Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair writes:
In the days after the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, a wave of optimism washed over Donald Trump’s West Wing. White House aides were buoyed by internal polling conducted by former Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio indicating that Republicans could conceivably hold both the Senate and the House in the forthcoming midterm elections....

But as next Tuesday’s voting approaches, the mood inside the West Wing has darkened. The arrest of Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc for allegedly sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to the president’s political enemies, in addition to a horrific mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue by an avowed white nationalist, completely upended the dynamic.... Fabrizio has leveled with the president’s advisers that Democrats will take the House, the source briefed on the polling told me. Trump has responded to this worsening political environment with extreme frustration. “He was really upset the momentum had been killed by the pipe bombs,” one Republican close to the White House told me.
Will that be the narrative if Democrats win the House? That they were on track to lose, but a deus ex machina in the form of two high-profile right-wing terrorists in one week saved them from certain doom?

There's no evidence for this narrative, and yet I can easily imagine it spreading from the White House to the mainstream press. We'll be told that Democrats really shouldn't have won, but they took the House because they got a tragic but lucky break.

FiveThirtyEight has seen Democrats as strong favorites to retake the House throughout the campaign. The likely margin of victory narrows a bit around the beginning of October, in the midst of the Bret Kavanaugh fight (the vertical line more or less in the middle of the chart below is October 1) -- but it's a slight narrowing, and it ended shortly after Kavanaugh was confirmed. The "Democrat mob" talking point hasn't changed the race. Nor have the caravans.

The generic ballot margin hasn't narrowed for any length of time all fall. Trump's job approval has remained fairly steady since May, and has seen only a slight uptick recently. (The latter assessment are based on Real Clear Politics averages.)

Trump, as Sherman notes, is trying to recapture the news cycle "with hard-core anti-media and anti-immigration rhetoric." I hope he succeeds -- and I hope Democrats win the House anyway. I think both will happen, and if so, I really don't want to hear any gasbag pundits claiming that Democrats were on the verge of blowing it, but lone-nut criminals saved their bacon. But that's what I expect.


This USA Today story is well meaning, but I think it misses the point:
How a lie about George Soros and the migrant caravan multiplied online

... Three weeks ago, a caravan of Hondurans began walking nearly 2,000 miles to the United States. Their ranks grew as they inched north and, along with them, falsehoods grew, too. But one stands out: a conspiracy theory that liberal billionaire George Soros, a Jewish immigrant, is paying the migrants to make the journey – or even orchestrating it.

... it began with a handful of posts in the caravan’s early days.

One of the first was from a North Carolina writer who goes by the screen name “lorettatheprole.” Loretta Malakie has more than 6,000 followers on Twitter...

On Oct. 14, Malakie posted a link to an article about the caravan, with a single word of commentary: “Soros.”

That same day, identical posts appeared over the course of 20 minutes in six pro-Trump Facebook groups. Combined, those six groups had 165,000 members. A user who gave the name Philip Balzano, a Trump supporter from Chicago, wrote to the Trump Train group: “Here Comes ANOTHER Group of Paid for New Demoncratic Voters Just in Time for the Primaries... The Financier aka ‘Win at All Costs’ ‘Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste’ the Evil George Soros and His 140+ Orgs, Should Be Classified as Terrorist and Terrorist Orgs.”

... By Oct. 16 – four days after the caravan departed – the combined following of accounts mentioning both Soros and the caravan had reached 2 million....

On Twitter, someone with the username “LibertyBell1000” warned about 42,000 followers that Soros had “manufactured yet another immigrant caravan ‘crisis.’ ” Another, using the name “WhoWolfe,” asked “Anybody else think Soros and the Dirty Dems are behind this?”

More posts spread across Facebook. Trump supporter Randy Penrod posted in a group called “The Deplorable's,” with about 186,000 members, “Our stable leader just called out the Soros conspired invasion of new Democrat voters in a tweet just moments ago.”

... The evening of Oct. 17, a Republican member of Congress posted a video on Twitter of what he said was people in Honduras handing out small sums of money to migrants.

“Soros? US-backed NGOs? Time to investigate the source!” he wrote.

Rep. Matt Gaetz would later concede that he was mistaken about where the video was shot (it was Guatemala). But by then his message had metastasized, spreading far beyond the 153,000 people who follow the north Florida congressman’s tweets.
And after that the message was passed on by Ann Coulter, Donald Trump Jr., and others. It had hit the big time.

It's interesting to see this traced, and to pick up the hint that those early "identical posts" echoing lorettatheprole's post might not have been spontaneous. But this isn't where the idea came from. As the authors of this piece note in passing:
The Soros theory was not new – it had made the rounds during previous caravans in the spring and again in August. In fact, one Facebook user posting in October provided as evidence a video of Glenn Beck discussing the spring caravan’s alleged connections to Soros.
Oh. So it's not appropriate to give all the credit (or blame) to lorettatheprole and a few other randos.

That Beck video was posted at Facebook back in April on two of Beck's pages. It has been shared nearly 100,000 times.

In April, there was a post at Big League Politics titled. "eorge Soros’ Empire Is Working to Get The Caravans Across the Border." There was also an April World Net Daily article called "Border Caravan? Call It the George Soros Express." In early May, OneNewsNow published a story titled "Reports: Soros Funding Border Caravan Invasion," citing the World Net Daily story. Also in early May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed attempted to link Soros to the caravan.

In late April, Judicial Watch published a scare story titled "Soros-Funded Group Launches App to Help Illegal Aliens Avoid Feds." Judicial Watch's source was a Houston Chronicle article:
United We Dream, the largest national immigrant youth-led organization, has officially launched a smartphone application that added yet another tool to protect immigrants living in the U.S. illegally by utilizing high tech and online social communications.

The app, called Notifica, allows immigrants here illegally to activate a plan if they come in contact with immigration law enforcement authorities or find themselves at risk of being detained.

Users can prepare a set of automatic messages to alert — with one click — family members, lawyers and others if they, or someone they care about, encounter immigration enforcement authorities.
This had nothing to do with the caravan that appeared in the spring, but it was reported while that caravan was in the news. This report was the subject of a segment on Lou Dobbs's show at Fox Business Channel, and was covered other right-wing outlets.

So if you're looking for the origin story of this rumor, don't look to lorettatheprole, Philip Balzano, Randy Penrod, and others on social media. And even in that period between October 14 and October 17, this wasn't just percolating on social media. Here's an October 15 story from Laura Ingraham's LifeZette site:
This new massed movement of migrants fleeing Central America mirrors a similar caravan in April that was assembled by a U.S.-based group known as Pueblo Sin Fronteras or “People Without Borders.”

The group reportedly is linked to another known as the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, which is in turn the work of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. and the American Immigration Council.

The latter two groups are funded in part by billionaire liberal activist George Soros.
The right was already primed to believe this rumor before lorettatheprole ever tweeted. A day before her tweet, there was already this on Twitter:

Don't blame a few apparent Typhoid Mary's on social media. This contagion has been ready to go wild in the wingnut population for months.


I see that I'm supposed to despise Jonathan Swan of Axios for his story yesterday about the White House proposal to end birthright citizenship.

I believe this is what happened. I agree that Swan was used to advance the hard-liners' agenda, and to inject this message into the conversation as Election Day approaches.

But why is that horrifying? I don't agree that the executive order is now inevitable -- whether or not tests would show that the president is clinically attention deficit disordered, he obviously loses focus a lot. (Where's that infrastructure plan?) He could easily lose focus on this. We have no idea whether the executive order is inevitable nowwill really happen.

Conversely, we have no idea whether it was inevitable before the interview. It's possible that the president was already determined to issue the executive order -- or would have done so on a sudden whim whether or not the interview took place. If that had happened, the order would have landed with little or no warning. Now we know it's under consideration in the White House. Isn't that how this is all supposed to work -- the press informs the public so the public can assess what elected officials intend to do and weigh in? Isn't it good to know about this executive order long before the White House has it ready to be issued?

I know what the answer to that is: No, it's terrible, because Trump is using this to sway the midterms. Swan enabled Trump to throw out another chunk of red meat, and now the mighty Republican electoral juggernaut will be even more powerful.

Do we have any evidence that that's the case?

A 2017 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 65% of respondents want birthright citizenship to continue. Republicans know it's not obviously a winning issue for them. Rick Scott, who's in a tight Senate race in Florida, walked away from a Miami Herald reporter when asked about the proposal yesterday. Other GOP politicians and operatives are clearly anxious:
Matt Viser writes ...: "Trump’s sharpened tone creates potential complications for some Republican candidates, particularly those in centrist suburban House districts where many GOP voters have grown uneasy about the president, as Trump embarks on a final week of nearly nonstop rallies where immigration is likely to be a frequent topic."

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told WVLK radio that Trump “cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order . . . I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process.”

... Swing state candidate on edge: “I understand the President's frustration on immigration and border security because I am frustrated, too,” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), in a tough reelection race, said in a statement that didn't mention birthright citizenship.

... It's Newt [Gingrich]: “I do not believe the 14th Amendment requires a constitutional amendment . . . but I think that this is late in the campaign ... this is too big of an issue for the president to jump and actually do anything so I think he's just expressing his opinion. But I would hope he'd ask Congress to hold hearings before he decided what path to take,” he told reporters.
We've been hearing for weeks that the all-powerful GOP noise machine has found the magic weapon to destroy the blue wave. Kavanaugh. The caravan. Now this. And in all this time the numbers for Democrats, at least in House races, have barely budged. Democrats are still strong favorites to regain control of the House. This won't change that. Plus, it's good we were forewarned about this. So why is Swan the villain?


And to respond to a likely criticism of this post: Yes, the president has managed to distract us from the terrorism we learned about last week, and from his own awful responses to it -- but he's distracted us with something that's also divisive. How does that help him?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post explaining why I think Joe Biden has a serious shot at the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. I noted, among other things, that in this clip he seems to be treated like a rock star, in a way that other Democratic wannabes aren't:

Now, notice one thing: There are no young people in the clip. Not only is Biden old, but his fan base skews old. Won't that matter in 2020? Shouldn't the aging candidates get out of the way in favor of aspirants who might appeal to younger voters?

But it's not clear that younger voters care. Oh, they loathe Donald Trump -- but that doesn't translate to an interest in electoral politics.

I'm still reeling from this New York magazine story, in which twelve under-thirty voters explain why they probably won't vote in this year's midterms. One non-voter laments the insurmountable difficulty of sending a ballot through the U.S. mail:
When I was at the post office to register, this poor girl, clearly also a college student like me, didn’t know what “postmarked” meant and had no idea how to send an important document by mail. Most people my age have zero need to go to the post office and may have never stepped into one before. Honestly, if someone had the forms printed for me and was willing to deal with the post office, I’d be much more inclined to vote.
Others simply don't want to vote for anyone who's less than perfect:
I volunteered for Bernie Sanders. I went to many rallies, I was at the first presidential debate in Las Vegas. But when he folded, then immediately went and defended Hillary, a person who he’s been campaigning against for 18 months, that just really killed it for me. I just have no respect for that....

There are people that are exciting. Bernie was exciting, Cynthia [Nixon] was exciting, and Alexandria [Ocasio-Cortez] is exciting. So would I vote in the future? I don’t know. If somebody came along that was exciting like that? Yeah. Probably.
Or because Democrats lose legislative battles to Republicans who outnumber them:
... there’s still a lot of powerful people, especially in the Democratic Party, that are centrists, and that’s just a little frustrating when it comes time to stand up to this president and the policies he’s trying to pass. Like the Kavanaugh thing — I get that they’re the minority and that was an uphill battle, but I just feel like there wasn’t a big enough fight put up to that, and I think there continues to not be a big enough fight.
Fine. Be that way -- and expect the 2020 contenders to pitch their messages to us old farts, because more of us will show up at the polls, even if we're not head-over-heels in love with the candidates. And thus the nominee might be an old fart -- yes, even Biden, no many how many times he's lost before.

Kids, you can have the Democratic Party when you can pry it from-- well, actually, we're eager to hand it off to you. Seriously! Take it! You're the future! But if you won't, we'll pop some more glucosamine and stay in charge until you decide you're ready to take over.


If you're reading this blog, you're probably not a regular reader of Ben Domenech or the Federalist. But I want to draw your attention to this Federalist piece by Domenech, which notes that even one of the most prominent anti-immigration zealots opposes an end to birthright citizenship.
Interestingly enough, ending birthright citizenship is opposed by immigrant hardliners like Mark Krikorian, because he believes it is both impractical and has longterm negative ramifications. On the legal question, Krikorian believes the birthright citizenship issue would have to be decided by the Supreme Court or a Constitutional amendment. But he wouldn’t want to change that regimen, because of the negative outcomes it would create with stateless children representing a semi-permanent underclass.
What does this mean? Domenech elaborates:
Consider the practical outcomes of this after half a decade: Ending birthright citizenship would make the United States more like the rest of the world – it would also end an incentive for immigrants to come here, which is of course the actual goal of most of the people advancing this argument. But what it will not do is provide any incentive for people already here illegally to leave. Instead they will stay, and have children anyway.

Rather than the previous agreement – where we owe these children the protections of the Constitution, and they owe their allegiance to our flag – there is no such commitment made. They will be stateless, as illegal in their presence in the United States as their parents, with no nation to call home.

In our current understanding of the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship, the existence of a permanent underclass of native born non-citizens ends at the first generation. Their children are as American as you, and integration into American life begins in a way that discourages the creation of multigenerational non-citizen ghettos. In the absence of that understanding, say hello to a massive underclass of people and families with a greater incentive to form exactly the kind of hardened ethnic conclaves we see in Europe – and the outcomes and risks that come with such ghettos.
So much of what hard-liners hate about immigration could be exacerbated by an end to birthright citizenship. Also:
The longer term political ramifications here would be obvious and severe: an inevitable and powerful push for a mass and total amnesty for these multi-generation non-citizens that would come the instant that Republicans no longer are in power.

Polls show Republican voters consistently support a citizenship solution for the Dreamers, and that this would effectively create millions more. The pressure to grant mass amnesty would be a thousand times as heavy in an environment where the semi-permanent underclass has no hope of integration for their children, and it would inevitably eventually succeed – creating a cohort of millions of voters with a loyalty to those who backed it.
In other words, ultras like Krikorian don't want to get rid of birthright citizenship because it will make the immigrants affected more sympathetic, and they'll be even angrier at the Republicans once they (inevitably) win citizenship rights.

This is a repellent way of looking at the problem, but it's good to know that even some immigration-bashers won't necessarily be on board with the Trump executive order, if it ever happens. If even the anti-immigration right is split on the idea, I can't imagine that it will survive a legal challenge, even in a federal court system saturated with Trump judges.

On the other hand, Tom Hilton's comment in response to the previous post raises a serious concern:
This EO can do a fuckload of damage before it ever gets to any court. If Trump instructs ICE to round up & deport US-born children of undocumented immigrants it'll be cold comfort to those stranded in Mexico or Honduras or wherever that some district court judge issued an injunction against ICE doing the thing they already did. And it's not as if an injunction would even necessarily stop them; remember that court order on reunifying separated parents and children, with a deadline of 3 months ago?
Tom is right about how much damage can be done by the administration in a short amount of time. But in the end I think this will be stopped, because non-Republican judges will be solidly against it and Republican judges will be divided.


UPDATE: As Hob notes in comments, Mark Krikorian currently says that we should end birthright citizenship now -- in fact, "End Birthright Citizenship Now" is the title of a piece he wrote for National Review in 2015. But he was a skeptic prior to that, and in the 2015 piece he recommended that the U.S.-born children of the undocumented be granted citizenship if they live here ten years, an idea he repeated on Twitter yesterday.


Axios reports that President Trump intends to end birthright citizenship in America by executive order.
President Trump plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil, he said yesterday in an exclusive interview....

"It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't," Trump said, declaring he can do it by executive order....

The president expressed surprise that "Axios on HBO" knew about his secret plan: "I didn't think anybody knew that but me. I thought I was the only one. "
This is being described as an election-year October surprise by, among others, The New York Times:
President Trump said he was preparing an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the United States, his latest maneuver days before midterm congressional elections to activate his base by clamping down on immigrants and immigration.
But Lawfare's Quinta Jurecic may be right:

Watch Axios's clip of the interview -- Trump seems genuinely surprised by the line of questioning.

Presumably a current or former staffer who's in favor of this policy change (Stephen Miller? Michael Anton?) leaked the existence of the executive order to Axios in order to get discussion of it into the mix. There may never have been a firm plan to issue an executive order before the election, and it still might not happen now or later -- although I suppose it's more likely to happen now that's it's been revealed because it's generating horrified responses from all of Trump's favorite enemies. Now he probably won't want to back down.

Can he do this? Many liberals insist that he simply can't -- it's unconstitutional. But as Vox's Dara Lind notes,
The Supreme Court hasn’t explicitly ruled that the children of unauthorized immigrants are US citizens. In the 1985 case INS v. Rios-Pineda, in which the parent of two US-born children challenged his deportation order, the Court referred to the children as US citizens by birth — but because the Court didn’t make a formal legal finding in this regard, the statement was just dicta, or rhetoric.
Prior to that, in a nineteenth-century case, the Court ruled that Wong Kim Ark, a San Francisco-born child of Chinese immigrants, couldn't be barred from returning to the U.S. after a trip to China because "The right of citizenship ... is incident to birth in the country." However, the plaintiff's parents had arrived here legally, before the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Acts.

That's more ambiguity than the current Supreme Court typically needs to upend what's assumed to be settled law. There was no individual right to bear arms under the Second Amendment until the Supreme Court in 2008 created one out of whole cloth in District of Columbia v. Heller. This Court has trashed the Voting Rights Act and will soon do the same to Roe v. Wade. Why not birthright citizenship as well?

The answer is that conservatives are split on birthright citizenship, probably because corporations and right-wing billionaires are split on immigration. The Axios story notes that Judge James C. Ho, a Federalist Society-affiliated Trump circuit court appointee, disagrees with Trump. The Federalists are split on the issue -- you can read a debate on the society's website. (John Yoo is the co-author of the pro-birthright citizenship argument.)

Many fat cats and corporatists have long been pro-immigration -- recall the 1984 Wall Street Journal op-ed that propsed a five-word constitutional amendment: "There shall be open borders." An organization funded by the Koch brothers, the LIBRE Initiative, denounced Trump's call for an end to birthright citizenship in 2015. I think most of the Roberts Five care more about what the Kochs think than they do about what Trump thinks.

Some lower-court judge will block this executive order if it happens. Ultimately, though, if five movement-conservative justices on the Supreme Court rubber-stamp it, it will go into effect. But it's quite possible that there aren't five votes for this.

Monday, October 29, 2018


After I read CNN's breathless story about the Trump campaign's "closing ad" for the midterms, I was expecting something radical and jarring, or at least eye-catching. I'll grant that it's odd to see an ad from the president during a campaign in which he's not on the ballot.
Donald Trump busts through so many norms of politics that it shouldn't be surprising he is at it again this final full week of campaigning before the midterms -- launching a 2018 ad for Republicans, paid for and produced by his own 2020 campaign.
But the CNN story prepares us for a spot that will go down in advertising history:
It has echoes of Ronald Reagan's famous 1984 "Morning In America" re-election ad, which [Trump campaign chairman Brad] Parscale says he watched and considered ... but notes it has, "a lot more emotional hook and utilizing modern technology, what we've learned about making TV commercials on the commercial side of business."

It is in fact produced to be more Superbowl commercial than political ad....

He said the ad was developed over several months, which he argues they had the time and money to do with the Trump campaign up and running so early.

"Most political ads barely get a week or two. The way we did that is significant. That's more of how you do it in the commercial world. You really plan a product launch. In 2020 we have Trump 2.0, another product launch. It's the what are we going to do for four more years, and we have to be ready to sell that," Parscale explained.
I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this:

This is just like every Mom-centric political ad ever, except for the specifics. There's no visual zing. There's certainly no Trumpian apocalypticism or conspiratorialism, as there was in the 2016 closing ad, which was all about evildoers trying to prevent Trump from saving America (George Soros, of course, makes an appearance as one of the principal malefactors, 21 seconds in):

There isn't even a sense that Trump is holding the bad guys at bay. It's as if the real terrors of the modern world and Trump's ginned-up boogeymen (and -women) don't exist.

What are Parscale and his crew up to? They know they're in deep trouble with female voters, but they seem to believe that some Republican women will come home to the party if given a gentle nudge. They have an obvious problem -- earlier this month CNN had a poll in which women favored a generic Democratic congressional candidate 63%/33%, and a more recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll shows Trump with 33%/61% approval/disapproval among women. Parscale apparently believes that some disaffected women can tune out the hate, anger, chaos, and literal bloodshed of the Trump era if you get them to think, "Gosh, that stock market is doing so well we can afford music school for little Jessica -- at least for now...."

But as a story in The New York Times noted over the weekend, women don't think the economy is terrific the way men do:
Nearly half of men — 47 percent — said their family’s finances had improved in the past year, according to a survey conducted for The New York Times in early October by the online research platform SurveyMonkey. Just 30 percent of women said the same....

Asked how they expected the American economy to fare over the next five years, nearly two-thirds of men said they anticipated “continuous good times economically.” Women were more likely to expect “periods of widespread unemployment or depression.” The gaps remain even between men and women who are similar in age, race, education and income....

Polls by the Pew Research Center going back to the mid-2000s showed almost no gender gap on economic questions until Mr. Trump took office; since then, men have become significantly more confident, while women’s confidence has stalled.

... partisanship explains part of the gender gap.... People who identify as Republicans and as supporters of Mr. Trump are far more likely to say the economy is performing well — and there are significantly more men than women in both groups.

Still, partisanship isn’t the whole story. Among men who said they “strongly approve” of Mr. Trump’s overall performance, 76 percent said their finances were better now than a year ago, according to the SurveyMonkey survey. That sentiment was expressed by just 65 percent of women who gave Mr. Trump strong overall marks. Other economic questions reveal a similar gap.

“Republican men are just more confident and more optimistic than even Republican women are,” said Laura Wronski, a research scientist for SurveyMonkey.
Does Parscale really believe that a bit of mansplaining (albeit with a female voiceover) can narrow this gap?

Maybe I'm wrong, but to me the ad seems weak, insipid, and ignorable. We'll see if it works.


Much of the right would like you to believe that the anti-Semitism of Robert Bowers, the man charged in this weekend's mass slaughter at a Pittsburgh synagogue, had nothing whatsoever to do with Trumpian conservatism or the Republican Party. Here's a typical headline, from RedState: "Despite Claims Of ‘Right-Winger,’ The Synagogue Shooter Was Anti-Trump."

Bowers did complain that President Trump isn't sufficiently anti-Semitic. But Gab -- Bowers's favorite venue for expressing hate online -- is now responding to the public and vendor pressure to tone down the site's rhetoric by reaching out to President Trump and quoting a Republican campaign slogan.

Here's a tweet in which Gab seeks help from Trump and from the head of Trump's 2020 campaign, Brad Parscale:

And here are some excerpts from a statement issued by Gab CEO Andrew Torba after the shooting:
After Mr. Bowers was named as a suspect in the mass shooting, Gab released a statement saying it “unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence.” ...

Mr. Torba insisted in his email that the shooting had not changed his mind about Gab’s core mission of promoting free speech.

“Twitter and other platforms police ‘hate speech’ as long as it isn’t against President Trump, white people, Christians, or minorities who have walked away from the Democratic Party,” he wrote. “This double standard does not exist on Gab.”
(Emphasis added.)

#WalkAway is a Republican effort to persuade voters that a significant exodus from the Democratic Party is currently taking place; it's received attention at Fox News, the New York Post, and other conservative media outlets, which feature fact-challenged headlines such as "How the #WalkAway Campaign Is Drowning the Blue Wave Democrats." If you believe the #WalkAway folks, African-Americans in particular are leaving the Democratic Party in large numbers.

Recently, Kanye West and black conservative Candace Owens have been trying to expand (and modify) the #WalkAway brand:
Kanye West has debuted a line of shirts endorsing a 'Black Exit' from the Democratic Party.

The rapper's latest clothing venture features a selection of aqua, salmon and lilac tees and denim hats with the words 'Blexit' and 'We Free' boldly printed on the front, ranging from $25-$28.

The line was unveiled at the Young Black Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, on Saturday, an event organized by Candace Owens of the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA.
If Torba is invoking "minorities who have walked away from the Democratic Party," he's retransmitting Republican election-year propaganda, at the same time his site is publishing hate propaganda.

Gab is and always has been a cesspool of hate speech. What Bowers posted at Gab wasn't unusual, as Cristina López G. of Media Matters notes:
Gab was born in reaction to social media platforms that ban hate speech, extremism, and harassment, explicitly meant to provide a haven to those whose extremist content had gotten them banned from other platforms, specifically Twitter....

Prominent white nationalist Christopher Cantwell -- dubbed the “crying Nazi” following his teary reactions to the 2017 Charlottesville, VA, Unite the Right rally -- posted a message for newcomers with an anti-Semitic greeting, compelling them to not “worry about the racism” on the site, while recognizing that “it can be a little weird at first:”

... On April 20, posters openly celebrated Adolf Hitler’s birthday, as evidenced by the site’s popular topics that day....

Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin openly called for shooting Middle Eastern refugees and blamed Jewish people for waging “a psychological war” to push for the right of refugees to come to the U.S.: “All it would take to stop this is a few bullets.” And that wasn’t the first time Anglin had posted about shooting up Jewish people, but Gab leadership told a journalist asking for a reaction that he hadn’t crossed a line.

Back in August, Gab’s hosting provider, Microsoft Azure, gave the site 48 hours to remove two virulently anti-Semitic posts made by defeated neo-Nazi congressional candidate Patrick Little (who also ran as a Republican in a primary and is verified by Gab on the site). Little was suggesting raising Jewish people “as livestock,” and vowing to attack Holocaust memorials in the U.S. with a sledge hammer. After Azure’s pressure, the site removed the posts in contention, but before the site was taken offline, Little was still on Gab, where he reacted to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting by urging his followers to blame the victims.
That's what's been happening at a site that reaches out to President Trump and the head of his reelection campaign when challenged, all the while quoting Republican campaign slogans.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


After reading articles in The Washington Post and The New York Times about Cesar Sayoc, the MAGAbombing suspect, I think I know what the next David Books column will be. Consider the stories' headlines: In the Times it's "Cesar Sayoc, Mail Bombing Suspect, Found an Identity in Political Rage and Resentment," while the Post has "‘He Felt That Somebody Was Finally Talking to Him’: How the Package-Bomb Suspect Found Inspiration in Trump."

Do you see why this is a perfect set-up for Brooks? Brooks loves to tell us that America's real problem isn't toxic right-wing politics or the plutocracy taking all the money -- it's our lack of community, which is turning us into a nation of rage monsters and suicidal Fentanyl addicts. This, from the Post story, will trigger all of Brooks's confirmation bias:
As far back as 2002, lawyer Ronald Lowy recalled, the windows of Sayoc’s white Dodge Ram van were covered in stickers of Native American regalia. Though Sayoc was Filipino and Italian, he claimed to be a proud member of the Seminole tribe, Lowy said.

The lie was one of many Sayoc would spread about himself over the years. He falsely claimed to have worked as a Chippendales dancer, and he was once charged with fraud for modifying his driver’s license to make it appear he was younger, said Lowy, who represented him in the case. Sayoc seemed to have a new business venture every three months, though none was successful. He worked as a DJ or bouncer at strip clubs, dabbled in bodybuilding, and spent much of the past decade living out of his van, Lowy said.

“He made up stories in order to try to impress people,” Lowy said. “He felt like he didn’t have a background that he respected or liked.”

Then Donald Trump burst onto the political scene.
The Times has this:
Cesar Sayoc Jr. was a volatile nobody desperate to become a somebody.

He styled himself as a bodybuilder, entrepreneur, member of the Seminole tribe and exotic-dance promoter in the status-hungry beachfront world of South Florida....

“He had tremendous anger slowly boiling up, and resentment, and felt ‘less than,’” Mr. Lowy said. “He lacked an identity. He created a persona.” ...

“He was looking for some type of parental figure and being a loner, being an outcast, being the kind of person Trump speaks to, I think he was attracted to Trump as a father figure,” Mr. Lowy said.
There's the Brooks column: America no longer provides men like Cesar Sayoc with a sense of belonging, so Sayoc sought out possible identities in vain -- until he accepted an invitation to join MAGA Nation.

The problem is that Sayoc could have found a healthier sense of community elsewhere -- even among exotic dancers or bodybuilders -- and we might ascribe his failure, and also the fact that he sought to join groups that weren't really open to him, like the Seminole Indians, not to an atomized America, but to the fact that he's mentally ill. (The Times tells us that "Mr. Sayoc’s mother and sisters urged him to seek mental-health treatment.") It's not that America has too few bowling leagues and MAGA Nation was the last one in America -- instead, it was an ideal place for a guy who has anger management issues and other psychological problems.

Brooks will probably also bring accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers into the column -- but so far we don't have evidence that he struggled to find a community. He seemed to do just fine among the anti-Semites -- not because he was desperate to belong, as Brooks will probably say, but because he's an anti-Semite.

Brooks might surprise us and go in another direction, but this is my guess.


UPDATE, TUESDAY: I was right about Brooks. Here's the column.
These mass killings are about many things — guns, demagogy, etc. — but they are also about social isolation....

Killing sprees are just one manifestation of the fact that millions of Americans find themselves isolated and alone.
So predictable.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


Conspiracy-minded right-wingers have been focusing on the van seized as evidence after the arrest of alleged #MAGAbomber Cesar Sayoc. Here's what one commenter says at Free Republic:
There are two forces at work in America that cause these sort of events.

1) Hatred from the left, and

2) Prodding by Deep State operatives who specialize in Manchurian Actors.

... #2) is possible. In fact, I think the Florida Bomber might have been victim to this treatment. Everything is too OFF about that case. Acme-Roadrunner bombs, a van covered with recently-applied (unfaded) Trump stickers....
The reference to "unfaded" pro-Trump stickers seems to come directly from Rush Limbaugh, who said this on the air yesterday:
... none of the stuff on that van, the stickers and the decals...

Very little of it looks faded, meaning it doesn’t look like it’s been there very long. Certainly, this guy’s van is parked outside; he’s been driving around in this thing. We have inclement weather hear in south Florida. There’s been some rain. But it’s a hot, baking, wet sun. And even if these stickers are plastered on the insides of the windows, there would be some fading of this stuff.
Conclusion: "Deep State operatives who specialize in Manchurian Actors" turned Sayoc into a fake Trump zealot, complete with newly applied, unfaded stickers.

Well, today an anti-Semite named Robert Bowers was arrested and charged with shooting up a synagogue in Pittsburgh; eight people were killed in that attack. What have we learned about Bowers? Among other things, he had an account on Gab, the right-wing imitation Twitter, until shortly after the shooting. He was a proud Jew-hater there.

But he made clear there that he was no fan of Donald Trump.

He posted this:

And reposted this:

But wait -- we were just told that the Deep State created a fake Trump admirer who (allegedly!) built bombs and sent them to Trump critics. Yet Bowers is a Trump hater? Why did the Deep State give him that profile? What does it all mean?

I eagerly await the revised conspiracy theory.


Mediaite is reporting this as if it should surprise us:
Well, this one is a real headscratcher.

During a Trump rally in North Carolina, NBC News’ Ali Vitali caught up with a Trump supporter who had a rather novel theory about how the mail bombs got to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

According to Arvil Runyon, who braved standing out in the bad weather to attend the rally, Obama probably sent the bomb to himself.

“Barack Obama probably sent his to hisself,” Runyon said, before noting Clinton was in on the plot too. “Hillary Clinton probably sent hers to herself.”

He then said he doesn’t think Trump supporting mail bombing suspect Cesar Sayo[c] did the crime or at least not on his own volition.

“They probably had it done,” Runyon proposed. Then, he suggested Sayo[c] might have done it if they paid him.

I want a poll of this.

I want to know what percentage of the American public -- and, specifically, what percentage of the Republican electorate -- believes what's been reported about Cesar Sayoc. I assume that Democrats and independents will overwhelmingly say they believe what we've been told about him: that he's a Trump supporter who decided on his own to build and mail pipe bombs to people on the president's enemies list.

But what percentage of Republicans believe that? Is it even a majority?

A polling firm should lay out law enforcement's allegations and the conspiracy nuts' scenarios -- that Democrats or a certain billionaire Democratic donor paid the guy, or that the recipients sent the bombs to themselves -- and ask what respondents believe. Or the poll could ask whether law enforcement's story is true and then give doubters an open-ended chance to tell us their pet theories.

I think most Republicans will be doubters, or at least the number of doubters and "not sure" respondents will outnumber those who believe what law enforcement has told us.

Even some resistant journalists and pundits have begun to recognize that Republicans are crazy. I want a poll to show how crazy they are. I think a majority of Republicans, or at least a plurality, are Arvil Runyon.

Friday, October 26, 2018


Just checking in on Reddit's r/The_Donald. Not a lot of sober reflection there. Here are some of the graphics posted today:

And, unrelated to the bombing, there's also this:



An arrest has been made in Florida in connection with this week's series of mail bombs.
Cesar Sayoc, Jr., 56, who officials say has been previously arrested on unspecified charges, is currently in custody, a Department of Justice spokeswoman tweeted Friday morning.

Officials in Plantation, Florida, were seen placing a tarp over a van with windows covered with pictures of Trump and decals....
This appears to be a photo of the van:

Of course, the commenters at Breitbart are already suspicious:
They're busy putting a MAGA hat and the Confederate Battle Standard in his place of residence.


This will be a frame Job just like Russia Investigation!


We need Judicial Watch to request the text and email content of the arresting officers now. The cover-up is already underway.


The LeftBI setup is on, supposedly the dude’s van is loaded with pro trump stickers..more than likely pasted up last night by the Mob DNC criminals.


The DNC controlled FBI recruited and then triggered this guy right before the election. This is the same corrupt FBI that lied about the Las Vegas shooting and refused to admit there were multiple assassins who shot over 600 people.

Way to convenient right before the election. FAKE NEWS !


Look a van full of brand new Trump shirts never worn. A closet full of maga hats never worn.


I don't buy the sticker thing here.
Just one Trump stcker on your car will get your windows smashed,or,your car torched.
But here we have a van plastered with them and his van is still intact?
I dont buy it


The dude is a native New York resident with prior terroristic threats, pretty much guarantees he is a TDS [Trump Derangement Syndrome] libtard.


My thoughts as well. Antifa. They should all be arrested and shut down. They’re all domestic terrorists.


Give them time to scrub his Internet history.


Wipe it, not with a cloth..


you know they are ,, as we speak ,, they wont release a name till they have it all


Google can do that in minutes. We know that they work for the CIA.


They already did & gave him a new one! Courtesy of Google and Facebook.


The deep state narrative "we're the targeted victim" play act fell apart too quickly and the MSM knows it.
Notice his instant conviction by the lame stream with any kind of detail.
Whether this guy works for them or not, those packages did NOT go through the US mail.
No Postmarks at all.
Neither were they delivered by courier because the package wouldn't need all those US postal stamps.
I bet the next line of B.S. that people are expected to believe, will be this one guy drove cross-country and hand delivered them.



NO way this all happens in less than 1 week just 20 days prior to the election. POLICE HAVE NEVER NEVER NEVER MOVED THIS FAST FOR ANYTHING, NOT EVEN A PRESIDENTIAL ASSAINATION!

Any person who can't see this is blind.


Like Oswald.........this person was set up before anything was must fit a narrative


This is all a game being played by the liberals... it has be going on for years .. TRUMP KNOWS WHO THEY ALL ARE . HE NEEDS TO DROP THE HAMMER SOON..
The belief that Trump will "DROP THE HAMMER SOON" is a QAnon idea -- QAnon believers think Trump is actually working with Robert Mueller to round up and bring to justice all of his enemies (rather than the people Mueller is actually investigating here in the real world). I'm not surprised that that message showed up here.

If you're not sure whether to bother voting on November 6, remember: Most of the people quoted above will vote. Voting is your only chance to keep them from running the country.


The bombs sent to CNN and prominent Democrats are now the lead story at most media outlets, but earlier in the week it was the caravan -- just when early voting has begun in the midterms. The caravan has become a huge story even though similar group migrations are frequent, and the refugees are far away from the U.S. border. The caravan is a distraction from issues non-Republican voters have on their minds, as Paul Krugman notes:
... the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war....
In a post I quoted a couple of days ago, Brian Beutler listed the GOP distractions in the last three election cycles:
... the coverage of the 2018 midterms looks as much like the coverage of the 2014 campaign as it does of the 2016 campaign, which is a damning fact, because it’s actually the third time journalists have allowed Trump to lead them by the nose to bullshit ahead of an election. Four Octobers ago, Trump—who was then a racist birther reality television show host, and thus an important figure in Republican politics—fanned racist panic about an Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which he and the GOP immediately stopped pretending to care about once Republicans won control of the Senate.

Republicans also predictably stopped pretending to care about government email protocols after the 2016 election, and, thus, so did journalists.
Republicans didn't play the race card as much as usual in 2016 because they could play the Evil Hillary Card. But they always try to distract us from the issues.

There were several distractions in 2010, although the mainstream press didn't play along quite as much as it has with the caravan scare, the email hysteria, and the Ebola panic. A person very much in the new right now was a key distracter.

It's being noted that Megyn Kelly was racist on the air long before she defended blackface. Here's one example, noted by USA Today's Kirsten Powers:
One of my craziest on-air experiences debating a conservative — a very high bar — involved Kelly yelling at me on live television for nearly 10 minutes for disagreeing that the “New Black Panthers” were a threat to Good People Everywhere.
And when was that exactly?
In the summer of 2010, Kelly made a meal of a menacing but very small hate group called the New Black Panthers, saying a campaign of voter intimidation occurred. Several of them faced criminal charges for an incident in 2008, but the charges against the group were dropped after U.S. Justice Department officials said there was no compelling evidence the group itself was involved. One member was legally sanctioned. But no voters appeared discouraged from voting.

Kelly devoted hours to the New Black Panthers over a three-week period, attacking other media for failing to cover the story....
(Emphasis added.)

Also in the summer of 2010, Kelly covered the "Ground Zero mosque" story, which did cross over to mainstream media. And prior to that, she helped destroy the group ACORN well before it could register voters for the 2010 midterms (and also in time for ACORN to be a right-wing rallying cry during those midterms):

At least when she was at Fox, Kelly wasn't just a racist -- she was a racist on behalf of Republicans in strategic moments in the electoral cycle. If she were still at Fox, her show would be wall-to-wall caravan right now.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


As I'm sure you know, Megyn Kelly is rumored to be leaving NBC:
On the Tuesday episode of her show, Megyn Kelly made racially insensitive remarks that caused a backlash. On Wednesday, she apologized at length to her NBC studio audience, which rewarded her with a standing ovation. And on Thursday, she did not go on the air....

It was the latest sign that Ms. Kelly may never return to the NBC airwaves.
The Daily Caller ran a story about this, and one commenter had some thoughts that strayed a bit from the subject at hand:

Um ... okay.

And right-wingers wonder why we think they're the violent ones.


Ten bombs sent to Trump critics have been identified so far this week ... but this is the lead story at Fox News Insider right now:

There's no special twist that makes this an especially egregious act -- it's no worse than the headline makes it seem:
A Delaware Democrat was apparently up to dirty tricks a week before Halloween, removing her opponent's campaign flyers from a resident's front porch.

... Middletown resident Randy J. Smith ... posted the footage to Facebook on Friday.

It showed Democratic candidate Monique Johns arrive at Smith's door, remove her opponent's campaign flier - which was left earlier in the afternoon - and replace it with her own pamphlet....

Johns, who is running against State Rep. Kevin Hensley (R) took to Facebook on Monday to apologize after the state Democratic Party chairman condemned her actions.

"Today, I ask for the forgiveness of the residents of the 9th Representative District," Johns wrote. “I made a mistake. I removed the literature of my opponent's campaign from the door of a voter. It was wrong and I should never have done it.”
Many commenters think the Democratic candidate should be arrested, and one thinks the flyer-stealing proves she's capable of far worse.

So, to some up: One side sends ten bombs to prominent targets, though the bombs have failed to detonate, so no one's been hurt. The other side has this local candidate who succeeded in stealing a flyer, and who probably would kill someone under the right circumstances.

So: Both sides!


Your right-wing uncle thinks someone on the left built and sent all those bombs to try to make Republicans look bad, but would a lefty do this?
An image on the explosive device sent to former CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday appears to be a parody of an ISIS flag taken from a meme that has been circulating on right-wing corners of the internet since 2014.

The print-out appears to show a parody flag that replaces Arabic characters with the silhouette of three women in high heels, and a middle inscription reading “Get ‘Er Done” — which is the catchphrase of standup comedian Larry the Cable Guy....

The “Get ‘Er Done” flag was originally created in 2014 by the right-wing parody site World News Bureau, for an article titled “ISIS Vows Retribution For Counterfeit Flags.” It has since been shared as a meme on right-wing websites and forums....

I'm a lefty who's been lurking at right-wing sites for many years, and I've never seen this. It's not just a joke right-wingers enjoy -- it's an extremely deep cut. Most lefties know a few right-wing in-jokes, some of us know a few more, but this is very obscure.

At the same time, it's not a blatantly right-wing message. It's not overtly Republican or Trumpy at all. If you were a lefty faking a series of right-wing bombs and you wanted to send a sign that you were a genuine right-winger, wouldn't you be much more likely to include a "Make America Great Again" flag, or the still-popular Tea Party "Don't Tread on Me" snake flag, or maybe something with "Molon Labe" on it, or Pepe the Frog? Maybe, if you wanted to be really contemporary, you'd include a reference to NPC. But why this?

NPC is probably too contemporary a reference -- which brings me to another point I want to make. Your right-wing uncle undoubtedly agrees with Rush Limbaugh that these bombs were sent because the Democrats' long-anticipated blue wave isn't working out and the Kavanaugh and caravan news are so effective at motivating Republican voters.

But if that were the case, it would mean the bomber constructed and mailed all these bombs in the past few days. Does that make sense? Even if the bombs were poorly made, or were built to frighten rather than to blow up, it would have taken some time to pull everything together. Sending multiple bombs through the mail isn't an act of impulse. But that's what a lot of your fellow citizens believe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


What does Rush Limbaugh think happened today? What does he think about the bombs? On his show today, he didn't say outright that he thinks the bombs are a false flag, but the transcript of one segment of his show appears on his site under the headline "There Are No Coincidences with the Clintons." He says this:
In the midst of this political campaign and the 2016 midterms, how many Republicans have the Clintons or Obama on their radar? ... Are the Clintons an obstacle to the upcoming midterms, the Clintons? No. Is Obama an obstacle in the...? No. I mean, the Clintons and Obama are not even on the radar, except they are today....

I mean, the closest that happens is, you know, when Trump goes to a rally and they start talking about the deep state and Hillary and her buds in the FBI trying to shaft Trump on this phony collusion story, the “Lock her up! Lock her up!” But, I mean, the Clintons are not considered political opponents right up, and Obama certainly isn’t. I don’t know.
Seriously? For the deplorables, the "Lock her up" chants are a highlight of every rally. They can't wait to start this chant. Limbaugh expects his listeners to believe that nobody on the right cares about the Clintons?

But they will believe it. They'll believe it because he said it.

Limbaugh doesn't directly say that Democrats are responsible. But he does say they have a motive and Republicans don't.
... it doesn’t make any sense for a Republican or conservative to do this. If they really care about winning these elections, this makes no sense to do. This is gonna be instant fodder for the Democrats and the media to blame it on Trump and his supporters and/or his… It doesn’t make any sense for you a Republican or conservative to do this, if they care about the elections. None whatsoever. But flip that! Flip that around.

Would it make a lot of sense for a Democrat operative or Democrat-inculcated lunatic to do it? Because things are not working out the way they thought. Do not forget this. It’s why I’ve spent so much time dwelling on this today and the psychology that’s attached to this. This is not going the way they have assured us for the last nine months it was gonna go.
His argument is that the blue wave is failing and Democrats are desperate, because the caravan is going to turn out massive numbers of Republicans. In fact, Democrats still have an 84% chance to take the House, according to FiveThirtyEight, and are in good shape to take back maybe half a dozen governorships. But to Limbaugh, we were doomed, so we had to plant a bunch of fake bombs. Whatever.

But here's some real gaslighting:
I’ve seen some people today who think the Republicans are behind this to try to scare Democrats away from going to the polls. That’s a new one on me. That just doesn’t compute. That’s not the kind of thing Republicans do.

In fact, you remember when Steve Scalise got shot by a deranged Democrat at congressional baseball practice? Do you know what our side said? We did not make it political. The Republicans in Congress said, “This speaks to all of us. We join everybody in condemning this.” The Republicans did not attempt to make that partisan in any way or to try to make hay out of it. I’m not kidding. Go back and look at it if you’ve forgotten this. The Republicans did not make a point of singling out the guy as a Democrat and condemning the Democrats.
In a word, no.

The Scalise shooting took place during the campaign for a vacant Georgia seat in the House of Representatives. Shortly after the shooting, this ad appeared:
The ad, funded by a little-known group called the Principled PAC, opens with sounds of gunshots and footage of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise being wheeled away on a stretcher after he and other members of the Republican congressional baseball team were ambushed by a lone gunman while practicing in a Washington suburb.

The ad urges Republicans to "stop" [Democrat Jon] Ossoff and claims that the "unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans."

"When will it stop?" a narrator asks. "It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday, because the same unhinged leftists cheering last week’s shooting are all backing Jon Ossoff. And if he wins, they win.”
The Washington Post reported that ahead of the June 20 special election for a congressional seat in Georgia’s sixth district, Brad Carver, the chairman of the Republican party in a neighboring district, said, “I’ll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us,” adding, “moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism.”
And there was more:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on Fox News, called the shootings "part of a pattern" and blamed "an increasing intensity of hostility on the left."

He said conservative college students are afraid they'll be beaten on campus.

"The intensity is very real, whether it's a so-called comedian holding up the President's head covered in blood, or right here in New York City, a play [a production of Julius Caesar] that shows the President being assassinated, or it's Democratic leading national politicians using vulgarity because they can't find any common language to talk," he said.

And Michael Caputo, a former Trump adviser, was even more blunt in an interview with a Buffalo radio station. "For nine months, Democratic Party leaders have lied, regularly calling me and my friends traitors, so forgive me if I'm not more tender with their karma in Alexandria," Caputo said.
And Limbaugh himself? He politicized the shooting repeatedly.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh accused the liberal mainstream media of radicalizing James Hodgkinson, the man suspected of shooting House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others on Wednesday....

"I have been worried for quite a while about the cumulative effect or impact of this constant anti-Trump hysteria everywhere in mainstream media: New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC," Limbaugh told listeners....

"I have been very concerned about what all of this is doing to the average, base Democrat voter. I have sensed them getting more and more fringe and imbalanced, and the evidence for it is everywhere in the things that they tweet. They openly promote violence, and advocate some of the most despicable things happening to their political enemies.

"The hatred is raw, it is undiluted, it's just savage. These are the mainstream of the Democrat base, and I don't have any doubt that they are being radicalized."

Limbaugh noted Hodgkinson's favorites on television included "Comedy Central, Bill Maher and left-wing comedians."

And he added: "Rachel Maddow was his all-time favorite. He thought she should run for president. These people have radicalized guys like this all over this country"

He noted the shooter was convinced Trump should be removed from office.

"So the shooter was acting on the fake news, the big lie, that Trump had colluded with Putin," Limbaugh said.

"This guy believed everything he heard. This guy soaked it up and believed everything and thought Trump should be sent packing along with the Republicans. The Democrat base voter who shot up the Republican Virginia, he was a mainstream Democrat voter."
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh charged Wednesday that CNN is uninterested in covering an apparent history of public comments against President Trump by the man who shot up a recreational congressional Republican baseball practice....

"CNN is spending an obviously noticeable lack of time explaining who the shooter is," Limbaugh said. "In other words, CNN is not very interested in who this guy is. They will show his driver's license and picture occasionally but any history of the guy's deep devotion to various media celebrities, various media broadcasts, publications, his tweet history and all of that we've shared with you, CNN is not getting. CNN viewers are actually being given a high dose of the Republicans and Democrats coming together on the House floor today after the event. Do you find that somewhat curious?"

Limbaugh suggested if the gunman had shot up Democrats and had been a vocal conservative, CNN would have played up his politics more.

If "everything happened the opposite of the way it did," Limbaugh said, "the only thing you'd be seeing on CNN is a never-ending profile of the shooter as negative and penetrating as they could make it."
And earlier this year:
Rush Limbaugh is questioning why, in his view, the anti-gun outcry has been significantly louder in the aftermath of the Parkland, FL school shooting than it was in the wake of the shooting at the GOP Congressional baseball practice in Virginia last June — which severely injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

During his opening monologue Monday, the conservative host claimed that there was far less anti-gun rhetoric in the wake of the Congressional baseball shooting — which Limbaugh noted was carried out by a Democrat and targeted Republicans.

“Can anybody remember any over-the-top anger reaction afterwards about getting rid of guns?” Limbaugh said. “You cannot.”

The host added, “I can damn well guarantee you that there was not a cacophony of outrage and protest over guns after that shooting. CNN didn’t have a town hall.”
But the audience will believe nothing like this was ever said by Limbaugh or other Republicans. Limbaugh's listeners are easily led.


I'll also note that Limbaugh thinks today's events were an excellent time for some trolling. He said:
... clearly America has become a very dangerous place for Democrats. What can we do to protect our Democrats? What can we do to help ensure the safety of our Democrat friends? It seems to me the best way to ensure their safety is to get them removed as often as possible from public life....

With Democrats under siege, Democrats under assault like this, it would only be responsible and compassionate to vote them out of office and remove them from the public sphere in which they exist and are for some reason being targeted here by people apparently sending them bombs....

We would like to do everything possible to see to it that future bombs are not sent and that future bombs like those today don’t go off. And as I say, protecting Democrats our number one objective here. The best thing I think you can do if you’re worried about the safety of Democrats is simply vote them out of office. Remove them from daily public political circumstance where they can’t anger so many people. Just a public service.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are out of office. Barack Obama is out of office. Eric Holder is a private citizen. George Soros is a private citizen. The New York employees of CNN are private citizens.

But I'm sure this was hilarious to Limbaugh's audience.