Thursday, June 23, 2016

Trump Cards, Con't

It's finally soaked in under The Donald's neoprene hairpiece that the best way to get Republicans to stop hating him is to make them hate Hillary Clinton as much as possible. That it took this long for him to deliver a conspiracy-laden tirade against her in a speech is telling, but it was the red meat the Pretty Hate Machine wanted to chew through, and they got it by the truckload. NPR's Mara Liasson was very impressed.

Donald Trump did what Republicans have begged their presidential candidate to do for months — lay out the case, from A to Z, against Hillary Clinton. 
Trump didn't hold back in a blistering speech Wednesday. He went through chapter and verse of every criticism — based in fact or conspiracy theory — against the Clintons. In sum, Trump said, Hillary Clinton may be a "world-class liar" and "the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States." 
The speech will be fact-checked, and before it was even delivered, the Clinton campaign and its allies were pushing back with a detailed rebuttal. Nevertheless, the political significance of the speech is undeniable. After wasting the first six weeks of his time as the presumptive nominee of the GOP — getting sidetracked almost daily by petty personal feuds and provocative statements — Trump finally laid out a case against Clinton on foreign and domestic policy. 
This speech should quiet some of the angst inside Republican circles about the quality of the campaign Trump is running (or not running). Opposition to the Clintons is one of the strongest strands in the GOP's DNA — and now that decades-long animus seems to have found a focused champion in Donald Trump. 
It's the speech Republicans have been itching to hear, in a crystallized way, since the 1990s. Trump gave them exactly what they wanted and likely quelled some fears about his candidacy. They might not be totally behind him, but Republicans are virulently opposed to her. 
And the best way to galvanize people who should be on your team is to find a common enemy.

So we're congratulating Trump for being a standard, hateful Clinton-bashing Republican? Mara definitely misses the 90's. Ironically, it took this long for Trump to focus on Clinton because his overweening narcissism prevented hm from talking about anyone other than himself for a year.

And let's not overlook the fact that the speech itself was basically one giant bucket of lies.

Look, Trump figures his only shot is to try to drag Clinton down to his level.  It will probably work to keep the "Never Trump" rubes (including Liasson, apparently) in line, but it's not going to help him with anyone else.  Still, to have any shot in November, Trump has to get his party behind hating Clinton 24/7.

We'll see how that works out for him.

Ryan In The Reign Storm

So how did Rep. John Lewis and House Democrats get away with their sit-in protest over forcing a vote on gun control legislation on the floor of the chamber yesterday, and why were House Republicans so utterly unprepared to deal with it?  Two reasons: social media, which allowed the Democrats to broadcast even after the GOP pulled the plug on proceedings in the House, and Paul Ryan being the most inept House Speaker in decades. 

A Democratic protest demanding votes on gun-control legislation led to pandemonium in the House chamber that did not end until early Thursday, when Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his fellow Republicans reclaimed control long enough to force through a major spending bill. They then abruptly adjourned and left the Capitol.

Furious Democrats remained on the House floor, where they huddled around their leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who praised their stand as a “discussion heard around the world.”

Ms. Pelosi expressed bewilderment at the Republican position. “What could they be thinking?” she asked. “Whatever it is, they don’t want to tell anybody about it. That’s why they left in the dead of night.”

The standoff, which began with a Democratic sit-in on the House floor just before noon on Wednesday, did not end until about 3 a.m. Thursday when Mr. Ryan — barreling over Democrats’ objections — took the rare and provocative step of calling a vote on a major appropriations bill in the wee hours and without any debate. He then adjourned the House, with no legislative votes scheduled until July 5.

The House approved the bill, which includes $1.1 billion in emergency financing to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus — and more than $80 billion in other government spending — by a vote of 239 to 171 shortly after 3 a.m.

Republicans dashed from the chamber into the sticky heat gripping Washington and were met by protesters who jeered, with some shouting, “Do your job!”

All I have to say is that John Boehner, for all his incompetence in getting rolled by Nancy Pelosi and sometimes even his own party on a regular basis, never would have let John Lewis get this far in the first place.  He would have known this was coming after Senate Democrats tried a similar move, moved the Zika vote up, and would have placated Lewis with a promise to vote before the Dems got hours of free publicity making the GOP look like a bunch of savage assholes.

But this was Paul Ryan's show, and he failed the tests from the get-go. Instead of taking control of the House immediately, Ryan went to CNN to talk to Wolf Blitzer, when Republicans had been avoiding the media for the month of June in order to dodge Donald Trump questions.

Amid Ryan's bluster about due process, which should come as a real surprise to the families of  the victims of Orlando's massacre, was the fact that Ryan was pleading with media to call foul on the whole affair and side with him in order to help shut Lewis down.

No such luck. Meanwhile, the Senate is introducing bipartisan legislation that would block gun sales to people on the No Fly list.

Maine Republican Susan Collins and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced a compromise bill that would authorize the Justice Department to deny gun sales to individuals on two terror watch lists; while the proposal's chances of passage are still unknown, it's the first congressional response to the Orlando attack that has had the backing of figures from both parties. (Four other gun-control bills failed along party lines in the Senate earlier this week.)

The bill—technically an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act—would apply restrictions to individuals on the no-fly and "selectee" lists, a narrower group than would have been covered by a failed amendment proposed by Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The proposal attempts to address concerns about Constitutional-rights issues related to the watch lists by including "a process for Americans and green card holders to appeal a denial in U.S. Court of Appeals and to recover their reasonable attorneys fees if they prevail."

So by shutting down the House, Ryan now gives the Democrats in the Senate the opportunity to move this bill forward and continue their narrative, with Republicans like Susan Collins of Maine already on board.

Ryan got rolled, plain and simple.  For once, it's working in America's favor.


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