May 5, 2016


At a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., Donald Trump repeated the vile hoax story about U.S. General John Joseph Pershing dipping bullets in pigs blood, shooting 49 Muslims and letting the 50th off with a warning. The crowd in California erupted in applause as he told it. -- VIDEO

“He’s going to have to deconstruct Hillary Clinton if he’s going to run against her. He can’t let her be the august secretary of state and former senator.”-- Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime Trump confidant

Cruz-Fiorina 2016: Because the only thing better than one candidate who couldn't beat “Trump, is two candidates who couldn't beat Trump.”-- Kenneth P. Vogel✔‎@kenvogel

Soviet Agent Bernie Saunders, Should be arrested for treason and shot. -- Roger Stone@‏RogerJStoneJr, a longtime adviser and confidant to Trump who now heads a pro-Trump super PAC

“What he says bears no relationship on what I do or say. I don’t need his money. I got my own money.” — Donald Trump, about criticism from billionaire Charles Koch. 4/27/16

“If you had any doubt that Donald Trump is not fit to be commander in chief, this speech should’ve removed it. It took every problem and fear I have with Donald Trump and put in on steroids.” -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tore into Donald Trump’s speech on foreign policy, calling it “unnerving,” “pathetic” and “scary,” 4/27/16

“Donald Trump clearly feels threatened by Secretary Clinton’s qualifications to be president so he’s attacking Hillary Clinton for being a woman. That’s what weak men do. It is an old story, and I don’t think the American voters will fall for it. ... We need someone in the White House who isn’t afraid to fight for equal rights for women. That person is not Donald Trump.’” -- Senator Elizabeth Warren 4/28/16

“I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak… I’m not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me…He can say whatever he wants to say about me, I could really care less.” — Hillary Clinton, on how she’ll deal with Donald Trump’s insults. 4/29/16

“I think Donald Trump would be best for the job. ... The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in. We want our country to be safe.” -- Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.


“I’m going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of this mouth.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, 5/03/16.

“Instead of coming to grips with the overwhelming evidence that Democratic primary voters prefer Hillary Clinton be the party’s 2016 presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders continues to create his own political reality — devising new and creative excuses to explain why he’s losing to her and why he should be the party’s standard-bearer in November. “-- Michael A. Cohen in the Boston Globe 5/03/16

“Republicans must know that there is absolutely no chance that we will win the White House in 2016 now. They must also know that we are likely to lose the Senate as well. So the choices, essentially, are to confirm Garland and have another bite at the apple in a decade, or watch as President Clinton nominates someone who is radically more leftist and 10-15 years younger, and we are in no position to stop it.” -- Red State 5/04/16 ./

“Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. There's more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls. ... What happens next will test the character for all of us – Republican, Democrat, and Independent. It will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man's narcissism and divisiveness. I know which side I'm on, and I’m going to fight my heart out to make sure Donald Trump’s toxic stew of hatred and insecurity never reaches the White House.” --Elizabeth Warren ‏@elizabethforma 5/04/15

“Basically, I think she’s the more conservative choice and the least reckless one. Trump’s policy views are like some drunk’s rant. If he tried to do anything like he says he will, we’d have no allies, a lot more enemies, and more of them with nukes. Finally, he’s unfit for the office, too, temperamentally and morally, a narcissistic bigot.” --Mark Salter, a former top aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), says he will support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in November as both candidates appear close to locking down their parties’ nominations. 5/03/16


“If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham@LindseyGrahamSC

“Clinton continues to execute a hard turn toward November — and the coming war with Trump. Over the last two weeks, Clinton has been quietly accelerating her swing-state operation, organizing what amounts to a shadow general election campaign at the same time she is fending off a rival who insists he’ll continue to fight until the Democratic convention in July.”-- Gabriel Debenedetti in Politico 5/04/16

“I think everybody’s got to make their own choices; and I wouldn’t fall into the Donald Trump pattern of accusing those who disagree with me of being bad people, but it’s very difficult for me to come up with any principle by which Donald Trump is aligned with the Republican Party. That’s the same argument the Communist Party used for years — you have to do it for the Party. I’m not going to go along with the Brezhnev logic. If the party stands for nothing but election, it stands for nothing.” -- Stuart Stevens, the strategist who guided Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. 5/04/16

“If Trump’s the nominee, and if he does unload on Hillary Clinton, as he’s promising to do, let me just tell you something, you do not know how many gazillion Americans are going to be delirious and orgasmic with delight.” --Rush Limbaugh 4.28.16

"Harry Truman, with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944 saved, saved millions of American lives. And that's what Harry Truman did. And he became one of the three great presidents of the United States. And here's a man who would do the same thing, because he's going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States." -- Bobby Knight endorsing Donald Trump. 4/28/16



1. The GOP awakens to a Trump nightmare come true 
3. Hispanic voter registration spikes
4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don't have to)
5. Mark Fiore Cartoon: The math of Democracy
6. Trump Ally Roger Stone Advocated Killing Bernie Sanders "For Treason”
7. Late Night Jokes for Dems
8. From the Late Shows
9. Survey Suggests Democrats Headed for a Landslide 
10. Donald Trump’s Problems With Women Voters Are Worse Than You Think
11. The Borowitz Report: Senate Officially Mourns Return of Ted Cruz 
12. Republicans have a massive electoral map problem that has nothing to do with Donald Trump 
13. Senate On Pace for Lightest Schedule In 60 Years
14. There can’t be a contested Democratic National Convention


1. NY Times Editorial: Donald Trump’s Strange Worldview
2. Kathleen Parker: Trump deals Clinton a winning card
3. Paul Krugman: Bernie’s Bad End
4. John Cassidy: How Donald Trump Won the G.O.P. Nomination
5. Matthew Yglesias: Donald Trump could be a generation-long disaster for the Republican Party
6. Emily Crockett: Why Congress's investigation into Planned Parenthood has scientists terrified
7. Greg Sargent: Bernie Sanders insists he can still win. The math says otherwise.
8. Betsy Woodruff: When #NeverTrump Becomes #ImWithHer
9. John Avlon: When Republicans Hit Rock Bottom
10. Ross Douthat: The Defeat of True Conservatism


1. The GOP awakens to a Trump nightmare come true

And a new CNN poll underscores how deeply flawed a nominee Trump is likely to prove. The poll shows Hillary Clinton leading him nationally by 54-41.

But more important, the new CNN poll finds Trump is viewed unfavorably by 64 percent of women; 73 percent of nonwhites; 70 percent of voters under 35;  67 percent of college graduates; and 57 percent of moderates. Those are mostly constituencies the GOP had hoped to improve among. And while it’s often rightly pointed out that Clinton is disliked, she fares substantially better than he does among most of those particular groups, who will be pivotal to Clinton’s hopes of reconstituting the Obama coalition this fall.

And on top of all this, the CNN poll shows that Trump is also viewed unfavorably by 37 percent of conservatives, suggesting the possibility that some might potentially support a third party challenger, or if no such challenge materializes, at least stay home.

It’s hard to imagine a bigger disaster for the Republican Party. It is left with a likely nominee who appears to be an awful — historically awful — general-election candidate and who is also the least committed to the Republican agenda in decades. 5/04/16



“I think the only card [Clinton] has is the woman’s card. She’s got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going on is the women’s card. And the beautiful thing is women don’t like her, okay? And look how well I did with women tonight.” -- Donald Trump 4/27/15


@realDonaldTrump, If @HillaryClinton were a man, she would have been POTUS 25 years ago! #givemeabreak --Patti Solis Doyle ‎@PattiSolisDoyle

Because being a woman has historically been a huge advantage over billionaire white males -- Dan Pfeiffer✔‎@danpfeiffer

The 19th amendment could be Trump's undoing. -- Josh Marshall✔‎@joshtpm

It takes a lot of chutzpah and/or delusion for Trump to say that women hate Hillary Clinton. -- David Corn ✔‎@DavidCornDC


“Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” — John Boehner about Sen. Ted Cruz


“I don’t think Ted Cruz is Lucifer.” —Sen. Marco Rubio 4/29/16



“It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach a majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone.” -- Bernie Sanders, making it clear that he intends to fight on to become the Democratic presidential nominee, trying to persuade superdelegates to flip their support to him ahead of and during the convention.. 5/02/16


Sanders would have to win about 65 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to overtake Clinton, while Clinton needs to win only 35 percent to maintain her lead. -- NBC News 5/02/16

3. Hispanic voter registration spikes

“Registration among Hispanic voters is skyrocketing in a presidential election cycle dominated by Donald Trump and loud GOP cries to close the border,” The Hill reports.

“Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, projects 13.1 million Hispanics will vote nationwide in 2016, compared to 11.2 million in 2012 and 9.7 million in 2008.” 4/28/16

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

Fox's Varney Dubiously Claims US Is "Sliding Toward Recession" After Economy Grows Slightly Less Than Expected

Conservative Media Lash Out At John Boehner For Calling Ted Cruz “Lucifer In The Flesh”

Laura Ingraham: Trump's Claim That Mexico Is "Sending Rapists" Is True

Fox Contributor: Hillary Clinton Should Campaign On “The Victim Card" Rather Than “The Woman Card”

Right-Wing Media Claim Anti-Trump Protests Help Trump’s Electoral Chances

Bill O'Reilly: Anti-Trump Protesters Are Too Stupid To Realize They’re Helping Trump

Fox's Special Report Falsely Claims Obama's New Smart Gun Technology Push Is "Flat-Out Dangerous"

The New York Times' New Myth Is That Hillary Clinton Is More Hawkish Than Donald Trump

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Defends Hillary Clinton Over Classified Information In Emails. Gates: “The Truth Is, Things Are Overclassified, And Sometimes I Would Get Something And It Would Be Classified Secret Or Top Secret”

Limbaugh: “Hillary Clinton Has Never Been Off Of Her Husband’s Coattails … Never Gotten A Job, A Position That Wasn't Due To Bill”

Fox's Bream Cites Debunked GOP Talking Points To Undermine Reality That Strict Voter ID Laws Have A Discriminatory Impact

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith lambasted media outlets and reporters for allowing GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump to “lie to their face” about his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, ignoring the evidence showing that in 2002 Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.

5. Mark Fiore Cartoon: The math of Democracy

6. Trump Ally Roger Stone Advocated Killing Bernie Sanders "For Treason”

Trump And Stone Are Now Making A Play For Sanders Voters

7. Late Night Jokes for Dems

"Sanders offered Elizabeth Warren to be his running mate. Bernie said the women of this country understand it would be a great idea to have a woman as vice president. Yeah, or as president, right?" –Jimmy Kimmel

"Today the Sanders campaign announced they're downsizing and firing hundreds of people, but he's vowed to stay in the race until the race ends in June or until his life ends. I'm trying to say he's old. There was a miscommunication, I guess." –Jimmy Kimmel

"During his victory speech last night Donald Trump dismissed the idea of facing a contested convention, saying, 'As far as I'm concerned, it's over.' And by 'it,' I assume he means civilization as we know it." –Seth Meyers

"ISIS has reportedly started rolling out 'reductions in benefits' to try to cut down costs. And now al-Qaeda is trying to compete with them by launching 'Osamacare.'" –Seth Meyers

"Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a loose cannon and said, 'Loose cannons tend to misfire.' Trump was like, 'My cannon works just fine, I guarantee you, there's no problem. I've already discussed this.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"According to a new poll that just came out, 50 percent of Republicans say they could support Donald Trump. The other 50 percent are a group calling themselves 'Women.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Donald Trump is now making fun of what he calls John Kasich's 'disgusting' table manners. As an example, Trump named Kasich's gross habit of having dinner with a wife who's about his own age." –Conan O'Brien

"In a new interview, Ted Cruz said, 'I've changed a lot of diapers.' After hearing this, Bernie Sanders made him his running mate." –Conan O'Brien

"Bernie Sanders said it's a great idea to have a woman as vice president. John McCain was like, 'Is it?!'" –Seth Meyers

8. From the Late Shows

The Daily Show w/Trevor Noah: "They Love Me" Music Video - Black Trump

Ellen DeGeneres: The Woman Card

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Bathroom Bills: A Closer Look


9. Survey Suggests Democrats Headed for a Landslide

A new Rand survey finds 53% of voters surveyed say they will vote for a Democrat for president this fall while 37.9% will vote for a Republican. Just four months ago, a similar survey found 46.7% were planning to vote for a Democrat while 43.1% would vote for a Republican. 5/03/16

10. Donald Trump’s Problems With Women Voters Are Worse Than You Think

The gender gap in a Trump v. Clinton match-up is different from the gender gap in previous elections, according to Margie Omero, a Democratic pollster and co-host of the podcast “The Pollsters.”

"Sometimes when you look at overall what’s happening, people will say, 'Well women think this and men think this,' and sometimes it’s because of party rather than because of gender,” Omero told TPM. "When it comes to Trump it’s actually both. He’s got a gender problem even within his own party."

Trump’s deficit among women is enormous and getting worse. Per Gallup’s tracking, 70 percent of women view him unfavorably, up from 58 percent last July. Trump’s problem looks even more dire when broken down by the subsets women that are typically in play or can depended on by Republicans.

11. The Borowitz Report: Senate Officially Mourns Return of Ted Cruz

The United States Senate declared an official day of mourning on Wednesday to mark the impending return of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to the legislative body.

In a rare moment of consensus for this bitterly divided chamber, both Republicans and Democrats expressed their sorrow, but the news of Cruz’s return seemed to cut the deepest among Republicans, many of whom now regret their decision not to endorse the Texas senator for President.

“If that bastard had somehow been elected President, we would have only had to see him one day a year, at the State of the Union,” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said. “I should have done everything in my power to make that happen. And now it’s too damn late.”

“We have to respect the will of the voters, but they didn’t think about the devastating effect this would have on us,” the usually stoic McConnell said, his voice quavering. “There’s a real human cost to this.” Read more at

12. Republicans have a massive electoral map problem that has nothing to do with Donald Trump

Here's the underlying math. If Clinton wins the 19 states (and D.C.) that every Democratic nominee has won from 1992 to 2012, she has 242 electoral votes. Add Florida's 29 and you get 271. Game over.

The Republican map is decidedly less friendly. There are 13 states that have gone for the GOP presidential nominee in each of the last six elections. But they only total 102 electorate votes. That means the eventual nominee has to find, at least, 168 more electoral votes to get to 270. Which is a hell of a lot harder than finding 28 electoral votes. 5/02/16

13. Senate in session for the fewest days in 60 years

Senate Republicans have left town for another recess with their yearlong claim that the Senate is ‘back to work’ an increasingly tough sell to voters.

But the chamber is on pace to work the fewest days in 60 years, the party continues to insist it won’t act on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, and Republicans’ ballyhooed strategy to shepherd all dozen spending bills through the chamber is in serious trouble.” 5/02/16

14. There can’t be a contested Democratic National Convention

There were two key things in 2008 that are also true in 2016.

1. Pledged delegates, the ones won from primaries and caucuses, and unpledged delegates, also known as superdelegates, all vote on the first ballot, taken state by state.

2. With two candidates, mathematically one must receive a majority of the delegates’ votes. The candidate who gets a majority is the nominee.

This is pretty basic stuff. There can’t be a contested convention when all delegates vote together and there are only two candidates. 5/02/16



1. NY Times Editorial: Donald Trump’s Strange Worldview

After landslide Republican primary victories, Donald Trump delivered a speech in Washington intended to clarify his foreign policy positions. That was needed, because his views on America’s role in the world have until now been expressed in tweets, interviews and remarks at rallies that have alarmed nearly every foreign ally of the United States.

While trumpeting America’s role in winning World War II and the Cold War, Mr. Trump simultaneously pronounced that “America First,” the 1930s isolationist theme that he quoted without attribution, “will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.” He did not bother to square that with his vow not to “hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative.” He condemned “nation building,” but said he aims to build “regional stability,” without explaining the difference.

Mr. Trump decried a shrinking American military and the deterioration of the nuclear arsenal. But he did not say how he would further build up the military — which has a budget this year of nearly $600 billion — while cutting government spending, which he also wants to do. And he seems to be ignorant of the sweeping $1 trillion effort to revitalize the nuclear force that is already underway.

Mr. Trump repeatedly states outright falsehoods, often based on wrong assumptions. He’s been refuted before on his claim that the Islamic State is making “millions of dollars a week” by selling Libyan oil. There is zero evidence of that. The nuclear deal with the United States and other major powers has not made Iran a “great power,” nor has Tehran violated the conditions of that pact, as Mr. Trump has said.

Mr. Trump says he knows how to negotiate, and to him that seems to mean putting forward maximal positions that he can then walk back. That won’t work in foreign policy. Mr. Trump did not display any willingness to learn or to correct his past errors. For someone who claims he is ready to lead the free world, that is inexcusable.4/27/16


2. Kathleen Parker: Trump deals Clinton a winning card

One of the most effective political ads of the season features women repeating the many derogatory statements Donald Trump has made about the fairer sex.

No editorial comment is needed when a candidate’s own words stand alone to expose his flaws, and thus to condemn him.

It is understood that Republicans rarely suffer for criticizing Hillary Clinton. “Hating Hillary” is a chronic obsession on the right, especially among men for whom Trump spoke when he recently told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that it was too early in the morning for him to listen to Clinton’s “shouting.”

There’s no denying that a woman’s raised voice is every man’s nightmare — for so many obvious reasons. For similarly obvious reasons, it is never politic for a man to point this out.

Unless it seems, you’re Trump.

If Trump were a woman, not only would he not get 5 percent of the vote, but also he would be tarred, feathered, branded and ridden out of town backward on a donkey. Voters male and female would recognize immediately that such a woman was inappropriate, lacking in quality and character, perhaps more than a little crazy — and utterly unqualified to be president of the United States.

The only thing Trump’s got going for him, one is tempted to say, is the men’s vote , which is no way to deflect accusations of a GOP war on women. But as Trump himself would assert, at least he’s keeping it classy.


3. Paul Krugman: Bernie’s Bad End

This is really depressing: Sanders claiming that there will be a contested convention, and suggesting that the nomination fight was rigged. Can someone tell Bernie that he’s in the process of blowing his own chance for a positive legacy?

Here’s how the narrative could have run: although he fell short of actually getting the nomination, Sanders did far better than expected, giving him and his movement a good claim to have a big say in the Democratic agenda for 2016 and perhaps setting the movement up as the party’s future. But to take that position — to turn defeat in the primary into a moral victory — he would have had to accept the will of the voters with grace.

What we’re getting instead is an epic descent into whining. He dismissed Clinton victories driven by black voters as products of the conservative Deep South; he suggested that his defeat in New York was unfair because it was a closed primary (you can argue this case either way, but requiring that you identify as a Democrat to choose the Democratic nominee is hardly voter suppression — arguably caucuses are much further from a democratic process); then, with the big loss in the mid-Atlantic primaries,he has turned to a sort of fact-free complaint that any process under which Bernie Sanders loses is ipso facto unfair, and superdelegates should choose him despite a 3 million vote deficit.

At this point it’s as if Sanders is determined to validate everything liberal skeptics have been saying all along about his unwillingness to face reality — and all of it for, maybe, a few weeks of additional fundraising, at the expense of any future credibility and goodwill. Isn’t there anyone who can tell him to stop before it’s too late? 5/02/16


4. John Cassidy: How Donald Trump Won the G.O.P. Nomination

If Republican voters hadn’t been so disillusioned by their usual leaders, Trump would have remained a fringe candidate. Instead, aided by some prominent right-wing media figures, such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity, the New York businessman was able to present himself as the heir to the Tea Party revolution, which many activists felt had been quashed or betrayed. He was also able to tap into many Republicans’ anger, some of it tinged with racism, about President Obama and his policies; into broader fears of terrorism and economic decline; and into a general disgust with professional politicians, some of which was brought about by the G.O.P.’s own obstructionism.

Contented countries don’t produce politicians like Trump. For many years now, a majority of Americans have told pollsters that they believe the nation is on the wrong track. A decade and a half marked by foreign wars, terrorist threats, recession, slow growth, political gridlock, culture wars, and (for many voters) declining incomes have further undermined faith in the political system, creating space for insurgent candidates like Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Of course, if you are going to run as a populist outsider, you need a message that fires up voters. It was here that Trump’s instinctive grasp of the darker reaches of the Republican psyche came to the fore. Having spent years listening to talk radio, he knew that the issue of illegal immigration divided the grassroots of the Party from its leadership in Washington. In promising to deport millions of undocumented workers and build a wall across the southern border, he established his conservative bone fides and differentiated himself from the other candidates.5/04/15

5. Matthew Yglesias: Donald Trump could be a generation-long disaster for the Republican Party

Trump's campaign to "Make America Great Again" is transparently based on an effort to narrow the definition of who counts as an American. And while Republicans can easily shed specific policy stances that their likely 2016 nominee takes, if they stand shoulder to shoulder with Trump in a campaign whose main subject is whether non-white Americans count as genuinely American, that won't be forgotten.

Back in 1990, 57 percent of California's population was non-Hispanic white and it was a swing state. By 2000, they were a minority, and the state was solidly blue. In 2012, 63 percent of Americans overall were non-Hispanic whites, and Democratic Party wins at the presidential level were balanced out by GOP domination of down-ballot races — but that non-Hispanic white majority is shrinking fast.

I've long been skeptical that a majority-minority America would be dominated by Democrats, assuming that both the partisan configuration and the definition of whiteness would shift over time to keep the system in equilibrium. Trump's elevation of racial conflict and identity issues to text rather than subtext of the political debate calls that assumption into question in a manner that really could imperil partisan balance in an unprecedented way. 4/29/16


6. Emily Crockett: Why Congress's investigation into Planned Parenthood has scientists terrified

House Republicans have made a public enemy out of Planned Parenthood, of course, but they're not stopping there. They also have their eye on companies that handle fetal tissue, medical researchers, and even medical students — essentially, anyone the committee can find who has a tangential connection to the issue, except those who brought the spurious allegations about "selling baby parts" in the first place.

It doesn't matter how many times CMP's claims have been proven wrong, or how often Daleiden's years-long history with other dubious smear campaigns gets pointed out. To some anti-abortion Republicans in Congress, these videos will always be indisputable evidence that Planned Parenthood was caught on tape doing something both immoral and illegal, and that these claims deserve serious investigation.

It doesn't matter how much time or money all of this costs lawmakers or taxpayers. It doesn't matter that violent threats against abortion providers skyrocketed in 2015, and that a gunman ranting about "baby parts" shot up a Planned Parenthood in November in the deadliest-ever attack on a US abortion clinic.

It doesn't matter how many investigations there have already been, and it never will. For the anti-abortion movement and their supporters in Congress, there will always be more investigating to do. There's always the chance that this time, they'll finally expose Planned Parenthood's evil deeds for all the world to see. 4/29/16


7. Greg Sargent: Bernie Sanders insists he can still win. The math says otherwise.

Bernie Sanders has now threatened perhaps more directly than ever before to take the Dem nominating contest all the way to the floor of the convention in Philadelphia in July, arguing that while this may be a real long shot, he can still win the nomination by flipping super-delegates to his side. If Sanders wins in Indiana tomorrow, he’ll likely renew that threat with even more gusto.

But even if you look at the math precisely the way Sanders is asking us to — and unquestioningly grant him the mathematical concessions he is requesting — he is still all but certain not to win the nomination.

At a press conference late yesterday, Sanders said unpledged delegates — or the “super-delegates” who are free to back the candidate of their choice — in states that he won by landslides should all back him, and said they should back Clinton in states she won:

But even granting Sanders this concession, the math still doesn’t work for him. Per figures supplied by the DNC, if you give Sanders all of the super-delegates in all of the states he has won so far, the total is around 150. If you give Clinton all of the super-delegates in all the states she won, the total is around 375. If, for good measure, you were to also give Sanders all of the super-delegates in Indiana and in California (both of which Sanders says he has a good chance at winning), Sanders would still be around 100 super-delegates behind Clinton. That would not help Sanders close the gap among pledged delegates, obviously.

It’s perfectly legitimate for Sanders to keep this going until all the votes are counted. It’s also perfectly legitimate for Sanders to fight on into June, even if he knows he can’t win, for the sole purpose of trying to leverage his national constituency to influence the party’s agenda in the fall elections and beyond. But forcing this battle on to the convention floor — after it’s become unequivocally clear that so doing will not alter the outcome — seems hard to justify. The pressure on Sanders to defend this course of action — and to explain why it is even at all tenable — will likely mount in the days ahead. 5/02/16


8. Betsy Woodruff: When #NeverTrump Becomes #ImWithHer

Some of the right’s most prominent conservatives are getting Ready for Hillary.

Donald Trump is now the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted tonight.

Erick Erickson, a conservative talk-radio host and founder of RedState, told The Daily Beast shortly after Cruz dropped out that he will de-register as a Republican if and when Trump is officially nominated.

“If Trump is the Republican Party nominee, I won’t be a Republican,” he said. “I’m not down with white supremacists.”

He added that Trump’s nomination will brand the GOP as the party of white supremacists.

“You’ve got Klan members, David Duke, the Aryan Nation supporting Donald Trump,” he said. “If the Republican Party is willing to go along with that, then I think it’s fair branding, I think it’s very fair. If Republicans aren’t going to stand up to having their party hijacked by a group of Aryan Nation-types, then they get what they deserve.”

Mark Salter, a former speechwriter for Sen. John McCain, was even less coy.

“The GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level,” he tweeted. “I’m with her.” 5/03/16


9. John Avlon: When Republicans Hit Rock Bottom

The Republican Party woke up in Trump Tower after Election Day, lying in a marble bathtub full of ice. Its back hurt and a kidney was missing.

Hitting rock bottom hadn’t come overnight. The troubles had been brewing for years, well before it sealed the deal with Donald Trump one night in Indiana. Once there had been dozens of suitors: governors, senators and even a pediatric neurosurgeon. But the choice between Trump or Cruz—a celebrity demagogue or a friendless ideologue—was a measure of how low things could go when the field narrowed to different flavors of conservative populist: angry and absolutist. The final decision wasn’t driven by love as much as desperation.

There had been attempts at intervention. Some friends warned things were getting out of hand after a few crazy hate binges dragged the party far off-center. But the rock-ribbed conservatives always pushed back and said those so-called friends were disloyal closet Democrats who just didn’t know how to party.

Sure, there were some wild nights where candidates talked about banning Muslims,building walls to keep out Mexican rapists, and rolling back rights for gays, but this was just serving up the red meat the red-state base wanted. Stop taking policies so seriously. Civility is for sissies. Loosen up. Hate a little. This is all just part of the dance.

Four years before, the party had flirted with Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and that blast from the past named Newt. Bible-thumping Rick Santorum won a few states, but the party finally settled on Mitt. Responsibility reigned and even though Romney lost to an illegitimate president, the party rebounded to win back the Senate in the next midterm election. Experimenting with a bit of crazy was no big deal.

And so it’s here, soaking in an ice-cold tub of reality after Election Day that the real sober action of rehab for the Republican Party needs to begin. There will be those who argue that the party’s only mistake was nominating Trump instead of Cruz, that a full-spectrum conservative populist ideologue could have won the election without reaching beyond the base. But rebuilding electoral strength requires taking responsibility and admitting that the party has a real problem. You can survive with one kidney, but you’ve got to stay off the sauce because you can’t keep filtering out the same levels of poison and still survive. 5/04/16


10. Ross Douthat: The Defeat of True Conservatism

Trump proved that many of the party’s moderates and establishmentarians hate the thought of a True Conservative nominee even more than they fear handing the nomination to a proto-fascist grotesque with zero political experience and poor impulse control. That goes for the prominent politicians who refused to endorse Cruz, the prominent donors who sat on their hands once the field narrowed and all the moderate-Republican voters in blue states who turned out to be #NeverCruz first and #NeverTrump less so or even not at all.

Finally, Trump proved that many professional True Conservatives, many of the same people who flayed RINOs and demanded purity throughout the Obama era, were actually just playing a convenient part. From Fox News’ 10 p.m. hour to talk radio to the ranks of lesser pundits, a long list of people who should have been all-in for Cruz on ideological grounds either flirted with Trump, affected neutrality or threw down their cloaks for the Donald to stomp over to the nomination. Cruz thought he would have a movement behind him, but part of that movement was actually a racket, and Trumpistas were simply better marks.

Cruz will be back, no doubt. He’s young, he’s indefatigable, and he can claim — and will claim, on the 2020 hustings — that True Conservatism has as yet been left untried. But that will be a half-truth; it isn’t being tried this year because the Republican Party’s voters have rejected him and it, as they rejected another tour for Bushism when they declined to back Rubio and Jeb.
What remains, then, is Trumpism. Which is also, in its lurching, sometimes insightful, often wicked way, a theory of what kind of party the Republicans should become, and one that a plurality of Republicans have now actually voted to embrace.

Whatever reckoning awaits the G.O.P. and conservatism after 2016 will have to begin with that brute fact. Where the reckoning goes from there — well, now is a time for pundit humility, so your guess is probably as good as mine. 5/04/16