The Beginning of The End of [Donald Trump/Tea Party/Fox News] UPDATED

Select one and only one. Or two if you like.

--- see down below for update ---
Megyn Kelly of FOX news went after Donald Trump, the apparent winner of the FOX-GOP Fauxbate. Donald Trump at first declared that he has no time to be politically correct. Later he proved that he does have time to be politically incorrect, when he seemed to imply that Kelly was out of sorts during the debate because she was having female problems.

This led a conservative organization to dump Trump from a keynote speakers spot. We see a crack in the armor form as Erick Erickson, who had invited Trump to speak, disinvites him at the same time that he makes it clear that this is not because Trump was "politically incorrect." Rather, it was because Trump failed to follow common decency. That is a crack in the armor because political correctness IS common decency.

The right wing has created several monsters. The Tea Party, the philosophical leaders such as Rush Limbaugh, and a gaggle of candidates and elected officials who are far beyond the pale of anything acceptable in terms of civil liberties. And, among those monsters is Donald Trump, who combines the worst of the philosophical leaders with the worst of those seeking office.

And now even some of the conservatives realize that Trump is too much. But not too too much, because one does not want to admit that being politically correct is the right thing to do. This is called tripping over one's own dog whistle.

What has to be remembered here, I think, is that Trump is the same as all the others, just less polished, more in your face, more direct. But somehow he strikes a nerve with those who created him.

The real issue here is not what Trump said. He didn't say anything worse during the debate or in the aftermath (his remarks about Megan Kelly's menstrual status, for example) than any of the elected officials who have chastised women who have been raped for having a problem with being raped.

The real issue is that he offended his keepers, FOX news. He is not respecting his role. The philosophical leaders are supposed to bully and threaten and set the tone, FOX news is supposed to spread the rhetoric to the masses. The masses, the Tea Party asses, are supposed to vote for the Republicans, and the candidates are supposed to, and are paid to, maintain policies that shore up the 1%.

By going after one of the FOX personalities, he has violated the internal order. Now, they are turning on him. What remains to be seen is how the masses, who believe they are acting independently, will respond to this. Will they fall in line and do what FOX says, dumping The Donald? Or will they see FOX's attack on Trump as an offense, and turn on FOX?

First Test Of Hypothesis

An NBC Poll taken right after the debate tested voter opinions of the various candidates. This is also an online polls. The poll asks about more candidates than were in the Big Boy debate, but shows very little movement for trump (a slight increase, from 22% to 23%). A few other candidates have much larger numbers (but still one digit) which takes away from Trump's total percentage (recalculated for just those in the second debate, Trump has 28%). The overall order of the candidates remains roughly the same, with Trump way out in front, and then two tiers. Rubio, Carson and Cruz are still in the upper tier, the other candidates in the lower tier.

So, I'm calling it, so far, failed to disprove. The concept remains standing. Trump is the candidate that is actually winning, as indicated by both scientific on line polls and the NBC poll.
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Maybe.....but I saw a poll last week that 19-percent of Democrats would vote for Trump. From the working class, if you are of either party, there's a higher chance that Trumps excites you more than Hillary or dozen-odd characters on the Republican side. Maybe this is that odd period when people overlook the news media or the bloggers.

Trump was politically correct as far as what conservatives believe in... Problem is, he fails to keep quiet about it, voice it in a way that only insinuates, or shroud it in terms of plausible deniability.

Heck, he's doesn't even use Jeb's tactic of later saying he misquoted himself...

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

I thought the McCain thing would hurt him, and everybody said in retrospect that this was Villager talk, so I'll wait till it happens.

Rather, it was because Trump failed to follow common decency.

The news of the retraction of Trump's invitation surprised me this morning - given all of the things he and the rest have said to date, and the general attitude of the modern Republican party towards women, I couldn't believe that his comment would be found by them to be offensive. The idea that the response is due to the woman he insulted working for Fox news does make sense - they would never hire anyone incapable of controlling his/her emotions, right?

Funny how the USA Republican Party looks and acts like the $cientology crime syndicate. Or like a pack of hydrophobic jackals (er, same thing).

By Desertphile (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

Mmm, well, the Overton window these guys live in is very narrow and far to the right, and they've managed to drag the whole country in that direction. That's where I think the strain is, some of the country, outside the Republican party, is trying to pull back.

From the Republican point of view, the sin was Kelly's. Their problem with Trump is what will happen in the general election if he's the candidate. Their reaction is just a cynical kerfuffle over what's the best way to dupe the public with creative packaging.

Whatever happens, make no mistake, the oligarchs have a strangle hold on this country that's not going away any time soon--regardless of what happens in the bread and circus election theater.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

Fact Checker
Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime
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By Michelle Ye Hee Lee July 8
Trump: Immigrants bring 'drugs ... crime' to U.S. from Mexico
Real estate mogul Donald Trump said during his presidential announcement that Mexican migrants to the U.S. are drug traffickers and rapists, as well as "some ... good people." (AP)
When the GOP sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing racism. They’re bringing radical right-wing populism. They’re misogynists. And some, I assume, are good people.

By skeptictmac57 (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

Oops! The first two paragraphs got included by accident, but lend context to my paraphrase which starts with "When the GOP..."
You get the idea.
The first part was from The Washington Post fact checker column.

By skeptictmac57 (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

Didn't everyone just assume from the get-go that Trump would self-immolate at some point? I see FaceBook posts by some who seem to revere this asshat, and that both fascinates and disgusts me, and leaves me with a fervent hope that the conservatives who we keep hearing the most from are really just extreme outliers in the party, as some of my more sober conservative friends try to say. But if that's true, they had better get their act together really quick, or they may have lost another generation.
I wonder if this is how Nazi Germany got it's start. Sorry for the Godwin. I just feel so frustrated these last few years.

By skeptictmac57 (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

My bet is they'll dump Trump over Fox. That'd be good. If they dump Fox and stick with Trump, that's still good because they wouldn't be constantly washed with propaganda and they might actually see the world outside the bubble. And if they do, they'll dump Trump.

Not being American myself, I do hope Clinton wins because it'll highlight the misogyny in the Republicans the same way having Obama in office highlighted the inherent racism. We get a great deal of entertainment from the US and I'm not talking about Hollywood.

Probably not entertaining for you neighbours have to live through this and maybe watch Republicans oppose everything proposed (even if they originally proposed it themselves) simply because a woman Democrat wants it to happen (remember "Blacktrack"? Changing your mind on an issue when you find out President Obama agrees with you. If Clinton wins, you'll need to coin a new word for the same phenomena).

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

"... leaves me with a fervent hope that the conservatives who we keep hearing the most from are really just extreme outliers in the party... "

Unfortunately, over the last three decades, the extremists and charlatans who infiltrated the Republican Party (to spread their lunatic political views & pick the pockets of the Middle Class through tax law gerrymandering) have worked diligently to oust the traditional & moderate elements of the party.

The result of that effort has taken center stage. I.e., they are neither the extreme nor the outliers.

Or, to use a now-hackneyed meme, "All your party base are belong to us."

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

" and turn on FOX?"

or did you mean: "and turn _off_ FOX?"


By trafamadore (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

"From the Republican point of view, the sin was Kelly’s"

Possibly, since the takeaway for them could be that she's just another whiny woman belaboring a minor point.

The bigger problem for everyone else: why were all the questions asked (all of the questions, to all "candidates") such softballs?

Megan did a wonderful job. In the beginning Trump looked like he was on something and seemed to have trouble talking. He did not prove to me that he was Presidential material. Would not vote for anyone like him that downs a woman like he did on Megan or the women who wants to run for President. Trump should take
a "slow boat to china" and stay.

I think there's a bit of confusion in a number of the posts above. Fox loves Trump because he makes outrageous statements and gets people riled up. The more outrageous the better for them, because like any media organization they thrive on controversy. That's what brings viewers: "More than 24 million viewers tuned in to watch the two-hour prime-time event which featured the top 10 GOP candidates in the running for the 2016 presidential nomination. That makes it the highest-rated primary debate in television history as well as the highest-rated non-sports cable telecast of all time in total viewers." Fox isn't nearly as interested in who wins as people here think; in fact, having a Democrat in office can be great for their bottom line. As for Trump, he doesn't care what Fox says as long as they keep talking about him. That's not going to change any time soon. If, (when?) Trump loses in the primaries he'll go 3rd party, he'll still say crazy things, and Fox will eat it up because that's what they want. Trump will then get a Democrat elected. The last thing Fox (or any media outlet) wants is a tedious match-up of boring personalities like in '88 with Bush and Dukakis. I think you're right that Trump will ultimately be very destructive to the Republicans, and that they brought much of it on themselves. I don't see any downside for Fox though. Next election cycle they'll look for the next outrageous personality to talk about. You see them as purely ideologically driven; I'd say ideology will always come second to ratings and profit.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 08 Aug 2015 #permalink

Robert Murphy:

Fox isn’t nearly as interested in who wins as people here think; in fact, having a Democrat in office can be great for their bottom line...You see them as purely ideologically driven; I’d say ideology will always come second to ratings and profit.

Well, Fox is a publicly-traded corporation serving the interests of individual human beings, namely its officers, directors and owners. Each of them will maximize his or her own "bottom line", i.e. total utility, which includes but isn't limited to the sum of net revenues from their personal financial assets. One needn't be a wild-eyed conspiracist to suppose that Fox's editorial position on US political issues, whether blatant or subtle, isn't based solely on its viewership ratings.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

Fox's drive wouldn't be entirely ratings & profits -- unless they were politically dense (and they're anything but).

For them, ideology is key. They want the money, yes, but they also want power. And the important thing to keep in mind is that they want to hang on to both.

The best means of ensuring that they can hang onto both is to maintain political control of the government. That's done using that money (to influence politicians & corporations), plus their propaganda machine (to control votes), but it's all driven by ideology (to control governing: laws & policies).

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

Trump is merely the face of the evolution of fear based politics in the USA. We have a long history of vilifying the 'Other' in order to garner votes. I have lived thru the times of the GOP co-opting the racism of the Dixiecrats, of the military inflating the USSRs capability so we could have that enemy, the Domino theory of Viet Nam, Reagan's welfare queen 'issue' , the Willie Horton ads , and of course the WMD that Saddam had.... The sad fact is that every single one of these campaigns was a rousing electoral success. Trump's only novelty is that he he has dropped all the hitherto "encoded language"- Mexicans are called rapists instead of illegals'. Women are bitches who bleed from everywhere instead of being controlled by forced birth policies, I am better than you because i plain have lots more money instead of you need to pull yourselves up out of your circumstances etc... Has the electorate caught on? Only if the apathetic voter who has seen too much kleptocracy believes there can be a significant change in the fundamentals. We shall see.

By curtis goodnight (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

Yeah, you hear pundits burbling in confusion as though Trump's delivery came out of nowhere. But this style of rhetoric has been mainstream outside of journalism's beltway bubble for decades now. It's been 'hidden' in plain sight (in your face) for anyone to see or hear--not mysteriously buried under some rock away from polite society--but right there on talk radio, on blogs, at religious and political gatherings, on Fox news, in think tanks, on Capital Hill (yelling "Liar" at Obama during an address to Congess,for example), ... And that's not to mention that crap venues like Rush Limbaugh have been famously lionized straight out through quotes relayed by the MSM itself from the likes of Dick Cheney, or that all that ridiculous false balance, and center right pandering and whitewashing in the news also carries consequences.

And now we're shocked, shocked!, that Republicans are fielding jack ass candidates, as if there was no precedent or fertile ground from which this supposedly inexplicable phenomena magically emerged. Really? This is where a line has been crossed?


By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

This led a conservative organization to dump Trump from a keynote speakers spot. We see a crack in the armor form as Erick Erickson, who had invited Trump to speak, disinvites him at the same time that he makes it clear that this is not because Trump was “politically incorrect.” Rather, it was because Trump failed to follow common decency. That is a crack in the armor because political correctness IS common decency.

As it's commonly used, "political correctness" denotes words or actions that others regard as excessively protective of some group. A perfect example occurred on the night of 13 January 1993 at the University of Pennsylvania when Eden Jacobowitz, annoyed by several black women loudly celebrating outside his dorm window, called down "Shut up, you water buffaloes!" and was promptly charged with making a racist statement. The fact that no rational interpretation of "water buffaloes" ties the phrase to racism didn't matter.

So I would revise your statement as follows: Common decency is politically correct (as well as morally correct), but political correctness is not always common decency. Trump's appeal is rooted in the perception that he rejects this extreme sort of political correctness. That's not what he's doing, but that's how some people perceive what he's doing.

By Christopher Winter (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

Mal Adapted (post 18), I didn't say that Fox's positions were solely based on viewership considerations, merely that at the end of the day that will decide their overall strategy. Trump has been all over the place policy wise; in his book in 2000 he was for universal health care based on the Canadian model, but you wouldn't know it from his attacks on the ACA. In 2012 he said that illegal aliens were mostly hard working, decent people who were willing to do jobs that others couldn't or wouldn't do. Now they're mostly rapists and murders (maybe a few are OK). He's for protectionist trade policies, which doesn't mesh with most Republican ideology. Hell, in 2008 he said we should negotiate with Iran, that Bush was evil, and he looked forward to Obama bringing some consensus government back to Washington. I don't think Fox is unaware of just how much he's flip-flopped and the extent to which his running is a just a means for Trump to get attention. They are using him as much as he is using them. He's wouldn't be their ideological first choice, or 10th. But he's great entertainment. People like watching that kind of crap.

By Robert Murphy (not verified) on 09 Aug 2015 #permalink

There is also the fact that the more trump has the spotlight the less people pay attention to what the other clowns are saying. Their ideas aren't any worse but they aren't has hyperbolic when they deliver them.

Christopher, not necessarily. That is only one use of the term, an not even the original meaning.

Robert, can onecreally flip flop and bloviatr randomly at the same time.

Key to the kingdom: For the large majority of humans, the large majority of the time, emotions determine behaviors, and reason follows along with an explanation. Emotions are chemicals, or more specifically, the subjective sensation of the action of neurochemicals on neurons. Not to put too fine a point on it, but, _drugs_. Humans crave emotions, and any emotions at all will do: good ones, nasty ones, pleasant ones, stinky ones.

That gets you Trump, it gets you Fox, and it gets you their respective legions of supporters.

What to do about this: Sell better drugs: better emotions to replace the nasty ones. Obama's "hope vs. fear" campaign in 2008 was a stellar example of how to do it right.

If we do that, we win. If we keep trying to "explain ourselves," we lose.


Re. Erick Erickson: He has gotten a lot of hate mail from Trump supporters, and they have also been physically intimidating him. I believe we should at least give him credit for exercising good judgement this time by disinviting Trump, and send him lots of digital pats on the back. Now go look up "behaviorism" and see what happens when someone has a choice between an aversive stimulus and a rewarding one;-) Yes, that's right, the rewarding stimulus is a reinforcer of behavior. QED and all that!;-)

" the philosophical leaders such as Rush Limbaugh"

These are great times for American philosophy :

Rush's protege', professional philosopher wrestler and hockey stick jock Mark Steyn stands to inherit the Neolimbaughic mantle as surely as as Augistine followed Aristotle and Tom Cruise grew in to the shoes of L. Ron Hubbard.

By Russell Seitz (not verified) on 12 Aug 2015 #permalink