Trump the Chump (Part 1)

Any position in the Republican primaries other than:

  1. “I’m voting for Cruz because, goddammit, I can’t let Trump win.”
  2. “I’m voting for Trump because, goddammit, I can’t let Cruz win.”

Is beyond my comprehension.

  1. “I’m drafting Romney in the primaries, because goddammit, I can’t let either win.”

Romney was on Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night raising Romney awareness. In the last couple of weeks he’s recorded robocalls for Rubio, hit the campaign trail to appear alongside Kasich and announced his Utah caucus vote for Cruz - without fully backing any of them. A vote for Cruz is merely a vote to prevent Trump getting the nomination before brokered deals can be made at the Republican National Convention.

Granted, that’s the same as your option 2. But without intending to nominate Cruz.


It combines the fun of self-love with an association with an adorable arctic bird.

I think if the party goes this way - tries to get the vote split so there is a brokered convention, and then pressures delegates to select another nominee (not Cruz or Trump), I think they will collapse in the election and lose even some carefully gerrymandered unloseable seats. It wouldn’t be shocking if 25-30% of their voters abandoned them as irredeemably corrupt.

And that’s a non-violent outcome. Trump said that is there were shenanigans to prevent him from getting elected their might be a revolt, and if those shenanigans also kept Cruz out, I think riots would be possible (riots with lots of guns).


Romney could get the Republican vote out. He simply comes across as an adult with a professional demeanor next to Trump and Cruz.

The problem is that much of the Republican Party believes that it’s no longer about losing the White House this round, it’s about losing the party. They want to dump Trump at all costs, and Cruz isn’t an alternative they like.

But Trump is FAR ahead in the polls. Even if a brokered deal hands the nomination to Cruz, He’ll take his marbles and go home. Meaning that he’ll take all his supporters and all that media attention he gets, and run with his own party.

Canada’s Tea Party movement started within the old Conservative Party, and in 1987 they split off to become the “Reform Party.” They were motivated by the need for democratic reforms, by profound discontent with the Conservative establishment, by a lack of power outside of the capitol region, and by runaway deficit spending which the Conservative party promised to stop but instead accelerated. Sound familiar?

Early on the Reform Party was marked by wingnuttyness and racism, and was home to the religious right. Sound familiar?

Because they split the conservative vote, the old Conservative party was reduced to almost no seats in the next election. Of course extremists get more press than moderates, so the writing was on the wall. With the Reform Party getting all the press, most remaining Conservative candidates crossed over. Trump would count on this, and he’d get it.

The old conservative party (The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada) dissolved in 2004. The Reform Party renamed itself to the Conservative Party of Canada. They got the wingnuts and racists under control. They kept the old Reform Party leadership.

And until last fall they ran the country for a decade.

Trump would likely lose to the Democrats in 2016. But he’d split the vote on the right, and the Republicans would collapse like Canada’s Conservatives did. If Trump runs in 2020, he still gets all the press. If not, his party will be seen to have “matured” like the Reform Party did.

Either way, the old Republican Party is gone.


I think this analysis is missing some things. If Reform hadn’t existed that election, the PCs would have been sent back to Alberta to lick their wounds like the Conservatives were in the last election. The PCs were so bad decimated because Alberta was where the Reform party took over. That election was a triumph for regionalism, not for Reform. After all, the BQ took 54 seats with just 13.5% of the vote while the PCs got 2 seats with 16%.

I don’t think Trump has the same kind of regionalism going for him. He isn’t take over 50% of the vote in hardcore red states while having next to no appeal in blue states. Trump is taking 30-40% of the votes in nearly every state. He got close to 50% in some, but the only one he broke 50% in was the Northern Mariana Islands, which had about 500 votes. Since presidential elections go state by state and congressional elections go district by district a “divided right” in the US would probably result in an actual “divided right” with Republicans and Tea Partiers splitting seats and the Democrats having a lock on the presidency. I don’t think it would give the Tea Party the clout to swallow the Republican party, especially since, unlike the Canadian Reform party, they don’t seem to be eager to swallow their racist, misogynist values to get elected. Rather, they are backing a candidate who is pretty open about those things.

The Harpers (because that’s what the Conservatives were and kind of what they still are) were the epitome of everything Tea Partiers hate about politics. They muzzled everyone in sight. They turned their back on basically every Reform party idea and replaced them with image-conscious voting-block targeted strategies (e.g., why have a flat tax when you can bring in deceptive boutique tax cuts for every demographic). Harper was a paranoid control freak, and the party was him. If Trump runs a new party it won’t follow the path of Canada’s Conservative party because it will be the Trump party, not the Harper party. I don’t think it will tidy itself up by 2020, I think it will be even more boorish by 2020.

Ultimately this could have any number of effects. If the Republican party can say, “Hey, we’re not racist anymore because the racists left!” then maybe they can harness the Goldilocks effect and win as the centrist party. Or the religious right might just take over the party (since they aren’t following Trump) and you’ll have the Democrats running against the racist party and the anti-sex party, with non-hateful monetarists (if there are such things) standing around saying, “How did we get in this situation.”


It’s Mar. 21, and FiveThirtyEight reports that its survey of professional delegate counters and poll watchers predicts Drumpf will fall short of 1,237 delegates before the GOP convention on June 7th.

… FiveThirtyEight surveyed some of the best delegate obsessives and political experts we know on how many delegates they expect Trump to win in the remaining contests. Trump has 695 delegates now, and, on average, our respondents estimate he will still be just a little bit short of 1,237 on June 7, when California wraps up the primary calendar. …

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I just did a search on what they said about him in August and September, and they didn’t like his odds of making it this far.

I think Nate Silver is a smart guy, in October, after estimating Trump’s chances of getting the nomination at 4 percent, he said:

But there’s a lot of existential uncertainty here. If you’re being purely empirical — well, nobody quite like Trump has won a party nomination before, or even come all that close to it. So there’s some universe where his chances are 0 percent.

The existential uncertainty is a big deal, but it works both ways. Building models from the past to predict the future has an inherent problem that we all know about. Right now, I don’t think FiveThirtyEight is much better than any other pundit on Trump. They’ve got better methodology for predicting things, but their methodology seems to not be working for this nomination so far, and I think there is good reason to think that we are going through a political paradigm shift. They happen pretty often, we are due for one.



Has anybody posted this?

no joke, I was searching for is donald trump just a google simulation

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Shoot dildos at Donald Trump’s head:


Bill Maher endorsed Cruz for Republican nominee last night:

He screwed up the last line of the segment, but you get the idea.

Nicholas Confessore reports for the NYT on the economic populists in the Drumpf constituency.

But the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. From mobile home parks in Florida and factory towns in Michigan, to Virginia’s coal country, where as many as one in five adults live on Social Security disability payments, disenchanted Republican voters lost faith in the agenda of their party’s leaders…

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He owes his celebrity, his money, his arrogance, and his skill at drawing attention to those coastal cultural gatekeepers — presumably mostly liberal — who first elevated him out of general obscurity, making him famous and rewarding him (and, not at all incidentally, themselves) for his idiocies…

To be fair, celebrating rich people is not, strictly speaking, meaningfully “liberal” in the FDR-to-LBJ era sense of liberal.

After 1968, these were generally liberals who accepted or were insufficiently organized to stop the Reagan Coalition cheerleading for “smart” rich-kids-doing-deals-to-fix-stuff as a Summer blockbuster cure-all for what ails you that turns out to be moriphine … or maybe GBH.

They were mostly liberal in the sense of corporations and tv shows that are nominally more tolerant than loud white racists, at least with respect to marketing.

Not liberal in the sense of, say, Eisenhower, let’s tax capital gains, fund health care, strengthen unions, implement price controls, and dismantle the military-industrial complex.


The author’s confused “mainstream” for “liberal.” Time, NBC, Random House, and Condé Nast are liberal only in the fever dreams of conservatives who demonize anything but Pravda-esque far-right media sources.


This is the Intercept, though. Liberal is being used as a pejorative from the left, I think.