. And while Kelly’s non-apology apology, in which she accused her critics of race-baiting, was arguably more offensive, the original meltdown makes this list for so deftly mixing the ridiculous with the absurd.

3. Ben Carson compares LBGTQ people to NAMBLA, bestiality supporters.

For Ben Carson — who, in another life, was a very respected and successful neurosurgeon — 2013 was a breakout year. With his anti-Obama speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson became one of the right’s favorite new talking heads. At one point, the Wall Street Journal even urged him to run for president. Unfortunately, Carson soon revealed himself to be more paranoid than presidential, likening LGBTQ people to all manner of sexual criminals. Subsequent comments would make clear that this was not a one-off from Carson; when it comes to politics, he really is this terrible.

2. Geraldo Rivera says jurors would have shot Trayvon Martin sooner than Zimmerman did.

Geraldo Rivera is just the worst, and his coverage of the Trayvon Martin trial was him at this worst. Rarely has one man had such an extended freakout over one article of clothing as did Rivera concerning Martin’s hoodie. What makes this moment of Rivera’s life all the more regrettable, though, is the way he just blithely assumes everyone else (especially women, it seems) is as deathly terrified of young black men as he is. Extra cringe points to Steve Doocy’s “Wow!” in response to Rivera’s assertion.

1. Lauren Green interviews Reza Aslan, can’t figure out why a Muslim would write a book about Jesus.

With the possible exception of Megyn Kelly’s white Santa comments (delivered during a slow news day, not incidentally) no Fox News moment garnered more attention — and outrage — than Lauren Green’s brutally embarrassing and ignorant interview of Reza Aslan. Aslan was there to talk about his book “Zealot,” a historical work about the Jesus. The whole thing is just torturous to watch, but the absolute, no doubt, rock-bottom, worst-of-the-worst moment is probably when Green compares a Muslim writing about Jesus to a Democrat writing about Reagan. Say this much for the segment, though: It’s the kind of thing you only really get at Fox News. Thank god for that.”

Emphasis Mine

See: http://admin.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/fox-news-5-worst-moments-2013?akid=11355.123424.OgihRc&rd=1&src=newsletter942117&t=7