March 24, 2016


“Trump is a businessman. I am a businessman. He employs a lot of people. I employed 50,000 people. Why not?” -- Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on why he might support Donald Trump for president. 3/16/16

"We do not take this position because we believe Mr. Trump is perilously wrong on the issues, although he is… No, Mr. Trump must be stopped because he presents a threat to American democracy. Mr. Trump resembles other strongmen throughout history who have achieved power by manipulating democratic processes." -- Washington Post editorial calling on the Republican party to aim for a contested convention in order to stop Donald Trump. 3/16/16


"The media has created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination… The political parties choose their nominees, not the general public, contrary to popular belief.” -- RNC’s Rules Committee member Curly Haugland, saying that the party will select the GOP nominee, not the voters. 3/17/16

“I have many friends that live in Salt Lake. I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of friends. By the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them. Did he choke? Did this guy choke? He’s a choke artist, I can’t believe. Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” -- Donald Trump mocking Mitt Romney’s faith. 3/18/16

“Just man up and cast a vote.” -- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) calling on his GOP colleagues to vote on President Obama’s supreme court nominee. 3/18/16

“Republicans are coming around to the idea that their only savior of Donald Trump is Ted Cruz. It’s like that horror movie where the guy runs up to the policeman thinking he’s saved, and the policeman is one of the zombies. -- Bill Maher 3.18.16

"[If] it appears that I am the stronger candidate against Trump, I think you're doing to see some superdelegates saying, 'You know what, I like Hillary Clinton, but I want to win this thing. Bernie is our guy.'" -- Bernie Sanders trying to make the case that, instead of nominating the candidate who won the most delegates, the convention should nominate the one with the hightest poll numbers against Donald Trump. 3/20/16

“I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a (Supreme Court) nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association” -- Senator Mitch McConnell. 3/21/16

“Donald Trump knows he’s a loser. His insecurities are on parade: petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, flagrant narcissism.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in one of a series of tweets designed to get under Trump’s skin.

“[W]e, for some reason, expect total purity from a woman candidate. ... Where I think Hillary Clinton faces, you know, certainly more of a burden is that the controversies she’s been in are immediately labeled, you know, ‘travelgate or ‘emailgate.’ ... If you actually asked people what about any of these controversies bothers them, they don’t know anything specific about any of them. The issue, to me, that’s at the crux is that everything that we know that was classified was classified after the fact, after the emails were sent. And so, why is that a big deal? And the fact that she had this private email is something that, you know, I’ve read widely, a lot of people in the government — Colin Powell, let’s face it, got much bigger speaking fees than Hillary did.” -- Jill Abramson, former top editor of The New York Times. 3/21/16

"The President told me several times he’s going to name a moderate [to fill the court vacancy], but I don’t believe him. [Obama] could easily name Merrick Garland, who is a fine man. He probably won’t do that because this appointment is about the election. So I’m pretty sure he’ll name someone the [liberal Democratic base] wants." -- Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT) 3/13/16

“Donald Trump has had several foreign wives. It turns out that there really are jobs Americans won’t do.” -- Mitt Romney 3/22/16

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas.” -- President Obama during his visit to Cuba. 3/22/16


"I think being a great president is having great people around you, the smartest people, the most knowledgeable people, and dealing with the important issues in our country. It's not necessarily spending 15 hours a day, seven days a week, running around the country." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 3/23/16

Accept Trump — who is trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits in hypothetical general-election matchups, who could possibly put the House in play for Democrats, and who could fundamentally transform the Republican Party as we know it. Or reject Trump — whose delegate lead is likely to increase after this week’s contests, whose alternative is Ted Cruz, and whose supporters will likely abandon the GOP in the fall if Trump is not the nominee.” -- First Read



1. Democracy is a joke, says China – just look at Donald Trump
2. House Could Be In Play 
3. Trump Presidency Ranks as Top 10 Global Risk
4. From the Late Shows
5. Budget that 'decimates large swaths of the federal government' not enough for Freedom Caucus
6. “Trump’s Good Ol’ Days,” a cartoon by MarkFiore 
8. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
9. Justin Gillis: Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries
10. Late Night Jokes for Dems
11. Ted Cruz Has a Senate Problem
12. The Borowitz Report: Republicans Refuse to Create Even One Job
13. “Reasons Why I, Mitch McConnell, Can’t Meet with Merrick Garland,” by Colin Stokes
14. TRUTH-O-METER: How the candidates rank after being fact-checked 


1. Eric Sasson: Who Is the Hillary Voter?
2. David Brooks: No, Not Trump, Not Ever
3. Timothy Egan: Crackpot Party Crackup
4. John Cassidy: What Bernie Sanders Has Achieved
5. Fareed Zakaria: Republicans are surrendering to Donald Trump
6. Paul Waldman: How the Merrick Garland nomination explains the rise of Donald Trump
7. Bernie's Establishment Hail Mary
8. Peter Wehner: The Man the Founders Feared
9. Frank Rich: There Was No Republican Establishment After All
10. Jay Newton-Small: Hillary Clinton Speaks, Male Pundits Hear ‘Shouting’
11. Jay Parini: 'Why do they hate Hillary Clinton so much?'
12. Ali Gharib: Ted Cruz Is an Anti-Muslim Bigot, Too
13. Mark Sumner: When fascism comes to America, it'll be wearing a bad toupee
14. Doug Sosnik: Why It’s Not Looking Good for Republicans


1. Democracy is a joke, says China – just look at Donald Trump

“The rise of a racist in the US political area worries the whole world,” the party-controlled Global Times crowed this week ahead of of Trump’s victory in the latest round of primaries. “He has even been called another Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler by some western media.”

It added, darkly: “Mussolini and Hitler came to power through elections, a heavy lesson for western democracy.”

Trump, or “Chuanpu” as they call him in China, has been a gift to Communist party spin doctors paid to convince the country’s 1.4 billion citizens that rule of the people is a sure path to chaos and destruction.

“That playbook goes out the window if you have President Donald Trump. Whether it is trade wars, a significant trade contest, whether it is mercantilism more generally, whether is a much more combative militaristic approach – who knows what he will actually do? But I think that unpredictability unsettles everyone in the region.”

For now, though, China’s party-controlled media is still revelling in the rise of the man it calls “big mouth” Trump. 3/17/16


2. House Could Be In Play

Republicans are sitting on their largest House majority since 1928 – 247 seats to 188 – meaning Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats, a daunting challenge given the GOP’s immense redistricting advantage and the vaporization of swing districts. But all cycle, Democrats have daydreamed about Republicans nominating an extremely polarizing presidential candidate, and suddenly it’s almost certain they will get their wish. 3/18/16

3. Trump Presidency Ranks as Top 10 Global Risk

The Economist Intelligence Unit concludes that a Donald Trump presidency poses a top-10 risk event that could disrupt the world economy, lead to political chaos in the United States and heighten security risks for the United States. 3/16/16

4. From the Late Shows

The Daily Show wtih Trevor Noah:

Republicans block President Obama:

How we got to a point where Donald Trump will likely be the Republican nominee for president?

Stephen Colbert:

Super Tuesday Part Three Proved They Need To Retire The Franchise:

The Hungry For Power Games: Marco Says Ru-bye-o:

Jimmy Kimmel:

New John Kasich Ad:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Border Wall:

Late Night with Seth Meyers

Voter ID Laws: A Closer Look:

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee 

Supreme Court Battle:

5. Budget that 'decimates large swaths of the federal government' not enough for Freedom Caucus

Despite the fact that the blueprint agreed upon by the House Budget Committee Wednesday decimates federal healthcare spending and other federal programs, it's still not enough for the Republican extremists.

Paul Ryan’s spending blueprint would eliminate the subsidies people enrolling through Obamacare get for their health insurance. It would slash Medicaid, add work requirements for benefits like food stamps, raise the eligibility age for Medicare to 67, cut student loan subsidies, end a program that helps states fund various programs for the poor (the Social Services Block Grant), and make federal workers pay more into their pension funds. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that the programs for the poor that make up only 28 percent of domestic spending would suffer 60 percent of the cuts in this budget. 3/18/16

6. “Trump’s Good Ol’ Days,” a cartoon by MarkFiore


"I think he's the best alternative to beat Donald Trump. I'm going to help Ted in any way I can. He's certainly not my preference, but he's a reliable Republican, conservative, which I've had many differences with. I have doubts about Mr. Trump, I don't think he's a Republican, I don't think he's a conservative, I think his campaign's built on xenophobia, race-baiting and religious bigotry, I think he'd be a disaster for our party and as Senator Cruz would not be my first choice, I think he is a Republican conservative who I could support." -- Sen. Lindsey Graham speaking in support of Ted Cruz. 3/17/16


“If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome. Whether it’s death by being shot or poisoning doesn’t really matter. I don’t think the outcome will be substantially different.” -- Sen. Lindsey Graham earlier.


8. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)

"Do Your Job": Editorials Implore Senate GOP To Rise Above "Obstruction" And Act On Merrick Garland

Fox Host: GOP Senate Should Tell Obama They Will Give Him SCOTUS Nominee If He Indicts Hillary Clinton

Anti-Muslim Hate Group Leader Frank Gaffney Is On Ted Cruz's National Security Advisory Team

George Will Dismisses GOP Obstruction Of Merrick Garland As "A Partisan Reflex In Search Of A Justifying Principle"

Laura Ingraham Parrots Trump: "Nobody Has A Right To Be Here Except The People Who Are Born Here"

9. Justin Gillis: Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warmingto a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets, and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

10. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"While announcing that he is dropping out, Marco Rubio told supporters, 'We should have seen this coming.' If it makes you feel any better, Marco, we did." –Seth Meyers

"After the announcement, Rubio dropped out of the race. He went back to Washington and locked his office door to make sure no Supreme Court nominees get in. So good luck to him." –Jimmy Kimmel

But he still has a great story. I mean nothing symbolizes America more than the son of poor immigrants growing up to run for president and being crushed by a billionaire." –Jimmy Fallon

Disappointing night for Bernie Sanders, which was a surprise; he was polling well among everyone's most annoying Facebook friends." –Jimmy Kimmel

"According to a new report, Dr. Ben Carson was not planning to endorse any of the remaining candidates, but changed his mind after being offered a position in Trump's White House. He would run the Department of No Energy." –Seth Meyers

"Marco Rubio was interrupted by a heckler at a Florida campaign rally who accused Rubio of stealing his girlfriend. When in reality, Rubio tried to steal his girlfriend but finished fourth." –Seth Meyers

"Bernie Sanders admitted that he ran as a Democrat rather than an Independent to get more media coverage. And it worked, but if you really want to get some media coverage, try running as a fascist." –Seth Meyers

"A new poll found that the majority of millennials would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Then millennials found out you can't vote by texting and said, 'Never mind!'" –Jimmy Fallon

"A Donald Trump rally was delayed for nearly two hours yesterday due to fog. At one point the fog was so thick, Trump supporters couldn't even see who they were punching." –Jimmy Fallon

"Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in Florida. And I'll say, that's tough for Bernie because a 74-year-old Jewish man can't win in Florida." –Jimmy Kimmel

"Over the weekend, Hillary was endorsed by a California leader of the KKK, Will Quigg, because he believes she will do the exact opposite of what she promises and that she's an 'undercover Hitler.' That makes me think three things. 1) She's not. 2) She's definitely not. And 3) 'Undercover Hitler' sounds like the worst spin-off of 'Undercover Boss.'" –James Corden

On Friday, a 112-year-old man was given the Guinness World Record for being the world's oldest living man. When asked how he plans to celebrate, he said, 'By defeating Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.'" –Jimmy Fallon

11. Ted Cruz Has a Senate Problem

Cruz’s relationship with his colleagues is now a central paradox of his campaign: He’s openly arguing for the party to rally behind him, but Republican senators are plainly wary of going anywhere near him. Those who feel burned by Cruz in the past say he’ll come to them only if he decides it’s in his self-interest.”

But senators have their own calculation to make: Whether they can put all the bad blood behind them for someone many of them privately view as even more polarizing than Trump. 3/17/16

12. The Borowitz Report: Republicans Refuse to Create Even One Job

While voters across the country questioned why Republicans would refuse to let even one American find employment, Washington insiders speculated that G.O.P. senators did not want to do anything to contribute to the improving jobs picture while Barack Obama is still President.

“Under President Obama, the economy has added over nine million jobs,” one insider said. “The last thing the Republicans want to do is give him credit for one more.”

According to Senate sources, the Republican leadership is hoping that the job applicant, a sixty-three-year-old male, will eventually become discouraged and give up looking for work.


13. “Reasons Why I, Mitch McConnell, Can’t Meet with Merrick Garland,” by Colin Stokes

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, insisted on Wednesday that Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, would not get a confirmation vote—or even a meeting with him—before Election Day, but a handful of other Republican senators said they would at least talk with Judge Garland when he came calling on Capitol Hill. —The New York Times.

I’m just slammed with all this work stuff right now.

I have a doctor’s appointment.

Being a judge sounds so boring. I just don’t think I’m up to listening to you talk about it.

I have another doctor’s appointment.

There’s a rock in my shoe.

I have to go look at Wayne LaPierre’s collection of gun legislation that didn’t get passed.

I left the hat that I like to wear when I meet people at home.

The hat? It’s red and says, “The Name’s Mitch.”

It’s kind of a goofy icebreaker. Makes introductions less awkward, I think.

It also says, “McConnell is my last name,” on the back, so you get a chuckle when I turn around as well.

Even though I can’t meet because I don’t have the hat, I hope my telling you about it makes you realize that I’m a fun guy.

Daytime isn’t great for me—sunlight makes me burst into flames.

Do you have lots of blood? Maybe I could meet you if you have lots of blood.

O.K., it’s sounding like we’re both pretty busy. Perhaps sometime in late November?

More at


14. TRUTH-O-METER: How the candidates rank after being fact-checked


1. Eric Sasson: Who Is the Hillary Voter?

An examination of Clinton voters and their motivations might reveal that the narrative that most media outlets have been feeding us this election cycle is dubious at best. Because if the biggest vote-getter of either party is Hillary—by a large margin—then that suggests the electorate is not necessarily as angry as pundits claim. It further suggests that perhaps some people are tired of hearing about how angry they are, and are quietly asserting their opinions at the ballot box. If Democrats are so angry, Clinton would not be in the position she is today. Is it really so farfetched to claim that quite a few Democrats aren’t voting for Sanders precisely because he seems angry? Which isn’t to suggest that people aren’t angry—certainly many Republican primary voters seem to be. Rather, it is to suggest that voters who aren’t angry are still showing up at the polls, despite being ignored in news stories.

So perhaps Clinton voters don’t show up at rallies so much. Perhaps they are a bit less passionate on Facebook, share fewer articles, give less money to their candidate (she does have a super PAC, after all). But what they are doing is perhaps the only thing that actually matters in an election. They are showing up to vote. In numbers that no other candidate can boast.


2. David Brooks: No, Not Trump, Not Ever

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy.

This week, the Politico reporters Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences. They found more than five dozen untrue statements, or one every five minutes.

“His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources,” they wrote.

He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12. He surrounds himself with sycophants. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Trump’s butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?” he asks. 3/18/16


3. Timothy Egan: Crackpot Party Crackup

The Republican Party, under Trump, is headed for a combustive breakup. Ronald Reagan envisioned a shining city on a hill. Trump represents nothing more than a thug with money. Can the man who shouts “I’d like to punch him in face!” and “Knock the crap out of them!” about protesters possibly quote Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower or Reagan in his acceptance speech? He could, but it would be no more plausible than a fish doing a tap dance.

In temperament and judgment, this is now Trump’s party. And take him at his word: His supporters will riot, as he predicted this week, if he doesn’t get his way. Sane Republicans, perhaps a third of the party, have no choice but to plot an honorable discharge. The exit polls in Ohio found that 42 percent of Republicans said they would consider a third-party candidate. They can also support Hillary Clinton, or sit this one out. But they cannot show up in Cleveland and have their principles paved over by Trump’s bullies.

This month, members of the Republican national security community issued a strongly worded missive against Trump. They said his trade policies would be a “recipe for economic disaster,” that his embrace of torture was “inexcusable,” that his anti-Muslim campaign would badly damage American interests abroad, and on and on and on.

The choice for honorable Republicans — should I stay or should I go? — is obvious, though not easy. Leave this summer, or forever live with the consequences. 3/18/16


4. John Cassidy: What Bernie Sanders Has Achieved

As he has been for most of the past year, Bernie Sanders is on the road. On Thursday, he was scheduled to hold a town-hall meeting at the Twin Arrows Casino, east of Flagstaff, Arizona. You read that right: the seventy-four-year-old Vermont senator was set to issue his trademark call for a “political revolution” and to demand more income and wealth redistribution at a capitalist mecca in one of the most conservative states in the Union.

That, in itself, says something about Sanders and the historical significance of his campaign. He has cast aside many of the rules and adages of American politics, one of which is that it’s hard for liberals, never mind self-described socialists, to win support in the Sun Belt. And although Sanders now seemsunlikely to win the Democratic nomination for President, he has achieved much more than that.

It’s too early to say what Sanders’s legacy will be, or whether some of the ideas that he is pushing—such as breaking up the big banks, introducing a single-payer health-care system, and returning tax rates on the rich closer to the levels that F.D.R. introduced—will eventually be adopted. Given the Republicans Party’s grip on Congress and the centrist mindset of Clinton’s advisers, it is hard to see much movement in this direction any time soon.

But it is also evident that, in the past ten months, Sanders has defied the pundits, alarmed the comfortable, and inspired the young. He has turned what looked to be a political coronation into a lively and hard-fought contest, forcing his opponent to modify her positions and raise her game. He has demonstrated that Presidential campaigns don’t have to be beholden to big donors. And he has shown that, surprisingly enough, there is still a place in American politics for an independent-minded speaker of uncomfortable truths. What’s more, he isn’t done yet.

5. Fareed Zakaria: Republicans are surrendering to Donald Trump

The Republican surrender has begun. Having described Donald Trump as an unacceptable, unconservative, dangerous demagogue, the party establishment appears to be making its peace with the man who keeps winning primaries.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page argued vociferously against Trump for months, pointing out that he is a huckster and a catastrophe, warning that “if Donald Trump becomes the voice of conservatives, conservatism will implode along with him.” Yet this week, it ended a lead editorial urging Republicans to“continue to see if Mr. Trump can begin to act like a President . . . and above all to decide who can prevent another progressive-left Presidency.”

Marco Rubio has called Trump a “con artist” and compared him to “third-world strongmen.” He has said Trump has “no ideas of any substance,” “has spent a career sticking it to working people,” is trying to “prey upon people’s fears,” and encourages violence at his rallies. But, “at this moment,” he says he intends to support whomever emerges as the Republican nominee. So doJohn McCain and Paul Ryan, who has taken the rare step of intervening in the campaign three times to reprimand Trump for his ideas and rhetoric.

Even Lindsey Graham, who has called Trump “the most unprepared person I’ve ever met to be commander in chief,” will not say he will not vote for him. Indeed, there is currently just one Republican senator who has committed to not voting for Trump. 3/17/16


6. Paul Waldman: How the Merrick Garland nomination explains the rise of Donald Trump

That's not to mention the fact that the people who have come to dominate the Republican caucuses in the House and Senate arrived in Washington not to make laws, but to tear the institutions of government down. So it's quite alright with them if nothing in Washington works — after all, that only validates their argument to voters that government can't do anything right, and what we should do is continue to undermine it and strip away its protections wherever we can.

The GOP is divided between those people — variously called the Tea Party or the base or the insurgents — and the rest of the party, who are terrified of them and feel the need to continually prove their anti-government bona fides and ideological purity. So the entire party embraces not just ideological radicalism, but a procedural radicalism as well.

Then you can combine that with the positively venomous loathing all Republicans seem to share for Barack Obama. It was only a norm that said you don't shout "You lie!" at the president during a speech to Congress, or that you don't demand to see his birth certificate, or that you don't accuse him of hating America just because you have political differences. Put it all together, and of course Republicans would refuse to allow him to name a new Supreme Court justice.

Where does this all lead? To Donald Trump.

When your party proves again and again that it treats governing like a joke, you wind up picking a joke of a candidate to be your nominee for president. You choose someone who doesn't know the first thing about how government works, and couldn't care less. You push your voters to the least serious person, the one who "tells it like it is" — in other words, the one with the most contempt not just for the norms of politics but for the norms of civilized human behavior. That's what Republicans have ended up with. And they pretend that they can't understand how such a thing could have happened. 3/18/16

7. Bernie's Establishment Hail Mary

This is what it’s come to for Bernie Sanders, that most definitely independent senator from Vermont: With Hillary Clinton enjoying her superest Tuesday yet and mounting what is by any realistic measure a virtually insurmountable lead, he’s planning a last-ditch Hail Mary pass, aimed at winning the nomination by swaying the Democratic Party’s superdelegates.

Yes, those same superdelegates that Sanders supporters previously denounced as an undemocratic and anti-Democratic tool of the establishment designed to suppress grassroots movements. This would be the group that is the actual, literal, living embodiment of the Democratic establishment that Sanders has so vocally taken on. And this would be the same party whose nomination Sanders sought, he admitted this week, simply as a way to get media attention. Did I call this a Hail Mary? This is a 99-yard field goal.

But as Sanders should well know, big bucks (even if it comes from massive, low-dollar online fundraising) don’t trump big votes. And right now, the votes are on Clinton’s side. It’s a simple matter of math: She’s built a sizable delegate lead and Democrats don’t have winner-take-all primaries. “Because Democrats award pledged delegates proportionally, Sanders needs not only a string of victories but also popular vote margins large enough to pick up delegates in bushel baskets, contest by contest,” Dan Balz wrote in The Washington Post Wednesday. So for Sanders, it’s superdelegates or bust.

Do I need to say that it’s going to be bust? 3/16/16


8. Peter Wehner: The Man the Founders Feared

“The reasons for the rise of Mr. Trump are undoubtedly complicated and will be studied for decades to come. That Mr. Trump’s rise has occurred in the Republican Party is painful for those of us who are Republicans. That more and more Republicans are making their own accommodation with or offering outright support for Mr. Trump — governors like Chris Christie and Rick Scott, the former candidate Ben Carson and the former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich — makes things even worse. Because we can no longer deny what Mr. Trump is and what he represents. The prospect of turning the party apparatus over to such a person is sickening.”

“The founders, knowing history and human nature, took great care to devise a system that would prevent demagogues and those with authoritarian tendencies from rising up in America. That system has been extraordinarily successful. We have never before faced the prospect of a political strongman becoming president. Until now.” 3/19/16


9. Frank Rich: There Was No Republican Establishment After All

Once you get past the hyperventilation that Trump will destroy democracy, wreck the GOP, and make America unsafe, you’ll see that the objections of Trump’s Establishment critics have several common threads. Trump is a vulgarian (true). He has no fixed ideology or coherent policy portfolio (true). He repeatedly and brazenly makes things up (true). He wantonly changes his views (true). He is not recognizable as “a real Republican” (false).

It’s the members of the Establishment who have a tenuous hold on the term “real Republican.” Their center-right presidential candidates of choice (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie) were soundly rejected, and their further-right candidates (Rubio and Kasich) fared little better. The Republican-primary voters embracing Trump and Cruz have every right to say that they are the real Republicans, and after Cleveland, they could even claim to be the de facto new Establishment, if they believe in such a thing. The old center-right has not held in the GOP. Last fall, some 73 percent of Republicans told Pew that they support building a border wall, Trump’s signature campaign issue. A Washington Post–ABC News poll, published March 9, showed that Hillary Clinton would whip Trump, 50 to 41 percent, but that 75 percent of Republicans would vote for Trump. While it is constantly and accurately said that “millions of Republicans will never vote for Trump,” those millions are unambiguously in the party’s minority. 3/21/16.


10. Jay Newton-Small: Hillary Clinton Speaks, Male Pundits Hear ‘Shouting’

Hillary Clinton had a big night on Tuesday, winning Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and her home state of Illinois. She advanced her lead to more than 300 pledged delegates—barring a total disaster an insurmountable figure for rival Bernie Sanders. Like many politicians who get excited by, well, victory she raised her voice, and apparently the collective heads of some male pundits exploded.

“Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she’s shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What’s she mad at?” tweeted Fox’s Brit Hume.

“Hillary shouting her speech. She has the floor; a more conversational tone might be better for connecting with folks at home,” tweeted Fox’s Howard Kurtz.

“@HillaryClinton in a nutshell: Calling for love and kindness — by SHOUTING!” tweeted Politico’s Glenn Thrush.

Sorry to single out the men, but I scrolled through the coverage of the mostly female reporters covering Clinton and I didn’t see this kind of commentary.

This is particularly troubling given who won on Tuesday night on the other side. Donald Trump celebrated his primary victories by tweeting that Fox’s Megyn Kelly is “crazy.” The general election looks to be one giant cage match on sexism. With refs like these, Clinton may go into it at a disadvantage. 3/17/16

11. Jay Parini: 'Why do they hate Hillary Clinton so much?'

It's perhaps too easy to blame sexism for the nastiness that colors the opposition to Clinton. Yet one sees misogyny bubbling out in the comments section of articles on the Web, where no sentiments -- however crude -- are off limits. They attack her voice, her hairstyle, her pantsuits, her laugh. On and on.

Even in the mainstream, one hears misogynistic comments, as when Tucker Carlson said of Clinton on MSNBC: "When she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs" or when Rand Paul said, "I'm starting to worry that when Hillary Clinton travels, there's going to need to be two planes -- one for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage."

Clinton gets slammed for "shouting" and not smiling enough, though these are criticisms we don't hear about the male candidates. The main thing to dislike about Hillary Clinton seems to be her gender, and one can only begin to imagine the kind of language Donald Trump will summon in the general election.

The abuse of Hillary Clinton must stop. She's not perfect. But she's smart, experienced and compassionate, and she will step into the Oval Office better prepared to take on an exacting job in difficult times than almost anyone in recent memory. 3/21/16


12. Ali Gharib: Ted Cruz Is an Anti-Muslim Bigot, Too

This is a frightening time for Muslims in America. One of the country’s major parties is in thrall to anti-Muslim ideologues.

If this was not clear before—and it should have been—it is now. On March 17, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is in second place in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, announced his foreign-policy team. As Matt Duss, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, put it on cable news, the advisers “run the gamut from Iran-contra conspirators to anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists.” Duss was referring, on one side, to the sometimes loopy warmonger Michael Ledeen and the convicted liar Elliott Abrams, both of whom were implicated in the Reagan administration’s dirty dealings of the 1980s, and, on the other, a to cadre of Islamophobes whose bigoted andMcCarthyite ideas would be laughable if they hadn’t gained so much traction among GOP elites and voters.

Chief among the latter cohort stands Frank Gaffney, perhaps the most notorious anti-Muslim activist in America today. Gaffney is the author of a long list of incredible hypotheses not only about the ills of Islam—the faith of about a third of the world’s population—but particularly about what Muslims are trying to do here in the United States. One of those Muslims, Gaffney suspects, is Barack Obama. That’s why, his twisted logic goes, the Obama administration redesigned the US Missile Defense Agency logo so that it “appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo.” Sounds like an open and shut case.

Seemingly eager to prove that he is endorsing this bigotry, Cruz added a few more prominent Islamophobes’ names to his list of advisers. Fred Fleitz, a disgraced former top aide to the famously mustachioed and infamously hawkish George W. Bush administration UN Ambassador John Bolton, and Clare Lopez, who among other things thinks Iran already has nuclear warheads, both work for Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. A Bloomberg View report on Cruz’s advisers also included Gaffney’s combative deputy Jim Hanson, bringing the number of CSP officials on the list up to four—more than any other institution represented therein. Next, there’s Andrew McCarthy, a former prosecutor, and Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a religious-right activist and Holy Warrior, both of whom traffic in Shariah conspiracy theoriesand otherwise agree with Gaffney on a whole lot. 3/18/16


13. Mark Sumner: When fascism comes to America, it'll be wearing a bad toupee

If Donald Trump becomes president, he really, truly intends to create a nation ringed by walls and patrolled by not-so-secret police empowered to throw millions—including many born in the U.S.—beyond the razor-wire-topped limits of the fatherland. He’s said so. Repeatedly.

Within those walls will be a nation where First Amendment rights to protest, or to voice criticism of the leader, are sharply curtailed. A place where journalists are subject to restraint by the powerful, and never the other way around. A place where opposition is subject to a beating. Or worse. That’s his promise.

A land where there is no place free from the death penalty, no matter what those who live there might want. He’s put that in writing.

A country where one religion is raised high, while others are shunned, persecuted, or outright banned. It’ll be a  land where women will have all the rights that men allow them. A place where political enemies are to be dragooned before kangaroo courts, where the Internet is cut through by a Great Firewall of America, and where corporations can act with disdain for regulation. It’ll be a smoky, dangerous land where environmental rules are overturned and safety is at the discretion of “job creators.” Flint, Michigan, not just in its tea-colored water, but its usurpation of control by appointed “managers,” will be the role model for the nation.

Those are just the things Trump has openly promised. Those are the things he is proud of. When Donald Trump says “make America great,” this is what he’s talking about. And it’s not even a complete list.

14. Doug Sosnik: Why It’s Not Looking Good for Republicans

Until now, Trump has defied the laws of political gravity; but the fact that no major political party has ever nominated such an unpopular candidate for president is inescapable. The strategy that Trump used to appeal to Republican primary voters who are conservative and disproportionately white will work against him with the moderate, diverse electorate this November. It is difficult to understate the level of negative attitudes toward Trump.

Regardless of how you do the math, the current environment paints a picture of a Republican Party at the verge of implosion during the most critical period in the presidential campaign. Assuming little changes, years from now people will look back at the decisive nine-day period in mid-October last fall when the stage was set for the 2016 elections. In this narrow window, Hillary Clinton soundly routed Bernie Sanders in the first and single most important Democratic debate of the season, Vice President Biden announced that he wouldn’t run for president and Clinton publicly demonstrated her strength and fortitude during 11 hours of testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi—a hearing that resembled a Kangaroo Court.

Meanwhile, loudly and in full view, sitting high atop the polls facing little or no resistance, Donald Trump was gathering steam toward the Republican nomination and a backward-looking Republican Party was gasping its last breath. And the same Republican Party that once viewed Trump as a laughingstock is now intent on undermining his candidacy. 3/22/16