Wednesday Open Thread [8.26.15]

Filed in National by on August 26, 2015

Eugene Robinson takes a look at the China Stock Market plunge on Monday and how it might affect the 2016 race:

If the global swoon in stock prices were to turn into something more serious, which candidates would benefit? Could it give a boost to the billionaire developer who has a degree — as he constantly reminds us — from the prestigious Wharton School? Or would his four corporate bankruptcies and “ready, shoot, aim” approach to life make Donald Trump’s supporters think twice? [...] How might all of this affect the presidential race? I’m guessing it could make voters pay more attention to the candidates’ records on economic and financial management — and might give a boost to those with experience, as opposed to promise.


“Amid mounting concerns about Donald Trump’s candidacy from the GOP establishment, Republican leaders in at least two states have found a way to make life a lot harder for him,” Politico reports.

“The Virginia and North Carolina parties are in discussions about implementing a new requirement for candidates to qualify for their primary ballots: that they pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee — and not run as a third-party candidate — in the general election. The procedural moves are clearly aimed at Trump, who pointedly refused to rule out a third-party run during the first GOP debate.”


NATIONAL–PRESIDENT–REPUBLICAN PRIMARYGravis Marketing: Trump 40, Carson 13, Bush 10, Cruz 7, Kasich 5, Fiorina 5, Rubio 5.

SOUTH CAROLINA–PRESIDENT–REPUBLICAN PRIMARYMonmouth: Trump 30, Carson 15, Bush 9, Rubio 6, Fiorina 6, Cruz 5, Walker 4, Graham 4.

NEW HAMPSHIRE–PRESIDENT–REPUBLICAN PRIMARYPPP: Trump 35, Kasich 11, Fiorina 10, Bush 7, Walker 7, Carson 6, Christie 4, Cruz 4, Rubio 4, Paul 3, Perry 2, Graham, 1, Pataki 1, Santorum 1, Gilmore 0, Huckabee 0, Jindal 0

That is apocalyptic for Bush and Walker and Paul.

NEW HAMPSHIRE–PRESIDENT–DEMOCRATIC PRIMARYPPP: Sanders 42, Clinton 35, Webb 6, O’Malley 4, Chafee 2, Lessig 1

The ideological divide is actually not that stark on the Democratic side. Sanders is ahead with ‘somewhat liberal’ voters (45/32), ‘very liberal’ ones (46/37), and moderates (40/36) alike. And although there is certainly a gender gap Sanders is ahead with both men (44/30) and women (41/38). But the real big divide we see is along generational lines. Clinton is ahead 51/34 with seniors, but Sanders has a 45/29 advantage with everyone under the age of 65.

“New Hampshire is really unique in the Democratic race,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “We still find Hillary Clinton well ahead everywhere else, but it’s clear at this point that there’s a real race in the Granite State.”

Meanwhile in Iowa… no Sanders surge:

IOWA–PRESIDENT–DEMOCRATIC PRIMARYSuffolk University: Clinton 54, Sanders 20, Biden 11, O’Malley 4


Some idiots on Fox News complained about a Tennessee school’s decision to ban students from displaying any flag due to the renewed controversy over the Confederate flag. The exception of course, is the American flag flying on flag pols.

“This is a about a long-term trend where the people who run everything — the elites in Washington, New York, and L.A. — despise rural America and its culture, suspect anybody who doesn’t live in their cities of being a bigot, and they’re trying to crush that culture by banning its symbols — not just the Confederate flag, but the American flag,” “Fox and Friends” co-host Tucker Carlson said on Sunday. “They hate expressions of patriotism. It makes them uncomfortable.”

Co-host Anna Kooiman chimed in to say that “Americans are feeling guilty” about their patriotism.

Flying the American flag is about patriotism. Flying the Confederate flag is about treason, which is the opposite of patriotism.


Paul Krugman:

Whatever the precise mix of causes, what’s important now is that policy makers take seriously the possibility, I’d say probability, that excess savings and persistent global weakness is the new normal.
My sense is that there’s a deep-seated unwillingness, even among sophisticated officials, to accept this reality. Partly this is about special interests: Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that an unstable world requires strong financial regulation, and politicians who want to kill the welfare state don’t want to hear that government spending and debt aren’t problems in the current environment.

But there’s also, I believe, a sort of emotional prejudice against the very notion of global glut. Politicians and technocrats alike want to view themselves as serious people making hard choices — choices like cutting popular programs and raising interest rates. They don’t like being told that we’re in a world where seemingly tough-minded policies will actually make things worse. But we are, and they will.


James Downie at The Washington Post on why Republicans don’t care about electability in 2016:

Republican voters don’t seem to value electability this election cycle. As Donald Trump has maintained (though not increased) his lead for the 2016 Republican nomination, a recent Fox News poll found that only 13 percent of GOP voters said defeating the Democratic nominee was the most important quality in a candidate. Contrast that with four years ago, when poll after poll showed that a solid majority of Republicans valued beating Barack Obama more than anything else. Why the change? [...]

In Trump’s case, backers don’t appear to be sending the message that candidates should be “more conservative” or “more ideological,” but that they want to “change how things are done in Washington.” Polls suggest that Trump doesn’t draw his support from one or two specific candidates, but a few points from almost all of them. It’s much less about the content of the message, and much more about the style with which it is delivered. Whether Trump adopts conservative or moderate policies doesn’t really matter to these voters; they just want him to “Make America Great Again.”


Steven Thrasher at The Guardian says Republicans are no long hiding or denying their deep hatred for teachers:

Republicans love to hate teachers and imply that all the ills of US society are the result of their laziness. If only schools could be turned over to market forces and not held back by greedy teacher unions, conservative logic goes, everything would be fine – even though charter schools perform no better than traditional schools. Trying to bust unions in general (and those of teachers in particular) turns conservatives on as much as trying to deny climate change, defend the NRA, defund Planned Parenthood or battle for a check from the Koch brothers. [...]

Republicans have always hated teachers’ unions for obvious reasons. They reliably support the Democratic party, even though Democrats routinely go to war against teachers as well, particularly alumni from the Obama administration. Teachers’ unions are made up of groups Republicans always love to bash: government workers with lady parts. Often, when school closure fights happen between unions and austerity politicians, it is black teachers who are the most likely to lose their jobs. [...]

Christie, who has been yelling at teachers for a while, recently said teachers unions deserved a “political punch in the face” for being the “single most destructive force” in education.

The real “most destructive force” in American education right now is not teachers. It is the fact that many of the top contenders for the country’s highest office, running in one of the nation’s two major political parties, are against science, against immigrants, against women—and against supporting the workforce which teaches our children.

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  1. Prop Joe says:

    So what’s to stop Trump from saying “Sure, I’ll agree to not run as a 3rd-party… Let me on your primary ballot” and then just say “Fuck You” and run as a 3rd-party anyway? Are they putting financial penalties in the “pledge” or something? Hell, even if it meant he wouldn’t be eligible for Virginia or North Carolina delegates, I imagine he would give a big “I don’t give a shit” response to them on that.

  2. bamboozer says:

    Republican voters rarely give a damn about electability, their more concerned that the candidate is “conservative enough”. Attacking an assortment of minorities is always helpful as well.

  3. kavips says:

    Republicans for the most part are normal people. It is impossible when you bump into someone, or accept them as a friend, to know beforehand whether they are Republican or Independent. (You know Democrats ’cause they’re the cool ones)… Republicans are also good in bed.

    Yet they too are shaking their head over what is happening in their party… It is very far in advance to make this caution, (and there is a meme out now that says saying this negates all credibility but screw them memesayers; it is called history), but what Donald Trump is doing, is close to both Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco of the late 20’s. First you build up anger off frustration. Then you serve as a collective center for that anger; as the angry aggregate around you, you give them direction. You sort out those who are really angry and make them your praetorian guard. These will kill, riot, bash in babies heads if you tell them it is your will. Afraid of them, people will grant concessions to you, and eventually you can have dictatorial powers.. simply because people feel they will experience death, mayhem, and infanticide if they don’t acquiesce and give you your way.

    In fairness, unions of the 20’s employed some the same tactics to intimidate scabs. (Which is why in the 70’s-80’s, all the bosses were thugs)…..

    Now this is no indictment on Donald. Right now we don’t know how far he’ll take his goons now flocking to him. But it is an indictment on the goons… The real question as to whether this can regress as it did 100 years ago, is how many goons are there actually? Judging by the number of trucks with big flags on them, there are very few. If so, then they get flushed out, and the movement is over while the majority votes mainstream and these suckers become jokes without the brains to even know it.

    But, if numbers like Sanders start collecting around the Don, everyone else has got to step it up. The common complaint after WWII particularly from the Jews, was why did no one do anything when they realized what was actually happening?….

    Answer. They were afraid of the goons.