Many liberals are certain that a Donald Trump presidency would be an unprecedented fiasco, but The Washington Monthly’s D.R. Tucker isn’t among them. In a Sunday post, Tucker suggested that in terms of racism and overall “incompetence,” a Trump administration would be a sort of sequel to George W. Bush’s, and speculated that Republicans who are backing Hillary Clinton may be, “on a very subtle psychological level…acknowledging that [Trump] would equal, if not surpass, Dubya in his dimwittedness.”
There’s a famous line attributed to Henry Kissinger about the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s: “It's a pity they can't both lose.” Left-wing Washington Monthly blogger David Atkins adapted Kissinger’s quip for his Tuesday post about whether “vicious, ignorant megalomaniac” Donald Trump is “more contemptible” than “steely-eyed devotee of Ayn Rand” Paul Ryan.
In a few months, Barack Obama will become the fifth post-World War II president to serve two full terms. The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Obama tops the other four in terms of “popularity and moral credibility,” as indicated not only by the positive reception Obama got for his Wednesday-night DNC speech boosting Hillary Clinton, but by the public’s curiosity beforehand about what he’d have to say. In a Thursday post, Longman contrasted Obama with the other two-termers at their last convention as POTUS.
One of NewsBusters’ most prominent readers, Rush Limbaugh, gave us a shout-out Monday during his radio program as he reflected on his success and longevity (next Monday, The Rush Limbaugh Show marks its 28th anniversary in national syndication). Limbaugh discussed a Sunday NB post which centered on a Washington Monthly blogger’s allegations that he has left a “sick stain” and a “loathsome legacy,” and that he has “removed all traces of logic, reason, decency, civility and compassion from the party of Abraham Lincoln.” In citing our post, Rush called NewsBusters “one of our favorite websites…part of the show prep” before commenting on the origins of his show as well as on blogger D. R. Tucker’s invective.
Paul Krugman claimed recently that the Republican party “went over the edge…when supply-side economics became [its] official doctrine.” The Washington Monthly’s D.R. Tucker reveres Krugman, but he has a different choice for “the moment when the GOP truly lost it”: August 1, 1988, when Rush Limbaugh’s radio show went national. Tucker argued that Limbaugh has "removed all traces of logic, reason, decency, civility and compassion from the party of Abraham Lincoln."
By the sheer size of his audience, many millions of Americans have disagreed, answering "Yes" to Time magazine's question on the cover in 1995: "Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?" Of course liberals say no.
The police and Black Lives Matter may seem like strange bedfellows, but that’s not the case, claims longtime journalist Steven Waldman. In fact, Waldman thinks the two should join forces against “the most anti-police organization in America”: the National Rifle Association. “Both police and African Americans feel under siege,” wrote Waldman in a Monday article for The Washington Monthly. “The issue that can best unite these communities is one of the most divisive: gun control." Waldman suggested that the NRA also has repeatedly and systematically belittled the men and women in blue: “They peddle the lie that America’s police are so ineffective…that regular people must arm themselves. That’s at the heart of the increasingly dominant notion…that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good civilian guy with a gun."
When citing instances of “the worst in human behavior,” reasonable choices include the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and whatever ISIS did today. In a Sunday post, Washington Monthly blogger D. R. Tucker offered an absurdly unreasonable choice: the last ten Republican national conventions. Tucker did comment hopefully that “perhaps this year’s GOP convention will be so sick, so sordid, so sour that the general election will effectively be over by the end of July.”
Though the Brexit debate didn’t break down along ideological lines, some liberal writers focused their morning-after scorn on pro-Leave conservatives. Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall wrote that American conservatives rooted for Brexit because of “the same turn back…the clock to glory nonsense that animates Trumpism…American conservative glee [over Brexit] is just a retreat to the tribalism at the core [of] its nature.” The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Brexit further decreases the chance of a Trump win: “There’s a lot of speculation that something similar could happen here in America in our presidential election. But giving the American people a few months to witness the shitstorm created by this right-wing tantrum in England probably makes that less likely than ever.”
In a Sunday post, The Washington Monthly’s D.R. Tucker urged Bern-feelers to follow the example of conservatives who “rebounded from Barry Goldwater’s spectacular  loss [and became] a dominant force. By forming influential think tanks and media outlets, pressuring the mainstream press to focus on issues right-wingers considered important, and voting consistently in even the most ‘minor’ of elections, the right seized power…Barry Goldwater was not the man to lead a conservative revolution, but he unquestionably inspired one. Perhaps [Sanders’s] supporters could pick up where his campaign left off and lead a revolutionary effort to move this country to the left.”
Megyn Kelly as an unofficial campaign surrogate for Donald Trump? That’s how Washington Monthly blogger D.R. Tucker cast her when he posited that this year’s presidential contest boils down to “a fight between Rachel Maddow’s America and Megyn Kelly’s America.”
“The presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential candidates embody the distinctive traits of” Maddow and Kelly, contended Tucker in a Sunday post. “Hillary Clinton has all of Maddow’s wisdom, chapter-and-verse policy knowledge, and courage,” whereas “Donald Trump is the male Kelly, someone who has become famous as a result of irresponsible and undeserved media hype, someone who has been able to fool millions into believing he has substance.”
One demographic group you won’t see mentioned in poll results from Quinnipiac, Monmouth, or pretty much anywhere else is “aggressive a**hole[s].” Nonetheless, according to Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman, such voters have constituted the key bloc in this year’s Republican presidential primary-and-caucus process.
“If you take the electorate and subtract every laid off mechanic and guy over 40 who obsessively fantasizes about being a successful golf pro, [Donald] Trump’s support approaches zero,” asserted Longman in a Thursday post. “The GOP has been so denuded of ordinary people that the aggressive a**hole vote is now a big enough plurality of the party to decide their nomination. This becomes doubly clear when you realize that the main alternative to Trump is Ted Cruz, who almost defines the aforementioned term of non-endearment.”
If judicial review means that the U.S. Supreme Court is a de facto super-legislature that can in effect supersede actual legislatures, that’s fine with Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman. In a Wednesday post, Longman acknowledged that certain SCOTUS rulings over the past several decades have been politically motivated, but argued that those were appropriate remedies for the “deplorable and inexcusable wrongness” of conservatives on issues such as abortion.
Longman’s peg was Charles Grassley’s speech this past week criticizing recent SCOTUS decisions, such as the two in favor of Obamacare, that in Grassley’s view were based on “policy preferences” rather than on the Constitution.