Littwin: Will the parties weather these political revolutions?

The new conventional political wisdom is that Donald Trump — who, not long ago (like, earlier this week), was the runaway favorite to win the GOP nomination — is suddenly in trouble.

The #neverTrumpists, and the big-money boys behind them, are prepared to take the credit, although it’s doubtful they deserve any — even if the latest conventional wisdom turns out to be right, of which the betting markets, who still give Trump a 62 percent chance to win, remain skeptical.

Whatever else we know, there’s this: For better or for (mostly) worse, all the credit goes to the Donald, who is, on his own, both the reason he might win the nomination and the reason he might lose it.

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Even though the only rule that seems to apply to Trump is that none of the rules apply to Trump, that’s not quite true.  You’ve seen the signs, Trump losing delegates in Louisiana, Trump facing the threat of losing delegates in South Carolina, Trump threatening to sue someone. And so, Trump and his entire — yet meager — leadership team went to Washington to make nice with GOP chair Reince Priebus, who gave the team a quick lesson in how to hold on to your delegates once you’ve won them, a sort-of primer on convention-delegate politics that Trump had never bothered to learn, because, you know, running for president is one thing — it’s fun; you get to beat up protesters; you get to spend quality time with Chris Matthews; you get to laugh at the “poorly educated” who buy your poorly educated spiel — and doing the hard work of winning the presidency is another.

So this is where the Republicans find themselves — with a weakening Donald Trump (maybe; OK, let’s say he loses Wisconsin to the loathsome Ted Cruz and then goes home to New York and wins in a landslide, how weak would he actually be?) and nowhere to turn except to the loathsome Ted Cruz or to a contested convention in which they steal the nomination from Trump and try to convince Paul Ryan or, cue the laughter, Mitt Romney, to lead the coup.

The biggest news in TrumpWorld, even bigger that Trump’s campaign chairman getting arrested for battery, bigger than Trump saying (and then recanting) that, in his world, women who get abortions should be punished, bigger than his announced nukes-for-all policy, even bigger than the poll showing 72 percent of women see Trump unfavorably, was this: The Republican candidates are all backing away, in varying degrees, from promising to support the eventual winner.

Trump took the expected escape route, claiming he has been treated “unfairly,” and not just by Megyn Kelley, and that all options, including the nuclear option, must remain on the table.

You can see where this leads. The real question now is which scenario is worse for Republicans — Trump running as their nominee and getting clobbered in November (Larry Sabato predicts a 347-191 Electoral college landslide for Clinton) or Trump not running in November as the GOP nominee and taking his millions of disaffected Trumpistas home with him so that Republicans get clobbered in November.

Which bring us, of course, to Bernie Sanders, who, in the latest turn in Democratic convention wisdom, is annoying the hell out of the Clintons and maybe scaring them a little, too. Yes, a 74-year-old socialist, which must drive Republicans crazy, realizing how they’re dooming their chances this year.

If everyone got Trump wrong, everyone also got Bernie wrong. And, of course, still get him wrong.

One, the idea that he should get out of the race when he still has an outside — if way outside — chance of winning the nomination is absurd. The point is that he’s still in contention, he still has money, lots of it, his message still resonates with his large audience, he keeps the Democrats in the news, he makes them forget about the emails, and he’s a slight favorite to win in Wisconsin before facing the (maybe) inevitability of Clinton’s strength in the more diverse eastern states.

Two, that Democrats, and Bernie, should worry now about unifying the party. It’s barely April. Does anyone really worry that Susan Sarandon is doing a Thelma and Louise on the Democratic Party because she said that a Trump presidency might bring on the revolution? I love Sarandon the actor, but I’m not sure how she rates as a revolutionary.

Three, there’s history, folks. You could look it up.

Some of us are old enough to remember way back to 2008 when Clinton stayed in the race against Obama to the end. Polls showed that as many as 50 percent of Clinton supporters — they called themselves PUMAs or Party Unity My Ass — said they wouldn’t vote for Obama. Of course 90 percent did. There was also word that Latinos, who went overwhelmingly for Clinton in the primaries, wouldn’t vote for Obama. You know how that turned out. The same way the women’s vote turned out.

It isn’t that the Bernie or Busters aren’t just as passionate, if less likely to throw a punch, as the Trumpistas. It’s that the revolutions are different.

According to the polls, most Sanders supporters like Obama, who is suddenly sitting at 50 percent approval ratings (thanks, Donald). Some even like Clinton, however vulnerable she is and however unlikely she is to be — or should be — forgiven for the Goldman Sachs speeches. A new Pew poll shows that Sanders supporters are not anti-government, which is how most revolutions begin, but anti-Wall Street, anti-Citizens United, anti the stuff Bernie’s anti.

Once the Democrats go to their convention, you can expect Obama to rally the troops, you can expect Elizabeth Warren to explain to Sanders supporters why she’ll support Clinton, you can expect the crowds to boo video of The Donald/Lyin’ Ted.

You can expect Clinton will have a plan.

Meanwhile, you can be sure the Donald will have the Donald.

 

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons, Flickr

4 COMMENTS

  1. The Republican Party shows every intention to continue cheating Trump… OPENLY ADMITTING they are cheating, and that the people’s voice doesn’t matter.

    This, plus mass-immigration (New Democrat voter block) will permanently destroy the Republican Party. Not that the RINO’S who run it care because it was only a ruse anyways.

    How Democrats will respond to Sanders being cheated remains to be seen.

  2. “If everyone got Trump wrong, everyone also got Bernie wrong.”

    Let’s not forget that Mr. “I’ve always had a pretty good handle on politics” Littwin is included in “everyone”. Yes, he did—sort of—admit his lack of political acumen led him to describe Senator Sanders as “a benign summer fling” but he continues to make political observations/predictions as if all those countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow actually taught him something other than how to make a snowman.

    “Larry Sabato predicts a 347-191 Electoral college landslide for Clinton”

    Not included in Mr. Littwin’s column is this disclaimer made by Mr. Sabato:

    “Yes, more than seven long months remain until the election, and all kinds of unexpected twists and turns can occur. Sure, we don’t know the shape of the economy or terrorism, or the precise job approval rating of President Obama in the autumn, or the gaffes and scandals that may yet unfold on our way to the ballot box.”

    It’s not at all surprising that Mr. Littwin excluded that part of Mr. Sabato’s analysis. And elsewhere in Sabato’s prediction is a sentence describing Mr Littwin’s brand of journalism to a T:

    “Somewhere in cyberspace, you can now find blogs and treatises with “facts” that support your opinions, no matter how bizarre.”

    Mr. Littwin wants readers to believe he has his finger on the pulse of American politics but his, well, unusual opinions and inept predictions strongly suggest his finger is actually located far south of the carotid artery.

    And despite how cavalierly Mr. Littwin views the Bernie or Busters they aren’t going away. And although he is very dismissive of the idea that some of Senator Sanders’ supporters may not vote for Mrs. Clinton not all pundits share that view.

    This from the Daily Beast:

    “According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted this month, up to 33 percent of Sanders’s supporters may refuse to vote for Clinton. This is alarmingly high.”

    Or this from Yahoo.com:

    “Bernie Sanders has dubbed his presidential campaign a “political revolution,” but some of his supporters are rebelling against the very party he is hoping to lead.

    A voluble group of die-hard Sanders backers is vowing online that it’s “Bernie or Bust,” saying they will never support his presidential primary opponent — and, at this point, the likely Democratic nominee — Hillary Clinton.

    Despite these glimmers of reconciliation with his rival, Sanders may have unleashed a rebellion that will be beyond his power to control when it comes time to unify the party. Some “Bernie or Bust” stalwarts say they won’t back Clinton even if Sanders joins her ticket.”

    Or this from staunch Democrat Camille Paglia:

    “The now widespread claims that Sanders voters will automatically vote for Hillary in the general election aren’t true in my case: I will never cast my vote for a corrupt and incompetent candidate whose every policy is poll-tested in advance. If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, I will write in Sanders or vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party, as I did in 2012 as a protest against Obama’s unethical use of drones and the racially divisive tone of his administration.”

    And what does Mr. “Hedgehog” Littwin think of the criticisms of President Obama by former- President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea? This from Americanmirror.com:

    “But if you believe we can all rise together, if you believe we’ve finally come to the point where we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us and the 7 years before that when we were practicing trickle-down economics and no regulation in Washington, which is what caused the crash, then you should vote for (Mrs. Clinton),” (President) Clinton said.

    Describing the Obama administration as the “awful legacy of the last eight years” is pretty damning stuff coming from the Big Dog.

    And even Chelsea Clinton has hammered President Obama. This from the Weekly Standard:

    “A video shows Chelsea Clinton blasting the “crushing costs” of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation. In the video, Chelsea Clinton tells a crowd that her mother, Hillary Clinton, is open to using executive action to reduce “crushing costs” of Obamacare.

    “…cap on out of pocket expenses. This was part of my mom’s original plan back in ’93 and ’94, as well as premium costs. We can either do that directly or through tax credits. And, kind of figuring out whether she could do that through executive action, or she would need to do that through tax credits working with Congress. She thinks either of those will help solve the challenge of kind of the crushing costs that still exist for too many people, who even are part of the Affordable Care Act and buying insurance…”

    I don’t expect Mr. Littwin to address either of those remarks because his “belief defense and bolstering.” affliction prevents his ability to accept or even acknowledge uncomfortable truths.

    Of course, the same affliction makes him an invaluable part of the Colorado Independent.

    ============================================

    “Hillary Clinton snapped at a Greenpeace protester. She linked Bernie Sanders and tea party Republicans. And she bristled with anger when nearly two dozen Sanders supporters marched out of an event near her home outside New York City, shouting “if she wins, we lose.”

    “They don’t want to listen to anyone else,” she shot back. “We actually have to do something. Not just complain about what is happening.”

    After a year of campaigning, months of debates and 35 primary elections, Sanders is finally getting under Clinton’s skin in the Democratic presidential race.” – Associated Press

    For a year now, Hillary Clinton’s misuse of email during her tenure as Secretary of State has hung like a dark cloud over her presidential campaign. As I told you months ago, EmailGate isn’t going away, despite the best efforts of Team Clinton to make it disappear. Instead, the scandal has gotten worse, with never-ending revelations of apparent misconduct by Ms. Clinton and her staff. At this point, EmailGate may be the only thing standing between Hillary and the White House this November.

    Specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation examination of EmailGate, pursuant to provisions of the Espionage Act, poses a major threat to Ms. Clinton’s presidential aspirations. However, even if the FBI recommends prosecution of her or members of her inner circle for mishandling of classified information—which is something the politically unconnected routinely do face prosecution for—it’s by no means certain that the Department of Justice will follow the FBI’s lead. – Observer.com

    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has to worry about a steep drop-off of the black vote that could imperil her chances of winning the White House in November, an analysis has found.

    The number of African-Americans who voted in Tuesday’s primaries plummeted by an estimated 40 percent in Ohio, 38 percent in Florida and 34 percent in North Carolina compared with the 2008 Democratic primary when Barack Obama was on the ballot, reported the advocacy group Black Votes Matter. – New York Post

    “White men narrowly backed Hillary Clinton in her 2008 race for president, but they are resisting her candidacy this time around in major battleground states, rattling some Democrats about her general-election strategy.
    While Mrs. Clinton swept the five major primaries on Tuesday, she lost white men in all of them, and by double-digit margins in Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, exit polls showed — a sharp turnabout from 2008, when she won double-digit victories among white male voters in all three states.
    She also performed poorly on Tuesday with independents, who have never been among her core supporters. But white men were, at least when Mrs. Clinton was running against a black opponent: She explicitly appealed to them in 2008, extolling the Second Amendment, mocking Barack Obama’s comment that working-class voters “cling to guns or religion” and even needling him at one point over his difficulties with “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans.” – New York Times

    “Call it “democratic socialism” to make yourself feel better, but what we have is an old hippie regurgitating cut-rate Lenin. And it’s obvious — especially when contrasted with the Democrat alternative — this kind of radical idealism is what really propels the Democratic Party.
    “Our job is not to divide. Our job is to bring people together!” Sanders roars in the ad. All genders, ethnicities, races, ages, and sexualities will meld into one and force government to “work” for everyone. The thing is, if we weren’t divide by our gender, race, class, and sexual orientation, Democrats wouldn’t win any elections.” – thefederalist.com
    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Memorial Day – May 30, 2016

  3. You totally need to learn the value of editing. When I saw how much you were carrying on I stopped reading.

  4. Thanks for the advice!

    But by stopping you missed some good stuff, like this:

    Let’s not forget that Mr. “I’ve always had a pretty good handle on politics” Littwin is included in “everyone”. Yes, he did—sort of—admit his lack of political acumen led him to describe Senator Sanders as “a benign summer fling” but he continues to make political observations/predictions as if all those countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow actually taught him something other than how to make a snowman.

    And this:

    Mr. Littwin wants readers to believe he has his finger on the pulse of American politics but his, well, unusual opinions and inept predictions strongly suggest his finger is actually located far south of the carotid artery.

    Or this:

    And despite how cavalierly Mr. Littwin views the Bernie or Busters they aren’t going away. And although he is very dismissive of the idea that some of Senator Sanders’ supporters may not vote for Mrs. Clinton not all pundits share that view.

    And this was pretty good:

    And what does Mr. “Hedgehog” Littwin think of the criticisms of President Obama by former- President Clinton and his daughter Chelsea?

    But so was this:

    Describing the Obama administration as the “awful legacy of the last eight years” is pretty damning stuff coming from the Big Dog.

    But this was really, really good:

    I don’t expect Mr. Littwin to address either of those remarks because his “belief defense and bolstering.” affliction prevents his ability to accept or even acknowledge uncomfortable truths.

    Of course, the same affliction makes him an invaluable part of the Colorado Independent.

    Hope this helped!

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