Donald Trump and the 27 percent

So, the Donald took aim at John McCain this weekend, saying he isn’t a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese.  The Republicans are having a fit and telling him to shut up. But that’s not going to happen:

I have the advantage of growing up in Brooklyn and knowing for the past 40 years that Trump is a dick. I’ve said it everywhere I worked and tried to explain to people that the only reason Trump was famous was because he was in the media capital of the world, and New York papers loved the fact that he was a dick because he always provided good copy.

Now he has the national spotlight he’s always wanted. And he’s not going to give it up. And guess what! His support is going to grow.

Here’s where he is now:


There are nine people in this poll. But here’s who’s running:



















That’s 16 people dividing the vote. And Trump is at the top of the pack with 17 percent support. How high can he go? You have to go back to this 2005 post at Kung Fu Monkey:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?

Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?

Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?

John: … a bit low, actually.

Trump has the uber crazy of the crazy vote. When the simply batshit crazy candidates drop out, Trump will pick up their supporters. His ceiling is 27 percent, the longer it takes to whittle down the GOP field, the longer he’s going to be in this race.

Remember the frontrunner in 2011?

On September 24, 2011, [Herman] Cain won a surprise victory in a Republican presidential straw poll in Florida, with 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast. The front-runner Rick Perry, who had been leading in the polls, came in second with 15 percent.[30] Continuing with his success, on October 1, 2011 Cain won the TeaCon Midwest straw poll by a landslide with 77% of the vote.[31] Cain also won the National Federation of Republican Women straw poll by a wide margin with 48.9%. The nearest contender was Rick Perry with 14.1%, followed closely by Mitt Romney with 13.3% and Newt Gingrich with 12.5%.[32] Of the delegates voting, 80% said they were satisfied with the field of candidates; asked whether they identified with the Tea Party, about half said yes and half said no.[33] A Fox News poll administered on October 23–25, showed Herman Cain as the front-runner receiving 24%, and Mitt Romney coming in at second place with 20%.

Remember back in 2011, when Michelle Bachman won the Iowa straw poll?

Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was close behind her with 27 percent. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty came in a distant third with 13 percent of the vote, followed by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 9 percent and businessman Herman Cain with 8 percent.

Remember the 2012 winner of the Iowa caucus with 25 percent of the vote?

The night belongs to Santorum. The victory was richly deserved and it will be fun watching some journalists having to brush up on the Bible to cover so amiable a “Jesus freak.” He may be the first Italian to win the Iowa caucuses, which means both of our immigrant grandfathers are smiling.

The crazies participate early in the process. The crazies are the Donald’s base. People who don’t take him seriously are in for a surprise, especially when he starts winning primaries, because he can do that with a 27 percent base and a comedically large GOP field.

Krugman: Donald Trump is the face of the GOP base

Paul Krugman has a pretty good observation on Donald Trump’s “surprise” popularity among Republican voters:


Joe Weisenthal asked me why Donald Trump is riding so high in the polls; as he said, my answer was subtle and nuanced.

But seriously, why is anyone surprised? Year after year the GOP base has been fed fantasies about death panels, senior figures have flirted with birtherism and routinely peddled conspiracy theories whenever good news arrives about health reform or the economy, a centrist president has been portrayed as a socialist who hates America, sitting governors have deferred to craziness over military exercises. Oh, and the unemployed have been blamed for their own plight, food stamp recipients and the disabled portrayed as malingerers. Then along comes Trump, who embodies the base’s values, its intellectual outlook, its deep lack of empathy for the unfortunate. And up goes the cry: “Don’t base voters realize that he’s not a serious figure?”

The cat, though is a stroke of genius.

Oh, and here’s Krugman’s “subtle and nuanced” answer:

Standing under the fireworks in a quiet D.C. location

I had thought I decided to not go to watch the fireworks on July 4 in D.C. because I’d done the holiday the day before. But i was sitting around, it wasn’t raining, and I thought, OK, I’ve nothing better to do. So I biked over to my usual July 4 hangout. Here’s a brief clip of what I saw.

Before the fireworks started, I could hear a country band playing near the Washington Monument. I know it was a country band, because one the songs was about driving a pickup truck with “a good lookin’ woman” sitting’ in the passenger seat. I guess in D.C., “American music” defaults to country. Then there was a medley of Armed Forces anthems.

There were hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall, and I hate being in crowds. But very few people know that one of the monuments is practically deserted on the Fourth, and from this vantage point, you’re right under the fireworks. And that’s where I’ve been going the past four years.

It was more crowded than usual this year. In the past, I’d count fewer than 10 people in the area. This year, there were 26. (Yes, I counted everyone who showed up.)

I also learned something about fireworks on cloudy days. You miss a lot of explosions because they happen behind clouds. And If you have breathing problems, being at this location on a cloudy day is pretty risky, because the sulfur smell doesn’t dissipate. It just forms a fog around you.

Anyone who lives in the area will be able to figure out where this is. All I’ll say, is that I’m facing north as I’m filming. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see 50 people there next year.

Another reason we need gun control

There are crazy people out there who don’t know they’re crazy (Via CNN):

Police arrested a soldier carrying an AR-15 rifle and ammunition at a Fayetteville, North Carolina, mall after officers received multiple reports of an armed man walking through a Macy’s department store.

Bryan Wolfinger was tracked down within minutes near the Macy’s wing of the Cross Creek Mall on Thursday evening, police said.

He was detained without incident, according to police, and charged with “going armed to the terror of the public.”

Wolfinger, who is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, was carrying the rifle, a Kevlar vest and multiple ammunition magazines, and he intended to have photographs taken with the gun and the other equipment, CNN affiliate WNCN reported, citing Fayetteville police.

Police have released Wolfinger, and he is “with his chain of command,” said Master Sgt. Patrick Malone, a spokesman for 82nd Airborne Division.

“These charges represent actions that are wholly inconsistent with the high standards and values we expect from our paratroopers,” Malone said. Fort Bragg is fully cooperating with the police investigation, he said.

Yes, when you wear a bulletproof vest and carry an assault rifle with tons of ammunition through a mall, people are going to be upset. Let’s just be thankful there wasn’t another heavily armed open carry fanatic strolling through the mall who would decide he should take preemptive action against gun-nut No.1.

And yes, this should be considered a terrorist act. People were terrified.

The paragraph that was edited out of the Declaration of Independence

When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he included this paragraph in the Colonies’ grievance against King George III of England:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation hither … And he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he had deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

This didn’t make it into the final draft. Possibly because it’s contradictory (condemning slavery then condemning slaves for not wanting to be in slavery). And not to mention bit of hypocrisy (the king doesn’t want us to have liberty, and we don’t want the slaves to be free).

So, let’s do away with the idea that the founding fathers held opinions that were sacred and should always be the foundation for avoiding change in the 21st century (Justice Scalia), and let’s remember that despite their flaws, the founding fathers did come up with a document that we nevertheless honor and celebrate 239 years after it was proclaimed to the public.

Oh, and, let’s remember what Jefferson said about the future:



(More on the deleted paragraph at Talking Points Memo.)