“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, May 13, 2016

Paul Ryan, another GOP empty suit, equivocates


Pat Buchanan: The Donald 'may bring more excitement than some folks can handle'


“No modern precedent exists for the revival of a party so badly defeated, so intensely discredited, and so essentially split as the Republican Party is today.”
Taken from “The Party That Lost Its Head” by Bruce Chapman and George Gilder, this excerpt, about Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, led Thursday’s column by E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post.

Dionne is warning what could happen if the GOP perpetrates the political atrocity of nominating Donald Trump.

For weeks now, the Post’s editorial page has sermonized about the “moral” obligation of all righteous Republicans to repudiate Trump.

The Post’s solicitude for the well-being of the Republican Party is the stuff of legend. Yet it is a bit jarring to see these champions of abortion on demand, same-sex marriage and visitation rights for cross-dressers in the girls’ room standing in a pulpit lecturing on morality.

Yet, there was something off about that Chapman-Gilder quote.

First, both were members of the Harvard-based, Rockefeller-backed, liberal Ripon Society. Second, their prognosis of the party’s future proved to be spectacularly wrong.

The year, 1966, their book on the headless GOP appeared, to press hosannas, Richard Nixon led the party to its greatest off-year victory since 1946, adding 47 new seats in the House.

Two years later, Nixon won the presidency, inaugurating an era in which Republicans won five out of six presidential contests, two by 49-state landslides.
Out of Goldwater’s defeat came the New Majority and Reagan Revolution. And Chapman and Gilder moved rightward to serve with distinction in that revolution.
The prodigal sons were welcomed home, and Gilder would recant:
“The far right – the same men I dismissed as extremists in my youth – turned out to know far more than I did. At least the ‘right-wing extremists,’ as I confidently called them, were right on almost every major policy issue from welfare to Vietnam to Keynesian economics and defense. …”

While the Goldwater campaign, as an insurgency of outsiders, bears comparison with Trump’s, in other ways it does not.

Goldwater never compiled anything near the vote that Trump did. At this point in 1964, Goldwater was behind Johnson 79-18 in the Gallup poll. Trump is behind Hillary Clinton by single digits. New polls have him running even in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Now, consider the issues comparison with 1964.

In July 1964, Johnson signed the popular Civil Rights Act that Goldwater had opposed. The GOP convention in San Francisco revealed a deeply divided party, subject to the charge, validated by the rule-or-ruin Rockefeller-Romney faction, that it was receptive to right-wing radicals.

Lyndon Johnson’s decision to bomb North Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident made him a war leader, and Americans rally to presidents in a time of war.

In 2016, however, Trump holds a fistful of face cards. After eight years of President Obama, he is the candidate of change in 2016, and Clinton is the candidate of same.

Trump may bring more excitement than some folks can handle.

But Clinton has become a crashing bore, until she gets agitated, and then the voice rises to where she sounds like the siren on the hook-and-ladder in “Chicago Fire.”
Other than that she would be the first woman president, what is there about her or her agenda that has popular appeal? That lack of appeal explains why her crowds are a fraction of Bernie Sanders’.

The Clinton of 2016 is not the Clinton of 2008.

As for the issues dividing Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump appears to have won the argument, if the debate is decided by voter preferences rather than Beltway preferences.

Trump’s denunciation of NAFTA and other “free-trade” deals Ryan supports is echoed by Sanders, who opposed those deals when they were up for a vote. Hillary Clinton no longer rhapsodizes over husband Bill’s NAFTA, and signals she will not support Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame-duck session.

Ryan professes to be a man of principle. Why does he not then stand by his principles, as Goldwater did, and bring up TPP for a vote?

The truth about Clinton is even worse than what you thought. “Hillary: The Other Woman,” the explosive new book exposing the horrible history of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Available now at the WND Superstore. Or get Kindle version and start reading today!

Is Paul Ryan’s “immigration reform” package as popular inside his party as Trump’s tough line? It would seem not. The longer the primaries went on, the closer the other GOP candidates moved toward Trump. And if Ryan believes in it on principle, why not bring it up?

Ryan voted for the Iraq War Trump calls a disaster. The people seem now to agree with Trump that the war was misconceived.

Thursday’s Post reported that, five years ago, Ryan stood on the House floor to declare, “This is our defining moment.”

And what was Ryan’s defining moment?

“On that day in 2011,” said the Post, “the House’s new GOP majority approved Ryan’s budget plan – which … called for cuts in a government program that voters knew and loved: Medicare.

“Ryan … wanted eventually to turn the massive health-benefit program over to private insurers.”

Come to think of it, Barry Goldwater wanted to turn Social Security over to private enterprise. How did that one work out?


  1. I don't like Paul Ryan.

    He's a dick.

    Expect new 'Blond Bombshell Bimbo Eruption' to hit BillyGoat soon, according to Fox News.

    BillyGoat must be on Viagra by now.

    She comes and visits BillyGoat when Hillary is away.

    Hillary facing perfect storm:

    by Judge Napolitano

    Wendy's is firing all its servers.

    Minimum wage hike is the cause of this compassionate action.

    Servers to be replaced by robots.

    No word on what the bots will be paid, but they won't spit in your food if they don't like you.

    I'm heading to the orthopedic surgeon's office.

    Thinking of just having him remove my damaged little finger.

    Seems simpler somehow than a pin.

    Might pickle it, and send it to Q as a memento.

    Cheers !

    1. The old Sioux buffalo hunters used to cut off their fingers, joint by joint, appreciation to the Great Spirit.

      Some had just enough left to hold the bow, and draw the string, according to Joe Campbell.

      This was after they got pushed up north by the 'Kee, and then on out onto the plains by somebody else.

      They did pretty good once they got the horse, until the US Army put an end to it.

      "Was good, now heap shit"

    2. I had a science teacher who brought big toe to class in a bottle of formaldehyde.

      How did you fuck up your finger?

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Highlights

    Consumer sentiment is absolutely soaring so far this month, up nearly 7 points to 95.8 for the mid-month flash. This is the best reading since June last year.

    Expectations, which have been pulling down the headline index most of this year, jumped nearly 10 points to 87.5. The month-to-month turnaround for this reading is the best of the cycle, since 2006. Current conditions are also moving higher, to 108.6 from 106.7.

    Readings on inflation expectations are mixed with the 1-year outlook, despite the rise underway in gas prices, falling a very steep 3 tenths to 2.5 percent, offset in part by a 1 tenth uptick to 2.6 percent for the 5-year outlook.

    Federal Reserve policy makers will not be pleased with the 3 tenth decline in near-term inflation expectations, one however that looks suspiciously like an outlier and will have to be repeated in subsequent reports. Otherwise this report is very strong and, driven by the fundamental strength of the labor market, points to renewed confidence in the economic outlook.

    Consumer Sentiment

    1. It's because people know that Trump is taking over....

      Obama and Killery are toast.

  3. .

    Quarter mile long line waiting for TSA security check at Midway Airport yesterday.

    Jeh Johnson gives us his solution saying that he is working with the airports to get them to cut the number of carry-ons passengers are allowed.



    1. .

      Latest government recommendations: Get to the airport 2 - 3 hours before domestic flights.


  4. Man fighting for his life after getting shot in the Tenderloin

    Definitely a bad place to get shot.

    1. Man's first words after waking up from 48-day coma: 'I want Taco Bell'

  5. Lessee, "Self-funding - Out," yeah, we covered that.

    Oh, about that "Muslim Ban" - Never mind, it was just a "suggestion."


  6. Rufus confronts the Magic Mirror:

  7. Lessee, self funding...... until he is the nominee. Raise money for election and money will be shared with other Republicans running for office. That is the way it works bubba. Ban on Muslims, no not exactly, the suggestion was to have a pause on all illegal immigration until we have a handle on what's going on, which we have no friggin idea about, bubba. Excellent idea. You and Looney Clooney need to get your facts straight.

    1. "a pause on illegal immigration"

      A little projection going on there Mome.

  8. .

    And how would we assure no Muslims get in until 'we figure it out'?

    Trump: We will just ask them if they are Muslim at customs.

    Looney Toons.


  9. Go ahead and vote for HRC and kick the can down the road.

    1. .

      Does pointing out Trumps says things that are often cuckoo and disgusting imply I would vote for Hillary?

      I said here at least a dozen times there is no way I would vote for Hillary.

      But get real.

      Much of what Trump says makes him look like a walking cartoon.


    2. You'll have to forgive me, Q. I only stop in a few times a week.

  10. The Myth of the Disappearing Nonwhite Voter

    Blacks and Latinos aren’t sitting out an Obama-less 2016—especially not with Trump on the ballot.

    By Jamelle Bouie

    The first “swing state” surveys of 2016 are here, and the news isn’t good for Hillary Clinton. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, the likely Democratic nominee is just a nose ahead of Donald Trump in Florida and Pennsylvania, where she leads 43 percent to Trump’s 42. In Ohio, she’s behind, 39 percent to Trump’s 43.

    It’s a result in line with the theory of Trump’s campaign—that he can break into the Rust Belt and expand the Republican Party’s coalition to states that traditionally break for the Democratic nominee, in addition to occasional GOP strongholds like Florida.

    But there’s a problem. When the pollsters at Quinnipiac took their snapshot of the presidential race, they didn’t assume a static electorate from 2012, where nonwhites were 30 percent of voters in Florida, 18 percent in Ohio, and 19 percent in Pennsylvania. Instead, in Quinnipiac’s view, a significant number of nonwhites have left the voting pool, leaving those states with whiter electorates than they had four years prior.

    By Quinnipiac’s lights, today’s electorates in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are between 4 to 5 points whiter than they were in 2012. If national elections are determined by national swings—where most voters move in tandem, one way or another—then this implies something like a three-point swing among all groups toward the GOP, which would give Trump a narrow win in all three states, and the national popular vote. (I used RealClearPolitics’ demographic calculator for that result.)

    1. This is possible in the same way that there’s a nonzero chance a safe will fall on your head at this very moment. But that doesn’t mean it’s likely. And when you look at the evidence, the idea that nonwhites will leave the electorate—especially in this Age of Trump—is ludicrous.

      The standard narrative for nonwhite voting in a presidential year is this: Before Barack Obama, blacks and Latinos turned out to vote in modest and static numbers. After Obama’s 2008 campaign, they began to vote in droves, transforming the American electorate. Now, with Obama and his historic candidacy off of the ballot, they’ll return to the sidelines.

      Every part of this narrative is wrong. A quick glance at black presidential voting shows a clear upward trend, beginning in 1996, not 2008. That year, black turnout hit a low of 53 percent. Four years later, it grew to 56.8 percent. It grew again to 60 percent in 2004, and grew slightly more than the 3.5-point average to 64.7 percent in 2008, and reached 66.2 percent in 2012, surpassing white turnout for the first time in American history.

      Growing black turnout preceded Barack Obama’s campaign by more than a decade. It increased on his watch, but it wasn’t a dramatic change. And more importantly, that increase wasn’t because of Obama as a figure or a symbol. It was hard work. “[D]oor-to-door, mail, phone, and Internet activities of the political parties may have been more of a factor in mobilizing Blacks than an amorphous, media-driven buzz surrounding Obama’s charismatic and historic candidacy,” write Tasha Philpot, Daron Shaw, and Ernest McGowen in a paper titled “Winning the Race: Black Voter Turnout in the 2008 Presidential Election.” This is still operative. Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign devoted substantial resources to reaching and mobilizing black communities, to great effect—in the Super Tuesday states, black voters reached or exceeded their vote share relative to the last Democratic primary, in 2008.

    2. Hispanic turnout has also grown, from 44 percent in 1996 to a high of nearly 50 percent in 2008. But it decreased to 48 percent in the 2012 election. In general, turnout among Hispanic and Latino voters tends to lag far behind their share of eligible voters and registered voters. But there are early signs that turnout may rebound and return to its earlier trajectory. Since January, the rate of Hispanic voter registration has doubled in California and increased by large margins in North Carolina and Georgia. While some of this reflects the extent to which the country’s Hispanic population skews young, there’s evidence that it’s a reaction to Trump and his vocal, anti-immigrant rhetoric. If that’s true, we could see a growth in the total number of Hispanic voters and the share of them that go to the polls. And either way, if the turnout rate for Hispanic voters simply holds steady, they’ll have a larger impact than in 2012, given their growth in the electorate.

      None of this guarantees a Clinton win or means that Trump can’t win Pennsylvania or Ohio or Florida. But it does call Quinnipiac’s assumption of a smaller nonwhite electorate—shared by many other pundits and observers—into question. The trends and the numbers suggest the opposite—that blacks and Hispanics (and Asian Americans) will again constitute a large share of the voting population, that their turnout will stay steady, perhaps even . . . . . . .


    3. But, here's where the rubber meets the road:

      2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history


      The U.S. electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Nearly one-in-three eligible voters on Election Day (31%) will be Hispanic, black, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% in 2012. Much of this change is due to strong growth among Hispanic eligible voters, in particular U.S.-born youth.

      An analysis of changes in the nation’s eligible voting population – U.S. citizens ages 18 and older – offers a preview of profound U.S. demographic shifts that are projected to continue for decades to come. While the nation’s 156 million non-Hispanic white eligible voters in 2016 far outnumber the 70 million eligible voters that are racial or ethnic minorities, their growth lags that of minority groups. As a result, the non-Hispanic white share of the electorate has fallen from 71% in 2012 to 69%.

      There are 10.7 million more eligible voters today than there were in 2012. More than two-thirds of net growth in the U.S. electorate during this time has come from racial and ethnic minorities. Hispanics, blacks, Asians and other minorities had a net increase of 7.5 million eligible voters, compared with a net increase of 3.2 million among non-Hispanic white eligible voters.

      The growth among non-Hispanic white eligible voters has been slower than among racial or ethnic minorities in large part because they are overrepresented in deaths due to an aging population. Non-Hispanic whites make up 69% of U.S. eligible voters, but accounted for 76% of all eligible voters who died (6.6 million of 8.7 million) between 2012 and 2016.

    4. Another reason growth has lagged among non-Hispanic white eligible voters is that they’re underrepresented among young people born in the U.S. who turn 18 – the group most responsible for the nation’s growth in eligible voters. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 57% of the 16 million new eligible voters who turned 18 between 2012 and 2016. By comparison, racial ethnic minorities – who make up 31% of the electorate – accounted for 43% of new eligible voters born in the U.S. who turned 18.

      Unlike other groups, most growth in the Asian electorate has come from naturalizations – immigrants becoming U.S. citizens. Since 2012, 60% of new Asian eligible voters have gained the right to vote by this means. By comparison, 26% of new Hispanic eligible voters came from naturalizations during this time.

      While the U.S. electorate is growing more diverse, there’s a . . . . . .


    5. The Times They Are A-Changin'
      Bob Dylan

      Come gather 'round people
      Wherever you roam
      And admit that the waters
      Around you have grown
      And accept it that soon
      You'll be drenched to the bone
      If your time to you
      Is worth savin'
      Then you better start swimmin'
      Or you'll sink like a stone
      For the times they are a-changin'.

      Come writers and critics
      Who prophesize with your pen
      And keep your eyes wide
      The chance won't come again
      And don't speak too soon
      For the wheel's still in spin
      And there's no tellin' who
      That it's namin'
      For the loser now
      Will be later to win
      For the times they are a-changin'.

      Come senators, congressmen
      Please heed the call
      Don't stand in the doorway
      Don't block up the hall
      For he that gets hurt
      Will be he who has stalled
      There's a battle outside
      And it is ragin'
      It'll soon shake your windows