This is going to take up so much time they won't have any left to do the work people sent them to do. And that's just fine by them:
After months, if not years, of attacking Hillary Clinton over scandals real and imagined, a conservative watchdog group says it’ll push to have the Democratic nominee impeached.
The prospect of a Clinton impeachment — there’s a throwback term — was raised Wednesday morning by Judicial Watch.
“You’re going to still have a clamor for a serious criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s conduct with respect to her emails and the [Clinton] Foundation,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told NBC News. “There’s been no systematic investigation of various issues.”
He added, “I know this generation of Republican leaders is loathe to exercise these tolls, but impeachment is something that’s relevant. They see [the oversight process] as an opportunity in some measure to keep their opponents off-kilter, but they don’t want to do the substantive and principled work to truly hold corrupt politicians, or the administration, or anyone accountable.”
This isn’t the first time that a potential Clinton impeachment has been suggested. When allegations emerged that the FBI and State Department engaged in a quid pro quo to reclassify one of Clinton’s controversial emails, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that “a senior State Department official’s attempt to pressure the FBI to hide the extent of this mishandling bears all the signs of a coverup. This is why our aggressive oversight work in the House is so important, and it will continue.”
Similarly, back in August, more than 50 House Republicansurged the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Clinton Foundation donors had unusual access to the secretary of state during her tenure.
Update: More on this from Dave Weigel. This will be spearheaded by the oleaginous Jason Chaffetz, the camera hog of the century. They're going to put on a really big show.
Just ... this:
That millennial survey I noted earlier shows that younger Latinos are the one group that isn't fully in Clinton's corner. I have no idea why that is but when it comes to the issue of immigration there is just no comparison between Clinton and Trump. Clinton's coalition includes Latinos in a big way which means she has obligation and concern. Trump's has none --- and it's full of people who are actively hostile to Latinos and all immigrants. There is no choice on this issue.
@WalshFreedom what exactly does that mean?— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 26, 2016
|The Trump family cutting the ribbon on their new hotel today.|
I wish I understood why this hasn't been a bigger deal in the campaign. It's such an obvious disqualifier and yet the press has just glossed over it like it's perfectly normal even as they examine every donation to the Clinton Foundation as some kind of corrupt bargain to line the Clintons' pockets. It's mind-boggling.
This happened today, less than two weeks from the election:
Trump stood on a ballroom stage alongside three of his children who oversee his hotel projects at what was billed as the official grand opening of Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House. Trump’s co-mingling of his business interests and presidential aspirations were on clear display in and around the glitzy ballroom where he spoke.
A staffer employed by the campaign put the finishing touches on the podium on stage. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a top Trump surrogate, was on hand and spoke to reporters about the campaign. Gingrich sat in the front of the room.
Speaking after daughter Ivanka, who has overseen the redevelopment of the Old Post Office building, Trump said the project “shows how to work with our government and to get things done. My theme today is five words: under budget and ahead of schedule. So important. We don’t hear those words too often in government — but you will.”
He noted afterward that he would campaign later in the day in North Carolina before visiting other battleground states.
It was one of many instances in which he has simultaneously promoted his business and political interests. The last time Trump held a major public event at his hotel in the District was last month, when he acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States.
And anyway, if people do nice things for him and it benefits his family fortune, well, that's win-win, amirite??? L'etat c'est Trump.
I wrote about this for Salon last month. Trump's conflict of interest is overwhelming and he's so obtuse that he doesn't even realize it. That nobody gives a shit about this tells us a lot about the media's priorities. The news organizations have put dozens of people on the Wikileaks emails searching for a "bombshell" to take down Clinton. They're just baby birds with their little beaks open waiting for mommy to feed them. This story, which breaks every norm in American politics, even beyond what the crazed Republicans have been doing for the last couple of decades, is almost completely ignored.
If he becomes president, Donald Trump will effectively be running an international business from the Oval Office and nobody cares.
The New York Times ran an interesting story this week featuring some 2014 audio interviews for a proposed biography of Donald Trump and a long interview with Michael D’Antonio, the author who conducted the interviews. When asked for comment by the Times, Trump said they were “pretty old and pretty boring stuff. Hope people enjoy it.”
They aren’t old and they aren’t boring, and nothing about Trump is exactly enjoyable. But they are worth our attention.
These audio recordings are published in snippets within an interview with D’Antonio on the Times’ “Run-Up” election podcast. They concentrate mostly on Trump’s psychological makeup, which is — no surprise here — stunningly weird. Trump is uncomfortably revealing while simultaneously displaying absolutely no self-awareness. The disturbing if familiar portrait painted in this story is that of a manipulative, grandiose narcissist with no self-control.
Trump doesn’t want to evaluate his mistakes; in fact he doesn’t believe he’s made any. Everything is other people’s fault; and he refuses to listen to anyone, so he repeats the same errors over and over again. As I read the story and listened to the snippets of interviews and the accompanying commentary, it occurred to me that when Donald Trump says, “I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see,” he truly is the living embodiment of the base of the Republican Party.
Think about it. The GOP has lost the popular vote in all but one presidential election in the last quarter century. The elders of the party know they have a problem with their overwhelmingly white voter base and its hostility to the emerging demographic changes in the country, and they know the party’s ideology has to be updated to accommodate the modern world. Their laissez-faire economic policies failed and their small-government philosophy is inadequate to greet such global challenges as climate change and mass migration.
But their voters don’t want to hear it. Party elders all gathered in the wake of former Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential election defeat to conduct an “autopsy” and set out a plan to adapt their philosophy to changing circumstances and relax their rigid adherence to certain tribal prerogatives, in order to appeal to a broader spectrum of the public. They stressed that they needed to be more open to minority concerns and women’s issues and understood they had to find a way to deal with the challenge of immigration in a more humane way. As the report’s authors rightly advised:
If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e., self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.
Like Trump, the voters have had no interest in such introspection and no desire to to change anything. Indeed, they wanted to double down on xenophobia, racism and sexism and crudely reject anyone who wasn’t exactly like them. And like their new leader, they romanticize violence and keep scores against their enemies. Trump, with his promise to take America back to its overwhelmingly white, male-dominated past, was just what the doctor ordered.
Trump goes on and on in the interview about how winners have to learn how to “acclimate” to new circumstances and sells himself as someone who is particularly good at that. But his performance as a presidential candidate illustrates his self-deception. He has been constitutionally unable to summon the discipline required to stay on message, create a working organization and resist the impulses that drive him to create havoc with his strategy. His campaign has been a train wreck mostly because he has insisted on running it by the seat of his pants, trusting that his instincts are so superior that he didn’t need to learn anything from anyone.
This trait is also reflected in the GOP’s base of voters, who refuse to accept that the world is changing and they have to change with it. Instead, they cling obstinately to a privileged status that no longer exists and close their minds to the reality that it really isn’t necessary in the first place. As Salon’s Matthew Rozsa pointed out this week, they yearn for a return to a time when America was dominated culturally and economically by white people and led exclusively by men.
In a survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute, 72 percent of likely voters supporting Republican nominee Donald Trump say America has changed for the worst since the 1950s. By contrast, 70 percent of likely voters supporting his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton say that America has changed for the better since that decade.
All but the oldest among them have no idea what it was like in the ’50s, other than the fact that uppity people of color and women knew their places. They are anything but “acclimated” to the modern world.
So Trump is the perfect candidate for this group. It’s not just that they are aligned in their xenophobia and bigotry, they are aligned psychologically. It’s essentially about an outsized fear of humiliation and the inability to accept loss, particularly at the hands of people they regard as inferior.
One anecdote in the Times story really encapsulates those underlying dynamics of this race. Trump’s first wife, Ivana, recalled that when she and Donald were first dating they went to a ski resort and she failed to tell him that she was an excellent skier. He went down the hill first and waited for her at the bottom. She said:
So he goes and stops, and he says, “Come on, baby. Come on, baby.” I went up. I went two flips up in the air, two flips in front of him. I disappeared. Donald was so angry, he took off his skis, his ski boots, and walked up to the restaurant. . . . He could not take it. He could not take it.
Unfortunately for Trump, Clinton just ripped and shredded her way down the double black diamond slope of presidential politics — and he’s standing there watching her fly by. And he cannot take it. It still had not occurred to him that a woman could be better than him at anything.
Newt Gingrich and Megyn Kelly Get Into Bizarre Exchange on Live TV
Paula Jones Calls Megyn Kelly A ‘Nasty Heifer’ After Contentious Interview With Gingrich
Trump praises Gingrich for Megyn Kelly interview: 'We don't play games'
...In the game of professional punditry there also clearly exists a special set of rules designed with one person on mind. Or, rather, one sort of person: Conservatism's parade of bomb-throwing, hate-mongering, race-baiting bottom feeders. That breed which makes their daily bread from grifting the Pig People by generating an endless flood of books, magazine articles, broadcasts, speeches and videos all telling the GOP base over and over again that their bigotries are noble and their paranoia is patriotic.Of course, part of the downside of wallowing in the wingnut sewer and trafficking in slander and lies is that, sooner or later, you become a toxic mess. Your stink becomes unacceptable to the general public, which s where the Sunday morning talk shows -- the Mouse Circus -- comes in. Because despite having long ago devolved into a sinkhole of Beltway centrist twaddle, it is still viewed by altogether too many people as a bastion of Very Serious people -- it's the strip-mall of political opinion where casual shoppers go to feel smart and validated.And so a bargain is struck; the bottom feeders deliver a temporary hike in the only thing these show's owners really care about -- audience share -- and, in exchange for being teevee friendly and keeping the worst of their batshit crazy on a leash for a few minutes, their Mouse Circus deburrs the bottom feeders' public image, replates and burnishes their credibility and temporarily transfuses them with Seriousness, which can then be redeemed at ten times its face value back among the Pig People.And in the key to that bargain we find "The Gingrich Rules": an agreement that the moderator will never, ever ask the bomb-throwing, hate-mongering, race-baiting goon sitting directly across from them a single question about their bomb-throwing, hate-mongering or race-baiting activities. Instead they will be represented to the public merely as a Conservative commentator or talk radio host or pundit who, at worst, might be known for some "controversial" opinions, which the moderator will never bother to explicate.
Here is an interesting finding in this poll about millennials.
Millennial poll on most impt US problem. Blacks: racism. Latinos: immigration. Asian-Ams: educ'n. Whites: terrorism https://t.co/pBJvJdUXXi pic.twitter.com/Yt9EO9JqmK— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) October 26, 2016
But it's interesting to see the way these issues divide among the different demographic groups. It doesn't mean they all don't care about the same things. But priorities matter. If anyone had done this sort of thing among baby boomers when they were all under 35, they would have likely named the Vietnam war as a common priority --- but it wouldn't have told you whether they were for or against it. There were plenty on either side. It looks like the millennial generation is similarly diverse in its thinking.
The first failure was a failure of governance and wisdom, under George W. Bush and in the years that followed. Had there been weapons of mass destruction under Iraqi soil and a successful occupation, or had Bush and his advisers chosen a more prudent post-Sept. 11 course, the trust that right-wing populists placed in their elites might not have frayed so quickly...
...The second failure was a failure of recognition and self-critique, in which the right’s best minds deceived themselves about (or made excuses for) the toxic tendencies of populism, which were manifest in various hysterias long before Sean Hannity swooned for Donald Trump. What the intellectuals did not see clearly enough was that Fox News and talk radio and the internet had made right-wing populism...Some conservatives told themselves that Fox and Drudge and Breitbart were just the evolving right-of-center alternative to the liberal mainstream media, when in reality they were more fact-averse and irresponsible. Others (myself included) told ourselves that this irresponsibility could be mitigated by effective statesmanship, when in reality political conservatism’s leaders — including high-minded figures like Paul Ryan — turned out to have no strategy save self-preservation....
Moreover, many in the media, especially me, did not understand how they would express their alienation. We expected Trump to fizzle because we were not socially intermingled with his supporters and did not listen carefully enough. For me, it’s a lesson that I have to change the way I do my job if I’m going to report accurately on this country.
“This is the crisis of the conservative intellectual,” writes Matthew Continetti, the editor of The Washington Free Beacon, in a long essay tracing how the highbrow conservatism of Burnham and William F. Buckley sought to work with and through the anti-establishment impulses of the Middle American right. “After years of aligning with, trying to explain, sympathizing with the causes and occasionally ignoring the worst aspects of populism, he finds that populism has exiled him from his political home.”And, Continetti adds, “what makes this crisis acute is the knowledge that he and his predecessors may have helped to bring it on themselves.”The only word amiss in this analysis is “may.” The crisis described in Continetti’s essay was not created by the conservative intelligentsia alone. But three signal failures of that intelligentsia clearly contributed to the right’s disastrous rendezvous with Trumpism.