I think the paradigm shifted when nobody was looking.

This was the year that the far left and the alt right began merging. Julian Assange and Alex Jones are now on the same side. The outer fringe of the Bernie Sanders movement mixed with the Alt Right too. And Trump is still reaching out to Bernie voters, convinced he believes what they believe. The mainstream media has missed nearly all of this, being that they do almost all of their social networking on Twitter, while this strange new paranoid blend is strictly Facebook. Strange it is, too, ideologically completely mystifying and free of the entire left vs right spectrum that has been in place for over a century. This is all new, and it will only get weirder and weirder. Thus, Julian Assange is convinced that Hillary intends to kill him with a drone strike….news he probably saw first somewhere in the Breitbart universe, and believed completely.

This is the first time you have ever had the Far Left and Far Right come together. It is the beginning of new ideologies. The internet has released us from conventional political philosophies and reality, and allowed us to believe anything we want. Paranoia reigns supreme in this new digital universe, as paranoia always does in new places. Millions of years of evolution as prey make us fearful in unexplored territory. There are predators everywhere, enemies, unseen threats, and they are watching us, waiting to pounce. We interact online with bared teeth the way we never do in person. It is all so high tech yet all so primordially fearful and hostile. It will take a long time for calm to prevail on the internet, long, long, long past our lifetimes. We will have to evolve into creatures able to think and act calmly online. We are hardwired to be hostile and paranoid there. It is our default position. As politics is subsumed by the internet, it can only get mean and scary. There’s nothing to keep it from getting meaner and scarier. 2016 might be only a taste. 2020 could get really weird.

Obama screwing up at the presidential debate in 2012

(An email I wrote about Obama’s performance in the first debate against Romney in 2012. I had forgotten just how catastrophic that performance was. It was a short lived catastrophe, though, as Obama came roaring back in the second and third debates and neutralized the damage he’d done to himself in the first. Interesting, though, how some of my ranted criticisms here apply to Trump’s first performance as well.)

Well, Obama’s fucking up the debate is not only the major event of this campaign…it is also possibly the greatest fuck up in American Presidential campaign history since, well, since I don’t know. I can’t think of a comparison. Maybe Nixon in his debate in 1960…except that was a close race at the time, not a blow out. The Dewey-Truman thing was a Truman surge but also the fact that his voters had been underpolled. Neither of these compare to this one. Obama was way ahead and was beaten decisively and worse yet humiliated on national television. Obama was utterly unprepared.  He figured the race was in the bag and that he was so superior to Romney he could bat him away like a fly, I guess. His debate prep team ought to be banished from politics forever they were so bad. They failed completely, and I mean completely, to ascertain how Romney would debate. I have never seen such a failure. This was like Rick Perry’s performance in the GOP debates. This was horrible. Catastrophic. You have to be blindly partisan not to feel very uneasy about a guy that fucks up that badly when eye to eye with an opponent.

He’ll do better tonite, much better. Might even be declared the winner (in fact, if it’s a draw he probably will be declared the winner.)  The other point is that he does not fuck up on the stump, and hasn’t since the debate, not even the next morning. His campaign has made zero mistakes except for the debate. Romney is far more likely to stumble, and once he stumbles he stumbles again, gets off message, and looks very unpresidential. And Obama’s press team is much better than Romney’s. Romney’s people failed to capitalize on the scope of their debate win and in fact let Obama pick up his momentum the very next morning, as if the debate had never happened. If Romney does stumble again, and he probably will, his team will not react with such efficiency. ANd to be honest, the press doesn’t like him. They’re dying for a chance to go after him again.

One of the things that so astonishes me about Obama and his debate prep team was that the election appeared to be virtually over and the only way Romney could possibly win was if Obama fucked up incredibly bad. They should have made absolutely sure–absolutely sure–that would not happen. If he tried to blow off the prep (which I think he did) they should not have allowed it to happen. This is all inexcusable.

Obama will still win…Romney’s surge will peak and things will lean Obama’s way again. I also suspect that the Obama vote is underrepresented because Obama’s voters are young and are undersampled in the polling because so many young people do not have LAN lines.  This was one of the reasons that Obama’s vote share was underestimated in 2008.  I also suspect that the Right screaming about Obama’s people making up the good job numbers had an effect, because of the paranoia enhancing and conspiracy credibility of the internet. You scream that shit loud enough, people believe it. The Right knew what it was doing. They knew what they were doing when the demonized Joe Biden after the veep debate too. Once that shit goes viral it begins to shift opinion. Remember the reaction to their Obamacare scare. And it took the job numbers conspiracy to get the more demented wing of the GOP fired up in the blogs and social media again, which is where you can shift opinion in days. A lie spread fast enough and some people will believe it. Not many that affect this race, but just enough of the undecided voters. Those cats aren’t the hippest people in America anyway, I mean who hasn’t already made up their minds? That is what the campaigns are working with now, the people who haven’t cared enough to decide already, and might well make their decision on the flakiest factors. Like the guy who wanted a president more like Bruce Lee. I mean what can you say? But you have to take them seriously the last two months of the campaign.

But I have to say again…Obama’s performance in the first debate is probably the  single most catastrophic mistake in modern presidential election history. It was stunning, and it was entirely his own fault. And it’s no wonder that people began looking at Romney anew. Not necessarily because they think he is better, but because Obama looked so bad. You have to wonder about the hubris of a man and a campaign staff that thinks a national television audience can be blown off like that.

(Actually, the single most catastrophic mistake in modern presidential debate history was Jerry Ford emphatically declaring in a 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter that Eastern Europe was not under Soviet domination, nor would it be under a Ford Adminstration. That was weird…and handed Carter the White House.)

Maybe libertarianism is just socialism for stoners

Gary Johnson just had another stoner moment when he couldn’t name a single living leader of another country. Not one. Shimon Peres? His running mate and designated driver William Weld had to remind him that Peres was no longer among living world leaders. Oh yeah, Gary said. Silence. We waited. Gary shrugged. I’m having another Aleppo moment, he said. I had no idea it was possible to smoke that much marijuana. Yet Johnson is still at 6% nationally and up to 30% among voters 18-35. The very unstoned Jill Stein, however, is down to 1% nationally and slipping below 15% among those same 18-35 year olds. But she is a doctor, not a pothead, and you know what buzzkills doctors are, even the hippie ones. So apparently every time Gary Johnson has a Cheech and Chong moment on national television, Jill Stein loses more stoner votes. Refill Johnson’s bong and the Green Party might disappear altogether. Though if anyone has an alternative explanation I’d love to hear it.

Jill Stein

Man, did the Green party blow it this year. They selected a ticket so incompetent that it not only failed to pick up most of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, but has since lost two thirds of the ones they did get. Jill Stein is now showing up with 2% (and dropping) in most of the four way polls, down from 6% before she began campaigning in earnest. Such a debacle the Greens are having that when Gary Johnson asked “Where’s Aleppo?”, the Greens lost more voters than the Libertarians. Apparently Gary the Stoner’s short term memory issues were more attractive to die some hard Bernie Bros than was a woman (you know those Bernie Bros and women) who was running on nearly all of Bernie Sanders’ platform. A very large percentage of Jill Stein’s socialist followers are apparently converting to libertarianism because Gary Johnson is a dude you can smoke a doob with. And unless she can cool it with the silly sixties crap and actually run a campaign that isn’t embarrassing–the raised fists and calls for the brothers and sisters to join the revolution ain’t cutting it–there might soon be more Bernie supporters voting for Trump than for Jill Stein. It is hard to imagine how her campaign could have done worse in what should have been their banner year. Bernie Sanders laid the groundwork for what could have been the greatest showing by a left wing candidacy in a century. Instead she has made an Ayn Rand quoting Libertarian look relevant. Those voters will not be coming back to the socialist fold anytime soon.

Note to Green Party–ixnay on the ippiehays in 2020.

bernie-sanders-supporters-jill-stein-670x388

Issues? What issues?

One of the most infuriating things about press coverage of the presidential campaign this year is how the press avoids pressing the candidates on the issues. This is Trump driven, I think. His campaign has been virtually issueless for the most part–it is up to nine policy positions now (including “paying for the wall”), while Hillary has detailed positions on thirty nine. Romney had twenty five by this point. But as Trump does not discuss issues–he said the voters aren’t especially interested–the media doesn’t bother to bring them up. Why would they? Why risk his displeasure? Trump has them cowed. Instead, he gets live network coverage of a hotel opening, or a visit to his new golf course in Scotland. Those the press talks about. Sure they bitch about it, but do they ask him hard, policy questions? Uh uh. What is the point for a reporter to even try? You get out of line and he turns the crowd on you. Or banishes you from his rallies. Leaves them stuck on the tarmac. Maybe has an insolent reporter arrested. Worse yet, he’ll say mean things on Twitter. So instead you ask Hillary if she’s still having seizures.

The campaign press corps will be a little light on Pulitzers this year. But maybe TMZ is hiring.

Epilepsy is such a dirty word in a presidential election

When the Alt-Right and Trump’s media surrogates began alleging that Hillary was having seizures, I knew she was in trouble. Americans perhaps alone among western countries are notoriously hung up about epilepsy, often terrified of it, always uncomfortable around it, and almost universally uninformed. And when you actually go and utter the terrible word and apply it to a presidential candidate, even if it is a complete lie, it sows severe doubts in a lot of people in this country. Hillary, of course, is NOT epileptic (though Chief Justice John Roberts is), but no matter, this is a TMZ world, people believe the stupidest stuff, and now several million Americans think that Hillary is, or might be, epileptic. And you know what that means. Well, no, almost nobody does know what that means. Except that Donald Trump suddenly looked a lot more presidential to a lot of people whose neurological knowledge isn’t that far removed from the Middle Ages. Hell, even Tom Brokaw flipped out. And when an anchor man says that Hillary better see a neurologist right now, then there must be something to it.

Four score and seven tweets ago…

Donald Trump has utterly transformed the way the media covers the presidential election. Now, running on issues is considered a weakness by both Trump and the media. Try as you might, you will see almost zero coverage on any actual issues this week. Trump and the Alt-Right dominate the media’s thinking. When Tom Brokaw screams that Hillary needs to see a neurologist immediately, you can see just how fundamentally news coverage has been altered.

And unless you spend hours daily on Twitter, you will be completely mystified as to how this is happening. But it’s happening because Trump turned Twitter into the dominant medium this campaign, even more so than television itself, and on Twitter the news cycle runs in seconds, with everyone trying to be the first person to tweet the latest story. When Gary Johnson made his What is Aleppo goof on Morning Joe (on MSNBC), he was barely a minute away from the set when panelist Mark Halperin–one of the country’s leading political reporters–got him on his iPhone. Within two minutes that conversation was broadcast on the air, with Johnson still inside the building, but even more remarkably, Halperin tweeted about that phone conversation while still talking to Johnson. That news cycle was literally less than sixty seconds, and What is Aleppo was trending within two minutes (I watched it happen.)

I think the reason that news coverage of the campaign is so distorted is that political reporters and pundits are addicted to Twitter. 140 characters or less. Even telegraphy was not so terse. Ironically, though, vastly more of us voters get our news on social media from Facebook instead of Twitter, and the disconnect between media and voters has never been so stark. We each live in our own social media universes. You and me here, on Facebook, and reporters and pundits on Twitter, and neither platform can access the other. That happens second hand, via television news. Twitterized reporting is stretched out into news stories and pundits shouting at each other, which filters into Facebook and down to us. “I was just asking a few farmers about grain prices & all they wanted to talk about was how the Clinton campaign handled the media Sunday” Mark Halperin tweeted today. It’s like policy issues don’t even exist.

Trump will lose the election–he gets slaughtered on Facebook–but his campaign stays even in the media because he tweets incessantly, and the media follows every tweeted utterance like it is a message from on high. No one, not even Hillary now, can compete for the media’s attention when the media has become conceptually twitterized. It certainly beats doing any real issues reporting. You can’t discuss, say, the ramifications of the new Filipino president pivoting his nation away from the U.S. and towards China in 140 characters or less. Anything politically newsworthy today can be no more than a catch phrase. Even sound bites are too long for Twitter. And certainly sound thinking is.

The Gettysburg Address, a mere 272 words long, has 1,369 too many characters and spaces for Twitter. 87 yrs ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty & dedicated to the prop that ppl are created equal. That’s about all that fits. Then on to the real news that Lincoln picked up a case of smallpox in Gettysburg.

What is Aleppo?

An upbeat and self-confident Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, is on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He’s asked what he would do about Aleppo. He looks confused. What is Aleppo? Asked if he was kidding he repeated what is Aleppo? When told it was in Syria he says oh that and it you could see the scale of his mistake dawn upon him. He is pounded about Syria, and was he not seeing the articles and stories and footage of the disaster in Aleppo? Yes, he said, though was unable to say anything particularly coherent. He left after a couple minutes, completely deflated. What is Aleppo was trending on Twitter before he was even off the set.

Millennials and old people

(Number crunching, Spring 2016)

We don’t often realize that Millennials are the smallest group of 18-30 years old in proportion to the population in American history. As a percentage of the population, there are about one-third to one-half less Millennials today than there were Baby Boomers when Baby Boomers were 18-30 years old (mostly in the 1970’s and ’80’s). Millennial numbers are offset further by the fact that people are living a decade longer than they did a generation ago. Basically there are a lot more old people alive–most of them Boomers–and a lot less young people replacing them. And the proportion of white Millennials is much lower than it was in the Boomer era, with both white and especially black birth numbers way down in between 1986-1998 (the black decline due in large part due to mass incarceration of males, but that’s another essay…). This takes on particular significance when you figure in the fact that Hispanic Millennials, who are expanding dramatically as a proportion of the total 18-30 population, vote considerably less than white Millennials (a third to a half less). This has major repercussions, because all the great progressive political movements in US history have been driven by a large youth voting population, yet that youth population now is the smallest it has ever been as a proportion of the voting population.

There had been an enormous under thirty population in the 1930’s–perhaps because of the decline in child mortality since the 19th century–and when those kids grew up there they created another under thirty population bubble that came of voting age in the late 1960’s through into the ’70’s. That bubble got a late start because the birth rate plummeted in the depths of the Depression and then recovered only slowly, only to plummet again when all the young men were mobilized for WW2. It was ironically those children, the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964 (peaking in 1957) who created the current drop in the birth rate by creating so few kids themselves. Our parents gave us our political dominance by having so many of us, and then we have maintained that dominance well into our dotage by not having enough kids. 

As a result Millennial influence on the electorate already is watered down considerably compared to that of Baby Boomers. However, Boomers when they were 18-30 voted more conservatively than Millennials (Nixon and Reagan both won the 18-21 vote, in fact), so that more of the under 30 vote will vote left now than in, say, 1968, 1972 or 1980. Millennials are not splitting their votes anywhere near as much as Boomers did. But will they vote enough to offset the numbers of those thirty and up? So far, not so. They would have to have an 80% turnout to revolutionize the country. They are showing up about half that much. Not even Bernie Sanders can get them out in huge numbers. Kids under thirty just don’t vote much. Never have. 

What 18-30 year old voter strength there is will continue to decline as the drop in the birth rate decline shows no sign of reversing. The trend will probably be exacerbated in a generation as immigration from Latin America continues its steady decline (which I’m sure is also due in large part to lower birth rates throughout nearly all Latin America except in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala). First generation immigrant residents here (that is, the children of immigrants born here; my father was first generation) typically have smaller families than their immigrant parents. Second generation families (my mother was second generation) are smaller still. Without an explosion in immigration into the United States like that in the 1980’s the U.S. population will begin heading toward zero population growth. (Japan has already been at negative population growth, Germany getting there.) That means more older people than younger people.

At some point in the not so distant future, grumpy middle aged Millennials will outnumber post-Millennials, and yet another generation will be outvoted by their parents and grandparents. But it will be their turn soon enough, because unless people decide to start having four and five kids again, this cycle of outvoted 18-30 years olds is locked in. This declining birth rate over generations has been the trend throughout the rest of the western world incidentally (indeed, birth rates are dropping through out most of the world outside of Africa and a few scattered Asia states such as the Philippines, also an exporter of its own people like Latin America once was). The US has been the exception to the birth rate decline only because we have so many immigrants (far more than any other western country). The notion that the youth will revolutionize the US political system by voting as a bloc–Bernie Sanders’ plan–will fade as there will be so many more older people voting than younger people. Elections will be decided by the elderly (with a voting rate of well over 70%) and the middle aged (with a voting rate of 50-60%, increasing with age). If Millennials (who vote at 30-40%) are able to change the balance this year and turn the country left, it will probably be the last time it ever happens. From now on elections will turn on those middle aged and elderly voters, and soon the over 60’s voters will decide elections until most of the Boomers, at long last, have gone on to that Woodstock in the Sky.

It’s important to remember that while there are more 18-30 year olds today in sheer numbers than there were 18-30 year old baby boomers, that the population of Millennials today is less in proportion to the voting population. It’s true that the nation’s population has grown considerably since, say, 1968. Nearly doubled. (And grown nearly three times since Baby Boomers began being made in the 1940’s.) But the birth rate has plunged since the days that Baby Boomers were born and as a result the population today has aged dramatically. Lowering the voting age to 18 was offset long ago by the increased lifespan, health and extended political involvement of the over sixties population. It is immigrants alone–the vast majority of them Latin American and Asian–who have kept the US from approaching zero population growth. Indeed it is due to immigrants that we have the highest birth rate of any industrialized country. But immigrants simply do not vote in the same numbers as non-immigrants, and even their children vote less than non-immigrant children. Those children once they are 18-30 cannot make up for the declining birth rate of the rest of the population 18-30. It takes two or three generations for that voting rate imbalance to work itself out.

But as immigration from Latin America tapers off as it has been doing steadily since the 1980’s, those immigrants’ children (first generation Americans, in the jargon) will eventually have a birth rate will of 2-3 children per mother, which will not offset the increased lifespans of Americans. Boomers can expect to live into their eighties. That enormous age bubble will offset the Millennials’ youthful political exuberance completely. It’s the Leisureworldization of America. By the time that Boomers have finally died off in enough numbers, Millennials will be in their forties, voting now in greater number as middle aged people do, but also turning away from the Left and turning towards the center in large numbers, as middle aged also people do. In the meantime we Baby Boomers maintain such a stranglehold on American culture that when our rock stars die Millennials mourn, something we never did for our parents’ big band heroes and crooners. We laughed.

This year Millennials backed their candidate for the Democratic nomination by up to 85%, yet they were still unable to beat the over forty voters. And those were just Democrats. Add Republicans into the mix and Millennial voting strength is diluted even more. While a strong Millennial turn out can provide a winning margin, there simply are not enough 18-30 year olds to control the issues. Most of Bernie Sanders’ issues have disappeared as Hillary and Trump battle for the middle ground where Boomers are vacillating. Had the young Boomers voted in a bloc like Millennials do now, they could have had some powerful influence. But Boomers didn’t. We split our vote, a few more of us voting Democrat than Republican. In large parts of the country Baby Boomers were the soldiers of the Reagan Revolution. You don’t see that with Millennials. They are far more to the left as a bloc than we were. But there are not enough of them. Nor will there ever will be. The baby boom is a long lived demographic bubble that in sheer numbers keeps Millennials from initiating the changes they so passionately desire. By the time we boomers die off most Millennials will have lost the fire and sunk into their comfy chairs. Some will even become ardent conservatives. Will they go as far to the right as so many Baby Boomers did? Unlikely, you don’t veer that far from your young roots and a lot more Millennials are off on the Left now than there ever were Boomers on the left. But most voters do change with age, even middle age, they get less fired up, less fond of rallies, more fond of moderation and cautiously incremental approaches. Mature they call it. Under thirty voters call it other things. Yet the same transformation will happen to Millennials in a decade or so. Perhaps then the generation following the Millennials, whatever we will call them, will pick up the banner. Though there is nothing saying they will be as far to the left as their Millennial parents. Kids, you know.

Brokered convention

(Predictions for the nomination races written in early December, 2015)

The last time the GOP had a brokered convention was 1976, when the delegate count was so close a credentials vote–over whether Mississippi’s Ford or Reagan slate of delegates would be seated–was required to break the impasse. Ford’s slate won the vote, but just barely, and he was renominated. But the damage was done and Carter won that year. It was the last gasp of the old Eisenhower GOP, by 1980 Reagan conservatives, embittered by their loss at the 1976 convention, swept the party and convention and the liberal wing (that had been so essential in getting Civil Rights, social security, welfare and environmental laws passed over the objections of Southern Democrats–all of whom are Republicans now) ceased to be. The moderate Republicans clung on longer but are mostly gone. By now the GOP seems split between conservatives and flat out crazy conservatives. So brokered conventions seem to have lasting consequences. The last time the Democrats came close to a brokered convention was 1968 and the repercussions followed into 1972, when the left, furious at the treatment in Chicago in 1968 (tear gassed, among other things), gamed the process and got McGovern nominated. Alas, he was no Ronald Reagan as far as vote getting went, instead he was our Barry Goldwater.

So what does all this mean? Well, the odds of a brokered Democratic convention are near nil, Bernie will be beat solidly and early in the primaries. [Ha! Now there’s a prediction…. Yet Bernie was, actually, he was stomped on early and regularly thereafter, but no one knew in 2015 that he’d be able to raise 200 million dollars online and keep indefatigably pressing on, if never catching up, till the bitter end, and making an exciting and ideologically passionate race of what most of us political junkies thought back then was sure to be a snoozer. But I digress….] And the chances of a brokered Republican convention? Maybe, maybe not. Yet with Trump and now Carson both going mad dog and threatening to bolt the party should it appear there is a party establishment effort to block them, the results for the GOP are dire at best. Right now they are more interested in saving the party–the old Reagan GOP, this time–from being seized by crazed Trump revolutionaries. After all, Reagan’s people had seized the party the same way in 1980, and they know what it means for the old order. But the GOP has been riding Trump’s crazy beast for years now, kissing Rush Limbaugh’s ass and giving in to the extreme right at every opportunity, now suddenly and inexplicably it has turned on them. The GOP had thought all along they could control the reins and there was no danger of anyone Rush Limbaugh-like could ever have a shot at the nomination. But Trump has proven them wrong. There are more Republicans now who think of Trump as one of them than there are not. And if there’s anything a typical Republican hates it’s a RINO (Republican In Name Only), and suddenly all these Trump loving Republican voters consider the party itself to be RINO. As the race develops these next couple months the only thing a Trump voter will hate more than Moslems is another Republican.

Well, maybe. It’s early, and we have no idea what will happen. But keep you eye on Super Tuesday, that is March 1. There are a dozen primaries and caucuses that day, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. If Trump is as popular with Republican voters in those southern and/or Bible Belt states as he is right now in South Carolina (which votes a week earlier), then he could well sweep them all. Toss in some of the other states that day and Trump will come out of Super Tuesday with a juggernaut, and he can pile on southern states Kentucky and Louisiana on March 5, Mississippi on March 8, and three of the five states in the March 15 primary Florida, North Carolina and Missouri. By that date, almost every state south of the Mason-Dixon line has voted in a presidential primary. The north and west dominate the next two months, not that it matters much. Candidates who sweep the south tend to win the nomination, as every single southern state has their primary in the first six weeks of the primary a schedule. It’s one of the ways that southerners control the Republican nomination process, and it’s one of the ways that the Republicans have been driven so far to the right. Trump knows this, and has positioned himself to sweep those nativist southern republicans voters off their feet. The more he yells about Muslims, the more they love him down there.

And once he nails every one of those states–as he probably will–there might well be nothing left to stop him but back room deals at a brokered convention. Provided there are other candidates who have won enough delegates to keep Trump from coming into the convention with enough to win the nomination outright. And then there’s this…”a new Republican National Committee rule that requires any GOP nominee win a majority of delegates from eight different states”. Which guarantees a mad scramble as candidates beg other candidates to withdraw and release their hard won delegates to them. Imagine the promises made during those conversations. It’s impossible to figure out ahead of time how many delegates a candidate will get…each state has their own method of allotting them. Even if Trump wins every state I mentioned it does not mean he gets all the delegates. He’ll get most, but not all. But somebody besides Trump will have to win at least eight primaries and have access to enough delegates to keep Trump from winning the nomination before the convention even convenes. Not only to stay in contention, but to keep Trump from winning the number of delegates he needs before the primaries are even over. As it looks now, Trump doing just that is a likely scenario. If there are any more attacks like in San Bernardino, that likelihood becomes all the more certain.

But here is the Republican establishment hope: that the anti-Trump vote in the Republican primary is high enough so that he did not quite get the number he needs for the nomination, and that those anti-Trump delegates would do anything but vote for Donald Trump, and that one candidate besides Trump manages to win a minimum of eight states. Those are high hopes, but they are feasible. Then (and only then) is there a possibility of a brokered convention. Of course that also means Donald Trump very likely storming off in a huff and announcing a third party bid, and of the Republican Party, at least at a presidential level, flushing itself down the toilet. They might even lose Congress.

But what the hell, they got the state legislatures and governorships sewn up. We handed the states over to the GOP and have paid for it ever since. So even the worst possible outcome for the GOP in 2016–a split party and a Democratic blow out–leaves them with a solid base to rebuild from. Donald Trump is a one time freakout. The GOP will revive.

This was originally an endless Facebook post about this CNN story: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/10/politics/rnc-brokered-convention-preparation/