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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

By Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the U.S. Congress, took the extraordinary step on Monday of distancing himself from Donald Trump, stirring a backlash from some lawmakers and deepening a crisis over his party’s struggling presidential nominee.

In a conference call with congressional Republicans, Ryan all but conceded that Democrat Hillary Clinton was likely to win the White House on Nov. 8 and said he would put his full energy into preserving Republican majorities in Congress so as not to give her a “blank check.”

Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said he would not defend Trump or campaign for him after the uproar over the New York businessman’s sexually aggressive comments that surfaced on Friday.

Ryan’s announcement added to the party’s worst turmoil in decades and reinforced the growing sense of isolation around Trump, who has never previously run for public office.

Clinton has led Trump in most national opinion polls for months and Trump’s poll numbers have begun to drop further since the emergence on Friday of a video from 2005 showing the former reality TV star bragging crudely about groping women and making unwanted sexual advances.

Trump hit back at Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012, who has frequently been critical of him.

“Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Ryan, who had expressed disgust over the tape and canceled a campaign event with Trump over the weekend, did not completely cut ties to Trump. The speaker went back on the Republican conference call later to clarify he was not withdrawing his endorsement.

Many Republican members of Congress are concerned that Trump’s chaotic campaign could ruin their chances of holding their majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in the November election and could inflict long-term damage on the party.

During a weekend dominated by criticism of Trump over the lewd remarks, a string of members of Congress, governors and other prominent Republicans called on him to drop out of the race.

House Republicans gave Ryan a rough ride on the call, according to some participants.

“There was an undeniable opposition to the speaker’s tepid support of our nominee,” said U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais, a Trump supporter, in a comment passed on by an aide.

Many other lawmakers, some of whom did not want to be named publicly criticizing the speaker, said members frequently told Ryan on the call to stand by Trump.

Nonetheless, nearly half of all 331 incumbent Republican senators, Congress members and governors have condemned Trump’s remarks, and roughly one in 10 has called on him to drop out of the race, according to a Reuters review of official statements and local news coverage.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus used an afternoon conference call with RNC members to emphasize there was no rift with Trump and that the committee, the party’s leadership and fundraising arm, still backed the nominee, two RNC members who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

“Any suggestion that the RNC isn’t fully supporting the Trump-Pence ticket is wrong,” one RNC member said, describing the message. “We are fully on board. We are going to devote every ounce of effort and resource into helping the Trump-Pence ticket win and all the other candidates up and down the ballot.”

Any attempt to replace Trump on the ballot this close to Election Day would face huge legal and logistical hurdles.

A defiant Trump went on the offensive in a vicious presidential debate on Sunday, saying Clinton, a former secretary of state would go to jail if he were president and attacking her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for his treatment of women.

The debate, the second of three before the vote, was remarkable for the brutal nature of the exchanges between the two.

Trump stayed on the attack on Monday, describing Bill Clinton as “a predator” and saying: “If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things. There are so many of them.”

“She goes out and says: ‘I love women, I’m going to help women.’ She’s a total hypocrite,” he told supporters in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

Clinton accused Trump of brushing off criticism of his comments about women.

“On Friday, the whole world heard him talking about the terrible way he treats women. And last night when he was pressed about how he behaves, he just doubled down on his excuse that it’s just locker room banter,” she told a rally at Wayne State University in Detroit.

The television audience for the debate fell sharply from their first, record-breaking encounter in September.

Nielsen data supplied by CNN for 10 broadcast and cable channels on Monday showed that 63.6 million Americans tuned into the 90-minute debate on Sunday, well below the record 84 million that watched the first face-off.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal opinion poll released on Monday showed Clinton increasing her lead. The survey, conducted after the video release but before the debate, showed Clinton with 46 percent support among likely voters in a four-way matchup including two minor party candidates, compared with 35 percent for Trump.

The Reuters/Ipsos State of the Nation project released on Monday estimated that Clinton had at least a 95 percent chance of winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become president. The polling did not capture reaction to Trump’s performance in Sunday’s debate or the release of the Friday videotape.

(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, David Morgan, Michelle Conlin, Amanda Becker, Andy Sullivan and Susan Heavey; Writing by Alistair Bell and John Whitesides; Editing by Frances Kerry and Peter Cooney)

IMAGE: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

 

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53 responses to “Trump Slaps Ryan On Twitter After Speaker Vows To Shun Him”

  1. FireBaron says:

    You know, the GOP has had some bad luck picking Presidential and VP candidates for the past few years. While McCain was sincere, his Veep was a parody of a candidate. And they wonder why they lost. Romney could not understand that he needed votes of people who made less than $1M per year to run, and his Veep relished publicly that he planned on privatizing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. And they wonder why they lost.

    They say it’s rare that a Veep can help win an election – JFK and LBJ is one of the exceptions – but a Veep can often tank someone’s election chances. Dole probably did as much damage to Ford’s reelection bid as Ford’s pardon of RMN. Everyone was amazed that Dan Quayle didn’t sink GHWB’s candidacy, although he brought nothing for the failed reelection bid. Joe Lieberman’s self-righteous indignation and lack of retort against Cheney probably tanked Al Gore’s candidacy as much as Gore’s stiffness. I already mentioned the last two attempts above. And now, we have a Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidate with different opinions on a topic, and who do not speak with each other about policy.

    To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, “‘Stupider and Stupider’, said Alice”

    • Independent1 says:

      I don’t disagree with any of your comments, but let’s not forget the fact that the 2000 election was the 1st time in 112 years that someone won the presidency without winning the popular vote- and won it by clearly stealing it (Gore/Lieberman actually got over 500,000 more popular votes). Despite what negatives Lieberman may have brought to the ticket – Gore and Lieberman would have won but for the thievery of a Jeb Bush-rigged election in Florida and a right-wing biased Supreme Court that let him get away with the steal.
      And maybe even some rigging of the election in Ohio. Just more nefarious dealings of the Republican party for posterity.

  2. yabbed says:

    I’ve never seen such an unholy mess like that created by the Republican Party. They have let the racists, misogynists, religious freaks, and the generalized uncouth take control of what once was a faintly reasonable center right philosophy. Now we see Herr Trump rabble rousing the unwashed into violence and the Ryans of the Republican Party standing there in bewilderment.

    • charleo1 says:

      It’s called faking it for years, Being too gutless to lead. Lying being easier, and far more expedient that speaking the truth to your core constituents. It’s called going about and creating an alternate universe, even starting your own cable news channel, to facilitate the phony crap, and false narratives made up in those Koch funded think tanks somewhere, seem real. Well, they’re not real, and it’s time to pay the piper for all that tom foolery. And the bill has come due, and it’s name is Donald L. Trump, and boy, is he ever a real stinker!

      • Matforce says:

        I disagree, charleo1. But I hope to God you’re right.

        First- I don’t think they’ve been too gutless to lead. They stand, straight faced and make knowingly false claims and tell bold faced lies to the public about national debt, the deterioration, and decline of the USA, our $Half-a-TRILLION/yr. trade deficits, and the offshoring of millions of blue collar jobs, voted unanimously for every Free Trade Agreement that came down the pike, favored Bank deregulation, opposed anti-trust laws, sponsored Right to Work (for less) and Union busting, support Citizens United vs. FEC (money for influence in our pay to play legislature), tax breaks for the wealthy and loopholes for Corporations, profit protectors all, while doing everything they can to consolidate ALL of the fabulous wealth of the USA away from a declining middle class and unto the nation’s wealthy, Wall Street, and Corporate profit margins. THAT kind of BOLD FACE LYING, takes guts (or lack of principle) on a grand scale!

        2nd- I DON’T think the GOP will pay the piper. They’re geniuses, masters, artists at spinning their “alternate universe” through rhetoric to bamboozle a populous by the use of inflammatory social issues including but not limited to: religion, guns, abortion, tax breaks for the rich, demonizing the Big Bad USA Government (while calling themselves “Patriots!”), advocating tax avoidance strategies, loopholes, etc.

        I could go on, but I know I’m preaching to the choir and you already know all of this…

        • charleo1 says:

          Well first let me say, the choir needs a little a preaching to once in a while, obviously. Because I agree with everything you point out. And realize too, I had inadvertently began to almost feel sorry for the shill bast^rds. Had momentarily forgotten what your post so powerfully reminds. Namely, the Republican Party has spend the past four decades preparing the bed they now so painfully find themselves in with Trump, and richly deserve whatever comes out of it. Which, as you say, won’t be near the political drubbing they deserve. So, I thank you for bringing light. And thanks too for continuing to write what I consider the strongest, most comprehensive spot on, and professional level commentaries anywhere.

        • Karen says:

          You are so right. I have been saying all long that as long as they can continue to keep up the divisiveness on the issues you mentioned they can continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate.

  3. johninPCFL says:

    ““If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things.”
    Great idea Donnie – lets both double down and try blackmail at the same time. That oughta help with the undecideds. /sarc off

    • dpaano says:

      Yeah, Donnie believes when the other side “goes high…..he goes low.” Unfortunately, it’s not helping him in the least because it takes away from his time to educate his followers in what he ACTUALLY plans to do to get his ideas across. Personally, I don’t think he has any ACTUAL plans, but unfortunately, he uses these types of things to deflect from that fact!

  4. Bill Thompson says:

    What we are watching is the dissolution of the Republican party. As for myself I do not believe this is good for the country. I Believe in reasoned debate and the open discussion of opposing views. What is really concerning to me is the fact that Paul Ryan, Mr. privatize everything, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, privatize or abolish government agencies of all sorts is actually the voice of reason for the Republican party. The intellect and understanding of basic Civics of the average American is embarrassing!

    • Dan S says:

      I concur. While I’m more likely to support a Democrat than Republican I always try & listen to both candidates without bias. There are actually some good Republicans who would get my vote if they were on my voting ballot. The 2 party system is in danger & the GOP needs to get their act together & move away from the more extreme elements of their party that has taken them over

    • CrankyToo says:

      Ryan is only the “voice of reason” by comparison. He’s no more sensible today than he was 18 months ago, except by comparison with Trump, Priebus, Giuliani, and various other con men. There can be no “reasoned debate” until the Republican party is prepared to reason, and shows its commitment to responsible governance by standing up reasonable candidates for office.

    • May the Force of the Dissolution be with them, until they can rehabilitate themselves.

    • RED says:

      Reasoned and open debate is good for the country. But only when the people debating aren’t crazed lunatic cult members who believe that any facts contradicting their views are lies. You also can’t debate with people who think their imaginary friend, the sky fairy will reward their evil hatefulness.

    • Jon says:

      Reasoned debate and open discussion is often what takes place on this forum. Although almost everyone shares the same beliefs in equality, civility, respect for others, and other core values that patriotic Americans share, that doesn’t mean that there never exists differences of opinion about certain topics and policies just as existed in the Democratic Primary. However, those differences are argued and debated in a respectful manner backed up by research from trustworthy sources.
      The Republicans on this site resort to name-calling, misstatement of facts, reliance on research done using discredited alt.right websites, absence of logic, and lying. You can never have an open discussion and reasoned debate as long as that is the type of discourse your opponent engages in. Republican candidates and their surrogates use these same methods of making their point.

    • Thoughtopsy says:

      They obviously needed a bigger wake up call than Mitt Romney’s loss. Because they did the opposite of their recommendations in their own autopsy report.

      Here it is I guess.

  5. Two words–“Cat Fight”.

    Disunity among the forces of “Light”, and the enlightened attitudes associated with it like, reciprocity, concord, amity, friendliness, empathy, is a recipe for disaster and should be avoided by all means.

    But disunity among the forces of Darkness, those associated with instability, racism, greed, inordinate fear, misogyny, excessive national pride, obsession with gun usage, evading taxes, is a welcome sight, and a sign of a group of deplorable people approaching a date with obsolescence.

    • charleo1 says:

      To my thinking it has been the promotion of the radical Right’s premise of the false assertion that reason can be properly replaced with rage. That compromise is in some way a synonym for capitulation. Or that there is no cost to society if we confuse vulgarity, or cruelty, or a willingness to be ruthless, with strength. That the ends, always justify the means. And whatever the case, the story may always be retold, refashioned as the victors tale of redemption. Be they right or wrong, forever a matter of stringent debate throughout the ages. A truly powerful Nation imposing its will on a weaker World, will always control the tale.
      And this is who we must be, says demagogue, Trump, and his mob. That’s if we are to become the domineering World power they envision. This is the Right’s proclamation. Even as they often bemoan, and cry bitter dry tears over the unprecedented polarization, and widening divisions within the population. Offering that peace can be found with us so easily. Ransomed simply, and singularly by your surrender.

      • Eloquently stated. It’s no wonder that people like yourself, “dpaano”, Eleanore, Dominick, Jon, “Mama Bear”, and others stand in stark contrast by your clarity of vision, reasoning powers, and sense of justice and empathy compared to the “deplorables” who sorely lack these qualities altogether.
        The words and conduct of such as yourselves is a reminder of the benefits of eschewing willful ignorance and rigid conformity(hallmarks of conservatism), while cultivating your souls and intellects.

        Possession of intellect, reasoning skills, and empathy are foreign concepts, and an anathema, to the Republican Wing.

      • RED says:

        I read some rather frightening predictions yesterday about the dangers of how the United States reacts to its declining position in the world, which will happen regardless of who is President. It’s actually happening now as China, Russia, & Europe work together. This leaves the U.S. with only military power to enforce its will on the rest of the world and considering Americans are utterly indoctrinated to the belief that we are “exceptional,” it’s a very scary thought.

        • dbtheonly says:

          Fortunately, the US has no need to enforce its will on the rest of the world. The US is not, and can not be, the world’s policeman.

          When action is needed, the US, in concert with her allies, has more than enough military, economic, and moral force to do the job.

          • RED says:

            Interesting ideas you have there. First the world’s policeman? Well if by “policeman” you mean U.S. Police, then you may be right, the U.S. does go around and threaten the world and murder and destroy lives and communities. But I suspect you actually mean “world’s policeman” as being a force for good? Ridiculous, of course! Do you really buy in to that? That the U.S. is going around the world trying to bring democracy and justice and all that b.s to the world? Seriously? They could start by bringing democracy and justice to THIS COUNTRY!! Wake up, the U.S. is not policing the world, the U.S. is policing the business investments of its corporate owners and using its military to gain more resources. And just wait till Hill’s gets in office, she will be ‘policing” the crap outta places!!! It’s funny how the U.S. seems to police the Middle East way more than it “polices” other places? Weird, I wonder why?? Hmmmmm…. that’s a thinker!

          • dbtheonly says:

            Another Putin Puppet?

            The USA does not have democracy and justice? Damn. All this election stuff is a phony? Justice? President Obama’s not having his political enemies killed or imprisioned. Unlike certain countries, Russia, cough, cough.

            President Obama is certainly right to help protect the people of Syria from their brutal dictator. He is right in stopping ISIL before they kill more innocents, the world over. He was right to order the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

            And he, and/or President Mrs. Clinton, will be right in insuring that Russia does not re-conquer and re-enslave the peoples of Eastern Europe.

          • RED says:

            Fascinating!! Hey how countries that aren’t related to rich oil reserves can you name that the US is “policing”? And you think holding elections equals democracy? Seriously? Help me with this: 90% of Americans want some kind of gun regulations, yet we get none? That’s a really strange democracy. Now I certainly won’t defend all the Soviet Union’s deeds but it’s strange that you suggest that Russia will “enslave” people while you are living the country that imprisons more of its population than any other nation. I expect you will take the simplistic duopoly view I must be a Trump supporter, however I am not. But just because Trump is a total scumbag moron does mean that I must overlook and excuse every atrocity and oppression committed by the US in service of enriching the owners of our country, the 1%. Do you really think these drug companies raising their prices through the roof and extorting money from people is out of the ordinary, a fluke? No, it’s by design, like so many other policies designed to enrich the few and impoverish the rest.

          • dbtheonly says:

            Either you are Putin Puppet or your knowledge of the US is simplistic in the extreme.
            Why is there not more stringent gun control?
            1. The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, and as interpreted by the Supreme Court, this means an individual right to own a gun. 2. Despite whatever poll you may be citing, in the only poll that matters, people do not vote for gun control.
            Why does the US only get involved in areas with oil? Because there is oil all over the earth, and depending on what definition you apply there is nowhere that doesn’t count. Still the US has troops in South Korea, keeping another vicious dictator in line. The US stabilized the Balkans 20 years ago, the US is trying to keep Afghanistan from returning to a haven for terrorists. The US is helping the people of Syria free themselves from another vicious dictator. The US is aiding in the relief of Haiti. And in no case is this simply the US, but rather the free nations of the world, together, trying to make the world a better place.
            Sent from AOL Mobile Mail

        • Independent1 says:

          I guess you like to totally ignore the fact that today, the U.S. has really the only economy that is doing anything other than going in circles. And despite what many would like you and I to believe, the U.S, is still the economic power of the planet. And it has one great asset in its favor beyond military power, it’s the only similar industrialized nation on the planet where the population is growing.

          Fact is that the populations in all those countries you mentioned are in free-fall shrinking so rapidly that their economies are foundering. Why do you suppose Putin was after annexing Crimea? And why most European countries are welcoming Syrian refugees? Because they need the population growths. Which is one reason the GOP’s war against immigrants is such pure stupidity!!

          So say all you want there, but you’re clearly starting to prove that you’re not as well informed as you would like all of us to believe. American doesn’t have to flex its military muscle to be a major world player – it’s the major world player because it’s America’s economy that continues to drive economies around the world.

          Should Trump succeed in being elected, and destroy the American economy as his idiotic policies certainly would – the world will collapse into another Great Depression!! Without the economic power of America, the economy of virtually every other nation in the world would collapse!!! And that includes China!!!!!

          • Oddworld says:

            I find the subject matter of your comment very fascinating. I remember hearing some years ago about how Europe’s populations are on the decline too. I read somewhere one reason for the decline is due to young people waiting longer to have children and fewer of them. Others are choosing to remain completely childless though I don’t know why. Do you have any insights? Is it socioeconomic, changing generational attitudes or something else?

          • Independent1 says:

            I’m certainly not an expert on this, but my sense is that there’s two things driving the population decline in industrialized nations: 1) more women have found that it’s essential for them to work in order for their families to enjoy a growing number of socio/economic advancements that have spread around the world (the invention of more gadgets to make life easier and to keep people entertained requires higher incomes); and 2) the invention of contraceptives that allows women to most of the time determine just how many children they want to have (resulting in a sharp reduction in unwanted pregnancies in societies where contraception has become the norm). I think over time, most women’s idea of an ideal family today, is two children, especially if they are fortunate enough to get a boy and a girl in the first two tries.

            Unfortunately, just the replacement rate for a society to keep the population stable is 2.1 kids/couple; which means that there have to be a number of women who are willing to have 3 or more kids to make up for those who don’t have any , have one or only have two. I’m not sure what the actual birthrate is among native-born American women today, but I believe it’s below 1.9 kids/couple; and in some European nations I think it’s gotten down close to or below 1.5 and I believe for Russia because so many of the men there dying young due to the heavy drinking, it’s below that 1.5.

            Which is one reason why immigrants are so important in America (including those undocumented) because it brings in a lot of women from foreign countries where taking contraceptives isn’t the norm; so until they become ‘Americanized’ these immigrant women tend to have more than two kids/family – which together with the addition of more immigrants, has helped keep the American population growing.

            So It’s really amazing to me that Republicans, who are supposed to be so business oriented, seem to be totally missing the point that by deporting the people who are keeping the American population growing, that they will be dooming the businesses they are supposedly trying to help to a future of decreasing profits – as the customer base for the products businesses sell would decline due to a shrinking population. (Just looking at the stock market, the whole economics of stocks is based on year over year increases in sales and profits – that model is very hard to adhere to in nations where there are fewer and fewer people to purchase the products that drive those income increases.)

          • Oddworld says:

            It’s evident to me you’ve put a lot of thought into your answer. Maybe you’re not an expert, however you seem to have a solid grasp of the subject. The examples you’ve given are ones that I’ve considered but not to the extent that you have mentioned.
            There was always a missing piece to the puzzle. Whenever I ponder it or talk with others about it I always end up with more questions and few answers. Most importantly, I certainly never realized how essential immigration is to the overall health of a population’s continuation. You have certainly given me a lot to think about so thank you.

        • Independent1 says:

          And here’s just one article to support my previous comment:

          America’s Coming Manufacturing Revolution

          Hardly a day goes by without an article predicting, lamenting, or celebrating America’s decline. The turmoil in Crimea and Syria, the polarized and frequently gridlocked U.S. political system, the deepening income and wealth inequalities in the United States, and the growing clout of rivals like China and Russia are all offered as proof of waning American power.

          These weaknesses surely exist, and some—like mounting economic inequality—are truly alarming. But the doomsayers
          often fail to see the ways in which America is gaining rather than losing global influence. And nowhere is this truer than the manufacturing sector. The combination of lower energy prices, innovative information technologies, and advances in robotics and materials science are powering a manufacturing revolution that will reinvigorate the U.S. economy and make many of its industrial sectors the most competitive in the world.

          According to Martin Baily and Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution, for the past 50 years industrial production in the U.S. has grown at the same rate or even faster than the economy as a whole. This means that contrary to conventional wisdom, manufacturing has not lost ground in terms of its importance in the U.S. economy. Until 2011, when China inched slightly ahead, the United States boasted the world’s largest manufacturing sector, andit continues to be an industrial powerhouse. The general impression that factories in America are disappearing may be true for some sectors and in some regions and cities, but it is inaccurate in the aggregate.

          We perceive an industry in decline because the great strides that have been made in efficiency and productivity have not generated a proportional increase in jobs. More is being produced, and fewer workers are needed. Between 2000 and 2010, the United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/04/americas-coming-manufacturing-revolution/360931/

        • As you correctly state, the choice of President in the USA has no effect in braking the steady decline of moral values in America.
          For any of us to think that one mortal being can have such a sweeping influence on an entire nation may as well be pining for a Monarchy to be reestablished, with Trump playing the role of King George.

          “Might makes Right” is the M.O. of Trump, and his legions are clamoring for a Dictator, while decrying for erroneous resons that Obama has acted like a dictator.

        • charleo1 says:

          First let me say I don’t discount your concerns. There’s no getting around the fact that globalization, automation, and the great disparity in labor costs between First World, and the emerging Third World, with its teaming eager billions, are a challenge to modern economies, and democratic governments. With our social safety nets, worker Rights, and human Rights, people demand in these democratic Nations. So, the very troubling question becomes then, how can we compete?

          But the last thing we need to be doing, in my opinion, is isolating ourselves, closing our borders, and relying solely on hard power as a solution to our foreign perplexities, or to hang onto whatever monetary advantage we might mistakenly believe we can hang onto in that way. And I’ll grant you, given our precarious political situation, that is a definite mistake we could make. But to prevent that, we must come to realize, just as hard power requires a strong vibrant economy, we will need to see an end to the historic, and harmful economic effects of our own growing wealth disparities between labor, the worker class, and management, the ever more powerful investor class, before will we see an end to our decline on the World stage. Because if we are not an economic super power, how is it possible we are to remain a military power? Or a much needed force for good, for advancing the ideals, and concepts of democratic governance? Which is so essential to the advancement of peace, co-existence, stability, and in the coming nuclear armed World, most likely the ultimate survival of mankind itself.

          First we will need to begin as a people to directly equate money as power. So as to see that an individual’s wealth is even more essential for his liberty, and security than even the mightiest military. So we must have parity. And before that can happen, as it must. We must begin the work to limit, to the best of our ability, what continues to be at the root of so much of our dilemma. Namely money’s destructive, divisive, and corrosive effects, on the relationship, and trust between our gov, its institutions, and policies, and its people. For democracy cannot survive in any other social condition.

  6. From another perspective, the on-going destruction of the Republican Party, and indeed of America’s current anachronistic system of governance, we might do well to consider the following excerpt from a letter(“One Common Faith”) addressed to the religious communities and their leaders world-wide, by the Universal House of Justice representing the Baha’i Faith from its Seat along Mount Carmel in Israel.

    Although the cat-fight among conservatives is not religious, still the undercurrents that fuel their chaos can be discerned in this message to religious leaders:

    “…A corollary of the abandonment of faith in God has been a paralysis of ability to address effectively the problem of evil or, in many cases, even to acknowledge it. While Bahá’ís do not attribute to the phenomenon the objective existence it was assumed at earlier stages of religious history to possess, the negation of the good that evil represents, as with darkness, ignorance or disease, is severely crippling in its effect. Few publishing seasons pass that do not offer the educated reader a range of new and imaginative analyses of the character of some of the monstrous figures who, during the twentieth century, systematically tortured, degraded and exterminated millions of their fellow human beings. One is invited by scholarly authority to ponder the weight that should be given, variously, to paternal abuse, social rejection, professional disappointments, poverty, injustice, war experiences, possible genetic impairment, nihilistic literature—or various combinations of the foregoing—in seeking to understand the obsessions fuelling an apparently bottomless hatred of humankind. Conspicuously missing from such contemporary speculation is what experienced commentators, even as recently as a century ago, would have recognized as spiritual disease, whatever its accompanying features. ….”

    Trump and his ilk may not have a bottomless hatred of humankind, but he and others are edging ever closer to that stage of infamy.

    • Jon says:

      A very appropriate commentary on the state of the Republican Party and the rise of Trump. I pray you are right that Trump and his ilk may not have a bottomless hatred of mankind but I am not sure. So many things he says and does and his supporters say and do reveal a real contempt for, if not hatred of, mankind. Threatening violence, use of vulgar language instead of civil argument, attacking journalists, making hateful statements about those who are different from or disagree with him, his disrespect for women and minority groups, and claiming every time he is losing that things are rigged against him. I pray you are right.

  7. charleo1 says:

    So it’s a real mess. And the American public, most of them, are appalled. And it’s a funny thing, as in a peculiar thing. The less attention this public has been paying to Republican politics in general over the past few years, the more appalled they tend to be about how undeniably bad things have gotten now. It’s debatable just when the Right became so wrong in their thinking, and approach to government. Maybe after Nixon was impeached, and they felt vulnerable? Or when Reagan, a guy that had been so successful in selling their brand was gone. And so they were trying to continue that by applying the Reagan doctrine to everything. Instead of working the problem, it was easier to just trot out decades old “Reagan solutions,” like lowering taxes, crippling unions, and deregulating everything, and go with that. And the monied, and investor class were happy. They had never gotten richer, faster, or kept more of their profits, than under good old Ronnie R. The problem was, and is, public policies are never a one size fits all proposition for all time. But on they continued.

    The politics worked. It was easy to sell, and pretty soon there developed a kind of intellectual dependency, and rot within the Right Wing body politic that was costing them dearly. But they refuse to recognize it. Denial, always a favorite activity among the lost, or lazy, gave rise to an unwillingness to change, even as the realities in the Country were changing. In its economic realities, its people, its increasing diversity, all called for for it. If it was the money they reasoned, always plentiful on the Right, the main factor in 7 of 10 elections. Why change? Just find new and inventive ways to sell the old.

  8. TZToronto says:

    Trump has made it clear that he has little interest in country or party. He’s a huckster who’s convinced many people that, as a self-proclaimed rich guy and genius real estate tycoon, he’s going to make America profitable again. He’ll do this by rescinding all trade agreements that don’t benefit the United States (and Trump) to the detriment of all trading partners (who won’t be able to afford Made-in-America goods). He’s as much as said that any opposition to his Trumpist rule will not be tolerated. He’s strongly hinted that he wants nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the Executive Branch and will leave that to others (apparently not knowing that a President’s cabinet does that anyway). And he wants to be sure that his business affairs are ably run by third-party surrogates who are close family members. On the party side of his run for the White House, Trump has pretty much abandoned the down-ticket candidates in apparent ignorance of how his Presidency (and invisible policies) would suffer without a Republican Congress to support him. He’s also forgotten the inevitable animosity that even a Republican-controlled Congress would show him as retribution for trashing them in the weeks before the election. Impeachment within the first few months of his term would not be out of the question, especially when the “attractive” prospect of Mike Pence, he of the Christianity-first approach to government, is waiting in the wings. I get the feeling that the GOP is trying to find a replacement for Trump by way of attrition. First Trump (impeached), then Pence (impeached), then Pence’s appointed VP (impeached), then Paul Ryan.

    • RED says:

      Although I agree with your overall sentiment and assessment, I do have some points of disagreement. And just so we are very clear, I despise Trump!! He’s a sick puke who embodies everything horrible about our country and culture. That being said, Clinton has also abandoned down ticket races by making the decision to promote the idea that Trump is somehow different from other Republican scum. Now some may argue whether he is or not? Not me though, Trump IS the Con Party, it’s why their voters picked him. Not sure how you can deny this when he won their primary. But my main disagreement with your comment is the idea that Trump would be impeached or even stymied by a Republican controlled Congress. You give the Cons way too much credit, they have zero decency, ZERO! And given the chance to impose their Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged whacko beliefs on the United States, they will do with the devil himself if need be. Just look now, Paul Ryan, still endorsing Trump, STILL!! And they will continue to support Trump. And were the unthinkable to happen and sick puke Trump entered the Oval Office they bow and scrape and manipulate the ignorant man boy Trump in order to their own and their donors bizarro plans.

    • dpaano says:

      IF anyone has read the Newsweek article about Trump’s foreign business, they’d have thrown him off the ticket long ago! If he’s elected, he has ties to many countries and could certainly take advantage of the “pay to play” game to get his foreign businesses together for the good of his family! It’s a pretty scary article, trust me!!!

    • Interesting scenario you paint, especially in your final few sentences.

      Bush talked about no child left behind back in the day. Trump must have realized early on that many children had been left behind, through no fault of their own, and were now eligible voters.
      And like a true predator, he was able to take advantage of that gap in knowledge of affairs in the world, of history, and a general fear of others due to lack of meaningful social interactions.

      This is another sad chapter inserted during these past 8 years—one with enough drama and tragedy to cause curiosity and abhorrence with the human condition in America, and elsewhere.

  9. opinioned1 says:

    Trump is a no class woman abusing punk! Pence is a bible thumping hypocrite, who one day is soooo offended and the next making excuses for for the non-apology the abuser Trump offered. Ryan along with McConnell and a few republicans left in the fold are flat out cowards, who are going to pay one hell of a price for Trumps stupidity. He`s all your`s fools, live with the woman abuser and keep right on making excuses. You are all a no class pack of cowards.

    • Mama Bear says:

      The only thing I would add is that Pence is a typical evil-gelical Kristian.

      • dpaano says:

        And Gary Johnson (I think that’s his last name, which says how much I care about independent candidates) is a very alt-right conservative who wants to do away with Roe vs. Wade, do away with the EPA, the IRS, and the Planned Parenthood group. He’s even worse, almost, than Trump, but without the womanizing (at least not that we’re aware of).

  10. Lynda Groom says:

    Come on boys you are forgetting Reagan’s rule about never attacking a fellow republican. The sainted one must be spinning in Simi Valley as they speak.

  11. The twists and turns, courtesy of Trump and his legions’ approval, is now coming back full-force to haunt a Party that has thrived over the decades to incite fear(in a careful and subtle way using “dog whistles”, stressing divisiveness, while constantly focusing on greed and raping the earth for “dirty” fuels.

    The incalculable destructive impact on the physical and social environment, a constant drumbeat of “ENOUGH MONEY IS NEVER ENOUGH” causing many in society to think first of their own individual well-being at the expense of others. an unremitting effort to wage a steady war on the most vulnerable in America by railing against affordable care, decency and respect for women, eschewing the principle of fair treatment for all in an equitable manner, while simultaneously touting “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”, are demonic attributes that find their most pernicious form in the Republican Party.

    It is only fitting and an attribute of Justice that the GOP is now being chastised by a narcissist and misanthrope who has thrived on the climate of selfishness and greed that define to a large degree America.

    This is Trump’s vision of “Make America Great”, and also ensures things are great for himself. The GOP richly deserves what it is getting. Here’s hoping there will be more to come its way—perhaps they may finally learn.

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