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“And The List Goes On”: Some #NeverTrumpers Have Already Committed To Voting For Hillary Clinton

Some of the most principled members of the conservative movement woke up Wednesday morning to an unrecognizable party — what had been an organization advocating fiscal and social conservatism has turned into something else entirely: a cult of personality. Populists. Know Nothings.

The new reality facing #NeverTrump Republicans became even more apparent following campaign suspension announcements of Ted Cruz and John Kasich. The Texas senator shut down his campaign before the votes had even been fully counted in Indiana. John Kasich waited until this afternoon. With no one left to lead the anti-Trump movement in the presidential nomination race, some Republicans have done the unthinkable — pledge to support Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

The social media statuses and official announcements came flooding in last night as soon as it became clear that Trump had won the Indiana primary, effectively guaranteeing that he would be the Republican nominee.

“If it’s a competitive election, I probably will be compelled to vote for Hillary,” said Leon Wolf, editor of Red State, a conservative digital news site, to The Daily Beast. ” I wouldn’t go to bed every night worrying about a mushroom cloud opening up somewhere in the world because of some insane thing Trump had done.”

Fellow Red State editor Ben Howe simply tweeted:

#ImWithHer

— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 3, 2016

Former John McCain advisor Mark Salter also tweeted:

The GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.

— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) May 3, 2016

The Clinton campaign is already capitalizing on Trump’s victory, sending out a campaign email with an exhaustive list of conservatives and Republicans who have said they would never vote for Trump. Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, one of the most prominent voices of the #NeverTrump movement, said in a Facebook post, “Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. … I can’t support Donald Trump.”

Trump’s victory in Indiana only solidified already existing conservative opposition to his candidacy. In March, former New Jersey governor Christie Todd Whitman said, “While I certainly don’t want four more years of another Clinton administration or more years of the Obama administration, I would take that over the kind of damage I think Donald Trump could do to this country, to its reputation, to the people of this country.”

David Bernstein, a professor at George Mason University, wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post, “I’d rather Hillary Clinton win. I’d rather (and I never thought I’d say this) Barack Obama serve a third term. I’d even rather Bernie Sanders win, though if it came down to Sanders vs. Trump it might be time to form a breakaway republic. If Trump wins the nomination, I will actively seek to prevent him from becoming president.”

Even in the realm of international affairs, Trump’s promise to commit war crimes and “bomb the shit out of” America’s enemies has turned away even the most ardent neocons. “She [Clinton] would be vastly preferable to Trump,” said Max Boot, a conservative foreign policy analyst, to Vox. Boot had previously advised the McCain, Romney and Rubio campaigns on foreign policy.

The list goes on. But the reality is that while Trump may have a mandate from the 10.6 million people who have voted for him in Republican primaries, he has earned a lot of powerful enemies in his usurping of establishment power in the party. In heralding the start of a new, post-Reagan Republican Party, Trump’s army has spurred an exodus of its old guard. And while these are the last people to support a Clinton presidency, their seeming willingness to cross party lines shows just how desperate a place Donald Trump’s America would be.

 

By: Saif Alnuweiri, The National Memo, May 4, 2016

May 5, 2016 Posted by | Conservatism, Conservatives, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Donald Trump’s Ethnic Cleansing Program”: Openly Campaigning On Moral Atrocities

After a prolonged spell of missteps and atrocious press coverage, Donald Trump has regained his commanding lead in the Republican presidential primary. A week ago he swept five states in the Northeast by giant margins, and he leads every recent poll of Indiana, whose primary takes place Tuesday. The state is probably the last place for the anti-Trump faction to prevent him from winning the primary outright, and it doesn’t even look close.

It’s worth remembering what a grim development this is. Not only will his combination of open bigotry and utter lack of political or military experience be historically unique in a major party candidate, he’s also openly campaigning on moral atrocities — in particular, a plan of what amounts to ethnic cleansing.

Now, most people think of mass murder when they hear ethnic cleansing, but that’s not necessarily the case. Creating an ethnically homogeneous state can also be accomplished through deportation.

This brings me to Trump’s plan to put together a “deportation force” to remove the 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, an idea he justifies by reference to a somewhat similar program called “Operation Wetback” carried out in the mid-50s.

Perhaps the best way to begin to grasp what a horror this would be is to consider the sheer logistics of such an operation. First, one has to find the unauthorized population — no small task, as such people are understandably not keen on being rounded up and deported, and doubly so given the wide adoption of cell phones and internet service.

Though there isn’t a complete database for unauthorized immigrants, demographic estimates find that over 70 percent are from Mexico and Central America. That means a titanic amount of law enforcement rooting around in mostly poor Latino communities — probably starting with checkpoints demanding immigration papers from every brown person stopped along highways in states with high Latino populations, dragnet electronic surveillance, and huge pressure on employers. Absent a brutal secret police, it would be nigh-impossible.

But suppose the Trump Troopers manage to root out every unauthorized immigrant, with a mere few thousand U.S. citizens caught up by mistake. Then they would need to transport them back to their places of origin. Even if we assume that he wouldn’t bother to figure out where people came from, even just dumping them in Mexico (1.5 million Asians and all) would be extraordinarily complicated and expensive. Forcibly packing up 1.3 times the population of New York City, holding them while they’re processed through some sort of legal bureaucracy, and moving them thousands of miles would take thousands of trains, trucks, planes, or ships.

Any method would cost billions in fuel, food, and logistics, and grotesque abuse would be an iron certainty. Here’s how that turned out back in the ’50s:

The boatlift operations back to Mexico ended in September 1956 after seven workers drowned in an apparent attempt to escape, sparking a riot on the vessel known as the Mercurio. There were conflicting reports of what led to the drownings and the riot, according to New York Times accounts of the incident. Congressional investigators later said the boat resembled “an ancient penal ship” and that some 500 Mexican nationals were crammed aboard a boat that was equipped with two lifeboats that could only hold 48 people, according to an August 1956 Times article. [CNN]

Let’s not mince words about why Trump and his followers support this idea: anti-Latino bigotry. In U.S. discourse, the general assumption is that all unauthorized immigrants are Mexican (in reality only 56 percent are), and Trump has been railing against Mexicans for the entire campaign — asserting that the Mexican government is deliberately sending “criminals, drug dealers, rapists” over the U.S. border. It’s not a coincidence this is just when he rocketed to first place in the GOP primary. Deporting millions of Latinos, immigrant or no — and thus restoring the white demographic majority to some degree — is basically the point.

Trump’s Operation Wetback II would be an ethnic cleansing on par with the post-World War II “population transfers” in Eastern Europe, when about 30 million people, half of them Germans, were hastily and often brutally shuffled across borders so as to create ethnically homogenous nation-states. Those too were heinous crimes, but one can sort of understand why Germans might be a bit unpopular in the region. Proposing such an operation in a peaceful and basically prosperous nation, where the target population is quite well-integrated (indeed practically model citizens) is grotesque.

 

By: Ryan Cooper, The Week, May 3, 2016

May 4, 2016 Posted by | Bigotry, Donald Trump, Ethnic Cleansing, GOP Primaries, Immigrants | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Win The War Over Time”: The Koch Brothers Play The Long Game, Making Them Smarter Than The Average Republican

The biggest political news this weekend is coming in two separate stories from the from the Koch brothers. Most important is that the Kochs are staying out of the nomination fight completely now that it has functionally come down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz:

Charles Koch says he won’t “put a penny” into trying to stop Donald Trump, that there are “terrible role models” among the remaining Republican presidential candidates, and that his massive political network may decide to sit out of the presidential race entirely.

“These personal attacks and pitting one person against the other — that’s the message you’re sending the country,” Koch said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that aired Sunday. “You’re role models and you’re terrible role models. So how — I don’t know how we could support ’em.”

The billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and one of the most powerful and controversial figures in politics said he and his brother David Koch have also turned down pleas to join the “Never Trump” movement, which aims to deny the real estate mogul the nomination.

Instead Koch said he and his brother plan to stay out of the party’s nomination fight.

The other not totally unrelated news from the same ABC interview is that the Kochs are so disgusted with their Republican candidates that they even believe it’s possible that Hillary Clinton would make a better president–which is predictably being used against her by many Sanders supporters.

The great advantage the Koch brothers have over most people in politics is that they really believe in their ideology so deeply that they are willing to hand over the presidency–and its concomitant power to select Supreme Court justices–to their ideological enemies for four years in the service of longer-term goals lasting decades. The Koch brothers do not depend on winning elected office to advance their careers, and they (admirably and rightly, in my view) see politics not as a series of pitched electoral battles to implement various legislative aims, but rather as a grand battle of ideologies in which the entire longitudinal direction of a country is determined. If some Republican careers are damaged in the process, so be it. If some (to them) odious regulations are implemented in the meantime, so be it. They intend to win the war over time, even if it means losing the occasional battle. And that makes them a far more terrifying and effective opponent than the likes of Reince Priebus or Charles Krauthammer, whose vision goes no farther than the next election they can, donor they can please, or war they can start.

In this case, the Kochs know that even if Trump or Cruz were to win the general election–and even if they therefore had the power to appoint Supreme Court justices!–it would actually be more damaging to their long-term economic libertarian interests than if they were to win. They know that putting Hillary Clinton into office gives them potentially four years to run oppositional politics and ramp up their Hispanic outreach initiative.

They can deal with one or two more liberal justices on the court, because they know that if they can engineer a counter-revolution in the next decade and unseat Democrats in 2020, they can lock down Congress for yet another decade and ultimately have a near permanent Supreme Court majority by 2030 or 2035. Charles and David Koch themselves may not live that long, but that’s not their concern: their concern is to win the war. That makes them far more ambitious and frankly smarter than the average operative.

The question is whether their bet is correct. It could be that letting Clinton into the presidency in 2016 does what they believe it will. It’s also possible that 2016 will be the last chance for a Republican running on Reaganomics to win the presidency at all, and that by 2024 the Koch brothers’ Objectivist vision for the Republican Party will be all but irrelevant. But in either case, the Koch brothers are absolutely correct that neither Trump nor Cruz will adequately serve their decades-long interest.

 

By: David Atkins, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, April 24, 2016

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Koch Brothers, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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