Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Thursday, October 27, 2016

Newest AP-GfK Poll Released

(Still busy with our French visitors.  Light posting.)

More good news for us anti-Trumpistas:

NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Clinton appears on the cusp of a potentially commanding victory over Donald Trump, fueled by solid Democratic turnout in early voting, massive operational advantages and increasing enthusiasm among her supporters.

 A new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds the Democratic nominee has grabbed significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days left before Election Day. Among them: consolidating the support of her party and even winning some Republicans.


Overall, the poll shows Clinton leading Trump nationally by a staggering 14 percentage points among likely voters, 51-37. While that is one of her largest margins among recent national surveys, most show the former secretary of state with a substantial national lead over the billionaire businessman.

The AP-GfK poll finds that Clinton has secured the support of 90 percent of likely Democratic voters, and also has the backing of 15 percent of more moderate Republicans. Just 79 percent of all Republicans surveyed say they are voting for their party's nominee. 

 With voting already underway in 37 states, Trump's opportunities to overtake Clinton are quickly evaporating — and voters appear to know it. The AP-GfK poll found that 74 percent of likely voters believe Clinton will win, up from 63 percent in September.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Trump Thugs Planned to Intimidate Minority Voters

From the campaign where candidate Trump calls Hillary "crooked" at every rally:

Trump Loyalists Planned Voter Intimidation Using Fake ID Badges, Fake Exit Polling — Until HuffPost Asked Them About It

The “Vote Protectors” are affiliated with Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Vote Protectors, the anti-voter-fraud group hosted by Donald Trump ally and political dirty trickster Roger Stone, plans to send volunteers to monitor polling places in nine cities with high minority populations on Election Day, Stone said last week. Untrained poll-watchers have intimidated voters in previous elections. But Vote Protectors is going further than its predecessors. 

 Stone’s group created an official-looking ID badge for its volunteers to wear, and its volunteers planned to videotape voters and conduct fake “exit polls,” efforts that election experts say risks intimidating and confusing voters. 

Or at least that’s what the group was planning to do before The Huffington Post asked Stone about it on Tuesday. The controversial Trump ally, long known for his bare-knuckled political tactics, said that key proposals on his group’s websites were there without his knowledge, and assured HuffPost that he would operate within the confines of election law.

And this from David Leonhardt of the NYTimes:

Trump is scarier than Goldwater. He is scarier because he resembles a double agent dreamed up by liberal screenwriters. He embodies almost every left-wing caricature of Republicans that Republicans despise. He is a racist and a sexist — having refused to rent apartments to African-Americans, retweeted neo-Nazis, besmirched Muslims and Latinos and boastfully molested women. 

For years, Republicans have been frustrated by liberal sensitivity on race and gender. Comes now Trump, spewing bigotry. He is also an unrepentant denier of reality. Do you remember that Al Franken wrote a jeremiad against conservatives called “Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”? I imagine the book’s title offends you. Yet it now feels like a preview of a candidate who almost every day makes immediately disprovable claims. [...] 

 The best path is the hardest one. Only an unambiguous rejection of Trump will banish Trumpism for 2020 and beyond. Only a lopsided loss, with millions of Republicans so repelled by him that they vote for someone they never imagined they would, sends the message that bigotry, lying and authoritarianism violate Republican values — your values.

And Ross Douthat, conservative NYTimes columnist, does some soul searching and writes this truth:

"Some conservatives told themselves that Fox and Drudge and Breitbart were just the evolving right-of-center alternative to the liberal mainstream media, when in reality they were more fact-averse and irresponsible. Others (myself included) told ourselves that this irresponsibility could be mitigated by effective statesmanship, when in reality political conservatism’s leaders — including high-minded figures like Paul Ryan — turned out to have no strategy save self-preservation."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Eight Years Ago Almost To The Day


November 12, 2008

How the religious right embraced Trump and lost its moral authority

Christian Conservative, Russell Moore:

“For years, secular progressives have said that evangelical social action in America is not about religious conviction but all about power.”

 “They have implied that the goal of the Religious Right is to cynically use the ‘moral’ to get to the ‘majority,’ not the other way around. This year, a group of high-profile old-guard evangelicals has proven these critics right.”


I have been commenting on this subject all during the Trump phenomenon. How the religious right could embrace a man that is so morally repugnant was mystifying,  If, say, Barack Obama, for example, had trotted out his five children by three wives during the DNC convention in 2008, or had we read about his boasting that he had affairs with many married women, or if we had heard an audio tape of Obama bragging about being able to grab women's genitals because he was a star, had anything like that been revealed about Barack Obama, people like Ralph Reed or Jerry Falwell, Jr., would have burst  blood vessels while bellowing about the moral disintegration of our precious country by allowing that sort of man near the White House. Hadn't this country suffered enough through the sexual exploits  during Bill Clinton's administration? And yet the same people who couldn't heap enough condemnation during the Clinton scandals are justifying their support of a sexual predator who had no problem with a radio shock jock calling his young daughter "a piece of ass." 

Jeff Jacoby, the long-time Boston Globe's conservative columnist, expresses the same astonishment over how those people who were shocked by l'affaire Clinton have nothing negative to say about Trump.  They have traded their moral authority for political ideology. 

By Jeff Jacoby 

IT WILL TAKE a long time to assess the full extent of the damage wrought by Donald Trump on the Republican Party and American conservatism. But this much is already clear: Buried under the post-election wreckage will be the moral credibility of the religious right. Hypocrisy and politics have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. But the embrace of Trump by influential religious conservatives — who have always insisted that they, like Hebrew National, answer to a higher authority — is orders of magnitude worse than the customary flip-flopping and sail-trimming of a presidential campaign.


 You didn’t have to sympathize with the Christian right’s political platform to understand why so many evangelical leaders were appalled by the sexual scandals that trailed Bill Clinton into the White House. It was no mystery, for example, why Ralph Reed, an early leader of the Christian Coalition, would insist vehemently, in 1998, as pressure was growing for Clinton’s impeachment, that “we care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.” Or why the formidable televangelist Pat Robertson would blast Clinton as a “debauched, debased, and defamed” politician who turned the Oval Office into a “playpen for the sexual freedom of . . . the 1960s.” 


 Equally intolerable is the willingness to ignore a candidate’s brazen moral offenses because you like his stands on public policy. Such ends-justify-the-means arguments are “Nixonian,” said Bennett. “Moral precepts are real; they are not like warm candle wax, easily shaped to fit the ends of this or that president, or this or that cause.” When Trump backers downplay their candidate’s scandalous conduct on the grounds that Supreme Court appointments matter more, they are as bad as Clinton backers who downplayed the president’s Oval Office debauchery because they liked his position on abortion rights. Yet Bennett now exemplifies the phenomenon he excoriated. 

When it came to Clinton’s depravity, Bennett was unsparing. Trump’s depravity he doesn’t mind so much. In August, Bennett accused anti-Trump conservatives of “put[ting] their own vanity and taste above the interest of the country.” Not everyone on the religious right has sacrificed their principles for Trump’s sake. A coalition of Liberty University students issued an eloquent statement Wednesday rebuking Falwell for endorsing the GOP nominee. 

“Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him,” they wrote. Albert Mohler, a deeply respected Baptist theologian, remains as steadfast in opposing Trump as he was in opposing Bill Clinton. But they and other honorable exceptions will not undo the damage caused by the pro-Trump leaders of the evangelical right. What started as Christian witness ended in hypocritical partisanship. Religious conservatives shed their principles, and thereby dismantled their influence.