I find this 100% plausible:
Scoop: @realDonaldTrump was so unsure about @mike_pence that around midnight last night he asked top aides if he could get out of it
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) July 15, 2016
Sources tell me @realDonaldTrump was on phone till midnight making calls, asking if he could change course on VP pick
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) July 15, 2016
Early this morning, Trump’s campaign boss, autocrat-whisperer Paul Manafort, was on TV saying Trump would not make an announcement today out of respect for the victims of last night’s terrorist attack in France. Then, a few hours later, Trump tweeted the announcement about Pence. What gives?
I think Pence caught wind of Trump’s Hamlet act. Pence doesn’t seem very bright at all, but as a long-time pol, he likely has a well-honed instinct for self-preservation. He was hard up against a filing deadline to run for reelection in Indiana (noon today), so maybe he forced Trump into a shotgun marriage.
Or maybe Trump just got bored with the whole thing and settled on Pence to shut everyone up. Either way, let’s hope it stokes tensions and magnifies insecurities all around. With any luck, this could become even more of an epic fail parade.
Really gives you faith in Trump’s ability to navigate a crisis, doesn’t it?
“…autocrat-whisperer Paul Manafort…” Good one.
This is just bizarre, all of it: Trump’s choice of Pence as his running mate, how the announcement of that choice was handled, all of it. It’s just mind-bogglingly bad. But it won’t shake his hard core supporters’ faith in Trump that he’ll bring American jobs back from China.
Open thread – Turkey seems to be in the midst of a military coup. Army out on the streets, two bridges closed, gun battles reported.
It’s not that he was unhappy specifically with Pence. He didn’t want to have a VP at all – he would have had buyer’s remorse with any of them
I have a prime barbecued chicken here which I will offer to the Dark Gods if they can convince Trump to kick Pence off the ticket and switch to Gingrich. I remember how Eagleton messed up McGovern and I’d like to see it again.
Steady hand of decisive leadership.
Wouldn’t you pay good money to sit in a room with these folks for a day, just for the sheer knavish comedy of it all? Of course, then you would need about a month of therapy to get rid of the nightmares that would erupt out of your subconscious like the chest-burster in Alien.
There’s something extremely unsettling about the narrowness and general shape of Dana’s face. And yes, that’s what I got from this post. La Cracky will be so proud.
Just heard “Hate In Yo Eyes” by Ice Cube. Strangely apropos when discussing Trump’s minions.
So those “sources” know they are about to sued, right? Since indecisiveness probably reflects poorly on his leadership skills.
@Bobbo: He wanted Ivanka for VP.
But given Trumps offhand comment that he may not even take office if he wins, it’s not inappropriate to evaluate Pence as if he’ll be the one assuming office.
This is so much fun.
It’s generally not the case that VP picks are seen that much in campaign ads, but I am betting that the HRC shop will be telling their voters a lot about Mike Pence.
Major Major Major Major
@CaseyL: where are you following? I don’t want to rely on Twitter.
I said this in the other thread, but it bears repeating. I know Pence was regarded as the “safe” pick, but I think it could hurt Trump in ways people maybe don’t expect. It’s anecdotal for sure, but over at Reddit I’ve already seen a few people, young independents who supported Sanders, talking about how they were leaning Trump, but the Pence pick has 100% put them off voting for him. They’re going third-party now.
I don’t know that Pence will push many people over to Hillary, but I can see him pushing people away from Trump and over to third-party candidates. Also I’m not sure the guy is ready for prime time. But we’ll see.
@Punchy: My mom used to call her “Horse Face.” She also called my stepmother that.
@Major Major Major Major: Yeah, just Twitter at this point. If it’s happening, it’s happening too fast for regular news. BBC might be a decent source, or Al Jazeerah – I haven’t checked their sites yet.
ETA: Still via Twitter, but apparently Turkey’s PM has confirmed there’s been a coup attempt. Not sure if that means it’s already been put down.
TPM is saying there’s a bunch of military activity in Ankara right now. Maybe a coup.
@CaseyL: Well, Jesus, that’s kind of alarming!
I doubt that it was ever all that likely that Newt had a good shot at VP. He is too much his own guy and could have competed for the spot light with Trump. Unacceptable.
Plus Trump didnt HAVE to make the announcement this morning. He could have reassured Pence that he had the job, Pence could sign off on his gov. campaign, and they both could have have a joint announcement press/conference tomorrow. The way he did it, it just looked rushed and amateurish.
Liz Cookman is a freelance journalist and writer for the Guardian
Someone needs to ask trump about turkey right now. Whatever he says, it will be stupid.
So Pence is sloppy seconds (thirds?) to Trump’s ever-changing whims? I’m sure knowing that he was thisclose to being chosen, then unchosen, by his suitor must instill a lot of confidence and pride to be Trump’s bitch for 5 months.
Seriously, Trump is the guy who marries the fiance he despises only because he realizes that the church, reception hall, and catering all have non-refundable deposits. All about the ducats.
Major Major Major Major
@CaseyL: Twitter which, according to Twitter, may have just been blocked in turkey.
Sounds like a coup. Twitter and Facebook are both down in Turkey. Reports that the police are being disarmed by the military. Video of soldiers sure doesn’t look like a response to a terrorist incident. Just saw video of a military jet coming in over Ankara very aggressively.
@Major Major Major Major: They’re saying all social media has been blocked.
This could be really bad news. Turkey is a NATO ally, and has nukes.
Guess it’s officially a coup
Fucked up Pence roll-out for Drumpenstein. Botched ship launching is old sailor lore for a bad luck ship. “S.S. Ship of Fools” just ground and staggered down the ways into the water as a jinxed ship. The only thing they need now is to shoot an albatross.
It wouldn’t shock me if he bounced Pence between now and the election.That’s how Donald rolls.
Trump doesn’t want a VP who can out think him. He just wants a pet rock. Somebody so stupid that he will barely be able to mow the White House lawn. Pence is his man. This guy has never had an original thought in his entire life.
This is penetratingly wise. I think you’ve got it.
Iowa Old Lady
@Karen S.: What I wonder is if this kind of chaos shakes Trump’s belief that he’s running a great campaign.
Apparently Turkish PM just went on TV announcing a coup.
Da FUG? Talk about chaos candidacy – what’s going on in Turkey?!
Major Major Major Major
@CaseyL: Well, fucknuggets.
My husband is scheduled to be there Sunday.
And a million “You’re Fired!” gifs were born…
Best Turkey tweet so far:
@Major Major Major Major: Better than him being there now, I should think.
pseudonymous in nc
Friday night deep state.
@Anoniminous: Wouldn’t it be funny if it was really just a military group riding around in a coupe, and it caused a big fiasco due to misspelling? Well, the deaths wouldn’t be funny, but the image of a 2-door car full of Turks dressed in full military garb dodging RPGs is pretty damn funny.
“Fire! Wait…can I take my shot back? No? Ok, um, Fire! Don’t tell me to aim! Ready? I’m always ready, that’s why I only need to Fire! Fire!”
Meanwhile, the Responsible Party and its Responsible Candidate and almost certainly a Very Responsible VP pick sit back and can’t believe that anyone could possibly be splitting the difference at this point.
Pence seems remarkably stupid. But even remarkably stupid people can have a low cunning. How long until Pence realizes that he’s hitched his wagon to a horse that is both rabid and on fire?
@Anoniminous: Historically, it was the military that imposed secularism on Turkey. Erdoğan has been trying to islamicized the government and make himself an autocrat. My Turkish friends really, really hate what he’s done to Turkey.
I just spoke (Wednesday) with a friend of mine in Turkey, wishing that he had had a joyous Eid and a great birthday. He and his family are in Istanbul so hope they stay safe.
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
@Iowa Old Lady: If so, he’ll never admit it. Narcissist to the (rotten) core.
“At my resort the turkey is the best, believe me!”
Speaking of splitting the difference, I wonder what sort of Omega-level false equivalence Bobo managed to slap together for today’s NYT?
BWA HA HA HA HA HAH A
@Major Major Major Major:
I’d suggest a re-think. IF the airlines will be flying into Turkey, which I really kind of doubt.
good one. consider it stolen.
@dr. luba: You think this is a secularizing movement now?
Ginger approaches Gabe, gingerly.
Recall when Reagan allowed as to how he thought we could re-call our missiles after launch? That was comforting.
Major Major Major Major
@Anoniminous: He’s safe in Tel Aviv, but his flight back to the US was through Istanbul so who knows. But yes he’s fine.
@Major Major Major Major: Guessing not. Air traffic was just shut down in the country.
@Miss Bianca: No idea. But I’ve had the impression the military doesn’t like him.
BBC says the PM says no coup:
Turkey’s PM has denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over the capital, Ankara.
Binali Yildirim said the military action was not authorised but it was not a coup. He said that the government remained in charge.
Traffic has been stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.
There are also reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.
did we give them to Turkey?
Called it (re: Brooks): see if you can tell who “particularists” and “universalists” are in this shining passage
Got it everyone? Multiculturalists destroyed the commitment to union, which led to Trump. Thanks a lot, multiculturalists!!
Villago Delenda Est
The 2016 Trump campaign is shaping up to make the 2008 McCain campaign look like textbook execution.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Privately maybe, but publicly Trump will keep up the bluster. He’s the best, a top businessman, etc. Just the best.
David ?▶️Hillary/Harley Quinn 2016▶️? Koch
Imagine the media firestorm if a Democrat did this.
@CaseyL: I reached out to a Turkish acquaintance on Twitter but haven’t heard anything yet. It looks really ugly and the last time the military restored balance like this the Kurds and Armenians paid dearly for it.
EDIT: A German friend confirmed all social media in the country is blocked right now. FARK.
@Major Major Major Major:
I hope he’s safe.
News reports now of gunfire exchanged between the intelligence service and the military. There are now tanks blocking access to the airport. This is going downhill fast.
Iowa Old Lady
@Major Major Major Major: The airlines will probably reroute him, though it may take a while. I can’t see them going to Istanbul for the moment.
Glad he’s all right.
@Miss Bianca: Per the Atlantic:
Turkey has a history of coup attempts, the last occurring in 1997 when the Islamist Welfare party, which made large gains in the 1995 election, was banned from politics for five years. Al Jazeera outlines the past coups staged by the military, which views itself as the “guardian of Turkish democracy,” in 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997.
Al Jaz has a brief blurb on the Turkey crisis, but it’s so scant it could be Twitter-based.
ETA: The US-based news sites of course have nothing.
Anonymous At Work
@Peale: I figured it was fund-raising ploy to get 10 million from each of his staffers.
Villago Delenda Est
@Jeffro: Brooks is a moran. The human race will be improved when he shuffles off this mortal coil.
Turkey is a wonderful country but they suffer from Religious Nutbar disease – as does the US – and Erdoğan is deep in the middle of it. He also blew the Kurdish PKK ceasefire and has had artillery shelling Rojava in Northern Syria AND been playing footsie with ISIS.
This (Turkey) is the perfect time for Trump to point out Hillary’s sad! lack of foreign policy experience. That’ll show her.
Ugh, thanks a lot! (j/k)
Nothing about that clown and the criminals around him was comforting. Just another adolescent gang playing around with matches.
@Jeffro: there’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.
@dr. luba: hey, thanks for the link!
Ataturk apparently now in military control. Turkish state TV just went off the air.
@rikyrah: Indeed we did, under the NATO weapons-sharing agreement. Oy.
Someone posted an app on Twitter that supposedly gets around the block. If I were worried about secret police, I’m not sure that I’d trust that.
Video of a tank rolling through Istanbul: https://twitter.com/Ayyinemikeder/status/754046084805173248/video/1
Major Major Major Major
@Jeffro: wait. American openness to immigration was destroyed by ‘European’ ‘multicultural’ ‘nationalism’?
@Major Major Major Major:
Ah, I thought he was going to Turkey as a destination.
(Never mind. :-)
Turkish army just announced they’ve taken over authority in the country.
This last year is turning into a dozey for POTUS (and more so for advisers). Thinking he will be quite glad to turn in the keys.
Amanda in the South Bay
@CaseyL: I’m surprised it took this long to get rid of Erdogan, if that’s what this is.
@Villago Delenda Est: Before he does, I’d love it he can tell me exactly where he sees signs that
because that sure as heck is not how I’d describe their emphasis. Loyalty to their strongman, sure. Love? Real community? Not so much.
All I really noticed was Bobo getting Springsteen’s We Take Care Of Our Own all wrong.
I don’t suppose the NYT would send that idiot to Turkey to cover the breaking news?
@Shell: Amateurish? It looks like the way two experienced cutthroats deal with each other. What’s humorous isSeeing a dullard like Pence beat Trump at his own game.
Rumors are that Erdogan has been increasingly erratic, not to mention wanting to make Turkey a fundamentalist Islamic state, and not everyone is happy about that. “Not everyone” includes the military. So this might be one of those cases where you kind of hope for the coup to succeed.
Trump has finally surprised me. He seems to have made a real mess out of the VP selection — no drama, no suspense, no fanfare. In like a lion, out with a tweet.
There’s been long term antagonism between the secular military and the religious parties. Ataturk was secular, and that (and democracy) are the legacy of his that the military feels obligated to protect. Erdogan is related to the last coup:
The 1995 election led to overwhelming gains for the Islamist Welfare party, which took power the following year as the head of a coalition government.
So in 1997 the military issued a series of “recommendations,” which the government had no choice but to accept. The prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, agreed to a compulsory eight-year education programme (to prevent students from enrolling in religious schools), a headscarf ban at universities, and other measures. Erbakan was then forced to resign.
The Welfare party was shut down in 1998, and Erbakan was banned from politics for five years.
Some former members of the party, including current prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, would eventually go on to found the Justice and Development Party.
@Keith G: The HRC camp launched an anti-Pence video 15 minutes after the announcement. I’m willing to bet they had similar videos prepped for Gingrich and Christie. See, that’s what an actual professional campaign does.
I meant to ask about that. Hopefully there’ll be a thread dedicated to it specifically once we know a little more.
Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge were both closed on Friday, local television channels reported, without giving a reason.
Dogan News Agency footage showed cars and buses being diverted.
All that said, Flightaware is still showing planes departing Ataturk.
I wonder, if you’re a pilot and there’s a coup at your destination while en-route, is there a general policy you are supposed to follow? Can you just take initiative and reroute to another country?
Major Major Major Major
@Anoniminous: He is/was, on Sunday. And then when he’s done touristing there a few days, his flight to SF is through Istanbul.
@Major Major Major Major:
You nailed it, I think. I read it as, “We had it made in the shade here in America, until the 60’s came along and everyone went all multicultural and stuff.”
Oh and then apparently these “particularists” (has there ever been a stupider, more misleading word used to describe Trump’s tribalists?) had no choice but to “emphasize” (you know, by hitting protestors and wearing ‘Trump that B****’ t-shirts) their “intimate love and loyalty”…gag…
Quit excusing thugs, Brooks; quit excusing people who refuse to change and grow up. Most of all, quit with the false equivalence. 1 perfectly responsible party & candidate vs. a party gone thoroughly off the rails, with a whimsical narcissist man-child as its leader. This is not hard, Brooks.
I know everyone is watching the same tweets I am, but the latest is: the military announces it is now in control (of the capital, at least) while the PM goes on TV to say the elected government is still in charge.
That kind of confusion has got to be, historically speaking, standard in domestic uprisings. But to see it play out in real time is remarkable.
Man, anybody who cheerfully wishes you to “live in interesting times” needs a good punch in the neck. We’re in one of the newsiest news cycles I can recall and most if it ain’t good. I think government flags in our metroplex have been at half-staff continuously since Orlando and at this point I don’t know who’s being mourned at a given time.
Not a teenager any longer, bring me boring!
@raven: This happened yesterday, I wonder if this is in reaction.
@Major Major Major Major: Oh, no! I’m so sorry! I was in Istanbul a few years ago, its a wonderful city but its enormous and I really wouldn’t want to be there during a military coup or any kind of street fighting.
Indeed…that’s what someone with a triple digit IQ would do.
Gobsmacks me that this is beyond all 17 candidates on the Republican side (and possibly one candidate on the Democratic side).
if the Turkish military really is in charge now, I expect President Erdogan and PM Yildirim will have either been arrested or gone into hiding.
Looks like departures have now stopped at both major airports. CNN Turkey reporting explosions at a police training site.
@Jeffro: And here we thought Bobo was a spent force…
@Amir Khalid: Looking like both sides have control over parts of the capital, and I’ve seen nothing on any activity outside of Ankara.
Back in 1980s, when Spy magazine was going strong, they ran an article about someone who – apparently just out of curiosity – joined the Turkish Army for his summer vacation. It was a fascinating article. Mostly humorous, but then serious shit would happen.
I really miss Spy.
This appears to be between the military and Erdogan’s government. There’s been no mention of a Kurdish angle.
Thank you for reminding me once more that I really do despise the milquetoast, VSP, “establishment” “moderate” Republicans even more than I do the teabaggers and Trump voters.
Brooks and his ilk are the fellow travelers who can tell that something’s not as they want it to be, but simply can’t bring themselves, after a lifetime of hippie punching and siding with the conservative tribe, to put the blame where it belongs.
In case anyone had not seen, this is the video welcoming Pence to the campaign that VOR referenced above.
Sheesh, one of my favorite tweeters, and my usual go-to person for all things Turkish/Turkey, is actually back in her homeland at this very moment:
Best wishes to Zeynep to stay safe, and make it back home to North Carolina.
Cripes girl, you just got that elusive tenure! (Which you fully earned and deserved AFAICT.) This is no way to celebrate…
I wonder who leaked the handout letter from the RNC to Adelson to cover the 6M shortfall in Cleveland? And, if so, did they get the check cashed before Newt got the shiv?
@Trollhattan: What’s next, I wonder? Pirate ships?
Major Major Major Major
@efgoldman: Not to be confused with Ronnie’s co-star, who was a Bonzo.
@Amir Khalid: I wasn’t sure if there were Kurdish forces in the Turkish military, or perhaps sympathizers.
Well, they’d better not toss those just yet. As others have noted, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Trump change his mind, dump Pence, and go with one of his other picks.
Right now it appears the PM is the one with the media access, so everything I see online is that it’s a coup “attempt”, and is being put down. Almost like Baghdad Bob being taken seriously if we didn’t already know what the other side was saying/doing.
So right now we really know nothing other than shit’s going down in a major metropolitan Turkish city, and it’s currently a few minutes to midnight there.
@SiubhanDuinne: I agree. I think it is possible we could see a new VP candidate by the end of the convention.
Major Major Major Major
@Poopyman: The army sure seems to think they’ve seized control.
So do mine, but the fact that all my Turkish friends come from fairly wealthy elite and Europeanized backgrounds makes me take what they say with a grain of salt, similar to the way I take the opinion of my Venezuelan anti-Chavista friends. “How dare the rabble vote for someone we didn’t approve of” isn’t a good look on anyone, even when I agree with them, but it feels like the subtext behind a lot of their complaints (in both cases).
@Poopyman: I don’t see any evidence its being put down. The military seems to be having no trouble operating/expanding their reach.
@Poopyman: That and seeing even a top-level Turkey news search brings up stuff about changes in Turnkey and Israel, Turkey and Syra relations would suggest hesitation about just what it could be about. And the need for multiple parties involved all to claim they’ve got it done and dusted as an offensive goal in and of itself. Chaos plus control of social media propaganda.
Of course for that matter, I guess it’s still in the realm of possibility that we could see a new Prez candidate as well.
I think Brooks is smart enough to know his job is to elect republicans, no matter how crazy. He wanted a candidate that would make it easier to pretend they aren’t insane, but will go with what he’s got. Friedman has a similar job, but as a nominal liberal, he has freedom to oppose Trump. His job is to lead totebaggers, who aren’t going to be
Donald Trump is pure, unadulterated scum and his election victory would be a crime against reason and a crime against humanity.
Is that a requirement now?
J R in WV
@CaseyL: No, there are nukes, but on an American / NATO base. I imagine the Turks wouldn’t have codes nor expertise in arming those babies for use.
Plus, not really useful in the normal military coup in Turkey, which happens whenever a ‘civilian’ government gets a little too full of itself.
Or too Islamic, like the current President Erdogan.
ETA: From Wikipedia, here is what Force Protection Condition Delta is:
On the one hand, I don’t like military coups. Too many times where the country in question has ended up with a military dictatorship. On the other hand, Erdogan has been engaging in a lot of “interesting” governing lately. I’m not sure that I have a side, except that, as someone mentioned upthread, it’s usually the minority groups that pay the price.
They probably have more things lined up on the ‘launch pad’, so to speak, than we might imagine. They probably had anti-Jindal and anti-Santorum ads ready (much less anti-Ernst and anti-Sessions ones) ready well before this week.
He seems to have made a real mess out of the VP selection
I’m not surprised because Donald Trump is shit for brains. It’s a wonder that he still knows how to breathe.
NPR just reported that the Trump campaign is flatly denying reports of chaos and late-night phone calls and mind-changing.
Shit. I hate it when I have to decide between Dana Bash and a Trump spox.
It’s called farting.
@SiubhanDuinne: In this case, trust the most credible source. *snicker*
@Eric U.: it’s just weird…it would be easy to assume Brooks is getting paid under the table for his ridiculous, highbrow both-sides-do-it babble…but I can see him spooling out his nonsense 2x/week just because he enjoys it and thinks he’s got amazing insights into human nature, politics, and “particularists”.
But you’re right, he’s just using really big words to rationalize his support for Republicans and obscure a very clear choice in this election.
Pence could have forced his hand — announce or I’m filing for governor.
Exactly! You see my dilemma.
When does he ever get anything right?
I think the reason it rankles is that part of the social contract in a democracy is the acknowledgement that at some point, “the wrong people” are going to end up in power… and you have to be willing to accept that. I mean, somebody above just listed the coups that have happened in recent history – if that’s accurate, then this would be the fifth coup in less than sixty years. Five coups since 1960, really? It’s kind of hard not to go “uhhh… and we’re sure that it’s all those civilian governments and not the military that are the problem?”
I kind of assume that most of the time, this kind of thing isn’t about literally buying people to say what you want them to say while ignoring their own feelings, so much as just seeing to it that people who have the right mentality are elevated.
@Trollhattan: I’ve thought that for years, boring is so underrated.
@Punchy: Yeah. She looks like her face was squeezed in an elevator door or something!
It could be argued that his instinct for political self-preservation is something less than unerring, particularly after the RFRA business last year and then signing one of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills ever this summer. That latter item truly pissed off a lot of women in the state, given that it outlawed abortions for reasons of genetic defects – any genetic defect. So if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal subtype of osteogenesis imperfecta, for example, you’d be shit out of luck. There are still a hell of lot of ‘Pence Must Go’ signs around, and it wouldn’t be a bad bet to suppose that Pence would have gotten his ass beaten like Charlie Watts’ snare drum in the November gubernatorial election. Of course, might could happen that the Republican presidential ticket gets beaten the same way in November, but that wouldn’t be Pence’s fault.
@jeffreyw: Oh my gosh, I’m behind. Do you have a new pup?
@TriassicSands: looks like as long as there are few deadlines or rules, he can bluster and huckster his way to winning, or make up his own version of rules, his own baloney definitions of success . After this week though the campaign turns into a game with rules and discipline, needing a tight team and strategic discernment.
In other words, enjoy the show.