— Politi.us

Political Analysis of Today's Events

Tag "Extremism"

Evan McMullin doesn’t have a chance at winning the presidential election. He’s banking on a strategy that no neither Clinton or Trump can get a majority of the electoral college needed to win. Then the race would be decided by the house of representatives. This is why he’s running. He wants to be elected by 435 people who have heard of him, not 300 million who haven’t.

But who is Evan McMullin? No one really knows, and given his near complete obscurity, no one is going to know, probably ever. Personally I think it’s presumptuous to assume you could handle the mantle of the presidency just because you’re an adult and have a clever way to snake yourself into office.

He’s not running for country. He’s just another person on an ego trip. Anyone crazy enough to mount an unwinnable campaign (no, he won’t win) is probably pretty extreme in one way or another. Any rational, main-stream person would know enough not to try. So as a politician suddenly under the scrutiny of the presidential press corp, he’s likely to obliterate himself much like so many others before him who weren’t ready for the limelight. And that’s to say nothing of his actual views. Like about, well, everything.

I’m not saying he wouldn’t make a good president. I’m saying it’s extremely unlikely he’d make even a D level president given his lack of hands-on political experience in front of a microphone held by an adversarial press.

I don’t think I’m doing anything but stating the obvious here, but someone needs to take the time to say it. Go home Evan. You don’t deserve to be president – on so many levels – so if not for ego, then why are you running?

3 pane strip 032616

Today’s red meat loving right-wing base doesn’t mind hearing terrible things about Muslims, immigrants and anyone else they decided they don’t like. But when outrageous talk provokes outrageous action, , they won’t bother looking in the mirror or at their leaders for answers. Instead violence only provokes more violence and their leaders will be the ones clamoring to bring it to them.

Engagement has always been the way to quiet the angry rumblings of international animosity. Winning hearts and minds was never accomplished through violence. But most in the grassroots right-wing conservative movement don’t even know the difference between Sikhs and Muslims and often mistake them for one another. How can they be expected to vote for leaders who claim to understand the nuanced way to deal with a culturally different and population? They just want to vote for people who preach violence and intolerance.

The reason we have freedom of religious is not only to protect the religious group, but to prevent discord within the population in general. Antagonizing an entire group of people, especially religious fanatics, is a great way to provoke a response and we need to collectively come to that realization.

In the last decade, it seems that terror attacks just prior to elections have become all the rage. It’s almost becoming a regular expectation even when it doesn’t happen. As a population of intelligent and calm-minded people, we need to learn to expect such atrocities in today’s environment and not over-react to even the most terrible of provocations. If we can’t do that, then the bad guys win – the war mongers among us who would rather steal power through antagonistic methodologies and violence, and those who perpetrate the violence by provoking the reactions they set out to provoke.

Those leading the Republican party today are total jokes. Punchlines for late night comedians. Fodder for the water cooler. The only qualified republican candidates are being overlooked and ignored by the media and will be forced to withdraw after a while due to lack of funds.

You could read 10 stories about Trump and never see a headline about about Christy, Bush or ummm, who are the other people running?

Perhaps this is a media coup after all? I mean, look what they are talking about in the press. Carson? The guy has a picture of himself with Klingon Jesus and doesn’t know apples from oranges about foreign policy.

And Trump? He’s a showman and a salesman, but NOT a politician who knows anything about policy. He thinks ratings translates into votes. We found out that isn’t true last night when we destroyed by Cruz in Iowa.

And Cruz? How could the most hated man in Washington run Washington effectively? Here’s a hint: he can’t. Can you imagine a president like Cruz? I true ideologue? He’d use executive orders to undo all the positive social changes President Obama worked so hard for. He’d work to ban every single type of abortion. He’d kick millions of people out of health care plans with his promise to repeal Obamacare. He’s a sick man who’s ready to wield power for the betterment of himself and his own personal views, but he definitely won’t be the president for all Americans. Only the staunch right wing bible thumping crew who think the apocalypse is nigh.

These guys are all fatally flawed candidates. They can’t win an election against a normal, center Democrat like Clinton. So my feeling is that the media is pumping them up which makes an easy glide path for a Democrat to take office in 2017. But I’m fine with all of it. And thank goodness. Let’s keep talking about Trump, Cruz and Carson. The more the better! I’ll laugh all the way to November.

TRUMP/PALIN for the republican ticket! smh

Trump would turn every Muslim in the US into a potential terrorist.

His talk of ‘drastic policy measures’ plays great to xenophobes, racists, religious warrior types, and ignorant gun-toting right-wing nutjobs, but warrantless wiretaps, shutting mosques and special identification cards? That’s a great way to sow hatred in a population that largely supports our way of life and point of view – at least for now.

Trump’s drastic security measures are a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you can create your own bogeyman, suddenly security becomes necessary and obvious – but I don’t remember the last time a roadside bomb went off in Cleveland. Goodness help us if he’s ever in a position to implement policy.

At least under Obama, American Muslims don’t feel singled out or marginalized or persecuted. It’s what makes our country great. You can’t say that about Muslims in France or much or Western Europe. It could reasonably be argued that Obama’s (and generally American) inclusive policies have had a positive effect by marginalizing the extremists.

But I guess Trump and his idiot supporters are aiming to change all that. Then when extremists finally attack here, these idiot gun nuts will blame Obama instead of the more-and-more Nazi-like Trump and his ‘necessary’ and ‘drastic’ measures, and use the attack as an excuse to loosen gun laws and implement even more repressive, rights-abusing policies.

Nevermind that loose gun laws make it possible for terrorists to easily obtain powerful, military-style weapons in the US just like everyone else. That’s just a detail.

To make matters worse, others right-wing politicians who previously have been more tempered in their political rhetoric are now trying to follow Trump’s lead. Ben Carson today suggested that Syrians are like dogs, some rabid, some not. Ted Cruz thinks we should have a religious test for admittance into the country. John Kasich thinks we establish a Judeo-Christian government agency.

I haven’t heard any craziness from the likes of Palin or Huckabee lately, but probably because the myopic lunacy coming from those with a bigger megaphone is sucking all the air out of the room.

See original referenced article here.


Would it be going too far if I called the entire Republican presidential field of candidates over the last 2 election cycles a national embarrassment? Maybe, but it’s not far off.

Let’s start with the last election.

The only candidate in 2012 who had a plausible shot at beating President Obama was Mitt Romney, but he fit in with the rest of the Republican field about as well as a boy scout at a biker rally. He was strictly a business oriented Republican and a pragmatist, not a culture warrior, and most Republicans didn’t care for him. In fact, one might say he was barely tolerated by red state voters who held their collective noses as they cast their ballots. They were voting more as a rebuke of President Obama than an endorsement of then candidate Romney.

The fact that the Republican standard bearer was so undesirable to his own party speaks volumes about how the Republicans perceived the political environment at the time. Specifically, it demonstrated that the brighter bulbs in the party who had an eye on the Whitehouse had long since concluded that running against President Obama was dead end. You only get one real chance at the Whitehouse, so why waste it?

This collective realization from nearly all the A-listers led to a power vacuum at the national level for the Republicans and set the stage for the zombie-like B-listers to wander haplessly into the void. And in they came. Candidates that ordinarily wouldn’t capture the attention of a newsroom intern were suddenly relevant and that’s why 2012 turned out to be such a disaster for the party. The patients were attempting to run the asylum.

Along with the lukewarmly-received Romney there was Ron Paul – a smart, articulate politico but also a fringe candidate with impractical views. Newt Gingrich was on his third wife which is generally a bad thing when you’re aspiring to represent the party of religion and family values, and he had a reputation from his time in congress as an angry partisan. Next there was Rick Santorum who couldn’t even get re-elected to Congress from his own state. Michele Bachmann was demagogue and nakedly ambitious. Her laughable attempt at a rogue State of the Union rebuttal was a debacle and helped seal her fate. Herman Cain was not a politician and it showed. Mike Huckabee was a creationist, and the others were even less notable than the those already mentioned. None was a serious threat to Obama.

Even the Republican electorate knew the field was stuffed with punchlines and they struggled throughout the primary season to find a suitable leader. No one wanted to settle for Romney and he had to wait his turn on the sidelines like the last kid to be picked in gym class. Polls showed voters scrutinizing literally every other candidate in the field before settling on him. A dubious honor with an unhappy and predicable ending.

Fast forward to 2015.

Now that the brass ring is up for grabs for the first time in 8 years, it should come as no surprise that the prospective candidates who grudgingly sat out the 2012 cycle are frothing at the opportunity to stake their claim. Pundits have said that the large number of GOP hopefuls is a result of the Citizens United ruling, allowing candidates to be propped up by a wealthy few, but they are only half right. The other reason is because Republican demagoguery is all the rage among the voters. If the Republican’s 2012 race (and Sarah Palin who came before them) showed the extremists on the right one thing, it was that bomb throwing is a tasty treat for primary voters.

All of these environmental changes culminated, at least momentarily, in the rise of Donald Trump. Trump is nothing less than the pinnacle of bombast, and both the public and the media have responded with open arms, although for different reasons than Trump would care to admit. The stupider, the more offensive, and the more in-your-face Trump has become, the larger his poll numbers. This has had 2 effects.

First, it’s contributed to the further decline of the stature of the Republican political machine as civility and reasonableness have been replaced by unapologetic hubris. This has also given rise to a whole slew of new candidate behaviors that would not have been tolerated in years past. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has been tripping all over himself of late to say outrageous things just to win a soundbite in the daily news cycle. It’s kind of sad to watch, but not unexpected as candidates fall all over themselves to trump Trump.

Second, it’s become nearly impossible for the better candidates to break through the noise, leaving the Republicans wondering for a second presidential election in a row if they’re going to be forced once again to field a settled-for as their party’s choice. Everyone expects Trump to fall, but no one knows when.

The Republicans have a huge right-wing problem and it’s left them a laughing stock instead of an ideological rival. A quick glance at a bell curve reminds us that the Republicans have no chance of winning from the far right. They need the center, period – but bomb-throwers don’t live in the center. So they are left with a shattered reputation and unelectable candidates who can only pretend to compete effectively as malarkey can only get you so far.

And that’s how the Republican party presidential field became such a mess.

Extremism is a Poison Pill

It’s no secret that today’s Republicans are at war with one another. Over the last several years the right flank has grown increasingly militaristic in its rhetoric as well is in its deeds, but is it a winning strategy or path to nowhere? Common sense would dictate the latter, and yet on they soldier, increasingly isolating themselves from the mainstream as they stake out ever more hard-line positions while pulling even the moderate Republican voices to the right as they go.

It Started with RINOs

The most obvious flaw in today’s far-right militaristic ideology is the concept of a purity test. Republicans are scrutinized and graded on their voting record and rhetoric like no other party in the United States. Stray too far from the conservative line and you’re tainted a ‘RINO’ – an impostor who must be ‘purged’.

Whoever invented this gem of a moniker was either a genius yet diabolical Democratic strategist or, more likely, a myopic conservative who didn’t understand the concepts of inclusion or compromise. Simple logic dictates that you can’t expect to be the party of the big tent and yet haul your rank-and-file members before the ‘purging’ firing squad. It’s inconsistent and short sighted, yet practiced today without so much as pretext to disguise their disgust with those who fail to measure up.

It’s not surprising that die-hard conservative extremists would embrace the concept of a purity test for their party leaders. What is surprising is that use the of pejorative RINO and terms like purity test are tolerated in general within the party by the more moderate, establishment Republican leaders. These are offensive, exclusionary terms by definition and turn off those in the middle who would otherwise lean right. It begs the question: how many Republicans have left the party as the extremists attempt to hijack the organization and demonize their own more moderate members?

Grover Norquist and his Illogical Taxation Pledge

Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge is yet another example of extremist ideology run amok. Governing costs money, period. The idea that a politician must pledge to never raise taxes is like a gardener pledging to never use more water, no matter the circumstances. What about during a really hot year? The marginal income tax rate could be lowered but simple logic dictates that if you lower it too much and you run out of money for necessary items, you’re all going to have to break your famous pledge. Then what?

Pledging to NEVER do something in politics should be a red flag to the moderate and reasonable peoples of this country that something isn’t right. Politicians taking the pledge are either short sighted or pandering. Either way, it’s a fool’s errand and a silly pledge, but so far it’s tolerated and Norquist is considered important by conservatives.

Tea Party Patrons

The Tea Party claims to champion fiscal conservatism, but their approach to governing has been so extreme that many in the political center are turned off by the harsh rhetoric and political brinkmanship. The result is a tarnished brand leaving many in the political center turned-off and unwilling to identify with what they view as an extremist – and in many cases racist – organization.

Tea partiers haven’t helped themselves by embracing extremist politicians like Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and other bomb throwers and firebrands. It’s great press, but it doesn’t lead to the majority or the presidency.


Today’s Republicans are not shying away from the topic of immigration driven mostly by the bloviating Donald Trump. But immigration built this country, and as a great and free country, our population is liable to continue to grow as more and more people come to our shores. The xenophobic strategy of demonizing immigrants at the expense of the long term party health is just another example of short sighted extremism trumping (pun intended) political realities.

Conservativism is Doomed to Fail Anyway

Social conservatives are agog over family values, tradition, and religion. But nothing in our society ever remains the same. The most they can hope to do is slow the progress. Today’s conservatives are pulled along with social change in spite of their stalwart opposition even if they don’t realize it. Back in 2000 when then presidential candidate Bush used gay marriage as a wedge issue to win the presidency, the American electorate was so uncomfortable with the concept that it proved to be a highly effective strategy. A mere 15 years later, the country’s mood has shifted to such an extent that gay marriage is now the law of the land, and even right-wing politicians consider it a settled matter for the most part. No one expects a reversal on policy after the Supreme Court ruled on the topic, and the idea of an amendment to the constitution is a pipe dream shared by only a few.

On issue after social issue, and given enough time, the winds of political reality blow ever leftward leaving those unwilling to change in continuously shrinking minorities. Taken together, the militant and shortsighted views of the American conservative movement is deeply flawed and can’t continue to govern unless it changes course in a significant way.

You can’t exclude, demonize, bully, and insult without long term consequences. This should be simple and obvious, but to the American extreme right, it makes perfect sense.