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« The summer of Jeb's doom | Main | Alan Grayson's phony "concerns" about the Iran deal »

August 31, 2015


I see no daylight between us in this assessment of possibilities. I would perhaps have linked to the emerging questions about Trump's impressive array of lawsuits directed against him. Specifically the fraud allegations relating to the defunct Trump University. We should not forget to add this to the bill of fare but not too soon. Trump has without a doubt the largest array of vulnerabilities and past verbal indiscretions ever to burden a presidential candidate. As Howard Dean has repeatedly noted, if he'd said anything like any of the offensive things Trump has said he'd have been hustled out the door.

But there is this one giant impediment to a Bush lead assault on Trump and that is that it would benefit almost every other candidate but him. The strategy you propose could only work, in my opinion, if all of the candidates went Ides of March on Trump. Self interest in the hope of collecting Trump supporters prevents that (see Cruz Trump allegiance). But even supposing they could agree to array themselves in the necessary circular firing squad the other danger emerges. Trump can always campaign as an independent and unless he is so thoroughly buried that this option becomes a hollow threat whoever wins the Republican nomination is still doomed.

Ultimately I get to the same destination as you. Jeb IS doomed. But so are all the other candidates and not all the money in the superpacs can prevent it now. They can spend like water and all Donald needs to do is step before the waiting camera lights which are all provided for free. Our main point of dissension seems to be which strategy will prolong his agony the longest. If you watch Jeb campaign the agony of it is obvious. I actually feel sorry for him.

Jeb's strategy of raising more money than any other candidate to force them out of the race has backfired and now he doesn't know what to do. I keep wondering where Karl Rove is in all this and why he isn't working on another Bush campaign. I don't think that he thought he would have to work this hard and is genuinely caught off guard by it. Too many generations of having everything handed to you make you forget how to work for anything. George W. was a terrible president, but on the campaign trail, he had that ease with people that Jeb just doesn't have, and can't be faked. Remember W. the 12-stepper was somehow branded as the president most people would like to have a beer with, as if that were even a possibility in the lives of most Americans. But somehow that is what the media sells, and you can't blame everything on the media if the public is so willing to buy it. Plus, I wouldn't be lavishing all of the attention on the Donald. There is a contender who has been climbing in the polls making second place in many of them, and his name is not Jeb.

Josh Marshall has posted a couple of very interesting discussions of Trump's strategy over the past few days. The first,, compares Trump's methods to W.T. Sherman's ability to run rings around his opposition thanks to his ability to disconnect from the traditional supply lines (something that the Donald's independent means enables him to do as well). The second, is an engagement with several of Marshall's readers, who have pointed out the similarity of Trump's tactics to those of the late military strategist, Colonel John Richard Boyd. The readers corerectly point out that Trump has managed to get inside the other candidates information/decision/action loops by reacting more quickly,and changing the subject through rapid fire Tweets.

I take it you mean Carson. He and the other non-politicians are the natural beneficiaries of Republican efforts to brand everyone who ever sat in a publicly elected office is an insider who most obviously must have been captured by the system. Which, coincidentally, what most hard core conservatives feel is the problem with the GOP. Well marketed boys. He seems like a nice man but he is going to be asked a lot of questions which he hasn't a clue how to answer.

His proposal for an alternative to Obmamacare? A medical savings account that is to be issued with your birth certificate. Who is to put money into that savings account if your parents don't have any or not nearly enough? Ahh... Ahh....

Those are both delightfully apt analogies and I thank you for the links. Herewith my own analogy and homage to Hedy Lamarr. She and her partner invented the first sound method of getting around frequency jamming of torpedoes though frequency agility. And boy does Trump understand that concept. Try to poke him in the eye and he kicks you in the ass.

Krugman has put his finger on *the* thing that defines the Republican Party, especially since Reagan. "[P]oseurs with a knack for public relations can con the public for a very long time." The entire Republican project since the 1970's has been to *create* poseurs rather than offer policy perspectives. The only reason for the party since then is to deliver the goods for oligarchs and win with whatever it takes. To achieve its aim an entire political world has been synthesized by way of PR. The view from orbit shows that America is constantly under existential attack by Big Gummint, people with too much melanin, military weakness, civil unrest (even if two Black Panthers standing in front of a voting booth), godlessness and its sibling science, drugs, socialism defined as communism, women offering an apple from the tree of reproductive knowledge, crime, liberals, and whatever else might have been convenient for a moment.

The answers Republicans create for the often ersatz problems are always designed to cause those that would swallow them to see anyone who wouldn't as traitorous and morally inferior while creating money-making opportunities for their masters. Therefore lowered taxes and re-directed subsidies resulting in less government aid to society as a whole and greater wealth disparity, war, criminalization of petty crimes, police state tactics, privatized prisons and schools, redefining freedom as second amendment absolutism, bigotry and irresponsible behavior by corporations and Wall Street, and so on.

"A very long time" might be nearing its end. Let's hope so.

Keep in mind that Jeb has re-assembled his brother's foreign policy team and you won't feel sorry for him.

Karl might have ended his career of evil with his FNC televised meltdown during the final hours of the 2012 presidential campaign. Whatever the reason, good riddance.

Basically, Trump employs the "Gish Gallop" on his opponents. The only way to take him down is for this tactic to be turned on him, but he's so much more savvy with the media than his opponents, I just don't see them able to pull it off.

You'd be surprised who agrees with us. Which reminds me, I need to change the batteries in the wall clock.

If the only way to beat an OODA loop is with a faster one we might be in for a real treat.

Not sure if you saw him explain these choices but it boiled down to there only being so many Republican advisers with the depth of experience to understand America's foreign policy needs. So, to paraphrase one of those nitwits, you go to foreign policy with the idiots you have and not the ones you wish you had.

The difference is that Erick still doesn't understand how much of the Republican project is a Potemkin village set up to scam true believers like himself. Of course the consultants are going to work for the party kings and not the pawns.

That's a both brilliant and funny juxtaposition. I hope lumpen Republicans share your insight if not sense of humor.

Aren't we having fun today? Boyd's theory does rely however on having command and control so maybe they'll try an Oompa Loompa Loop. My feeling is that the Republican field, led by the Donald, are going to dip into the rich African American heritage and start playing the dozens. You first Donald to Jeb: Yo' mama thinks there have been enough Bush presidents!

You are absolutely right. Erick does not understand the Republican party, particularly the business interests for whom the party is not an ideological vehicle but one that delivers the legislative goods. The very same people who don't want the government shut down or a debt ceiling not raised in a timely fashion. They have no use for Ted Cruz or any of his ilk.

If you want a true view of how benightedly stupid Erickson can be try this:

That time waster Obama is frittering away valuable resources that Republican delegations have brought to his desk. There goes Ohio!

Tim Robbins as Jeb and Jenniffer Jason Leigh as "the insurgent:"

An Oompa Loompa Loop - ah, the wonderful aroma of chocolate just desserts!

I'd guess The Alaska Delegation, including the Republicans, are absolutely not crushed by Erick's obscure devotion to McKinley, Ohio, or whatever. And this from a guy who belongs to a party that's tried to rename every road, building and car abandoned on the shoulder of a highway "Reagan." How ironic.

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