ChrisWeigant.com

Trump Fears The Stoner Vote

[ Posted Monday, August 24th, 2020 – 16:30 UTC ]

Today's one of those days when I had a subject already in mind for a column, but then read a few other columns that essentially already said what I was going to say (and in at least one case, said it much better than I could have). Fortunately, a second subject also popped up while reading the news today. So what I'm going to do is provide a few longish excerpts from the articles I read on the first subject at the end of this column, as a sort of "imagine the column Chris would have written" mental exercise (I even had a theme song in mind...), complete with the links to the original articles.

Instead, I'm going to write about weed. Weed voters, in particular. Now, any longtime reader of this column knows that I've been banging this particular drum for a very long time -- in particular, the fact that marijuana legalization is a political issue ripe for support from one of the major political parties. Sadly, both parties continue to shy away from it, although the Democrats have done a lot more "evolving" on the issue than most Republicans. Some Democrats, I should say, because not everyone's on board yet. I didn't notice this at the time, but here's a rundown of what happened to the party's official platform document this time around:


Democratic National Committee delegates voted 105-60 against including marijuana legalization in the party platform on Monday.

The draft version of the platform supports decriminalizing marijuana use and legalizing medical marijuana, adding that it should be left up to the states "to make their own decisions about recreational use."

The platform was unlikely to ever endorse full legalization, since Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee, does not back the policy. He supports federal decriminalization, which would take away incarceration for possession.

But Dennis Obduskey, a delegate who introduced the legalization amendment during the meeting of the DNC's platform committee, noted that the current document is a step back from the 2016 platform, which supported "providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization."

The article goes on to note that fully two-thirds of the American public is in favor of outright legalization for recreational purposes, a figure that goes up ten points (to 76 percent) among Democrats.

In other words, there's simply no other way to describe it than "the people are leading, but the political leaders are so far refusing to follow." Which is a shame, and which is precisely the drum I've been beating for lo these many years.

Now, I do realize that nobody reads party platform documents any more (if anyone ever did), and that the language is always massaged into statements which are as vague as humanly possible (what does "providing a reasoned pathway" even mean?). But even so, a step backwards is not exactly encouraging from the Democrats.

Perhaps this year will change some minds in the party establishment, though, because it is already reportedly terrifying Donald Trump. As The Daily Beast reports:

In the final months of an uphill election fight, Donald Trump's mind is on weed.

The president and some of his team, already obsessed with the potential drop-off of various demographic groups that make up his battered coalition, have begun openly worrying that the drive to legalize or decriminalize marijuana might hurt him and fellow Republicans at the ballot box.

According to two GOP strategists who've independently discussed the topic with Trump this year, the president believes that inclusion of marijuana initiatives on state ballots could supercharge turnout for voters who lean toward Democratic candidates and causes. The president, according to one of the sources, asked for updates on critical swing-states that could see such ballot measures in the 2020 elections.

"The president is keenly aware of how presidential elections [nowadays]... can be won at the margins," one of the Republican strategists said. "The pot issue is one of many that he thinks could be a danger... He once told me it would be very 'smart' for the Democrat[ic] Party to get as many of these on the ballot as they could."

And it would, if the Democratic Party would only get behind it. In fact, it could be a dandy "wedge issue" for voters who may not normally even bother to vote -- single-issue voters, in other words. This is a tactic Republicans have used with great success in the past, as the article points out:

"Both parties use ballot initiatives to gin up their turnout. George Bush did it with [gay marriage] in 2004... and we did it with flag-burning amendments over the years," said former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), a Trump surrogate. "These kinds of measures can get hundreds [of voters] there, and that can sometimes be the difference in these races... If I was on a statewide ballot, I would probably not want a marijuana initiative on there. I suspect it brings out more Democrats than Republicans."

Trump appears to be keenly aware of this dynamic:

But behind the president's tough-on-drugs approach appears to be a recognition that the politics aren't on his side. At an event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Monday, Trump needled the state's former Republican governor Scott Walker for losing to a Democrat in 2018, suggesting that Wisconsin ballot measures boosted turnout in the state, to the benefit of Walker's Democratic opponent.

"The next time you run, please don't put marijuana on the ballot at the same time you're running," Trump said to Walker, who was in the audience. "You brought out like a million people that nobody ever knew were coming out."

Trump was giving voice to a bit of conventional political wisdom that the opportunity to vote for marijuana legalization or decriminalization can spur increased turnout among younger, more progressive voters. The data on that question is a mixed bag, though there is some evidence that it contributed to Walker's defeat.

Trump's right, much as it pains me to type those two words. It's not so much that Democrats vote for legalization more, it's that voters who seldom vote actually do turn out -- which would be the exact opposite of the "silent majority" Trump is counting on to win re-election (Trump is convinced millions of voters who seldom or never vote are going to magically turn out for him this November).

Which is why it could be dangerous for Trump -- which, to his credit, he apparently has already realized. Two states could be key in this formulation:

If Trump's theory is borne out in 2020, it could have significant consequences for him and other Republicans in tight races in November. Two of the four states where recreational cannabis legalization will likely make the ballot in November are Arizona and Montana. Both those states are hosts to critical U.S. Senate contests where Republican incumbents are facing tough re-election fights.

In both states, Republicans are almost evenly divided on whether marijuana should be legal, according to survey data from the firm Civiqs. Every other demographic group polled supports legalization, most by wide margins.

Arizona is of particular importance to Trump. He carried the state by a slim 3.5 percent margin in 2016, and Democrats are making a push in the state with the hope of flipping it for Joe Biden. At the Democratic nominating convention on Tuesday, Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona's late Republican Senator John McCain, aired a recorded speech praising Biden, though she stopped short of an endorsement.

Of course, nobody knows how the Electoral College math is going to play out, but there is a possibility (a remote one, but still...) that Arizona could be the deciding state. Arizona has 11 Electoral College votes, which is more than Minnesota, Iowa, or Nevada individually have.

Much like the evolution on gay marriage, however, Democratic politicians only seem to get on board with legalization after the fact. They feel free to support it after their own state's voters approve it, in other words. Because then they actually get lobbied by cannabis companies (including those who utilize the services of lobbyist and former Republican House speaker John Boehner, I hasten to point out). Democrats in states which have yet to legalize are a lot more timid, although there are indeed notable exceptions to this rule, such as Governor J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, who actively campaigned on the legalization issue when he ran for his current office.

Now, the chances are greater that even if Arizona turns blue it probably won't matter to the Electoral College total one way or another. But perhaps the "stoner vote" turnout will help elect a Democratic senator from Arizona and Montana. The chances are much higher (pun intended) that this could be decisive in determining control of the Senate.

Sooner or later the Democratic Party is going to wake up and realize that not wholeheartedly supporting marijuana legalization is nothing more than shooting themselves in the foot -- or perhaps tying one hand behind their back before a big fight. Pick your metaphor, both seem to apply. It's getting more and more obvious with every election that has a legalization measure on the ballot, in fact. After all, even Trump is aware of the emerging political dynamic. If he can see it -- and actually fear it -- then what more evidence do Democrats require that this could be a real winner for them at the ballot box?

Maybe one day I'll stop beating this particular political drum, because maybe one day the issue will no longer be a wedge issue worth exploiting. You don't see too many "defense of marriage" ballot initiatives any more, do you? The issue got decided, and politically it is now a nonstarter. I look forward to the day the same can be said about marijuana legalization, and I can stop writing these articles once and for all.

 

[Bonus "do it yourself" column]

The theme is a simple one: the Republican Party is a hollowed-out shell which no longer believes in anything at all other than fealty to Donald Trump. My theme song (which I would have woven throughout the article) was R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," which contains the lyrics:

Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I've said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try
But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much
I haven't said enough

Because, of course, the Republican Party has morphed from what had essentially become nothing short of a religion (built on pure faith in things which are demonstrably false, such as "tax cuts always pay for themselves") into being nothing short of a personality cult. Here's the first excerpt, by way of evidence:

The official story is that the party couldn't write a new platform because the pandemic prevents all points of view of the "ever-growing Republican movement" from being represented. So they just decided to whine about the media and pledge their fealty to Dear Leader Trump and his "America First agenda." This raises an important question: What is that, anyway?

Trump has been asked over and over again what he wants to do in a second term and he can't answer the question. On Sunday night he appeared on Fox News personally, and when asked what he would do differently in a second term said, "I would strengthen what we've done and I would do new things." That was actually more informative than usual.

. . .

The GOP company line over the past couple of days has been that the Democrats put on a grim and dark convention and the TrumpFest will be upbeat and inspirational by contrast, which would obviously mean that Donald Trump himself will not be participating. But is he ever.

My second excerpt puts this in more scathing language, from "never-Trump conservative and CNN pundit Amanda Carpenter," who wrote an article which touched on the subject recently for The Bulwark (while addressing Steve Bannon's recent arrest):

Oh, what a summer it's been for those salt-of-the-earth, God-fearing, Second Amendment-protecting, border-defending members of President Trump's circle of trusted advisers. You know, the people who are working day and night to protect your rights from the evil, money-sucking swamp monsters of Washington, D.C.? Well, if you believe that, you're probably the perfect mark for the next grifter campaign led by another one of Trump's con men.

. . .

They're grifters -- and like magnets, they have a strange way of attracting other grifters. President Trump is like a galactic electromagnet that brings grifters together into a self-collapsing black hole of suckage.

C'mon, tell us how you really feel -- don't hold back!

Heh.

But the most excellent article on the subject comes as a very deep dive into the question from Politico. It opens with the writer, while speaking to a group of high-school students, admitting he was stumped when one of them asked: "I'm sorry, but I still don't understand -- what do Republicans believe? What does it mean to be a Republican?"

The entire article is lengthy, but well worth reading, especially given the quality of the sources quoted within. Here are the key excerpts:

You could forgive a 17-year-old, who has come of age during Donald Trump's reign, for failing to recognize a cohesive doctrine that guides the president's party. The supposed canons of GOP orthodoxy -- limited government, free enterprise, institutional conservation, moral rectitude, fiscal restraint, global leadership -- have in recent years gone from elastic to expendable. Identifying this intellectual vacuum is easy enough. Far more difficult is answering the question of what, quite specifically, has filled it.

Bumbling through a homily about the "culture wars," a horribly overused cliché, I felt exposed. Despite spending more than a decade studying the Republican Party, embedding myself both with its generals and its foot soldiers, reporting on the right as closely as anyone, I did not have a good answer to the student's question. Vexed, I began to wonder who might. Not an elected official; that would result in a rhetorical exercise devoid of introspection. Not a Never Trumper; they would have as much reason to answer disingenuously as the most fervent MAGA follower.

I decided to call Frank Luntz. Perhaps no person alive has spent more time polling Republican voters and counseling Republican politicians than Luntz, the 58-year-old focus group guru. His research on policy and messaging has informed a generation of GOP lawmakers. His ability to translate between D.C. and the provinces -- connecting the concerns of everyday people to their representatives in power -- has been unsurpassed. If anyone had an answer, it would be Luntz.

"You know, I don't have a history of dodging questions. But I don't know how to answer that. There is no consistent philosophy," Luntz responded. "You can't say it's about making America great again at a time of Covid and economic distress and social unrest. It's just not credible."

Luntz thought for a moment. "I think it's about promoting..." he stopped suddenly. "But I can't, I don't..." he took a pause. "That's the best I can do."

When I pressed, Luntz sounded as exasperated as the student whose question I was relaying. "Look, I'm the one guy who's going to give you a straight answer. I don't give a shit -- I had a stroke in January, so there's nothing anyone can do to me to make my life suck," he said. "I've tried to give you an answer and I can't do it. You can ask it any different way. But I don't know the answer. For the first time in my life, I don't know the answer."

. . .

"If you think about the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution -- they're all about ideas. Parties were supposed to be about ideas," said Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman who ran a short-lived primary against Trump in 2020. "John Adams was an ornery guy, but he believed in his ideas. On the other side, Thomas Jefferson, he certainly didn't live up to the ideas he espoused, but shoot, at least he talked about them. Nowadays, it's just regression to the lowest common denominator on everything. It scares me. You keep going this way of cult of personality, you will kill our Republic."

It can now safely be said, as his first term in the White House draws toward closure, that Donald Trump's party is the very definition of a cult of personality. It stands for no special ideal. It possesses no organizing principle. It represents no detailed vision for governing. Filling the vacuum is a lazy, identity-based populism that draws from that lowest common denominator Sanford alluded to. If it agitates the base, if it lights up a Fox News chyron, if it serves to alienate sturdy real Americans from delicate coastal elites, then it's got a place in the Grand Old Party.

"Owning the libs and pissing off the media," shrugs Brendan Buck, a longtime senior congressional aide and imperturbable party veteran if ever there was one. "That's what we believe in now. There's really not much more to it."

. . .

On Capitol Hill, several House Republicans berated a member of their leadership for defending the integrity of the nation's top infectious disease expert amid a raging pandemic; one of them, days later, accosted a young Democratic congresswoman on the steps of the House, allegedly calling her a "fucking bitch," while another one, who had proudly refused to wear a face covering around the Capitol, contracted Covid-19. Things weren't much sunnier on the Senate side, where one Republican touted a new investigation that would "certainly help Donald Trump win reelection" while his GOP colleague concluded that a separate probe exonerated Trump's campaign of wrongdoing in 2016 when it did precisely the opposite. Meanwhile, as party operatives worked feverishly to win ballot access for Kanye West, a bipolar Black celebrity who could ostensibly draw votes from Joe Biden, emerging victorious from at least three GOP primaries were congressional candidates who have expressed support for QAnon, the psychotic conspiracy theory that accuses Democrats and Hollywood elites of trafficking and cannibalizing young children. Given a chance to disavow this nascent movement, the president pleaded ignorance and, along with other party officials, embraced these candidates, even the self-described "proud Islamophobe" who has fantasized about immigrants dying en masse.

All the while, Trump kept busy suggesting a delay to the November election and predicting that the only way he will lose is if ballots are rigged against him. He repeatedly misstated the key statistics of the coronavirus and misleading citizens about its scale; condemned American cities to "rot" amid continued social unrest and violence; defended the Confederate flag and suggested that the Civil Rights Act was a mistake; promised a "full and complete health care plan" that never materialized; declined to attend the Capitol funeral of civil rights icon and beloved congressman John Lewis; dog-whistled to white suburbanites that Black and brown people are readying an "invasion" of their neighborhoods if Biden wins; extended well-wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell, who stands accused of running Jeffrey Epstein's underage sex-trafficking ring; pondered a sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service for the purpose of suppressing absentee votes; warned that Biden, a lifelong Roman Catholic, is "against God" and will "hurt God" if elected; indulged an encore presentation of birther speculation, this time with regards to Kamala Harris, the California-born Democratic VP nominee; and, naturally, pressured the governor of South Dakota to make room for him on Mount Rushmore.

This is not a party struggling to find its identity. This is a party in the middle of a meltdown.

. . .

Even as they attempt to distract from the wreckage, redirecting voters' gaze toward those dastardly Democratic socialists and reminding them of the binary choice before them, these Republicans rue their predicament but see no way out of it. Like riders on a derailing roller coaster, they brace for a crash but dare not get off.

. . .

That is precisely what will be on display at this week's Republican convention -- martyrdom, grievance, victimhood. Oh, there will be touting of tax cuts, celebrating of conservative judges, boasting of border security. But accomplishment will not be the sole undertone of the proceedings. The party of rugged individualism will spend as much time whining as reveling. Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, will be given precious speaking time, as will Nick Sandmann, the MAGA-clad high school kid who was defamed after a confrontation on the National Mall went viral. Other headliners will take turns bemoaning media bias, denouncing the obstructionist Democrats, cursing the unfair timing of the coronavirus, decrying their loss of culture, rebuking corporate America for kneeling at the altar of social justice and accusing the Deep State of stacking the deck against them.

. . .

There is a place in politics for fighting -- and, yes, for culture wars. Some of the great policy debates of this century, from abortion to same-sex marriage to marijuana legalization, were shaped more by social movements than policy debates. The problem for Republicans is that most of the fights they're picking nowadays are futile at best and foolhardy at worst. NASCAR? Confederate flags? Goya beans? Face masks? To the degree any of these issues move the needle politically, Republicans are on the wrong side of them. What's worse, there is no connective tissue. There is no focus to the GOP's incessant appetite for fighting. That's how they wound up with Trump in the first place. That's how they're winding up with people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Laura Loomer. When your war is boundless and undefined, you end up sharing foxholes with some pretty weird allies.

"The GOP has been here before with John Birchers and it didn't end well," said Ben Sasse, the Nebraska senator who has been a vocal if terribly inconsistent Trump critic. "The party of Lincoln and Reagan ought to have something big and bold to offer the country, but it's got way too many grifters selling grievance politics."

. . .

The pressure is now entirely on Trump. And he won't have much help. Unlike his opponent, who enlisted a number of broadly popular advocates to vouch for him during the Democratic convention, the president has a thin roster of speakers who can appeal beyond the party base. People like Gaetz and Trump's kids and the St. Louis artillerists have little capacity to calm a shaken electorate. That sort of reassurance could come from party elders, authority figures such as John Kasich, John Boehner, Mitt Romney and Jeb and George W. Bush.

But those leading Republicans won't be speaking on behalf of their party this week. Kasich already defected, endorsing Biden during a dramatic speech to the Democratic convention. And neither Romney nor Boehner nor either of the Bushes would speak even if asked. From what I've been told, none of them plan to vote for Trump this fall, and the chief reason they won't say so publicly is they fear it would diminish their influence over the party moving forward.

In other words (and in closing): buckle up, everyone, for the wild ride that the 2020 Republican National Convention is almost surely going to be.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

58 Comments on “Trump Fears The Stoner Vote”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Too bad for Falwell Jr. Crossed off the guest list. Won't be long til the Donald says he never heard of him.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Sooner or later the Democratic Party is going to wake up and realize that not wholeheartedly supporting marijuana legalization is nothing more than shooting themselves in the foot

    I don't think that's how it's going to happen. It'll happen when the Dem gerontocracy doesn't wake up. They can't live forever and their reefer madness will go to the grave with them.

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    If I'm Joe Biden I stick to my "we need more research on marijuana before we legalize."

    That is, I stick to it until September getting into October. At that point I "come around" on the subject, thereby boosting interest and younger voter turnout.

    Biden is a bleeping idiot if he doesn't do some version of the above.

  4. [4] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    I'm guessing (hoping) that you didn't have to evacuate, Chris. I didn't, though we got ready just in case. Haven't lost power again, either. Right now, it is all smoke and no mirrors where I am.

    Be well.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, you be well, too ... did you see my response to your StringKatz comment? You should let them know what you would like to hear ...

  6. [6] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Thank you, EM,

    I shall go have a look at your post.

  7. [7] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    Alas, EM; I didn't find a route to StringKatz other than Facebook, which I have assiduously avoided lo these many years. Thank you for the suggestion.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have avoided FB, too ... you have no idea how. But, I have found it useful, of late. I use it merely to chat with people who I would never in a million lifetimes have the opportunity to chat with.

    Would you believe that when I let StringKatz know I saw them on the Gowan virtual concert and wished to purchase their CDs, and after a friendly chat with one of them, she offered to send my a CD! They really are the best! Can hardly wait 'til it arrives!

  9. [9] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Hey MyVoice,

    You live up there in Santa Clara County? That's three of us representing the Left Coast here in Weigantia.

    I live in Green Valley Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. It's the highest elevation town in all of California that has more than 30 full timers. In fact, we have roughly 350 full timers, although an influx of Flatlanders who are presumably dodging Covid has swelled our population up to double or triple that.

    Two Saturdays ago we had four lightening strike fires here locally. The FD and a grip of water choppers made short work if them. Nothing like a lake from which to snag a quick 20,000 gallons of water.

    Stay safe, Brother. Or Sister, as the case may be.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MyVoice,

    Well, I suppose that I could ask them about White Bird ... you know, for a friend. Can you supply the chord info?

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, I'd have to check out the song myself, first ...

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm going to go out on a fairly sturdy limb and predict that by the end of the Republican convention, Republicans are going to sound like they are the masters of a booming economy.

    And, Democrats wont know how to fight back.

    Hope I'm wrong about that last bit ...

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    Chris Weigant

    Today's one of those days when I had a subject already in mind for a column, but then read a few other columns that essentially already said what I was going to say (and in at least one case, said it much better than I could have).

    One Damn Man is BACK and still prepared to beg, whine, and troll until a column is devoted to the wonderfulness of its product:

    ____________________00__________________
    ___________________0000_________________
    __________________000000________________
    _______00_________000000__________00____
    ________0000______000000______00000_____
    ________000000____0000000___0000000_____
    _________000000___0000000_0000000_______
    __________0000000_000000_0000000________
    ____________000000_00000_000000_________
    ____0000_____000000_000_0000__000000000_
    _____000000000__0000_0_000_000000000____
    ________000000000__0_0_0_000000000______
    ____________0000000000000000____________
    _________________000_0_0000_____________
    _______________00000_0__00000___________
    ______________00_____0______00__________
    ________________________________________


    *
    Light up. Bake up. Eat up.

    GET WEED.

    Fortunately, a second subject also popped up while reading the news today. So what I'm going to do is provide a few longish excerpts from the articles I read on the first subject at the end of this column, as a sort of "imagine the column Chris would have written" mental exercise (I even had a theme song in mind...), complete with the links to the original articles.

    Okay... well, that's all great and everything, but One Damn Man demanded an article about its product (see above) on August 15, nine days ago:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2020/08/14/friday-talking-points-the-mail-is-in-check/#comment-167575

    It is your responsibility and all that etcetera... in triplicate... with liberty and justice for all.

    Instead, I'm going to write about weed.

    One Damn Man has been patiently waiting for nine whole days for this! What took you so damn long!? ;)

  14. [14] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [9] MtnCaddy,

    Long ago, in another life, I had a cabin up at GVL. Loved it. Far enough from the lake to be away from mosquitoes, but close enough to walk on down any old time. One of my favorite mental pictures from those days is my big old black lab walking across the middle of the picture window on a 3' base of snow. My favorite sound was the wind in the trees (pre-bark beetle days). So many birds. Beautiful.

    A native Angeleno, I moved up to Sonoma County last year in time for last year's fires. The recurrent fires weren't on the disclosure forms.

    My recent power outage was courtesy of the dry lightning storm that caused the LNU Complex fires. Though smoke is definitely getting in my eyes, I know I am extremely fortunate; this weekend's forecast dry lightning storm did not materialize here.

    Stay safe yourself.

  15. [15] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [10] & [11] Elizabeth Miller

    I'd love it if you "asked for a friend" after checking out the song. The link is White Bird.

    BTW, congrats on scoring one of their CDs. Enjoy!

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll PM them after I get the CD and let you know what they say ...

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    12] Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I'm going to go out on a fairly sturdy limb and predict that by the end of the Republican convention, Republicans are going to sound like they are the masters of a booming economy.

    And, Democrats wont know how to fight back.

    Hope I'm wrong about that last bit ...

    Um, do you think that Repug economic rhetoric that flies in the face of reality is going to put the Democrats in any kind of political jeopardy? Really?

    Chill out Sister. For some unfathomable reason Trump and the Repugs have never never NEVER attempted to reach out beyond their poor, deluded base. Their convention rhetoric is not aimed at the real world -- check out WaPo's fact checking of this first night's speeches. It's aimed at the Fox News/OAN viewers who won't abandon Trump no matter what!

    It need not be taken seriously.

  18. [18] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It's like, they're trying to sell the the notion that the hell that Joe Biden will inflict on America will be far worse than the hell that Trump and his enabler Repugs have already inflicted on America.

    Good luck with that. But really, how else could the Repugs campaign considering their track record (going back to Reagan, I might add.)

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy, I don't have time for this nonsense.

    Um,

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Quite a telling article.

    The people are leading and politicians are refusing to follow and this is a problem because the Deathocrats are blowing an opportunity to use this issue to exploit people.

    You can beat the drum on this issue all you want, but whether or not the Deathocrats come around on this issue it will still be beating a dead horse as long as the Deathocrats are beating the drum at the behest of the big money interests.

    Of course removing big money from our political process would make it more difficult for the Deathocrats to exploit people using issues like legalizing weed, so who cares if 80% of citizens (including a majority of RepubliCon voters) want the big money out of politics?

    What does it matter if citizens are so desperate for this change that they have responded to small steps like Bernie's campaign as if it were a major step?

    Who cares if people keep dying while the Deathocrats and Republicons help the big money interests cash in and offer more of the same deceptive exploitation instead of helping citizens?

    "Up in smoke, that's where I wanna be
    'Cause when I'm high the world below don't bother me
    When life begins to be one long and dangerous road
    I take a toke and all my cares go up in smoke
    I take a toke and all my cares go up in smoke"
    -Up in Smoke
    Cheech and Chong

    Let's face it. The Deathocrats need to lose their religion. The most popular religion in the world- the worship of money, wealth and power.

    And like all religions it is NOT a virtue to have faith in the religion because faith by definition is believing something is true without any evidence and even ignoring evidence that it is not true.

    If choosing between the candidates offered by the big money interests was a good way to operate our country it would have worked by now.

    Yet the evidence is clear that it has NOT worked in the last several decades culminating in Trump being president and the bungling of the pandemic response.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.
    Get real.

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Everything will be okay as long as the Deathocrats give us 497 and a half feet of rope to hang ourselves as our democracy is as unsinkable as the Titianic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XFMjkFYPg

  22. [22] 
    Don Harris wrote:
  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Slow down, you're going too fast, Don. :)

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    You should check out the Jimmy Dore video on the DNC and weed.

    While I do not expect that most of his argument will sway you even though it should, he does point out that the DNC platform is AGAINST cute kitten videos.

    How can you continue to support a party that is against cute kitten videos?

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    I am often falsely accused here of leaving out the why, in this one case I did leave out the Y. :D

  26. [26] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Slow down, you move too fast
    Got to make the 497 and a half feet of rope last
    Just wolfing down the edibles
    Smoking some rope and feeling groovy...."

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [19] Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    MtnCaddy, I don't have time for this nonsense.

    Beg pardon, but YOU are the one that brought up the nonsense that the Repugs can campaign successfully on our abysmal economy and that the Dems somehow aren't/won't/can't fight back effectively.

    Did the troll formerly known as Michale's DNA rub off on you a little? He constantly brought up nonsense Repug talking points/Whataboutism and when refuted simply failed to respond.

    Again, the Repugs are speaking to their deluded Faux News/OAN base. There isn't enough there there (in their approach) to convince anyone who could still be remotely considered "undecided" to go with the GOP.

    The concept of "swing voter" is a misnomer. Most swing voters in fact lean one way or the other (POLITICO and The Atlantic have examined this in detail - sorry, no links this early in the morning) and the"swing" part refers to whether or not they're motivated to vote at all.

    For such a yuge fan of Biden you remind me of, well, Moi and my Bernie Bros: Biden was way down on my list because he wasn't willing to offer America the Progressive economic message and solutions that are absolutely required to undo 40 years of Reaganism. I still think "more of the same" Democratic centrism makes Biden a weaker, not a stronger candidate (see Clinton, Hillary.)

    Elizabeth, you got your candidate! So now you're sounding like a disaffected Progressive? Shoulda thought about this before you went all in on Joe, sheesh.

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It's my hope that we Progressives can drag Joe ever farther leftward as time goes by. It's heartening that Kamala's voting record in the Senate is pretty Progressive.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I know Joe Biden. He ain't the Clintons.

    But, he will have to sharpen his attack on the Republican cult of economic failure, post haste.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You better wake up and smell the coffee up there on the mountain, MntCaddy ... ;)

  32. [32] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    So, Mr. Weigant, we got two columes in one!

    Kudos for cranking out the content in such volume!

    Of course if you can at least summarize your reactions to the GOP Convention we'd love the hear your insights. I'm having the same problem watching it as I do watching Fox News: there's so much that is objectional that I want to throw my shoe through my TV. But, still, it has to be done.

  33. [33] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Coffee smells great up here in the mountains. Suggesting that I wake up rather than addressing my points is not becoming, my Dear I respectfully suggest that you do youself a favor and chill out until the GOP Convention is done sucking all of the oxygen out of the media environment, as Joe and his"sharpened attack" won't get a lick of attention in the meantime.

    No, Joe is no Clinton. Both of them, especially Hillary, were excoriated by the Repugs for decades. But Joe is no Bernie nor an Elizabeth Warren, and returning America to the normalcy of 40 years of Reaganism doesn't have much appeal to the majority of us that Reaganism has left behind. Obama nibbled at the edges some, but not enough to prevent Trump from successfully appealing to the howels of rage coming out of America. And Joe's incramentalism is his greatest weaknesses in this election.

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Again, I hope that Joe's October Surprise (or at least one of them) could be coming around on the marijuana issue. It just seems like a no brainer both politically and policy wise.

  35. [35] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    But he needs to do it before the opportunity to engage the youth to register to vote in time passes. Different states have different time frames during which to accomplish this.

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    20

    Of course removing big money from our political process would make it more difficult for the Deathocrats to exploit people using issues like legalizing weed, so who cares if 80% of citizens (including a majority of RepubliCon voters) want the big money out of politics?

    Who cares? Your shit doesn't do a thing to remove "the big money" out of the political process... just a whole lot of posturing about doing it on your part because if you were serious about it, you'd have a working website instead of mooching off this one. Lowering individual contributions by ninety-something percent wouldn't do a thing to combat the real big money in our political process that your nonworking website doesn't do a thing to address.

    What does it matter if citizens are so desperate for this change that they have responded to small steps like Bernie's campaign as if it were a major step?

    What does it matter? You seem desperate. What does Bernie's campaign have to do with small donors only? Absolutely nothing... not a thing.

    Who cares if people keep dying while the Deathocrats and Republicons help the big money interests cash in and offer more of the same deceptive exploitation instead of helping citizens?

    You obviously don't care enough to fix your website. These deaths are obviously the result of your lazy apathetic ineptitude.

    "Up in smoke, that's where I wanna be

    Lucky you.

    Let's face it. The Deathocrats need to lose their religion. The most popular religion in the world- the worship of money, wealth and power.

    All you talk about day in/day out is money, money, and money. In fact, you seem downright obsessed with money... let's do face it.

    And like all religions it is NOT a virtue to have faith in the religion because faith by definition is believing something is true without any evidence and even ignoring evidence that it is not true.

    Like your obsession.

    If choosing between the candidates offered by the big money interests was a good way to operate our country it would have worked by now.

    Let's face it: If your shit was worth a shit, it would have worked by now.

    Yet the evidence is clear that it has NOT worked in the last several decades culminating in Trump being president and the bungling of the pandemic response.

    Obviously this is the fault of Don Harris and his devotion to his obsession with money.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.
    Get real.

    Wake up... and fix your own website.
    Wise up... and stop whining about money.
    Rise up... and do something besides mooch.

    Get real... and stop trolling Chris expecting him to accomplish something for you that you can't and won't do for yourself.

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    30

    I know Joe Biden.

    You keep claiming that, anyway.

    But, he will have to sharpen his attack on the Republican cult of economic failure, post haste.

    Post haste? Nope. Bad timing. Might as well piss in the wind as to try doing that right now during the Trumpian convention. As I've said in the past, bigly layoffs coming beginning around October 1 in keeping with the terms of the PPP "loans." We should start hearing about and seeing these layoffs coming soon. Then explain how Trump's ignoring and downplaying the coronavirus contributed to the current shitshow and how nothing is going to change until the virus is handled properly... which Trump is incapable of doing. Big economic push then... not before. Timing matters. :)

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    33

    Coffee smells great up here in the mountains. Suggesting that I wake up rather than addressing my points is not becoming, my Dear I respectfully suggest that you do youself a favor and chill out until the GOP Convention is done sucking all of the oxygen out of the media environment, as Joe and his"sharpened attack" won't get a lick of attention in the meantime.

    Exactly this. Timing matters. :)

  39. [39] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Thanks, Kick. It's funny how our Dear Elizabeth has been all in on Joe the Centrist (for "decades?") and all of the sudden is worried that Joe doesn't sound Progressive enough. You go to the election with the Joe Biden you have, in any case.

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    MtnCaddy,

    Chill out, it's not even Labour Day, yet! :)

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Post haste? Nope. Bad timing. Might as well piss in the wind as to try doing that right now during the Trumpian convention.

    Yeah, well, he didn't even do it during his own convention so I don't expect it this week. Heh.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll be very surprised if Biden does anything big on drugs. But, I've been wrong before, so ...

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone here actually watching the Republican convention. I've been watching Rolling Stones concerts.

    Guess who is having the most fun!? :)

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    BTW, MtnCaddy, it's not progressive, per se, to hope that Biden and his team of Democrats start exposing and attacking the Republican cult of economic failure, you know.

    Of course, mainstream economic Dems will have to admit their own mistakes on the economy, as well ...

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    This is a summary of an Atlantic article,

    The Platform the GOP Is Too Scared to Publish -- What the Republican Party actually stands for, in 13 points

    1) The most important mechanism of economic policy—not the only tool, but the most important—is adjusting the burden of taxation on society’s richest citizens. Lower this level, as Republicans did in 2017, and prosperity will follow.

    2) The coronavirus is a much-overhyped problem. It’s not that dangerous and will soon burn itself out. States should reopen their economies as rapidly as possible, and accept the ensuing casualties as a cost worth paying...

    3) Climate change is a much-overhyped problem. It’s probably not happening. If it is happening, it’s not worth worrying about. If it’s worth worrying about, it’s certainly not worth paying trillions of dollars to amend...

    4) China has become an economic and geopolitical adversary of the United States. Military spending should be invested with an eye to defeating China on the seas, in space, and in the cyberrealm. U.S. economic policy should recognize that relations with China are zero-sum: When China wins, the U.S. loses, and vice versa.

    5) The trade and alliance structures built after World War II are outdated. America still needs partners, of course, especially Israel and maybe Russia. But the days of NATO and the World Trade Organization are over...

    6) Health care is a purchase like any other. Individuals should make their own best deals in the insurance market with minimal government supervision. Those who pay more should get more. Those who cannot pay must rely on Medicaid, accept charity, or go without.

    7) Voting is a privilege. States should have wide latitude to regulate that privilege in such a way as to minimize voting fraud, which is rife among Black Americans and new immigrant communities...

    8) Anti-Black racism has ceased to be an important problem in American life. At this point, the people most likely to be targets of adverse discrimination are whites, Christians, and Asian university applicants...

    9) The courts should move gradually and carefully toward eliminating the mistake made in 1965, when women’s sexual privacy was elevated into a constitutional right.

    10) The post-Watergate ethics reforms overreached. We should welcome the trend toward unrestricted and secret campaign donations...

    11) Trump’s border wall is the right policy to slow illegal immigration; the task of enforcing immigration rules should not fall on business operators. Some deal on illegal immigration must be found. The most important Republican priority in any such deal is to delay as long as possible full citizenship, voting rights, and health-care benefits for people who entered the country illegally.

    12) The country is gripped by a surge of crime and lawlessness as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement and its criticism of police.

    13) Civility and respect are cherished ideals. But in the face of the overwhelming and unfair onslaught against President Donald Trump by the media and the “deep state,” his occasional excesses on Twitter and at his rallies should be understood as pardonable reactions to much more severe misconduct by others.

    Yikes! I feel I've just channeled the spirit of the former troll known as Michale.

  46. [46] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oh, wait...this is Libtard stuff so I guess I'm okay hehe

  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...the platform I’ve just described, like so much of the Trump-Republican program, commands support among only a minority of the American people. The platform works (to the extent it does work) by exciting enthusiastic support among Trump supporters; but when stated too explicitly, it invites a backlash among the American majority. This is a platform for a party that talks to itself, not to the rest of the country.

    And this, Elizabeth, is why you needn't stress over what's said at the Trump National Convention.

  48. [48] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And now, to a cmpletely different subject...

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    Chris I'd love to get your take on why The Lincoln Project's ads seem so much more effective/impactful than anything else I've seen out there.

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And this, Elizabeth, is why you needn't stress over what's said at the Trump National Convention.

    I wish you could understand what I write. :(

  50. [50] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    That's TWO of us haha

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    39

    Thanks, Kick. It's funny how our Dear Elizabeth has been all in on Joe the Centrist (for "decades?") and all of the sudden is worried that Joe doesn't sound Progressive enough. You go to the election with the Joe Biden you have, in any case.

    She'll be fine. I don't think she's worried about Joe sounding progressive; I think she's concerned that Americans will "buy into" the Trumpian claim that the con artist is some kind of "master of the economy" and that Joe will cede that ridiculous nonsensical argument to Trump. In short, I believe she's concerned that there are a large number of Americans that are stupid enough to buy into that asinine notion and/or that JB will not avail himself of the opportunity to explain the ignorance of it.

    She needn't worry because, of course, a large portion of Americans are gullible and have already bought into the asinine notion that Donald Trump cares about them. Did you hear that fear-mongering revisionist history shitshow they put on last night? The "scare a van of 2018" has now become "MS-13 moving next door of 2020," and the GOP is obviously more worried about keeping their gullible base of aggrieved white victims rather than widening their appeal... not a good place to be in.

    The only criminals Donald Trump is concerned about are himself and those capable of ratting him out for the crimes they've committed against the United States and the American people. Full stop.

  52. [52] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay, thanks fer Kicksplaining that, Texas!

    Here are a couple of the latest Lincoln Project offerings.

  53. [53] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  54. [54] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  55. [55] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:
  56. [56] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    I agree, Trump recognizes the Stoners Political Power, but he loves fighting Decriminalization more because it is red meat to throw to his hungry base. Trump doesn't give a shit about illegal drug use - and there is plenty of testimony from credible sources that he self medicates and self recreates with drugs in an illegal manner up to the present. Trump has no problem whatever with being a hypocrite. Most of his base know the "secret" - but they don't care either.

    I'm of the opinion that Biden's back porch campaign is focused like a laser upon the issue of Biden's character. All the speakers at the virtual Democratic convention focused on matters of character. So did Biden himself. The Character Offensive seems to be sound. Biden's polling data looks pretty good. I'm not saying he is a shoe-in, but he is definitely the favorite...and Republicans know it.

    The best way to lose a battle is to aimlessly attack your opponent everywhere. It just dilutes your resources. Character is Trump's Achilles Heel. Fighting for the legalization of Marijuana can wait. Do Stoners think the chances of drug reform get better if Trump wins another term?

    Yes, I know, some Republicans are saying the Marijuana Movement can hurt them. I see that as misinformation - another tactic common to war and politics.

    Rant Over! - glad to see you back!

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    52|53|54

    Here are a couple of the latest Lincoln Project offerings.

    Oh, I do love The Lincoln Project videos. :)

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's TWO of us haha

    Ha!

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