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Is Donald Trump destroying Hillary Clinton?

Having here, as we do, lots of American commenters who are knowledgeable about the details of American politics means that it makes little sense for us Samizdatan Brits to be telling Americans about American politics. But it makes perfect sense for the likes of me to ask questions about American politics. And my question to all American readers who choose to care about it is: Is this true?

This being a Breitbart piece by John Nolte in which he claims that Donald Trump has, pretty much instantaneously and single-handedly, destroyed Hillary Clinton, by flinging at her the accusation that she is an enabler and political ally of a serial woman-destroyer. This mud has been floating around for decades. Everyone has known it. But thanks to Trump and his mastery of the social media, this mud has now, finally, been made to stick. For a quarter of a century the corrupt American mass media have been protecting the Clintons from all this. Now, that protection has been obliterated, by Donald Trump.

If that’s true, then good – very good – for Donald Trump. I have all the obvious doubts about this bizarre man that others have expressed, here and elsewhere. But, one of the basic rules of civilisation is that the rules made by big people, and indeed the basic rules of behaving decently, should apply to big people as well as to little people. The idea that the king is above the law is the very essence of lawlessness. And in the person of “The Donald”, says Nolte, this idea – that the rules apply to the big person that is Hillary Clinton – has finally being applied to and is having serious consequences for this appalling woman, if not in an actual court of law, then at least in the court of public opinion.

Nolte further argues – his piece is entitled “Bernie Sanders Rising Because Trump Annihilating Hillary Clinton” – that the rise of Bernie Sanders is not really a rise; it is merely the collapse of Sanders’s rival for the Democrat nomination, Hillary Clinton.

But: Is all or any of this true? I really look forward to hearing what our commentariat has to say.

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80 comments to Is Donald Trump destroying Hillary Clinton?

  • charliel

    I’m not sure your first sentence is correct. Seeing the forest (from a distance) is often better than seeing the trees up close. And you guys often bring the needed perspective of distance.

    As far as Trump goes, it’s not just the Hillary thing. Remember how his popularity started with the open borders immigration issue. And continued to build with other (mostly anti-PC) issues that he pointed to.

    So although I personally would prefer to not have to vote for him, I can certainly see why he is where he is.

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    charliel

    Take your point about the trees and the forest.

    I agree that Trump is on the up and up for reasons besides his attacking of Hillary C, in particular immigration. But my question is: Is this attack on Hillary working, to the point where it is destroying Democrat support for her? This is what Nolte is claiming.

  • staghounds

    Here’s an explanation- read the oldest ones first- http://blog.dilbert.com/tagged/Trump

  • Alisa

    I don’t think that is the case, Brian. I think that the Leftist establishment, including the leftist media, decided that Bernie is preferable to her, as she is not leftist enough (which is true). Trump is just going with that flow, because why not? He has his big mouth and he uses it.

    The difference between the Stupid Party and the Evil Party is that the former is always looking for a moderate, while the latter is looking for the most radical left-wing candidate it can get away with. It got away with Obama, for two terms, and so now it only makes sense to go with someone at least as leftist – and Hilary is not it.

  • charliel

    I suspect that the media has created a monster in Trump that they now wish did not exist. They covered his (to them) outrageous statements about immigration, which gave him a boost, and them as well. Now they have become addicted to his mouth because it is (to them) outrageous but also very good for ratings.

    So when Hillary’s treatment of women came up they pretty much had to cover it instead of ignoring it.

    This had a dual effect. It reminded those old enough to remember exactly how much the dual presidency of that couple was similar to a rather horrible soap opera, and presented information to those not old enough to remember which they found to be rather horrifying.

    So, single-handedly, no. But he increased the incline down which that particular ball rolls.

    And I agree with Alisa that the hard line dem operatives don’t think Hillary is leftist enough, note her recent moves leftward. But Nolte is also correct. Bernie is doing better because she isn’t.

  • RRS

    Most of those engaged in politics on any scale of electorates (whether or not seeking their own election) are engaged in creating perceptions.

    In most of the larger scale cases this requires building and maintaining facades. The uses of deceipt, perversions,lies and perjury for those purposes have become so commonplace and engrained that most political facades evoke cynicism at best, and hostilities at extremes, when facades crack (even a wee bit) or there is a view into what the façade covers.

    The function of the “Trump” façade differs from that of the Clintons. There is probably very little “behind” it and he goes on embellishing it. Pointing out “blemishes” in eras of his façade brought forth comparisons of the Clintons’ façade.

    But, even the enthusiastic generations of 2008 (consider the Obama façade with nothing behind it) are now the cynics and doubters of today in their 30s. Comparing a façade that simply embellishes a persona to one that covers known history puts the latter at risk of altering perceptions.

    Most of this stuff is never “intended;” but its advantages are sometimes noted and seized.

    Electoral parties in the U S no longer provide the façade functions of their historic pasts; so, once there is a fracture or erosion the damage is immediate (and lasting).

  • Jacob

    The tragic thing is – it does not matter whether its Hillary, Bernie or Donald. America is in a deep and tragic hole, racing Europe for the bottom.

  • Maximo Macaroni

    I heard long ago that Hillary got her first legal job in Arkansas, with the Rose law firm, the day after Bill was elected Attorney General and she was made partner the day after Bill took office as governor. Some self-made woman! And can you imagine what Bill must know about her that he would blab to all if she said anything at all bad about him? I can.

  • Hillary has a lot of baggage and at this point it is becoming clear that the justice department is not about to prosecute even her most egregious crimes. We have our fair share of corrupt politics here but this is over and above even by Chicago standards.

    The media will report whatever Trump says hoping he’ll implode at some point. Absent Trump, nothing Hillery does or did would ever get mentioned so to that extent he’s responsible for bringing her ratings down. Kudos to the man for forcing the media to do their jobs.

  • Laird

    I think charliel’s analysis here is spot on (sorry, Alisa!).

    The Democratic presidential nomination process is a zero-sum game (O’Malley is irrelevant). What hurts Hillary helps Sanders and vice versa. And Sanders isn’t really doing anything on his own to damage Hillary; witness his idiotic statement in their first debate that no one cares about her emails. That should have finished his campaign, because he doesn’t really offer any useful alternative to her. He certainly isn’t getting any traction from her long-term close relationship with Wall Street, or the pervasive corruption of the Clinton Foundation, or her crass sale of the State Department to foreign oligarchs (reminiscent of her husband’s renting out the Lincoln Bedroom 20 years ago); and he hasn’t even mentioned Benghazi.

    Those are all basically intellectual issues, which on their own don’t get much resonance with the general public. But Bill’s long and sordid history of sexual predation, and especially her chronic and cynical enabling of it, are highly-charged emotional issues which do resonate. And Trump is directly responsible raising that issue to national prominence.

    Is Trump “destroying” Clinton? I think that’s an overstatement; more than anything he is facilitating her self-destruction while he goes about the business of achieving his immediate objective of gaining the Republican nomination. But is Trump responsible for Sanders’ rise in the polls? Absolutely, because Sanders himself has done nothing to justify that rise other than to hang around long enough to be the beneficiary of Hillary’s (I would argue inevitable) implosion. Hillary is a tragic figure in the classic Greek sense, doomed to failure by her own character flaws. (Which, incidentally, is why I was surprised that Biden chose not to enter the race; the nomination would have been his for the asking. And it might still be.)

    By the way, if anyone here didn’t check out the Scott Adams blog which staghounds linked, I would call your attention to this particular post there. Check your premises, and consider the Dunning–Kruger effect.

  • mike

    Consider her long criminal history – people with lesser political and media protection have had their lives destroyed for doing the kinds of things she has repeatedly done. She is, to use a metaphor, the undead; the things that would normally “destroy” a politician won’t work against her unless she loses her stack in the media.

  • AngryTory

    TRUMP is destroying Hitlery because TRUMP is destroying everyone else (except Bernie, he hasn’t turned his guns on Bernie but Bernie wouldn’t last five minutes should TRUMP deign to take him out).

    Under the original, unamended Constitution, TRUMP would already be a shoe-in for president for as long as he wanted to be.

  • Paul Marks

    As someone I has been watching Mr Trump (with horrified interest) during the campaign, it is clear that he does not spend much of his time attacking Hillary Clinton. He attacks from time to time – but other people are doing it far more.

    Hillary just got very greedy – using the Clinton Foundation as a personal piggy bank (for her and her staff) and using the State Department like a pimp (if one is not allowed to say “like a whore”) to get various governments and so on to put money into the Clinton “charitable” Foundation so that the Clintons and friends could snaffle it.

    That is what the wiped server e.mails are really about – the selling of national security by allowing all sorts of people (including her charming aide and “personal friend” – the lady from CAIR whose male relatives are in the Muslim Brotherhood) was a trivial thing in Hillary’s mind (and to the left generally actually) – she, most likely, quite sincerely can not see what the fuss is about that. The money is the main thing to Hillary – always has been.

    I think that Alisa is wrong and right.

    Wrong in that Hillary Rodham (now Clinton) is, formally speaking, very leftist indeed (a Comrade – a servant of Saul Alinsky and all that).

    Right because political principles do not really mean much to Hillary – money and prestige are what matters to her.

    Having lots of nice things and being the person in the big chair who everyone else bows down to – that is what matters to Hillary.

    Which is fair enough – it sounds quite nice actually.

    For example Hillary Rodham did not obey Saul Alinsky’s “request” for her to stay with him in Chicago – she went off to Yale.

    This marks Hillary down as a “Bad Comrade” – and there are few worse crimes for the American left.

    True Saul was an old man and may well have had carnal (not ideological) reasons for wanting Hillary to stay – but that is besides the point, Saul Alinsky was a senior Comrade. It was Hillary’s duty to obey (however personally distasteful she found his orders).

    The individual counts for nothing – only the collective matters, and senior Comrades have their needs (so that they can be in a relaxed state of mind to push for the victory of the collective – of The People).

    There has always been a suspicion on the American left that Hillary (no matter how many prizes she gave to Francis Fox Piven and so on) put her own desires above “the cause”.

    And that is treason to the Comrades.

    However, they will propably still back her to gain the Presidency.

    Unless (and it is possibly) Hillary’s dishonesty and greed become pathological – an irritation.

    If Hillary Clinton went around picking people’s pockets, or stealing the jackets that ladies put on charis (pretending they were hers) then I think the left would dump her.

    Of course Mr Trump understands Mrs Clinton very well – as he is also very greedy and wants people to bow down to him.

    However, Mr Trump was born a very wealthy man – and he has genunine business skill (at least in a wire pulling environment) – he does not have to be as blatantly vile as Hillary is.

    “The Donald” most likely would not sell American secrets (and influence) for cash, or set up a vast charity and then loot it for his own personal benefit.

    But then Mr Trump does not have to do these things to get all the nice things he wants – Hillary (not being born particularly rich – and having no real business talent) does have to these sorts of things to become rich and have lots of nice things.

    And Hillary will, most likely, become President – and that means she will never have to steal charity money, or sell American secrets (or sell influence), again.

    Because as President (and retired President) Hillary will have all the nice things (and the RESPECT) she wants.

    And not just as the wife of Bill Clinton – but in-her-own-right.

  • Paul Marks

    Why are people impressed by Donald Trump? A question for another time.

    I think he started the campaign as a bit of joke (or even as a way of bleeping up the Republicans – to help his old associate Hillary Clinton).

    However, I suspect that Mr Trump actually thinks he can win now.

    Very unlikely (as the media would stop using Mr Trump as a weapon against the Republicans – and turn on him, with utter savageness, if he actually got the nomination) – but the possibility does exist.

    And why not?

    Why should the Res Publica not end in total farce

    Such people have often come to power in Latin America – and are entertaining (from a distance).

  • David Aitken

    I’d say Trump and Bernie are two sides of the same coin – both are supported by people who are really, really angry at the ruling class and are willing to throw crockery just to make a statement, regardless of the outcome. It doesn’t matter that nothing will change; they are far too angry (and possibly ignorant) to see the consequences of their actions. The results of electing Bernie, Trump, or Hillary is more crony crapitalism. Recently the GOP ruling class said they could work with Trump. But they really fear Cruz, because he won’t play ball. Which is why my preferred Republican candidate is Cruz. If it ain’t him, I’ll vote Libertarian. I’m from Denver, Co.

  • Alisa

    I didn’t say that Hilary is not leftist, Paul, but rather that she is far less leftist than Bernie, and that this is the reason she will be (already is being) thrown under the bus.

    As to Trump, yes, the media will turn on him too, just as it is turning on Hilary now.

  • JeremiadBullfrog

    American here.

    To an awful lot of people, the main (sole?) virtue of Trump is that he utterly disrupted and destroyed what was supposed to be a coronation election for Hilary or Jeb Bush.

    He did this by talking openly and bluntly about obvious contradictions that we’re “not supposed to talk about” (cf. feminism/Monica affair).

    This was supposed to be Hilary’s turn, and anyone who disagreed was supposed to be cowed into submission with loud accusations of misogyny. (cf. criticism of Obama countered by loud accusations of racism)

    I’m a Cruz fan, and I don’t trust Trump farther than I could throw him. But he’s like the kid who finally shouted out that the emperor has no clothes, and that’s no small thing these days in American politics.

  • Darrell

    HRC is 100% pure evil in a can. If it takes Trump to bring it out of hiding by the mainstream media, good. General Petraeus was ridden out on a rail for far less than she has gotten away with.

  • Incunabulum

    Is Donald Trump destroying Hillary Clinton?

    Yeah, kinda. He is certainly the only one of the R’s that has had the sheer brass to come out and directly challenge the Democrat’s record, both Obama’s (and Hillary’s work in his administration) and Bill Clinton’s. He badly pointed out that she’s enabled a guy most feminists would (and a tiny few do – he’s a Democrat after all) call a serial sexual predator and that her time in Obama’s administration has been full of screw-ups and a complete and utter lack of regard for the rule of law, let alone security.

    The ‘ignore the Democrats at this stage of the campaign’ tactic of the other candidates is mind-boggling stupid. They’re spending so much time trying to ‘differentiate’ themselves from each other (and failing horribly at it – the only ones with unique stances are Paul and Trump and Trump’s positions are mostly incoherent – when what they need to be doing is show how they’re going to be different than the Democrats. Which means attacking HRC and Sanders directly.

    The problem is, there are a ton of people who already disliked/hated her – this isn’t news to them, and the ones that support her support her for mostly the same reasons that got Obama into office. ‘Its her turn’ and ‘its time for a woman in the White House’. These people aren’t going to be swayed away because they’re not voting for Hillary the person, but Hillary the figment of their imagination.

  • I’m a Cruz fan, and I don’t trust Trump farther than I could throw him. But he’s like the kid who finally shouted out that the emperor has no clothes, and that’s no small thing these days in American politics.

    That is the first sensible favourable thing I have seen anyone write about Trump.

  • David Crawford

    All of you got it wrong. What’s destroying Hilary is Hilary. The more people see of her the more people remember how much they never really liked her. They had to put up with her because they liked, and voted for, her husband. Hell, sometimes even I liked that smarmy bastard. But her, no one wants eight years of that shrill harpy. With Hilary you know exactly what you are going to get because she’s been imposing herself on us for 25 years now. There is no mystery to that women. (Unlike Cruz or Sanders.)

  • Alisa

    Why Perry, this is the thing most often repeated about him in one form or another. And it is true, of course. Problem is, this is by no means enough to be a President.

  • AngryTory

    David – a vote for Libertarians is a vote for Hitlery.

  • Thailover

    Let me say at the outset that I don’t agree with many of Trumps’ stated positions. Tariffs actually harm America (causes “total dead weight” economic losses and raises domestic prices as well as prices on imports. To be pro-tariffs is to be pro-cronyism), and I also think that his focus on controlling the boarders rather than proposing tackling our domestic policies that actually entice illegal aliens staying in America is a red herring. (Though he as proposed tackling the “anchor-baby” problem). That being said, I think he does know business and finance, but don’t know that he understands economics at all. If I found out that he’s “down” with Austrian Economic theories, I would be much more bully for Trump.
    BUT…

    Virtually anything is better than the election of H. Clinton as POTUS. (I said virtually because our current Embarrassment In Chief is, of course, worse.)

    IMO, no one on the democratic side is ‘game over’ unless they go to prison for child rape or something as onerous. In short, those who vote Progressive don’t give flying rat’s shit about facts or truth, they only care about their agenda and empowering the snakes who further that agenda. This is why even Bernie Sanders is downplaying the federal investigations and obviously damning evidence against H. Clinton. Hillary won’t be down for the count until or unless she’s conflicted of federal crimes.

  • Thailover

    I just remembered that I’m writing to the Brits as well as Americans, so let me clarify, by “down” with Austraian Economics, I mean that he’s a fan or agrees with it, not that he’s against it.

  • lucklucky

    Trump destroyed Media power-narrative by just not budging by issuing apologies and clarifications. In this he is like Corbyn even if he has an worse job since media is nearer Corbyn than Trump.

    He is helped that we are time that many dispise the most dishonest profession: journalist. Since journalists do not exist they are politicians first, and Leftist ones.

    Btw to demonstrate do anyone knows that more than million people was displaced by combats in Turkey between the regime and Kurds, with more than 500 civilians deaths in just 6 months?
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/01/turkey-dilemma-how-to-end-clashes-pkk.html#ixzz3y3vPJQFS

    Any of that appeared in any of the so called newspapers?

  • Mr Black

    Every republican challenger has been crushed the moment Trump turned his attention to them. They’d rise, they’d be a potential threat and then he’d apply the blowtorch for a few days and they were done. From that moment their support only went down.

    I’ve listened to Trump speak and to “sophisticated” ears he is weak and trivial when it comes to policy and ideas. But he has amazing energy and while he doesn’t speak to policy, he speaks to objectives. Objectives that people hold dear and want to see achieved. Does it matter to them that the policy to get there isn’t yet formulated? In the most part, it does not. His verbal tricks are impressive and even when you’re listening for them, it’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement he projects with them.

    His is no clown, and the people who assumed he was are now irrelevant, little blips that he crushed under foot. His delivery is buffoonish to a certain extent but it is also honest and folksy and people respond to it with honest passion. He’s not trying to hide his real agenda or triangulate, he’s laying out an idea in a simple, conversational way as two friends would.

    He will win the election, there is no doubt at all in my mind. He is so much better at presenting himself than any other candidate, in fact his honest tones makes all the others sound like used car salesmen.

  • Mr Black

    To build up to my point, he has the proven ability to fatally damage an opponent and change minds in a very short space of time. He has turned around his unfavorables in an almost unbelievable way and so quickly too, to think that his targeted attacks on Hillarys weak points were just off hand remarks would be a mistake. He put the idea out there and it stuck. Bill is a rapist and Hillary is his accomplice. The more time people spend looking at her face, the more they will associate her with crime and evil. Trump knows exactly what he is doing.

  • bobby b

    One thing that keeps surprising me is how much of relevant history is unknown to people younger than 30 or so.

    I had a conversation with a 28-year-old a few days ago, which went something like this:

    Me: (Bill’s sordid affair w/ Monica)
    Him: That was all made-up right wing bullshyte!
    Me: Uh, no, he eventually confessed, and was impeached for lying about it.
    Him: Oh, just stop with the BS. He served his entire two terms!
    Me: And he paid almost $900,000 to one of the several women who accused him of sexual assault.
    Him: Oh, yeah, right. And why haven’t we ever read anything about that if he did, huh? You are SO full of . . .

    Sadly, everything before GW Bush took office seems to have been forgotten. None of my kids ever heard a word about it in high school or college, the papers stopped covering it back when it happened, and if you bring it up now, you’re a lying crank.

    What Trump accomplished is that he got Bill’s venalities exposed for just a microsecond on the national stage, which was enough to make twenty or thirty million younger people go “huh?!”

    I’m sure that the next day’s conversation on whatever they’re using for JournoList these days contained more than a few “and why did we include that in our Trump stories yesterday?! It’s irrelevant, and will only confuse the voters!”

  • AngryTory

    He will win the election, there is no doubt at all in my mind. He is so much better at presenting himself than any other candidate, in fact his honest tones makes all the others sound like used car salesmen.

    Absolutely. I can’t wait until the wall is built, illegals and unconstitutional are unceremoniously deported, and the nuclear triad is put to good use!

    Him: Oh, just stop with the BS. He served his entire two terms!

    ONLY because the D’RAT dominated Senate voted along party lines to acquit. Every non-partisan body has found him guilty beyond all doubt, which is why he is no longer licensed to practice law (for just one example).

    Bill Clinton is a serial rapist, both are traitors, both perverted the course of justice, and both are accomplices to murder. Will TRUMP hammer Clinton into the ground with this? You betcha!

  • Regional

    Donald Trump will ignore Europe.

  • Jeremy

    Trump stated back in the beginning that he wanted to secure the borders and stop the import of Muslims. These are two goals that any sane conservative would applaud. It is remarkable how many conservatives appear to lack sanity. Whether or not his proposed methods work, he has the correct goals and a record of achieving goals one way or another. His popularity is built on this basic rock. One of his goals requires beating Hilary. Why wait until later? A little swerve from his current purpose and he has basically beaten her. Her only sales point was as “the Wimmin’s candidate”. Now he has crushed that. He has been criticized for supporting democrats in the past. No doubt he has when that served his purpose of the time. How do you get favorable treatment from Democrats for your projects? Talk nice and kick money into the tin. That was when his goal was making money. His goal now appears to be serving as a Republican President. Speaking from Australia, I hope he achieves it.

  • Laird

    Jeremy, he has to be careful (and I think he is) about crushing Hillary too soon. That would open the gates for Biden to swoop in and gain the nomination. Biden (buffoon that he is) would be much harder to beat in the general election.

    Bobby b, don’t forget that Bill was disbarred in Arkansas (although I believe his law license has now been reinstated). That doesn’t happen because of simple right-wing BS.

  • Umbriel

    Focusing on Nolte’s piece — I don’t believe Trump can get full, or even majority, credit for Hillary’s demise, simply because I think her alleged strength was pretty rickety to begin with. Most of my friends are, alas, fairly left-leaning middle-class, middle-aged white folks, and from the start they were lukewarm supporters of Hillary at best — resigned to being obligated to vote for her as the only anti-Republican option. I think her tailspin has had three main causes:

    1) The ongoing e-mail scandal — Polls have had Hillary on the wrong side of a “trust gap” since the beginning of the campaign. Whatever excuses the Democrats make and however they may want to brush it off as Republican mudslinging, the fact is she’s been dirt-caked all along. They can try to ignore or gloss over the details, but they know she’s a crook even if she’s their crook. This makes their eyes prone to wander to more appealing candidates.

    2) Sanders has stolen the Democrats’ “base” from her — Hillary’s been around too long to pretend to be a liberal True Believer convincingly alongside the real deal.

    3) Trump, by virtue of his success, rather than any questions he’s raised, has demonstrated that an “outsider” insurgent campaign really can amount to something.

    The current “feminists-against-Hillary” meme that Nolte is raising has, so far as I’ve perceived, surfaced only fairly recently. I suppose it’s hitting her where she lives — Being a woman is practically the only favorable thing on her resume — but these punches are only landing because she was already vulnerable. Those Democrats currently climbing on this bandwagon were seemingly content to hold their noses and support Hillary only a couple months ago, but her decline has been picking up momentum all the while. Arguably the recent Bill Cosby controversy has helped fuel it at least as much as anything Trump or his campaign has instigated or revived.

  • Mr Patchouli

    Once a crony Jeremy…

  • Rich Rostrom

    Clinton is still the candidate of the Democrat and media establishment. The media are still shielding her on Benghazi and the e-mails, and giving her lots of softball publicity. She’s losing ground to Sanders among the fuzzily left-wing Democrat base.

    (“fuzzily left-wing” because these are not committed Reds, these are people have no real political character and are enveloped in a fog of leftist sentiment.)

    This is happening because Clinton is palpably rotten. This is old news, and didn’t need Trump to bring it out. Heck, back in the ’90s Letterman was making jokes that she was an expert liar, not lawyer.

  • James Waterton

    I think Bill Whittle’s piece about Trump is absolutely spot-on. FWIW (that is, absolutely nothing) Cruz is by far my preferred candidate. Although I’d love to see Fiorina win, if only to enjoy the spectacle of her absolutely destroying Hillary in the debates.

    Incidentally, the only way Hillary won’t be the Dem candidate is if she’s indicted over her “damn e-mails” that apparently no one cares about. She’s got a lock on the black vote, and enjoys the backing of Big Labor. This won’t mean much in Iowa and NH, but will be decisive in much of the rest of the country.

  • Alisa

    It seems to me that everyone here is underestimating the role of the media in all this. The media is not all-powerful, but its role is crucial, it is calling most shots in elections, and it is, for the most part, decidedly left-wing. At the same time, they are not stupid, and they were not born yesterday either. Trump, with all his bullying and big mouth, would not have had a chance in hell up until now, without the media going along and even playing him up – and that includes his attack on Hilary.

    Why are they doing it? Two reasons: one is that they have always been doing it to Republican front-runners, just so that they will turn against them after the nomination and crash them for the benefit of the Democrat nominee. The second reason in this case is that not only are they using Trump against the Republican party and against himself, they are also using him against Hilary, because their favored nominee is Sanders. Once it becomes clear that Trump is about to win the nomination (which he most likely will the way things are looking now), Hilary becomes their target. She will either get indicted, or step down from the race citing “health issues”. It will most likely be Trump vs Sanders in November, barring some truly unforeseen circumstances.

  • David – a vote for Libertarians is a vote for Hitlery.

    AngryTory: I live in New York, which is going to go Team Blue by 20 points regardless of whom I vote for. So why shouldn’t I vote my conscience?

  • Steve Muhlberger

    bobby b —
    I think that no matter what the subject, 20-30 year olds tend to be ignorant of stuff that happened about the time they were born. They don’t remember those events, they don’t listen to the people who lived through them as adults, and they aren’t a settled part of history yet.

  • Trump vs Sanders = Trump win. Unashamed, borderline-communist Sanders is unelectable in the US. If it turns out that I’m wrong and Sanders *is* electable, then you can stick a fork in Western liberal democracy. It’s well and truly done. Stock up on rice, water purifiers and ammo.

  • Fraser Orr

    I don’t agree with the OP’s link. Trump has only skirmished with Clinton, he has been too busy trying to secure the Repub nomination. Hilary Clinton’s problems are all of her own making, specifically:

    1. She has run a horrible campaign which has oozed from the very beginning a lack of integrity, an attitude of “I’ll say whatever it takes to get elected”. (Of course that is what all politicians do, she is just much less artful about it.)

    2. She has from the beginning had an “I’m owed this” attitude, which the American people don’t like at all.

    3. The Bengahzi thing stained her, and this movie didn’t help, and she continues to do a terrible job dealing with it. I watched an interview of the sister (or mother) of one of the guys killed there. It was devastating. She was just a lovely person who was directly lied to personally about this scandal by Hillary Clinton personally. And this lady did so in the context of “I’m not a partisan, Joe Biden was so kind and gracious to me, I would vote for him in a heartbeat.” So it was a plainly non partisan indictment of Hillary Clinton on one of her softest spots. Trump puts her in a well funded ad and Hillary will think that the swiftboat guys were cream puffs.

    4. Perhaps the thing that should worry her most, the email scandal just keeps coming and coming and coming. The facts of this are plain, she deserves to be criminally indicted and perhaps go to jail for what she did, but this problem is amplified by the fact that it plays into the whole “Hillary is an entitled bitch who thinks the rules don’t apply to her” attitude.

    5. Her family is not helping at all. Both Bill and Chelsea are now more a liability than an asset.

    6. The media is beginning to smell blood and are all over her ass.

    7. In particular the existence of a small but noisy right wing media segment is making the usual coverups impossible.

    And remember this is all before Trump has really laid much of a glove on her. One thing is for sure, he will rip her to shreds. See the thing is that he is teflon. His whole shtick is “I’m not politically correct” so all the usual insults and attacks don’t really work all that well against him.

    She is a policy wonk, he is a loud bravado filled “Let’s make America” great sort of a guy. The former might be better (were her policy prescriptions not so terrible) but the latter is far more likely to inspire people to get out on a cold rainy November day.

    All things considered I’d say the election is going to be between Trump and someone else, probably Clinton, but she is already about self destructed. I hear rumblings the Bloomberg might throw his hat in, and I think there is a fair chance that he could end up as the democratic nominee. The democrats have the ability to fiddle the nominating convention for this very reason. So possibilities are:

    1. Trump vs Clinton — Trump will eviscerate her.
    2. Trump vs Sanders — Hard to tell what will happen, they are both very similar in many respects
    3. Trump vs Bloomberg — Same goes, hard to tell what will happen.

    I don’t see Cruz (who is better than Trump in many ways) really making it through, and the others are basically done. Of the four people listed in the list above I am honestly not sure who would be the least bad president. They would all be dreadful that is for sure. But we do have to remember we are going from a base of Barak Obama, so it is hard to tell who would be an improvement or who would make it worse.

  • […] the other hand, this comment from here (which does, in general, have good comments) is worth […]

  • Thailover

    Lucklucky wrote,

    “Btw to demonstrate do anyone knows that more than million people was displaced by combats in Turkey between the regime and Kurds, with more than 500 civilians deaths in just 6 months?”

    That’s probably why the Turks thought that the recent explosions were due to Kurdish rebels operating out of Iran.

  • Thailover

    James Waterton, I think Sanders has about as much chance of getting the Democratic nomination as Ron Paul has of getting the GOP nomination.

  • Thailover

    Alisa wrote: “As to Trump, yes, the media will turn on him too, just as it is turning on Hilary now.”

    Are you kidding? “The Media” are muck-rakers. They are waiting to pounce on everyone and anyone at any opportune moment. They report Trumps gaffs and are bewildered that much of the populous respond favorably to them. And late night talk shows…forget about it. They fucking hate the GOP in total. Seth Meyers would rather tell a BAD hate-filled Trump joke than an actual funny topical joke. Late Night with Seth Meyers should change it’s name to Seth Meyers Fucking Hates All Republicans.

  • Johnnydub

    “Seth Meyers Fucking Hates All Republicans.”

    Not as much as Bill Maher does… AT least Bill is occasionally funny…

  • Fraser Orr

    @Thailover
    > And late night talk shows…forget about it. They fucking hate the GOP in total.

    Yes, and they PARTICULARLY hate Trump. Really Trump stands for all the things they hate about the Republicans. However, he is a huge news maker. You can almost hear the sound of the media swallowing their own vomit as they report with utter contempt, even horrified disbelieve of Trump, while very well knowing the Streisand effect that they are bringing about.

    Trump is particularly interesting from this POV since for the most part the right wing media hates him too.

    I am sure Trump would be a terrible President, but the torment of the MSM and the elites in general that he produces is really quite delicious. He says some truly idiotic things, but he also says things that need to be said that we aren’t allowed to say because of political correctness. And that is awesome.

  • Tarrou

    I don’t think Trump has “destroyed” Hillary.

    She has the most powerful political and personal machine in the world.

    She has a slavish army of media sluts quivering to do her bidding.

    And she has a core of ~30% of the electorate who would vote for anyone and anything with a “D” before their name.

    She is a deeply flawed candidate, and Trump has a knack for finding chinks in people’s armor (witness his handling of Bush and Carson). But while he seems to have been able to reduce some opponent’s polls, he hasn’t knocked anyone out of the race yet, much less his putative national opponent.

    TL:DR = Wait six months to see if it has traction.

  • PapayaSF

    I’m not sure that Hillary has lost yet, but I am pretty certain she will. I sense a massive groundswell similar to what turned the House Republican in 1994. Lots of people are ticked off at Obama and the Democrats. The “recovery” has been weak. Obamacare sucks for most people. Political correctness is out of control. The country is being changed by massive immigration that voters didn’t ask for. The GOP hasn’t stopped Obama. The focus-group-tested blather of candidates has stopped working for many. As Jeremy said above, importing Muslims seems insane to the average American. Hence, Trump’s support.

    Additional points: it’s very rare in the US for one political party to keep the White House for three terms. That’s another headwind for Hillary. Plus, her health is extremely questionable. As in: will she survive even one term?

    As for the email scandal, it is hurting her. Even if the FBI doesn’t indict, it’s fodder for endless campaign commercials, official and unofficial. Plus there’s a chance of indictment, and if not, a chance of very damaging leaks from ticked-off investigators.

    I also look at it this way: what can happen in the coming months that will help or hurt any candidate? Other than a scandal hurting Trump or some other GOP candidate, it’s hard to imagine anything helping Hillary or Sanders. An improved jobs report? Yeah, no. Maybe some mass shooting by a Tea Party guy. But any terror attack helps Trump. Any Mideast turmoil helps Trump. And crime by illegal aliens helps Trump. In short: the likely events of the coming months will probably help Trump.

  • Veryretired

    Hilary will not be the dem nominee. Trump will not be the rep nominee. The election will be similar to 1992 & 1996, with a disruptive third party candidate taking votes from both parties.

    I would not be surprised to see the election go to the House of Representatives due to the split vote.

    The truly crucial election will be in 2020.

    I will not be more specific at this time.

  • AngryTory

    AngryTory: I live in New York, which is going to go Team Blue by 20 points regardless of whom I vote for. So why shouldn’t I vote my conscience?

    TRUMP vs Hitlery – no way she’d get 20%. And it will just encourage the D’RATS. While we have an unconstitutional universal franchise voting GOP is a constitutional duty.

    I sense a massive groundswell similar to what turned the House Republican in 1994.

    Hell YEAH. GOP House, Senate, White House & Supreme Court. Makin’ America GREAT Again!

    Trump stands for all the things they hate about the Republicans

    Trump stands for all the things they hate about America. And that’s why he will win, and win YOOOOGGGGEEEE! \

    I can’t wait til the cattle-tains of illegals start running south, the Marines go in to San Francisco and other “Sanctuary Cities”, and til TRUMP deals to makes good use of the Nuclear Triad to deal with America’s enemies.

  • PapayaSF

    Forgot to say: financial turmoil in 2016? Helps Trump.

  • BFFB_

    And she has a core of ~30% of the electorate who would vote for anyone and anything with a “D” before their name.

    I think it’s more accurate to say they wouldn’t vote for anyone with an “R”, which is not quite the same thing.

  • john

    In my immediate vicinity (I regularly associate with people from both sides of the R vs. D divide) the impression I’m getting is that the R leaning folks think Trump isn’t that bad and are willing to vote for him, the D leaning folks think Hilary isn’t that bad and are willing to vote for her, both think the other is an unspeakable horror, and most of those of us in the middle agree with them both on that part.

    My off-the-cuff impression is that the middle group finds Hilary just slightly less awful than Trump which barring some big change could be enough, God forbid, to put her in the Whitehouse (again) or, what might be worse, create a statistical tie like 2000.

    If I had my druthers, given the choices we have, I’d like to vote for a Fiorina and Carson ticket in either form, or maybe one of them with Rand Paul. I truly believe that Fiorina and Carson, whatever their strengths and weaknesses might be, would be the least divisive and safest choices in a country which is dangerously polarized. People criticize Carson for being soft spoken, slow, gentle, overly intellectual, lacking in energy, etc. That’s a feature not a bug. I think the last thing we need is flamboyant partisanship like we see in Hilary, and even more, in Trump.

  • AngryTory

    My off-the-cuff impression is that the middle group finds Hilary just slightly less awful than Trump

    which is just disgusting

    which barring some big change could be enough, God forbid, to put her in the Whitehouse (again

    TRUMP™ will destroy Hitlery in the campaign.

    ) or, what might be worse, create a statistical tie like 2000.

    no – the Supremes did the Right Thing in 2000, and I’m sure they’ll do the Right Thing again now.

  • Thailover

    Trump keeps making brilliant political moves.
    Recent examples…
    1. Bringing up Cruz’s recent (imaginary) campaign finance problems and saying that ‘it looks like a big thing. I’m willing to do all I can to help the guy’ when Trump was the one spreading the vacuous rumors to begin with. Cruz’s numbers fell like a hot rock.

    2. Skipping the latest Fox network presidential debate. He’s blaming Megan Kelly and her “unprofessionalism” rather than owning up to the fact that his lead is now his to lose rather than others to deal with. The less chance he has to fuck it up, the better. He’s also suggesting that without him, the obvious (republican) elephant in the room, their ratings will drop. Yeah, they will, but also because it’s yet ANOTHER fucking pres debate with the same fucking candidates, over and over. Been there, seen that. This debate will, in all probability, not change anyone’s mind, nor convince any fence-sitters.

    3. Spending time not debating in Iowa working the corn state as the Dems are. That’s a brilliant move because “corn states” are the ones who end up electing presidents. He’s also using that time to raise charity money for vets. ‘Brilliant political move.

    4. He’s telling “the corn belt” that he’s bully for ethanol gas. (See point 3 above). If he’s REALLY in favor of ethanol gas, that’s bad. (Even the greenies now say that it’s horrible for the environment. There are absolutely NO positives with ethanol unless you’re a crony corn grower.) If he’s blowing smoke up their asses…then that’s good for him and the GOP.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Yep. He’s a real good manipulator. Just what we need.

    And duplicitous as all get-out.

    I’m so excited.

  • AngryTory

    There are absolutely NO positives with ethanol

    sure there are. less or more expensive corn for food for bludgers…

  • mojo

    Trump isn’t afraid to stick a thumb in the eye of an opponent – an admirable trait, and certainly preferable to a “oh, everyone knows” but dare not say situation. Screw politesse, this is politics.

    Hillary is guilty as hell, and everyone knows it. Not just of being an enabler of that oh-shucks sociopath husband of hers, either. Serious shit, that got good people killed while filling B&H Inc’s coffers with lovely slush. Ugly, entitled and stunningly venal, that’s the Clintons.

    She needs jail time. Everybody knows that too. Will she get it? The fate of the grand “republican experiment” hangs on that uncomfortable question, for reals.

    So I think the Donald is a good thing, on the whole. Has he a prayer of winning? No flippin’ idea.

    But I will NOT vote for Hillary, I have my limits. Two terms of Obama idiocy was more than enough, thanks. As for Sanders, he might get the sophomore vote, but a majority, even of Dem stalwarts? No.

    My view. That’ll be two cents, please.

  • PapayaSF

    Julie near Chicago: Trump is nowhere near my ideal candidate, but I’ll take a duplicitous manipulator who loves the USA and has some understanding of markets over the duplicitous manipulators who don’t love the USA and don’t like markets at all.

  • Mr Ed

    If Mr Trump truly cared for the USA and its constitution, he would retire from the primary and politics and endorse Mr Cruz, whilst satisfying his urge to be a showbiz figure as a Peter Cetera tribute act.

  • AngryTory

    Trump isn’t afraid to stick a thumb in the eye of an opponent

    or a gun to the head — or more o the point of a President — a nuke to the capital!

    Hillary is guilty as hell… She needs jail time

    No, no, she needs to swing. Actually, that would be too good for her. Break her on the wheel.

  • JohnW

    Trump’s just called Cruz an “Anchor Baby!” 🙂

  • AngryTory

    Heh heh heh! Cruz is an Anchor Baby – actually he’s not even an anchor baby: he’s a Canadian, pure and simple.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mr Ed, you speak but the truth. 🙂

    Unfortunately, so does AngryTory.

    (Contrary to what some elite libertarian law professors think, there are JDs who are highly competent Constitutional scholars in their own right, not to mention holding chairs or even Deanships at serious law schools, who do not agree that Sen. Cruz is hands-down “natural born.” They do not, however, post much on Volokh, I guess.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    PapayaSF, I have my own problems with Sen. Cruz — I don’t believe he is eligible in the first place — but the pieces I’ve seen saying he’s guilty of wrongdoing (such as, for instance, Goldman-Sachs shenanigans) haven’t struck me as particularly convincing. As for not caring about the Constitution, why do you say that?

    In re my comment above: According to Randy Barnett, who does argue that Sen. Cruz is “natural born,” Lawrence Tribe thinks he ISN’T a natural born citizen, and that if he were an Original Constitutionalist (so to speak), which he surely isn’t, being a Living Constitutionalist, he would certainly declare the gentleman ineligible.

  • Julie near Chicago

    PapayaSF, my apologies. I misread. You didn’t say T.C. doesn’t care about the Constitution: You said he “doesn’t understand markets at all.” I ask the same question.

    By the way, the Trumpster understands how to market himself to a certain segment of the population, and he knows how to bluster and bully and kiss *** when necessary and coax flatter and cajole (I suppose) when necessary, and he certainly knows whose palms need to be greased, but I’m not convinced he knows much about marketing otherwise. And if he understood markets (economics) at all, he’d know what’s wrong with tariffs and protectionism.

  • JohnW

    Hot favourite Donald Trump is now the worst result in the book for Paddy Power!

  • PapayaSF

    Sorry I wasn’t clear, Julie. By “duplicitous manipulators who don’t love the USA and don’t like markets at all” I meant Hillary and Bernie, not any of the other Republican candidates.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Ah. Sorry, Papaya. Agree about Shrill & the Sands of Vermont, but I’m not sure how many of the Heffalump candidates understand markets either. Although I gather that surprisingly many of the Other Persuasion (like Krugman, f’rinstance) do get it more than they’re willing to let on, at least in public.

    And what about those who do understand it perfectly well — free markets work, and maybe — even probably — do make most people, including the poor, better off at least in some respects — which is why the hell with them! Nobody s/b better off than anybody else. And that’s the fundamental moral principle! Because if somebody’s better off, that means by definition somebody’s worse off, and that’s just not right. Either “Because,” or “And,” that’s not fair.

  • PapayaSF

    True, a lot of leftists seems to think in terms of zero-sum, if not “crabs in a bucket.”

  • Fraser Orr

    Julie and Papaya, I’m sure nobody has ever told you this before, but I think you assume too much integrity on the part of politicians.
    I don’t believe they do what they think is best for people but rather what is best for them, more specifically what is most likely to keep them in power. So they favor policies that are appealing to their power base irrespective of whether they work or not.
    So “soak the rich” is a good policy if the great bulk of your voters are not rich and feel entitled to other people’s money. And “throw the junkies in jail” is good policy if the bulk of your voters are horrified by a hippie takeover of society.
    So the whole zero sum discussion doesn’t matter. The calculus is not “What is truly best for the country” it is “what is most likely to get me the most votes.” Given that voting is something for which rational ignorance is a good choice (since your vote has effectively zero effect on the outcome, so educating yourself on who best to vote on is a massive cost with effectively zero benefit) then people don’t think deeply about their vote and are readily swayed by ephemera, short sighteness and emotional issues. Anything else would require more effort than voting is really worth.

  • AngryTory

    free markets work, and maybe — even probably — do make most people, including the poor, better off at least in some respects — which is why the hell with them!

    WRONG. Even if communism worked, even if socialism worked, or social-democracy, or indeed any kind of democracy “worked’ better than free markets (and, if you look at the data, communist Sweden beats mostly-socialist USA and free-marked China)

    Free markets are morally correct. Even if they reduced 95% of people to abject poverty, threw millions on the scrapheap, and left millions more to starve in the gutters, they’d still be better than any so-called “alternative”

    There is no such thing as society — plain and simple

  • JohnW

    Open immigration is great if you live in a country that supports individual rights!

    Unfortunately, there is no such place.

    So why do collectivist organisations and political parties of all kinds unwaiveringly support the one genuinely liberal policy of “open immigration” while denying every other aspect of individual rights?

    Because they see “open” [actually subsidised] immigration as a means of subverting and permanently eliminating any prospect of individual rights. This is no big secret or an oddball conspiracy theory; multiculties like Mandelson have openly admitted to it – and why not?

    If multiculturalism is your goal and religious totalitarism is no worse than the alleged horrors of laissez-faire capitalism then by all means fill the country with people whose culture and history is steadfastly opposed reason and individualism.

    This is true across all parties modern “liberal” or conservative.

    Take the US for example.

    In March 2013, when the Conservative Political Action Conference came out in favour of illegal immigrant amnesty under the cover GOP’s beloved “immigration reform,” only 2 people opposed reform – Coulter and Trump who both saw right through it – the latter denouncing it as “suicide” for republicans.

    Ted Cruz I notice said not word against amnesty – which is exactly what you would expect of a man who learned an abbreviated form of the US Constitution by means of a mnemonic.

  • AngryTory

    Senator Ted Cruz promoted and argued for a bill that would give legal status to all illegals in the US.

  • Julie near Chicago

    No, Fraser, what I meant is that some people believe that it’s not right for one person to be “better off” in any sense than another. Everyone equal in every respect, see? The Ant Farm. The Level Field.

    That’s why any forced “equalization” is going to cause bloodshed if it goes past a certain point.

    I certainly wasn’t talking about politicians one way or the other, in that regard. (Actually, my train of thought had just passed Krugman.)

    . . .

    AngryTory, I’m not sure you took my meaning, which in truth is not all that clear from what I wrote.

    I meant to denounce people who dislike free markets BECAUSE they make almost everybody better off. The antecedent of the final word, “them,” in your quote from my comment, is “free markets.” So:

    “Free markets work … which is why the freemarket-haters who know the free markets work say, ‘The hell with free markets!'”

    . . .

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Shrill may be a flaming lefty, but she doesn’t have any particular desire to destroy America. She doesn’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. I suppose she and that no-good husband of hers figure that America is sufficiently sturdy that it can withstand their depredations at least for as long as they haunt the earth. Heck, maybe their worldview is sufficiently distorted that they think their way is the only way (to get power, money & status. In any case, as far as where Shrill’s first concern lies, it’s in Shrill — not in any leftist or Marxist goals. Paul way way way above is absolutely right.

  • Julie near Chicago

    And let me finish with this uplifting, inspiring paraphrase (or maybe a direct quote — can’t say for sure) from our beloved next President of the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders:

    “Roosevelt was responsible for much of the social safety net enjoyed by millions of Americans today, from Social Security, the federal minimum wage, unemployment insurance, the abolition of child labor, the 40 hour work week, collective bargaining and strong banking regulations.”

    –Bernie Sanders, as paraphrased by CBS News at

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernie-sanders-details-isis-strategy-defines-democratic-socialism/

    GO BERNIE !!! YAY !!!!

  • Barracoder

    +1 for the Scott Adams blog link.

    Even though he’s basically plugging his book, I’ve found his insights into Trump’s strategy and his predicted failure of the Clinton candidacy to be masterful.