The Monday Morning Teaser

This week, big victories by Trump in Nevada and Clinton in South Carolina set the stage for tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primaries, and have pundits speculating about whether the nomination races are over or not.

But while those sound like similar situations, the possibility that it may be too late to stop Trump is causing far more anguish among Republicans than anything Democrats might be feeling (or would be feeling if Sanders were threatening to sew up the nomination).

All sorts of metaphors are floating around about what Trump represents to the Republican Party. (“hostile takeover” seems to be one of the most popular.) In this week’s featured post I suggest one I find more accurate: “Trump is an opportunistic infection”, the kind that only people with compromised immune systems are vulnerable to. Mainstream Republican candidates can’t get any traction against Trump because over the last few decades the Party has systematically de-legitimized all the fact-checking and expert opinion and separation-of-reality-from-fantasy necessary to take him down. So the GOP’s problem is not just one guy: Unless and until they figure out a way to restore the immune system of their base, they’ll be vulnerable to Trump-like infections in all future elections as well. That post is pretty much done, so it should appear shortly.

In the weekly summary, I’ll examine whether the shift in pundit opinion is justified: Is it all over but the shouting? Is it likely to be over tomorrow? (Probably not, I think, though Trump and Clinton are on the verge of building significant leads.) I’ll also discuss an interesting poll demonstrating the variability of people’s opinions about single-payer health care, and what that means for the viability of Sanders’ signature proposal. Also, Nate Silver’s crew discusses the polls showing disturbing levels of racism among Trump supporters, Obama floats a strange Supreme Court trial balloon, and we’ll close with a Game of Thrones mash-up. Expect that around 11 EST or so.

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  • Bill Camarda  On February 29, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I’ve been trying to find better ways to talk about Trump with the suburban homeowners around here who seem disturbingly receptive to his message. The usual stuff I’ve tried (shock at his fascism, racism, sexism, religious hatred, and contempt for all civilized norms) isn’t working, at all. So I tried this — comparing him to those scam artists who show up at your front door and offer to repair your house, and always turn out to leave long trails of consumer complaints wherever they go.

    I don’t know if this works any better, but I gotta try something.

    • jh  On February 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

      Trump is the reflection of the collective republicans cultural id. It isn’t about logic or reason or morality. It’s far more basic and primitive. That’s the appeal of a Trump. He’s the guy who walks into a town and shoots people up to create “justice”. In the movies, it sounds wonderful. In reality, I’m on 911 and reporting a mass shooter.

      I think we would need to have a video of Trump fucking a donkey while singing Allah Akbar or quoting something from the Black Panthers for the fanatical right wing to stop worshiping their ID God.

      id – According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.

    • weeklysift  On March 1, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Last night (2/29) Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed somebody who was scammed by “Trump University”. I wonder if seeing actually victims of his con jobs — ordinary white people like most Trump supporters — will have an effect, when his cruel rhetoric about Hispanics and Muslims didn’t.

      • Bill Camarda  On March 1, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        We’re certainly going to find out, because you have to imagine that’ll be a big part of Clinton’s campaign. I think Trump University isn’t having much impact among Republican voters yet, because they’re likelier to believe that if you got scammed, you probably deserved it because you were just too stupid.

        The 75% of Americans who aren’t Republicans may very well feel differently. When he says “”It’s a small deal. Very small,” as he said last weekend, regular Americans may feel differently about the idea of losing $35K to someone like him.

        Gaming it out, though, aren’t the trials scheduled for this summer or fall? If he can somehow pick a jury that won’t find him culpable, he might be able to defuse the issue that way.

      • jh  On March 1, 2016 at 8:05 pm

        Nope. The fine voters who support Trump consider themselves to be winners. They will blame the people who “obviously” didn’t know how to use Trump University rather than blame the Trump system. If they blame the system, they might have to acknowledge that the world isn’t fair and hard work doesn’t automatically equate to success.

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