Category Archives: Politics

Tony Blair’s strategic move to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader

Contrary to popular opinion, Tony Blair is not an idiot – idiots don’t win three general elections. Furthermore, Blair isn’t out of sync with the British people either. A classy manipulator, the former prime minister used his anti-Brexit speech not to orchestrate an uprising against Britain’s departure from the European Union, but to strike a blow closer to home.

Blair’s move is a bold and strategic effort to oust Labour leader and destructor Jeremy Corbyn, by dousing petrol on an already rip-roaring fire.

There’s no coincidence that he gave his high-profile whinge less than a week before two crunch by-elections – one in Copeland, the other in Stoke-on-Trent. The former went 62 percent for Leave while the latter chalked up a whopping 70 percent Brexit vote. Both are, at least for a few more days, Labour-held constituencies. If Blair has his way, neither will be come 24 February.

Why does Blair want Labour to lose? Because two by-election losses by a party in opposition would undoubtedly spell doom for their leader, especially as a Stoke-on-Trent Central defeat equates to a UK Independence Party and Paul Nuttall triumph. With UKIP promising to leech on Labour’s northern, working class vote, a Stoke win would knock the first brick from the wall.

Bookmakers have Copeland trending towards the Tories, while Labour are narrow favourites in Stoke following Nuttall’s Hillsborough gaffe, which is appropriately now old news. In 2015, the combined UKIP-Tory Stoke vote bested Labour, making a purple heist and a first home-grown UKIP parliamentary win realistic.

Blair has no stock as a positive influence – you’ll struggle to find a more loathed British politician, and he’s not blinded by narcissism enough to be unaware. However, being loathed brings a few benefits, not least Blair’s ability to be a negative influence.

With more than two decades’ experience in understanding and capitalising on the public’s psyche, Blair, like President Donald Trump, knows exactly what to say to get exactly what he wants. Give it a fortnight and no one will care what this political has-been said, but for the next few days it’s juicy content.

What better Brexit rallying cry than a detested ex-PM who wants to thwart the will of the British people? It’ll likely be even more effective in Stoke, since immigration concerns are invariably blamed on Blair and Labour. Brexiteers are already cashing in, their obvious narratives sure winners. We may even see a Blair piñata before the show’s over.

It’s unlikely there’d ever be an era suited to a Blair comeback, but you won’t find tougher than this anti-establishment one. But Labour rightly realise that Calamity Corbyn has to go, and anything which can bring that reality closer will be secretly cheered – there’s no way Corbyn critic Tristram Hunt wasn’t aware of the implications when he resigned from Stoke either.

For all the talk of a strong democracy having a strong opposition, the last thing Conservatives and Brexiteers need at this moment is Corbyn’s resignation. His haplessness gives Theresa May and her government the necessary breathing space – and huge polling lead – to handle the country’s trickiest negotiations in generations.

An effective opposition would be primed to cash in on perhaps inevitable Brexit fallout with their vision for the nation. Instead, Corbyn, a closet Brexiter who choked and campaigned to Remain, took months to try and establish his party’s position on the issue – not helped by a poorly-timed leadership contest – before leaving many incandescent after giving May a “blank cheque”.

For Labour, the party’s survival is much more important than backlash from Moany Tony’s speech – short-term pain for long-term gain. If Blair’s blathering compromises Labour next week, Corbyn could be out soon after, starting a difficult but not impossible search for a talented leader in a talentless party.

Brexiteers should hold off on the celebrations for now.

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Why I stopped listening to LBC

LBC (Leading Britain’s Conversation) does pretty well for itself these days. The UK’s most popular speech radio station has cashed in on the glut of wannabe politicos, who’ve relished in the social media boom to believe they’re more important than they actually are.

If you regularly muse on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr (okay, nobody serious uses Tumblr) you’re guilty of said self-obsession – I know I am. I wish I wasn’t such a narcissist.

One of the most ignored “isms” on the rise, narcissism isn’t shunned because there’s a lot of capital to be made from it. Narcissists tend not to be the smartest eggs but they do fancy themselves, which plays right into LBC’s hands.

LBC loves a narcissist, even more so if they’re an unintelligent one with a big ego, as they can bring in their own big ego host to slap them down, knowing they’ll “win” an argument purely on their debating savvy acquired from hours of droning behind a microphone.

Now, I should point out that it’s not ubiquitous and there are some long-term regular callers who sound thoroughly decent, but they are becoming few and far between.

When you ring into LBC – as I regrettably did on three occasions to talk about the electoral system, the European Union and fat people – you get pre-screened to see whether you’re up to the task. Qualifications, however, seem not to include being smart or having anything original to add to the conversation.

I’m a bit outlandish, a rabble-rouser – you have to be unique, controversial or simply an arse to write for a living nowadays (a combination of all three helps – so I, unwittingly, fit the bill perfectly.

“You simply must hear what this caller had to say about the EU,” their clickbait professional will tweet out. Having a broad Somerset accent would have only added to the circus-like theatre. While none of my calls ever received an ego-satisfying “OMG LISTEN TO THIS” tweet, LBC is usually good for a couple a show. Let’s have a gander at their recent ones:

On 30 January, Iain Dale – who, in fairness, hosts an enjoyable weekday show between 4pm and 7pm – was put up against a fact-free Floridian Trump supporter.

Indeed, Dale himself said that the caller didn’t know what they were talking about. Surely this would have been apparent during pre-screening and they would have recognised this and denied them a spot on air. But no, Sherri from Clearwater, FL, was the perfect low-information Trump fan that they could exploit for, well, not knowing very much.

And then they struck the motherlode – Sherri cut the call. Crazy radio moment: tick. Trump advocate looking like an idiot: tick. Viral material: tick.

If LBC aren’t parading a wacky caller, they’re chucking out bait masquerading as a question to get one on the line.

James O’Brien’s “unmissable reaction” to something – usually Trump or Brexit – will be tweeted, or a deliberately wild quote from new and newish LBC provocateurs, Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins, will be posted. Follow their Twitter feed for a fortnight if you suspect me to be nit-picking.

Don’t get me wrong, radio is better than the telly in the UK as you can say more and get away with more – it’s what makes Fox News and MSNBC appealing to conservative and liberal Americans. Opinionated news and bashful debate is much more attractive than beige reporting which you probably think is biased against you anyway.

That’s why LBC is fun for a bit. If you’re a politics addict – and right now, how could you not be? – the station is mighty enjoyable, at first. But after a few weeks or months you see the flaw: there’s not a lot else to do it.

Listening to LBC’s “debates” will do nothing to improve your knowledge of a topic. With hosts firmly on the Left, staunchly on the Right and a few floating in the centre, there’s not an overall bias issue, just a quality one.

You’ll either be subject to a few minutes of caller-presenter love-in, or a deliberately aggressive battle between two hotheads which is remembered more for insults than substance.

There’s nothing surprising about absurdity on LBC, it’s a stock trait. And once you’ve clocked that they don’t only welcome it, but pre-plan the chaos, the novelty erodes and so does the will to listen.

At least that’s what happened with me.

A list of everybody who absolutely destroyed Donald Trump in 2016

​Donald J. Trump really has been the gift that’s kept on giving over the past 18 months. His presidential bid was literally hilarious and provided all of the highly-respected late-night liberal TV hosts a never-ending wealth of material that could be condensed – either daily or weekly –  into YouTube clips and shared across social media.

Trump’s brash, triggering style, which earned him widespread condemnation from our favourite Hollywood stars and paved the way for Hillary Clinton’s storming victory in the popular vote.

Here’s a list of everybody who absolutely destroyed Donald Trump in 2016:

The end.

Donald Trump’s route to 270 is fiendish, but he only needs 269 – and here’s how he could do it

It’s no secret that Donald Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is much tougher than Hillary Clinton’s. Simply nailing down Pennsylvania and one of Florida, North Carolina or Ohio would effectively block Trump’s route to the White House.

However, there’s one caveat hardly anyone seems to be considering, and it could just be pivotal. Trump doesn’t need a path to 270, just to 269 – and there’s a realistic set of states that can get him there.

A 269-269 tie would result in an electoral college deadlock, at which point the House of Representatives would pick the next president, while the Senate would choose the next vice president.

Let’s make two assumptions: one, that the House will still belong to the GOP after the election (a near certainty), and that two, that GOP House would make Trump president should they get the opportunity (yes, I know it’s 2016, but surely, surely they would).

Anyway, enough wonky politics and what-ifs, and into the mathematics.

Since Clinton’s route is so easy, it’s much more revealing to focus solely on how Trump could defeat her – well, tie it up. Providing nothing bizarre happens and The Donald keeps Texas, Georgia and Arizona (a state that’s in true toss-up territory but would likely go Trump’s way should he win the other states needed for this avenue) in the red column, he would have 191 electoral votes.

Iowa, the Hawkeye State, will perhaps be Trump’s easiest state to win that Romney failed to. Polls have consistently shown the GOP nominee leading and, although he has slipped, the slight movement back toward him late on should be enough to win here. That’s 197.

Head eastwards to the Buckeye State of Ohio and Trump has 18 electoral votes that have trended his way, narrowly, for a while. Despite not securing the support of the state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, he has eked out a small edge of around one or two points over Clinton. Flipping this Obama-won state seems more likely than not. That’s 215.

Down to the Panhandle and the Sunshine State of Florida. The prize? A mighty 29 electoral votes in the increasingly diverse state. A notorious election-decider, Florida has swayed back and forth intriguingly during this election cycle.

Both Trump and Clinton secured thumping wins in their respective primaries, and are now neck-and-neck in the polls seven days out. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll gave Trump a four-point lead, while an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll put Clinton one point up. If the FBI bombshell does indeed harm Clinton, Trump may reap the rewards. That’s 244.

North Carolina was won by Romney in 2012 by two percent, but it’s a state that Trump is having significant difficulty with. The early voting has given off blurry signals but the polling has hinted at a Clinton win (as of November 1, she has a 3.3-point advantage according to RealClearPolitics.

A big turnout for Trump on Election Day, and the Tar Heel State has a large number of independents which will likely determine it, and he, like Romney, could tip the Cinton-leaning scales post-early voting. Humour me and make this assumption, and that’s 259.

These scoops would still put Trump 10 short of the tie, taking his quest to Colorado, the 420 blaz… Centennial State, where nine more votes are up for grabs. The Clinton camp thought Colorado was in the bag months back and pulled advertising, allowing Trump to drastically close the gap.

A calamitous early-to-mid October arrested Democrat concerns but the state isn’t a guarantee, with a CBS/YouGov poll putting Clinton just three points up in the sparsely-polled state. Recent Remington Research findings have her one point ahead, although this pollster is Republican aligned. Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac poll conducted more than a fortnight ago had Clinton’s lead at eight. In short, the polling is a mess, but points toward a small to medium HRC win, yet with limited confidence.

Ballots are already being mailed in and Trump has also been pressing hard recently there. Colorado is a tough task, but it looks far more viable than the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin paths being touted by talking heads. If he does complete the heist then that’s 268. One short.

They do things differently up in the Pine Tree State of Maine (and Nebraska too, for that matter). While two electoral votes are available for a statewide win, one additional vote is given to the winner of the state’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts. The limited polling indicates Trump is a good bet for the latter. Things have been volatile and his prospects are nowhere near as bright as in September, where he enjoyed double-digit leads, but it definitely looks doable. And if he does, that’s 269 and likely the presidency.

Fail that, and Nevada’s six electoral votes could nudge him north of 270.

trump-269

It’s a thin, treacherous tightrope and one Trump has a greater chance of falling off than walking across, but it offers a glimmer of hope that the proposed Rust Belt strategy doesn’t seem to. Barring a big polling error, foreseeable in these Brexit times of course, in Pennsylvania or Michigan (which missed Bernie Sanders’ primary win by 20 points), that route looks blocked for Trump.

Anyway, back to the original premise: the idea that 269 being enough for Trump could make all the difference. It’d be bizarre, wacky, unprecedented and bonkers. But has there been a more bizarre, wacky, unprecedented and bonkers election than 2016?

 

Donald Trump is politically bombproof but politically incompetent

Donald Trump is staggeringly unpopular in the United Kingdom, with most miffed about how a campaign such as his could gain the astonishing traction it has. The majority of those then conclude that racism isn’t dead across the pond and that demagogues can win because, hey, look what happened in the 1930s.

These are unsurprising assumptions from those who dip in and out of the race and need constant reminders of how the electoral college works. They aren’t wholly wrong, but they can’t truly understand what’s going on as they aren’t immersed in the madcap reality Americans currently are.

Trump has gone after Mexico, China and goodness knows where else, but his most persistent and successful attacks have been levelled at an enemy much closer to home: the mainstream media.

Trump laid the groundwork for this when he kicked off his campaign, and has continued to build on it throughout. Barely a rally goes by without a fierce probe on the ‘dishonest press’ for not panning the crowd or reporting accurately – or at least Trump’s version of accurately. Cringe-inducing tweets about a “dopey” journalist or how much of a disaster former promoter Morning Joe is come morning, noon and night too.

This war on the media has proven mightily effective, so much so that he can easily spout a plethora of lies and half-truths before dodging the splashback. Harsh criticism of Trump from the media, whether it’s warranted or not, screams of, “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” to his fervent followers, many of whom then visit their chosen online right-wing source for the “real” news, if only for confirmation bias.

Americans’ trust in the mass media is at a historical low, with just 32 percent saying they have either a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust, according to a recent Gallup poll – an 8-percent decline from a year ago. Much of that can be attributed to Trump, who has simply exploited the omnipresent scepticism of mainstream media. Moreover, a CNN poll discovered that 50 percent deem Trump trustworthy. That’s a whopping 18 percent higher than the media’s trust ratings, and 15 percent greater than Hillary Clinton’s, his presidential adversary.

It’s what makes fact-checking a waste of time too, even from those doing it diligently with noble intentions.

Trump’s lies are pretty obvious – like when he called Clinton the co-founder of Islamic State who, as we all know, was in cahoots with President Barack Obama. Or when he said that Clinton would “abolish the Second Amendment”. But if a voter isn’t picking up on his brazen lies from the off, they aren’t about to do so from a smarmy know-it-all whose reputation Trump has directly or indirectly chipped away at.

Independent fact-checkers are a bit better, but once into the muddier waters of half-lies and half-truths, the implicit bias of the author will inevitably slip in, no matter how much they strive to be impartial.

Not to mention, those with the time and desire to traipse through a fact-checking sheet are likely to be well aware of the happenings of the election and the world to have worked out the “pants on fire” stuff for themselves. Fact-checking is a tool made by political junkies for political junkies, so trapped in their echo chamber that they think everyone cares about the new CNN poll for Pennsylvania and the subtleties of the crosstabs.

Trump is nigh on politically bombproof to media criticism; it’s his penchant for a personal dogfight which has harmed him – borne out of his thin skin and political inexperience. A sweeping generalisation on illegal Mexican immigrants being rapists is forgotten because it’s political, a singular attack from an oafish Trump on an undeserving target isn’t since it’s personal – a big guy going after a little guy doesn’t play well, unless that little guy is Marco Rubio.

Had Trump buried the Obama birther debate years ago, left Judge Gonzalo Curiel alone and responded respectfully with an olive branch to the Gold Star Khan family, he would probably be on his way to victory, simply because despite all of this it’s still a very tight race, largely because – on a personal level at least – Clinton is also an appalling candidate whose image has plummeted.

But, of course, that’s not in his nature, and Democrats are ever-grateful it isn’t, for it has given them plenty of juicy ad material and nice bait for Trump to hook himself with, as Clinton demonstrated in the first debate.

It comes from Trump’s belief that “all publicity is good publicity” and that as a counter-puncher, if someone, anyone, hits him – or he perceives them to have – then he must whack back twice as hard. That may work in business, but on the political battlefield, it’s about knowing when to pick or avoid fights.

If Trump loses by a big margin on November 8, something looking increasingly unlikely, he and his ideas would have been firmly rejected. A narrow defeat, however, it would be because the electorate deemed the orator of those ideas too inarticulate and lacking the political savvy to be a safe pair of hands in the White House.

But if Trump wins, it won’t be because of policy, for he has few. Nor will it solely be down to his brash outsider status. No, the main reason will be because he took on the media, discredited them further and, in doing so, made himself immune – even when he had no right to be.

How Donald Trump conned conservatives

The reality of a con doesn’t truly set in until you know you’ve been had with no chance of an exit – a Trexit, if you will. At this point, solely to save face, you’ll scramble to convince others and most importantly yourself that it isn’t that bad and pretty much what you wanted in the first place.

This is the predicament many of Donald Trump’s fiercest supporters find themselves in after his most stunning flip-flop yet. Newsflash: the original vote-garnering plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants is not going to happen.

Instead, the attempted new and kinder politics (has he been taking tips from Jeremy Corbyn?) from The Donald has offered up some thoughts that it’s “tough” to deport those who’ve been here for a long time and if they pay back taxes then all will be fine and dandy. I know, it doesn’t sound like him either.

No one has been left smarting more than Ann Coulter, the renowned author so strongly supportive of the real estate magnate since he announced his candidacy last June.

She has already stated that the tour for her new book In Trump We Trust could be the “shortest book-tour ever” if he comes up empty on immigration. But, true to the form of somebody too far invested to get out at this late stage, Coulter herself now seems to be softening on the issue.

“Perhaps it is in our interest to let some of them stay,” she mused, buyer’s remorse on full display. After all, the wall’s still going up, for now, and shipping 11 million out was never going to work anyway, was it? And some of them, I suppose, are good people – aren’t they? Correct, Ann.

It’s a far cry from the chatter that had Coulter and co stumping for Trump as he battled off RINOs and Lyin’ Ted prior to and during the primaries. While Trump himself may never have been committed, Coulter and the likes of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) – who is reluctantly contemplating concessions – were then and are now.

But they are in such a hole, with trusted conservative Cruz long gone and Trump confirmed as the nominee, that they have little choice but to stay on the train. After all, what happens if conservatives back out on Trump now? They get Hillary Clinton. And whatever the fallout of the GOP cart crashing and burning in November, it still wouldn’t be as bad as aiding a Clinton victory. The doors are locked and they’re in it to win it, at whatever cost to their principles – except for Cruz, who now looks ripe for a second coming should Trump fall short.

While it’s true that Trump’s bid is not entirely fuelled by his immigration stance (during the primaries, many Republican voters cited the economy as their biggest concern, particularly further north), his positions in this field have dominated his campaign’s narrative.

Hence, flip-flops in other areas were forgivable, with Trump voters consoling themselves that whatever happens in other areas, the immigration package is being sold as promised.

Conservatives are now lumped with a candidate espousing similar views to Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, without the much-needed caveats of electoral advantage and smooth delivery. At least with those weak, low-energy choices, the chances of getting into the most obscene and unnecessary spats is negligible. Even in the unlikelihood these incidents haven’t done Trump damage, they certainly haven’t helped and have prevented him from going all-out on (Crooked) Hillary.

We now have a scenario where the new, admittedly 70-year-old kid on the political block is forcing some give out of even the most hardened immigration voices. Perhaps he is the ultimate negotiator after all.

How Donald Trump took over the Republican Party – but could he be Hillary’s secret agent?

Does Donald Trump want to be president of the United States? Only Donald Trump knows. That he has invested eight months of his time into becoming the Republican nominee suggests he does, however, a lifetime of liberal views indicates he does not – at least not on a GOP ticket.

The ‘out there’ theory that Trump is Hillary Clinton’s secret agent, sent in to complete the destruction of a party that has fissured greatly during Barack Obama’s presidency, has remained just that – out there. But the 2016 race has contained more political theatre than even Frank Underwood could summon up.

On the surface it makes a degree of sense, although it could admittedly be dismissed as a logical fallacy. Trump has bulldozed his way in, ripped open wounds in the party that are on the brink of becoming irreparable (if they aren’t already), and played on the often-implied prejudices of a party that is going to find it harder and harder to win as America’s demographics change forever.

Let’s assess the Trump predicament in more depth. The GOP has an unstoppable candidate that it does not want, but that its voters – by and large – do. Since cruising down the Trump Tower escalator on 16 June last year, The Donald has exposed the frustrations of Republican voters, and harnessed them to create an undeniable movement. Immigration? Build a wall. Washington politicians? Stuff ‘em. Nabisco? No more Oreos. There are few concrete solutions (except the wall), but the frontrunner’s plans are still better than anything else Republicans have heard over the past eight years.

Until now, moderates, evangelicals, libertarians and Tea Partiers have been kept under the umbrella, despite their many differences. One goal they are all invested in, however, is preventing another Democrat, Hillary Clinton in particular, from securing the White House for another term. It just so happens that the man leading that charge invited her to his wedding, donated to her foundation and was lavishing praise on her until just a few years ago.

Four years ago, arch-libertarian Ron Paul threatened to take the GOP by storm. This time around, his son Rand failed to even make it to the ‘Live Free or Die’ state of New Hampshire – that Republicans are now turning towards a big government leader indicates they were never interested in full-scale freedom or liberty.

But far more incredible than courting the party with libertarian streaks, Trump has become the darling of evangelicals too, despite the presence of Ted Cruz. Trump claims to have evolved from previous pro-choice views and also states that he is firmly for traditional marriage – which is quite believable since he has had three.

Other incidents that would have been complete no-nos for other Republican candidates include Trump’s slightly questionable history on the Second Amendment, and his comment on ‘Obamacare’ that he “liked the mandate”, which is one of the most loathed parts of it. In short, considering Trump’s rocky ride and ideological clashes with key wings of the GOP, it’s remarkable that he has been able to assert and maintain such a strong lead.

Trump is a rare breed of politician who is truly Teflon. You could write a book on all of his election gaffes: from Megyn Kelly to John McCain, from “Two Corinthians” to the Pope.  Barring his blip in Iowa – and everyone knows they can’t pick a winner – Trump has been impenetrable. He made good on his massive New Hampshire lead, eased home in South Carolina despite an all-out attack on the Bushes and then hammered home his advantage taking nearly half of the vote in the Nevada Caucus.

It’s a hostile takeover that has caught the Republican Party off-guard, even though they had nearly a year to prepare themselves for it. Marco Rubio is their last hope, and his campaign will be over if Trump bests him in his home state of Florida on 15 March – polls give the latter a comfortable lead, even in a one-on-one showdown with Rubio. Cruz, the only other feasible candidate left, is even more detested by Republican high-rankers than Trump.

The GOP has no choice: it must get behind Trump and hope beyond hope that he does want the top prize. Establishment Republicans have come out of the woodwork, saying they would prefer a Clinton presidency to a Trump one, and that making the Republicans at least maintained control of the Senate this November would be the primary aim. But where would that leave them? With an already hated establishment that not only blew another election, but effectively gave Hillary the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Good luck with that.

In Trump, the GOP has an uncontrollable force. The New Yorker possesses the savvy to dominate the media and direct the conversation – a game-changing skill that can be both beneficial and detrimental. Trump detected the anger among Republicans far better than their party did, and he subsequently tailored his campaign message to articulate those feelings. For at least 35 to 40 percent of GOP voters, Trump is their spokesman. He has energised them in a way no one has since Ronald Reagan. The Republican hierarchy may perceive a Trump general election win to be impossible, but betraying him now would ensure their own doom.

While Trump signed a pledge in September to support the Republican nominee come what may, recent months have shown that it is he who decides whether he is being treated fairly, and that he is not afraid to use it as leverage. Screwing him at the Cleveland convention in July would all but guarantee a third-party bid, which would hand victory to the Democrats. Trump’s passionate base has demonstrated they would rather stick two fingers up to the system than support another do-nothing Washington politician.

The scrambling to stop Trump in recent days is proof of how desperate, fruitless and forlorn things are for the GOP establishment. Months of gently prodding didn’t work; neither did more intellectual attacks from Jeb Bush, leaving Rubio no choice but to try something wacky.

As we approach Super Tuesday, the most delegate-rich day in primary politics, Rubio’s main line of attack is to pick apart Trump’s orangey skin and question whether the billionaire wet himself at the last debate. Trump, not to be outdone at the comedy roadshow, has taken delight in mocking ‘Little Marco’, noting how he sweats profusely and how newly-acquired henchman Chris Christie belittled him at the pre-New Hampshire debate. And they are running to be the Leader of the Free World.

The 2016 election has descended into farce. There will never be another like it and we probably don’t even know half of this story yet. Conventional wisdom suggests Donald Trump is a nutter, and the product of a rapidly-declining Republican Party. But conventional wisdom is defunct. Could Trump really be a plant? With his well-documented history, it wouldn’t be a ‘yuge’ surprise.

The Republicans’ best chance of winning the White House is a former liberal who will ensure their total meltdown if they make any attempt to treat him badly. Who would have ever thought it would come to that?