Republicans Shackle Themselves to a Suicide Bomber

Back in the depths of WWI, the Germans woke up one day and found that their erstwhile ally Austria-Hungary, to whom they had given that famous blank check in the madness that led up to the war, was completely incompetent. Worse than incompetent, in fact, because Germany had to keep sending troops to bail them out of various military fixes, an oddly similar situation to what Hitler found himself doing with Italy in the next war.  (This is a really interesting book if you have any doubts about how dysfunctional the Hapsburg Empire was in its waning days).

Anyway, Germans soon began to wonder if they were "shackled to a dead man."

I am reminded of that phrase as I see that the Republicans have officially nominated Donald Trump for the presidency, perhaps the worst choice the party has made in its history, Nixon included. I don't think "shackled to a dead man" is quite right. I think that "shackled to a suicide bomber" is more apt. Trump is not only going to lose big in this election to an incredibly weak Democratic candidate, but he is also going to kill the Republicans in the House and Senate and any number of down-ballot elections. Nutty over-the-top crazy talk that might have been mildly entertaining in the primaries is not going to be very funny to voters trying to pick who sits at the other end of the red phone.

As I said on twitter this morning, I almost wish I had not left the Republican party 30 years ago so I could quit today.


  1. Daniel Nylen:

    So you prefer Hillary and her Supreme Court picks?

  2. ErikTheRed:

    Considering Trump's few consistent core philosophies (mercantilism, corporatism, elitism / authoritarianism, and populist pandering) and his quite brazen ability to shift his positions as soon as doing so will no longer hold him back, he'll probably do far worse in practice. Hillary is awful, but she's a calculated and predictable sort of awful. Trump is deeply awful and his only predictable instincts are as bad as or worse than Hillary.

    That being said, I think Trump will trounce Hillary in November, picking up about 30% of the Sanders supporters and a lot of the Reagan Democrats, and then do more damage to the economy and America's world standing than even Obama or Clinton could ever imagine. The 18th century called and wants its economic idiocy back.

  3. Daniel Nylen:

    So you do want H''s SC and the resulting loss of rights to the socialists enjoy the serfdom .

  4. mlouis:

    Reminds me of that hopeless Brexit vote. Ooops

  5. LoneSnark:

    It might all be worth it...if ever there was going to be the possibility of the third party, this is it! Gary Johnson FTW!

  6. August Hurtel:

    Must be where you are living. I don't think Hilary has a chance against Trump, where she would have had plenty against the standard Republican idiot, especially before Trump, when certain populist issues where considered unmentionable even by the Republicans. If anything, the political opportunists now glomming on to Trump actually hurt him, rather than him 'hurting' the Republican party.

    I hope hurt does come though. We need to destroy this two-party system. It is too strong, and Gary smokes too much pot. He's so stupid he actually thinks saying the word 'racist' is in any way helpful to his campaign. So, any real deconstruction is more likely to come if Trump owns the Republican party, and the old guard decides to start dismantling the two-part system in order to regain some control. This would be like Mitt Romney's mistake, upsetting the Ron Paul people, and being so focused on stomping out grass root movements they didn't even think about a billionaire rolling over them.

  7. Joe- the anti trump:

    I for one agree - the most qualified (irrespective of policy preferences) was Ted Cruz, Granted many dont like his personality or his disagree with his policies, but he was/is the most qualified. Trump is nowhere close

    For all the talk of Hillary's qualifications and experience - can anyone name one single positive accomplishment?
    Just consider her 4 years of her accomplishments at State 1) support of the overthrow of Gadafi - look at the cesspool Libya has become, 2 ) benghazi 3) the support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 4) yemen, 5 The russian reset, 6, Support for nuclear arming of Iran, get real the iran deal enhances the ability of iran to get nukes, not the other way around, 7) Syria fiasco 8) approval of deal for russian company to adcquire US uranium supplies.

    The only thing Hillary has accomplished (for her good) is the amassing of her wealth via the corruption - and the corruption of clintion crime family foundation.

    The primary reason that Hillary would not be indicted for the email scandal/corruption at the foundation is the inability to obtain a conviction due to seating a jury the was untainted by political bias.

  8. Mr. Generic:

    I think, and I say this with great trepidation, it will be a landslide Trump win. It's a close race now, after Hillary and Democrat PACs have outspent Republican PACs by 3 to 5 times. Trump's own election committee has spent (or raised) very little money. All Trump has to do from now until Election Day is tack towards the center and appear to be normal. He'll continue to take interviews from anyone who asks and answer questions from reporters. His answers are such a mishmash that anyone that supports him or is even just ambivalent about him won't care, because he's always given mishmash answers.

    Meanwhile, Hillary is avoiding reporters, has only done 3 or 4 carefully vetted interviews during this whole election cycle. She's tacked to the left in an attempt to capture Bernie Supporters and the BLM movement. When we roll into the Presidential debates, I fear for her. Trump is going to come at her hard. Anti-Trump people are going to be livid. It will be 90 minutes of old school ass kicking. I'd even expect a "You don't have to worry about me getting a blowey from an intern, I've got a pretty wife." Every dead cop and every victim of terrorism will be hung on her. If the moderators try to pull a Candy Crowley to save Hillary, Trump is going to go after them. It'll be crude, it'll be crass, it'll be everything the anti-Establishment conservatives have wanted in a Presidential candidate since they were disappointed in "Maverick" John McCain.

  9. TruthisaPeskyThing:

    I was talking to a NeverTrumper a couple of months ago and asked, "Of these three, who do you think will respect the Constitution more? Trump, Hillary or Obama?" His unhesitant answer was Trump, and he decided to vote for Trump long before I did. I do think he would make better nominations than Hillary would, so I holding my nose and casting my vote.

  10. TruthisaPeskyThing:

    Coyote, I do not think that you have a good handle on the American electorate. I was wrong twice before about Trump: First, when I thought he would fade by March or April. Second, when I thought all the angry voters showed up in the GOP primaries to enable his victory -- but he would get trounced in the general election because that angry segment of the total population is rather small. In fact, I was convinced the # who would vote for Hillary just because she is a woman would far exceed the # of angry voters out there.
    However, he is being competitive in the general election. I do expect him to lose because large segments of voters are manipulated though fear, and I think they are more numerous than angry voters. Nevertheless, he is competitive.

  11. ErikTheRed:

    Ah, the Republican True Believer, as brainwashed and blind to the fact that the last time his party was in charge they spent more, regulated more, and socialized more than any Democratic administration had in a generation. And don't forget that oh-so-important Supreme Court pick (John Roberts) that saddled us with Obamacare. Republicans are moral relativists that are perfectly willing to accept all of the socialism their party does and whine when the other party does it. Frankly, they disgust me more than Democrats - at least Democrats mostly get what they want (evil socialism) from their politicians. Republicans whine about socialism under Democrats and then elect socialists because being a team player is more important than having principles (I haven't met a principled Republican in two decades and I don't expect to see one again in my lifetime). Republicans are all traitors in the war on socialism, and deserve nothing but the deepest contempt.

  12. John Moore:

    If Trump prevents Hillary SCOTUS picks, he will be worth it. I plan to vote for him, flaws and all, because there is no reasonable alternative.

    Frankly, I think Trump is a better guy than most thinking people believe. But, time will tell.

    One thing for sure: a lot of the American electorate is fed up with business as usual, and if it takes Trump to stop the headlong charge into progressive-dominated fascism, so be it.

  13. irandom419:

    You have a valid point and hopefully your nose gets some blood flow and doesn't fall off before the election. :-)

  14. mlhouse:

    First, you interpretation of the causes of Germany entering WWI is totally wrong. The common myth is that Germany was forced into war by its ally is totally wrong. They made the choices themselves and it was based on the internal politics of the nation. They certainly did not need to go to war with France and Great Britain over local actions in the Balkans. They chose to do it to keep the Kaiser and the existing governemnt propped up.

    Second, while Trump is not my first choice (he was my, at best, 16th out of 17 candidate) he is far from not having a chance. While I would state Hillary is the more likely winner, it is far from a certainty. Lets see how the huge negatives that Clinton has stack up as well as the unusual populist coalition Trump has built polls.

  15. JLawson:

    Most 'thinking' people are listening to the media. The same media that gave us Obama the lightbringer, and castigated Romney unmercifully for having his dog on top of the car and for having binders full of women. When the media spends more time on his wife's platitudes in a speech than on covering Hillary's emails, you MIGHT start to get a bit suspicious about whether you're getting the full story on Trumps' abilities.

    As far as what Trump's doing - there's a LOT of people fed up with the same-old same-old. I didn't vote for the man, Walker followed by Cruz would have been my choice, but I'll gladly vote for him rather than Hillary.

    Johnson? Another Perot. He'll be pushed forward by the media, attempting to draw off Trump voters. He doesn't have a chance of winning.

    So - I'll vote for Trump.

  16. JLawson:

    Hillary... the more you see of her, the less you want to see more. She's coming across as the shrieking Mother-In-Law from hell.

  17. JLawson:

    Sure. Let's get enough voters away from Trump so it's really close, like Florida in 2000.

    That way, Hillary can demand massive numbers of recounts across the country, and drag out a win!

  18. Peabody:

    I'll assume you mean national level Republican politician, but even so, Justin Amash, Jeff Flake, and Rand Paul are all reasonably principled. I would consider Ron Paul to be very principled. I will agree with your general point that Republicans often like to pretend that they are not for big government.

  19. MJ:

    You're not simply voting for a Supreme Court pick. You're getting at least four years of this person in the White House and whatever platform they decide to pursue. Besides, Supreme Court picks need to be confirmed by Congress anyway.

  20. MJ:

    If the vote is anywhere near that close, the Republicans will have nobody to blame but themselves. Nobody owes them their vote. They need to earn it.

  21. mlhouse:

    The one thing about Trump is that he is running for president completely due to EGO. HE doesnt have an agenda like Barrack Obama. He isn't in it for the money like Hillary. He isn't in it for the chicks like Bill Clinton.

    While EGO can be bad, it also can be good. Because of this drive I think he has significant motivation to do what is best. He wants to be recorded in history as great president. Incentives matter. ANd that is the one thing that makes this not a totally terrible choice.

  22. marque2:

    The problem is with every recount Democrat votes are discovered until the election swings to the democrat candidate. How all these left wing counties fail to count the ballots initially is beyond me. Many think these new ballots are manufactured after the fact and a lenient liberal judge forces them to be counted. The recount process is another Democrat perversion of the election process.

  23. JLawson:

    When you prefer to believe what the media tells you about a candidate, when you know that they're in the tank for the OTHER candidate and will do whatever they can to discredit the opposition, it's kind of hard to 'earn' the vote.

  24. marque2:

    I would dispute that Ted was most qualified, he was the best ideolog. While he has the conservative platform down, he has a lot of trouble getting people to cooperate with him. He actually has a poor record getting anything done. Scott Walker actually implemented good practices in a hostile environment - not saying I am pining for Scott Walker, just using him as an example of someone who was able to get stuff done. He of course didn't play well on the national stage - he was probably too meek for this round.

  25. marque2:

    How is your analysis of Trump different than an analysis of Hillary - who changes positions almost as fast? Hillary, who will say anything and pander to anyone to get elected. I always hear folks disparage Trump over this and ignore that all politicians do it.

    And what about the policies where Trump has stood fairly firm. There are quite a few policies outlined in his first month of campaigning that are exactly the same, and have been highlighted in the convention.

    Of course if you say restrict Muslim immigration, has changed to restrict immigration from nations where people are generally hostile to the US - that really isn't a change, it is a practical matter. Much easier to say, no immigration from Syria, than to question what your religion is. The wall issue hasn't changed. The VA issue has not only changed he has doubled and tripled down on his comments.

    Are you actually forming your own opinion, or parroting what the MSM, and never Trump, Cruz fanatics are saying?

  26. marque2:

    And now you are talking about the establishment Republicans, the ones who hate Trump and who electorate decided to punish by voting for Trump in the first place.

    Maybe he will go into office and be just like the others, the others, who implemented policy and chose the court picks are the ones who are against Trump because they believe he won't continue with their much beloved status quo.

    Again, it seems like you are parroting things from the media.

  27. kidmugsy:

    Hillary is a warmonger; Trump might not be.

  28. DirtyJobsGuy:

    My God, how many Trump supporters seem like women who believe they can change their boyfriend/husband to fix his flaws! Never mind facts or actual behavior, he will just do marvels when elected. I'm sorry, Trump shorts his contractors on pay and sues his business partners, lies about his wealth, and obsesses about people who "aren't nice to him". This is the guy you chose don't pretend he is anything else. It's a sad day when you want a putative strong man to punch someone in the face as the answer to the nations problems. Take some responsibility for yourselves and vote for someone who will make government less powerful.

  29. GoneWithTheWind:

    That would be all well and good if the Republicans had given the voters a decent choice. But Jeb or Kasich? The only decent candidate was Cruz and the Republicans didn't like him either. So if not Trump, who?

  30. Conqueror of All Foes Cheese:

    Or maybe the harpy ex-wife who got everything she asked for and STILL won't go away and leave you alone. Plus I think she has some medical problems that will manifest as the going gets rougher.
    I also think a sizable % [at least 2%, maybe as much as 6% or more] will vote for Trump but are unwilling to admit it.

  31. Conqueror of All Foes Cheese:

    I'm not sure that many Trump supporters [I'm not one] believe they can change him. They're "mad as Hell and not going to take it any more!!" I don't think they have many illusions about him, they just want to kick the entire elite Establishment in the teeth.

  32. Thane_Eichenauer:

    Rand Paul. Gary Johnson.

  33. Thane_Eichenauer:

    That is certainly part of the Trump pie. The other portion is that people believe Clinton is crooked.

  34. Thane_Eichenauer:

    So far Johnson and Weld are more likely to sway Clinton voters. Johnson and Weld say nice things about Clinton but critique Trump. What Trump sympathizer will look at that and think anything but that Johnson and Weld are somehow like Clinton as a result?

  35. Thane_Eichenauer:

    If anybody wants to read an alternative to the above concept I encourage you to read:

  36. mx:

    I agree Clinton should be doing press conferences, but she did 300 interviews this year by the end of May (, not 3 or 4 the whole cycle.

  37. mx:

    Jeff Flake recently took the shockingly principled and logical step of suggesting that we could just, you know, not vote for Hillary Clinton if we don't want to instead of chanting "lock her up" all the time.

  38. stevewfromford:

    : You need a little more humble! To be so sure of an inherently uncertain enterprise like an election is absurd. Do you also believe that Trumps bumbling will be more destructive to our beautiful country than the malignity of Barrack Obama or Ms Clinton?
    You shouldn't assume, as you obviously do, that a Clinton Presidency would be an improvement on a Trump administration.

  39. Mr. Generic:

    The parentheses at the end of the URL is messing up the link. But once I fixed that...

    It's funny how an article with a headline about Hillary's number of interviews is actually 60% about Trump. There's one direct Trump quote that's negative about Hillary, to which the whole article is a rebuttal. There's one mildly negative statement about Hillary in that article. "Such interactions are easier for a campaign to control, and it is more difficult for television reporters to ask questions to a person being interviewed by the phone."

    There are 4 strongly negative statements about Trump in that article. And Hillary is given the last word in the article to reinforce them.

  40. marque2:

    Did you see Cruz commit political suicide last night at the convention? He was prime for 2020 or 2024, but his tin ear for dealing with other people, and getting by using sneaky tricks finally did him in. He will have trouble winning his senate seat again at this point.

    I kind of still liked him but yesterday, that killed it for everybody. And if you think that people will forget, look at Christie - good candidate, but he didn't do well because people still think of Christie holding Obama's hand on the beach - and many of us can't get over that it probably cost Romney the election. It is amazing that it took a well placed tropical storm to save Obama.

  41. mx:

    Sorry the link got messed up. Yeah it's kind of a mess of an article (every article has to be about Trump, because that's how you get people to read your article apparently), but it was the first thing I saw that made it clear that Clinton has, in fact, done hundreds of interviews and not 3-4.

  42. TruthisaPeskyThing:

    yes, I understand with the disappointment with John Roberts on the Obamacare issue. But please remember three things: (1) John Roberts has been on the "right" side many times on issues and has advocated limited government power. (2) appointments by Democrats automatically follow the Left-Wing agenda and advocate increased government power. (3) John Roberts reasoning in the Obamacare case was that government did not have the constitutional power to do Obamacare as a means of regulating business, but it did have the power as a tax. I disagree with his reasoning on the tax issue, but at least he made it clear that the 9th and 10th amendment still do have some validity. So while you have disappointment in John Roberts -- ever be disappointed in yourself? -- but you should reserve your rage for the automatic left-wing votes of Democrat appointments.

  43. MJ:

    The problem is with every recount Democrat votes are discovered until the election swings to the democrat candidate.

    What about the 2000 presidential election?

  44. Freedom:

    I am no fan of Trump, and expect him to lose, but it is far from clear to me that a Trump loss will hurt the GOP in down ticket races. Clinton is historically unpopular and very few people want to give her a mandate without a Republican Congress to check her. The more likely it appears that she will win, the more likely voters will split their ballot and vote GOP for the House and Senate.

  45. Daniel Nylen:

    But, the most important difference is the SC picks. H wants to use the SC to do away with the 1st and 2nd amendments and has said so (Citizens United and Heller). No one will be able to criticize the government without getting a horde of government officials auditing and trying to destroy you and your business.../oh wait that happens now. And you want to make it worse? Enjoy the serfdom.

  46. wilfranc:

    Cruz has a better record than you think. He has fought at the Supreme Court level, and when he was on the FTC he worked to keep the internet free. His students at Texas U also gave him high marks in addition to noting that the class was difficult. Senators have poor records of getting things done. I've donated to Walker, like him also. He was smarter than Kasich in that he didn't include the police and firemen in the public pension controversy. Wisconsin voters are supposedly the most well informed, and Cruz did very well there.

  47. wilfranc:

    I don't think Trump knows what the Constitution is.