The comparison was inflammatory, to say the least. Former Gov. William F. Weld of Massachusetts equated Donald J. Trump’s immigration plan with Kristallnacht, the night of horror in 1938 when rampaging Nazis smashed Jewish homes and businesses in Germany and killed scores of Jews.
But if it was a provocative analogy, it was not a lonely one. Mr. Trump’s campaign has engendered impassioned debate about the nature of his appeal and warnings from critics on the left and the right about the potential rise of fascism in the United States. More strident opponents have likened Mr. Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
A federal judge has ordered the release of internal Trump University documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the company, including “playbooks” that advised sales personnel how to market high-priced courses on getting rich through real estate.
The Friday ruling, in which Judge Gonzalo Curiel cited heightened public interest in presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, was issued in response to a request by The Washington Post. The ruling was a setback for Trump, whose attorneys argued that the documents contained trade secrets.
Curiel’s order came the same day that Trump railed against the judge at a boisterous San Diego rally for his handling of the case, in which students have alleged they were misled and defrauded. The trial is set for November.
Trump, who previously questioned whether Curiel’s Hispanic heritage made him biased due to Trump’s support for building a wall on the Mexican border, said Friday that Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” Trump called the judge a “hater of Donald Trump” who had “railroaded” him in the case.
Poor Donald. He’s so misunderstood.
That Trump cannot be considered a fit and proper person to occupy the office of president should be evident. But if the rumbustious primary season has demonstrated anything, it is that large numbers of voters are so angry about the state of their country, so dissatisfied with the system and so fearful of global changes that they seem ready to suspend normal, informed judgment. A vote for Trump is a vote against the status quo. But in too many cases, it is also an immature, isolationist, tantrum cry for a return to a mythical Fortress America that supposedly existed before Muslims and Mexicans and other “foreign” influences arrived on Main Street….
Much of the US mainstream media seem unable or unwilling to get to grips with his candidacy. The sort of detailed scrutiny that has destroyed the ambitions of previous candidates seems lacking. Who remembers Gary Hart, whose presidential hopes sank without trace in 1988 when his reputation as a womaniser caught up with him on a yacht called Monkey Business – and the newspapers exposed all? Who does not recall the media pursuit of Bill Clinton, especially after the Monica Lewinsky affair came to light?
There are exceptions. The New York Times published an investigation into Trump’s misogynistic and abusive treatment of women employees and colleagues. But much of the coverage of his personal and business life, policy U-turns and self-contradictions, offensive and gauche remarks, and plain ignorance of the big issues facing the US and the world has been flaccid to the point of fawning. Even when the ugly truth is told, it somehow does not seem to damage him.
Fortunately for US democracy, there remain brave souls ready to stand up for their own and the country’s traditional values and beliefs, ready to run the gauntlet of Fox television “news”, the mockery of rightwing shock-jocks, and the merciless pillorying by anonymous social media nerds. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat senator from Massachusetts, is one such. She does not suffer from undue diffidence. The woman Trump has crudely dubbed “Pocahontas” because of her Native American family background has been taking him on in a way that shames less courageous politicians.
What does Trump look like a year later after consolidating most Republicans behind his banner? Just 29 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the real estate mogul. Fifty-eight percent hold a negative one. Just 12 percent are neutral. Look to other polls and you see the same stasis. In June 2015,according to YouGov, 32 percent of Americans held a favorable view of Trump versus 60 percent who felt the reverse. Today, those numbers are 35 percent versus 61 percent, with the largest gains among Republicans (68 percent have a favorable view) and the steepest declines among self-described independents and Democrats. Among the former, Trump’s unfavorability rose 15 percentage points to 66 percent. Among the latter, it rose 7 percentage points to 87 percent.
Which is just to say that over the past year, Trump’s attention-at-all-costs strategy has done nothing but tank his ratings among the public at large, Republicans excepted. This, even after he’s cinched the nomination and won over the vast majority of Republicans. Yes, Clinton’s ratings are also low (although better than Trump’s), but she’s also fighting a contentious primary. If and when the Democratic Party unifies, her popularity will go up accordingly as Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents find reasons to like Clinton. And once the race achieves this equilibrium—two nominees leading two united parties—the popularity gap will likely look even worse for Trump, as he will remain a historically unpopular candidate, while she will return to being a modestly unpopular one.
Trump’s Allies Frustrated by Chaos at Heart of Campaign
- The limits of Donald J. Trump’s managerial style, reliant on his gut and built around his unpredictable personality, are becoming apparent.
- Constant disruptions, including the dismissal of his national political director, are unsettling his team.
Clinton Beats Trump With Middle-Income Rust Belt Voters: Bloomberg Poll
Donald Trump trails Hillary Clinton by 7 percentage points among middle-income voters in the Rust Belt, a key demographic he almost certainly needs to become president.
Likely voters with annual family incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin back Clinton over Trump, 46 percent to 39 percent, the latest Purple Slice online poll for Bloomberg Politics shows.
The findings should sound an alarm for Trump because they show he's failing—at least so far—to dominate among the sort of voters thought to be more sympathetic to him. The poll also splashes cold water on suggestions that the real-estate developer and TV personality is well positioned to win in the Rust Belt.
Robert Mann and Zack Stanton with a terrific piece:
LBJ’s Ad Men: Here’s How Clinton Can Beat Trump
We talked to two of the geniuses behind the greatest ad campaign in political history. Here’s what they’d do in 2016.
WSJ with a sympathetic look at Mitt Romney (only Trump could make Romney look sympathetic):
“Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack,” Mr. Romney said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal—the first time the 2012 GOP nominee discussed in depth his reasons for going after Mr. Trump.
“They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” He said he had no illusions he would alter Mr. Trump’s progress toward the nomination or spark a meaningful independent candidacy.
His motivation: “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
Today, the GOP anti-Trump chorus is dwindling, leaving Mr. Romney among the few making the case publicly.
Really, you shouldn’t have accepted his endorsement in 2012, Mitt.
Sometimes a disagreement about issues or candidates is just that. But the specific tenor of the Trump dilemma highlights some key party politics ideas: ideology (by which I mean both the liberal-conservative dimension and a broader definition of political ideas, including nationalism/racism) and party loyalty can diverge, even though this is something we've rarely seen in recent years.
It also illustrates two very distinct ideas of politics: one that is about forming teams of people who share some ideas, if imperfectly and opposing the other side, and another that's about individuals and moral stances.
This debate rages on the left, too, as the quest for a more principled and ideological vision for the party clashes with arguments about preventing a Trump presidency and supporting the Democratic Party — the team. But on the Democratic side, the contours will be fairly intuitive, with insurgents like Bernie Sanders (who doesn't call himself a Democrat and who has named fellow non-Democrat Cornel West to the party platform committee) on one side and steadfast party types like Clinton on the other.
What makes the Republican version noteworthy is that loyalty to the party label and the team mentality it represents may be the thing that draws people to Trump's insurgent, outsider candidacy.
I highlighted the good bits because it helps explain some of the passionate, if frustrating, dialogue here. Party loyalty isn’t blind nor is it meaningless. We share many ideas and are committed to beating the fascist. We accept different people have slightly different ideas and those ideas are welcome (but sometimes when put it up to a vote, you lose.) If you have party loyalty alone, you have Marco Rubio’s vapid and shallow career, willing to endorse Trump in exchange for running again.
Having some sort of moral compass is key to being a decent human being and a progressive who is looking for positive change. Without it, you’re Donald Trump. If it’s about individuals and moral stances alone, you get the crazy stuff. “People that who don’t agree with me are criminals, war criminals, and war criminal apologists” comes to mind easily enough.
The best of the progressive movement has elements of both. Watching the two POV argue is like watching which side of the coin you want it to land.
Ed Kilgore highlights the problem with media coverage:
The Big, Big Problem With How the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal Is Being Covered
Concerns about Donald Trump rarely if ever descend to the level of digging around in hopes of discovering patterns of "reckless" behavior or "willful disregard for the rules." That's because he's reckless every day, and willfully disregards not only "the rules" but most other previously established standards of civility, honesty, and accountability. Yes, voters don't entirely trust Clinton. But a bigger concern ought to be that Trump fans credit him for "telling it like it is" when the man is constantly repeating malicious gossip, lunatic conspiracy theories, ancient pseudo-scandals, and blatant falsehoods.
Yet we are drifting into a general election where important media sources seem to have decided that Clinton violating State Department email protocols and Trump openly threatening press freedoms, proudly championing war crimes, and cheerfully channeling misogyny and ethnic and racial grievances are of about the same order of magnitude. And that's not to mention the vast differences between the two candidates on all those public-policy issues that Amy Chozick [NYT} thinks voters have subordinated to questions of "trust."
NY Times big picture piece:
In the Republican primaries, he proved a master of nationalizing the political debate, appealing to voters across regional lines with jeremiads about immigration and crime that captivated an almost uniformly white primary electorate. At the outset of the general election, Mr. Trump has dominated the day-to-day political combat on national television and social media.
In the general election, however, his fate will be determined not by his Twitter followers or a relatively homogeneous Republican electorate, but by a set of interlocking and increasingly diverse regions, home to some 90 million Americans, that hold many of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.
Republicans enter the general election at a hefty disadvantage: Since the 1992 campaign, 18 states have voted consistently for Democrats in presidential elections, giving their party a firm foundation of 242 electoral votes to build upon.
And in the four regions likely to decide the presidency — Florida, the upper Southeast, the Rust Belt and the interior West — Mr. Trump faces daunting obstacles, according to interviews last week with elected officials, political strategists and voters.
Of course, months remain before voting begins, and this political year has defied many predictions. But if Mrs. Clinton clinches the Democratic nomination as expected, she may find an electoral bulwark in these coveted swing-state voters