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"The Future of the Republican Party Is By the Pool At the Biltmore"

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From BuzzFeed in 2013:

Me (on the left) hanging out with my amigos at the Biltmore

The Future Of The Republican Party Is By The Pool At The Biltmore

The talk at the Miami hotel, where Jeb Bush works and Marco Rubio works out, is of the next president. But can the young senator get out from under Jeb’s shadow?

posted on Feb. 11, 2013, at 9:21 p.m.
McKay Coppins
BuzzFeed News Reporter

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — As a teenager in the late 1980s, Marco Rubio’s favorite place to get drunk with his high school buddies was the golf course surrounding the Biltmore Hotel, a towering Mediterranean-style structure at the center of town. A decade later, the young lawyer and his wife Jeanette spent their wedding night in one of the Biltmore’s suites. On election night in 2010, Rubio celebrated his unlikely election to the United States Senate in one of the Biltmore’s ballrooms.

And sometime this year, the swirling circle of donors, activists, and politicos who spend their evenings gossiping at the Biltmore’s bar will decide whether Rubio gets a chance to become president in 2016 — or whether that honor should be given to Miami Republicans’ other favorite son, former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

In the months that have followed the 2012 election, the Biltmore, a 400-room luxury resort surrounded by banyan trees, has emerged as a national center of gravity for Republican politics: a must-stop for campaign fundraisers, and a favorite vacation spot for retired presidents. Bush runs his foundation out of an office at the hotel, and Rubio, who lives just a few miles away, has been spotted at the hotel gym’s morning spin classes.

It has become a matter of social survival here to develop a playful non-answer when asked which candidate one would support if both men decided to run for president in 2016 — something Ana Navarro knows better than anyone. A high-profile Republican strategist, longtime girlfriend to the Biltmore’s owner, and an avowed friend and ally to both Rubio and Bush, Navarro described a Rubio vs. Bush face-off as “the nightmare scenario for everyone here.”

“I’d get into the fetal position and lock myself in a room for nine months,” she said. “That just cannot happen… If we have to all lock ourselves in the Biltmore until white smoke comes out and we pick one, that’s what we will do.”

Esteban Marinero

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents Florida’s 25th district and considers both Bush and Rubio friends, had his own quip ready when asked how he’d react.

“If they both run? I think it would be a great ticket!” he exclaimed. When his joke was met with a beat of silence, he insisted, “That’s my quote, and that’s as much as I’m gonna say.”

But not everyone is so bashful about stating their loyalties.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in December, Jeb Bush Jr. sat at a poolside table a few hundred yards from the office where his father plots his political future, and, between sips of Diet Coke, offered his view of the immigration landscape, eagerly name-checking high-profile Republicans he expected to work on the issue.

“You’ve got the old guard — Lindsey Graham, John McCain — but what will be really interesting to see is where [Texas Senator] Ted Cruz comes out on this issue,” Bush said. “He’s a Tea Party guy, but he’s really nice. I mean, he’s, you know, really bright, very intelligent, and also comes from Cuban descent.”

Conspicuously missing from his list: another Cuban-American Tea Party star who happened to live a few miles away. Wouldn’t Rubio be a leader on immigration?

“I hope so,” Bush said. “He’s got to actually execute and get something done rather than just talking.”

In the political soap opera that is today’s Republican Party, the younger Bush’s not-so-veiled swipe at Rubio could be viewed as a juicy plot twist in the winding narrative arc that leads to the 2016 presidential primaries. (Rubio declined to comment on the jab.) But Bush was also giving voice to a sentiment that had been growing in his hometown ever since Rubio took office in 2010.

On the cover of Time magazine, Rubio is the “Republican Savior.” On Capitol Hill, he is the lynchpin holding together a potentially historic effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. And on Tuesday night, he will be his party’s anointed standard-bearer when he goes on live TV and delivers the GOP’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in two languages.

But at the Biltmore, Rubio is just “Marco,” a baby-faced freshman senator with lots of potential — and a maddening reluctance to live up to it.

And while the senator’s top-notch handlers have worked overtime to cast his recent foray into immigration reform as a courageous move by a conservative visionary, the portrait painted by his more impatient constituents is that of an overly cautious politician acutely aware of his national profile, and desperate not to tarnish his impeccable brand.

Screenshot 2016-02-25 18.51.17 No man is a prophet in his own land — especially when he hails from the Biltmore Hotel….

“Gene” is Gene Prescott, the Biltmore’s proprietor and the Democratic fundraiser who shares an expensive Spanish revival — along with a Mercedes and high-end golf cart parked out front — with Navarro in the palm-lined Miami suburb of Coral Gables. Prescott bought the shuttered Biltmore, which had once hosted the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and Al Capone, in 1992. Within four years, he had convinced Bill Clinton to hold a summit of Latin-American leaders at the hotel, and kept luring him back for vacations and fundraisers. Since then, he and Navarro have turned the place into a bipartisan hub of the political money circuit, and the collection of Beltway boldface names that have graced the hotel’s guest list over the years is among the couple’s proudest achievements. Navarro, who co-chaired Senator John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council in 2008, takes obvious pleasure in showing it off.

“It’s not uncommon to go down to the breakfast area and see Nancy Pelosi meeting with someone, or John McCain holding court in the lobby,” she boasts. “One time, George W. Bush and Harry Reid were here on the same night for different events. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”

The hotel’s political relevance is only likely to increase in coming months, as it stages one of the most crucial plots in the Republican resurrection story: the awkward 2016 tango performed by Rubio and Bush.

With their shared passion for immigration reform, overlapping donor networks, and long, healthy alliance, Rubio and Bush have put Miami’s political class in the improbable position of having two favorite sons in the top tier of 2016 speculation — and sources say both men are actively mulling a run.

… But the Biltmore crowd isn’t so sure. Spend some time chatting with the local politicos here, and you get the sense that Rubio is still viewed as the kid straining to fill out an oversized suit, not quite ready for the grown-ups’ table.

Late last December, the Tampa Bay Times polled a bipartisan group of the state’s most “plugged-in political players,” and, strikingly, most of them believed Bush would run and Rubio would sit 2016 out. What’s more, an overwhelming majority — 82% — said Bush would be a stronger candidate.

… The prevailing complaint among Rubio’s Republican critics here is that he has allowed an obsessive preoccupation with his public image to keep him from growing into the leader they want him to be. …

Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has managed to adopt a certain cavalier, politics-be-damned attitude in the years since he left the governor’s office that’s endeared him to the insiders, vocally championing liberal immigration reform, lobbing bombs at his own party when he thinks they deserve it, and responding to media speculation about his presidential aspirations with a too-cool-for-school shrug. …

But with its upscale Prohibition-era speakeasy, the hotel also attracted a regular flow of mobsters, including Al Capone and bodyguard to New York City’s gangster elite, Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, who ran an illegal casino on the hotel’s 13th floor and was shot to death one night during a gambling dispute in the late ’20s or early ’30s. …

“1 of Senators I admire most & 1 of my fave ppl in world is staying w/us ‪@BiltmoreHotel 2night. Guess who? (Hint- he likes “Ay-talian” food” Navarro tweeted last weekend, prompting a flurry of guesses from political journalists. (The answer: Sen. Lindsey Graham.)

The next morning, she was back at it: “GOP family reunion this AM. ‪@jebbush Sr & Jr & ‪@grahamblog. What happens ‪@BiltmoreHotel, stays ‪@BiltmoreHotel” …

AS DUSK SETTLES ON CORAL GABLES ON A WARM DECEMBER EVENING, Navarro is driving — as she often is — to a nearby cable news hit. …

When her 2012 horse of choice, Jon Huntsman, dropped out of the presidential race early last year, Navarro parlayed her dissenting voice and disdain for Mitt Romney into a contributor’s gig at CNN. Turn on the TV on any given evening, and you’re likely to see her holding court as the token iconoclastic Republican, urging her party to shape up and get with the times.

Her moderate Republican schtick — pro-immigration reform, and pro-gay rights — belongs to a certain genre of talking heads whose stock has gone up since the GOP’s made-for-cable implosion in 2012. What gives Navarro more credibility than the average TV bloviator is the proximity the Biltmore has afforded her to Rubio and Bush.

A Somoza

… Born in Nicaragua to a politically active father who fought against the leftist Sandanistas, Navarro came to Miami at age 8 to escape the violence in her country. At the time, Ronald Reagan’s fierce anti-Communism had placed the Republican Party firmly on the side of Nicaragua’s “freedom fighters,” and Navarro says she remembers becoming a Republican as a young girl when she heard the president declare, “They are the moral equal to our Founding Fathers.”

As she grew up, she became increasingly active in Miami politics, first as an activist working with Republicans to secure citizenship for Nicaraguan immigrants, and then as an outspoken voice against human rights violations in Cuba. She said it was always clear to her that Republicans were the ones who understood the immigrant’s plight and wanted to assimilate them into American society.

“But somehow, somewhere, it turned into this. The inmates have taken over the asylum,” she told BuzzFeed (and every cable news host she talks to), describing the modern GOP.

That hostility was on full display last year, once it became clear that Mitt Romney would get the party’s nomination. …

“He did nothing to build bridges to the Hispanic community,” she says now, expressing no regrets for failing to be a good Republican soldier. “I can’t tell you the number of high-level Hispanic surrogates who have come to after the campaign and told me how uncomfortable they were defending him. We cannot keep lending our names to defense of the indefensible!” …

IF JEB JR. SEEMED FRUSTRATED WITH RUBIO LAST DECEMBER — A political ally for whom he insists he has nothing but admiration — he wasn’t the only one.

South Florida, with its conservative Cuban population and rapidly growing Latino communities, is perhaps the only cluster of zip codes in the country where immigration reform has long been a top Republican priority. When Rubio was elected, many here expected — perhaps unrealistically — that he would leverage his status as a Latino Tea Party hero to force Washington’s hand on the issue.

Instead, he spent his first year in office ignoring it entirely, and his second year spewing vague sound bites as he stumped for a presidential candidate whose central immigration tenet was “self-deportation.”

By the end of 2012, many of his most ardent supporters had begun to worry that a gutless Rubio would spend his third year in office sitting on the sidelines and keeping his uniform clean while the two parties charged at each other for another bloody legislative fight over immigration.

In Miami, the murmurs reached a fever pitch, with donors and activists regularly cornering Rubio at the Biltmore and insisting he take up the gauntlet of immigration reform.

“Marco’s very smart and very astute, and he has a deliberative process that he goes through, but he has a strong internal compass that tells him where north is,” said Navarro, who acts as a sort of ambassador between the senator and the hotel lobby lobbyists.

Still, Navarro herself was not above putting some pressure on her friend.

“I would always tell him, ‘What’s the point of having political capital if you’re never going to use it?’”

Jeb Jr., meanwhile, had spent considerable time on Capitol Hill last month as part of his Sun PAC trying to convince Republicans to take immigration reform seriously, leading a parade of law enforcement officials and Bible-wielding Christian leaders to make his case. By December, he was exhausted and slightly demoralized.

“If I had to guess, no, I don’t think we’ll get anything passed [in 2013],” he confessed, citing Democrats’ incentive to keep immigration as a wedge issue and the reluctance of Republicans like Rubio to risk upsetting the party’s base by forcing the conversation.

But last month, Rubio finally did get off the sidelines. After a seamless media rollout (naturally) — which included a preemptive op-ed outlining the need for “conservative immigration reform” and an interview with the Wall Street Journal — Rubio joined a bipartisan gang of senators to introduce a framework for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. He has spent virtually every waking minute since then selling the plan, which includes a path to citizenship for 13 million undocumented immigrants, among other things, to suspicious conservative media. (Cruz, the conservative wing’s new champion, came out against the immigration legislation.)

The move seemed to at least temporarily appease Rubio’s Biltmore fan club, including Jeb Jr., who greeted the news with guarded enthusiasm. …

To these folks, “Immigration Reform” means turning the United States into a Norteamericano version of Somoza Era Nicaragua of fond memory.

But, never forget, the Conquistador-Americans by the Biltmore pool, while they may sound like minor characters from a 1985 Miami Vice episode, are diverse. Therefore, they are morally better than you and deserve to take over the country.

 

63 Comments to ""The Future of the Republican Party Is By the Pool At the Biltmore""

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  1. I wonder if Hillary watches Rubio flailing around and has 2nd thoughts about elevating Castro to VP?

    He makes Rubio look bright & competent in comparison & has even fewer accomplishments.

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  2. Coral Gables, in Miami-Dade County, the last time Republicans won it for President was 1988.

    “But they’ll make it up on volume!”

    Just up the road a stretch is Mar-a-Lago.

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  3. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, has managed to adopt a certain cavalier, politics-be-damned attitude

    And politics adopted a certain Jeb-Bush-be-damned attitude. It’s great to revisit those days of yore when Jeb took a great deal for granted.

    • Agree: International Jew
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  4. The machine is so filthy. Ughhhhhhh. That was painful to read.

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  5. IMO “getting something done” is overrated.

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  6. You shouldn’t have captioned the Diaz-Balart photo “Steve Sailer”. It should have been “Esteban Marinero”.

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  7. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox to Trump: We’re “Not Paying For That F***ing Wall”

    No, please, not the Brier Patch Meestair Fooox: plz don’t pick a fight with Trump! And please don’t do it with language that justifies Trump’s down-n-dirty, “America needs somebody who can handle China and Mexico” schtick.

    Idiot (unless Trump’s paying him).

    Trump: “hey, no big, we’ll just take it out of remittances. Kthxbye!”

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  8. But, never forget, the people by the Biltmore pool, while they may sound like an array of minor characters from a 1985 Miami Vice episode, are diverse. Therefore, they are morally better than you and deserve to take over the country.

    It’s par for the course they do their plotting at the Biltmore. Like Miami and the rest of the USA the Biltmore is a creation of the North American dynamism so lacking in Latin America. It truly is a wonderful design. See for yourself.

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  9. Regarding the joke caption under Diaz-Balart’s name, I think this joke has worn thin. I recently visited Spain (which is where by the way where Diaz-Balart’s father went to live after his ex-brother in law Castro took power) and guess what – it’s a white European country (because it was relatively poor until recently it is STILL a mostly white country – probably one of the whitest countries in the EU). Many of the Latin-American elite, especially in Cuba (which was the last Spanish colony in the Americas) are 100% pure white European. Unlike most of the rest of Latin America where almost everyone (except for recent arrivals such as the Lebanese or Mennonites) is at least a little bit Indian or African, the Cuban elites were pretty much pure white and it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Diaz-Balart (Cruz,Rubio) could be mistaken for non-Hispanic whites, because they ARE white.

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  10. “No no no, democracy can not take that, crazy people that don’t know what is going on in the world today. This worries me, the last caucus in Nevada… he won 44 percent of Hispanics.”

    Okay, Trump’s paying. Gotta be. Right? Or maybe he’s bungling in an attempt to downplay how many hispanic votes Trump actually got (more than Clinton and Sanders combined, to hear an iStever tell it in a recent thread).

    FFS.

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  11. In reading this, I had the feeling that I was reading something from another country. This is a culture totally alien from New England (even liberal New England) or industrial Pennsylvania, or rural Idaho. It’s a part of the Carribean and Central America. Really, it’s time to consider breking the U.S. up into autonmous regions, perhaps with overall loyalty to an elected emperor in the manner of the Holy Roman Empire.

    • Agree: Kylie
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  12. Yes,
    Spanish people are white and there’s absolutely no discussion about that in Europe. It just goes to show that the whole US Hispanic definition is absurd. Hispanic is useful to tell that Spanish or Catalan(hello Pau and Marc Gasol) is the native language but not for anything else.

    Next question in a US context would be why that’s relevant unless Spanish language somehow is considered the official or native language of an area.

    But of course…

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  13. The Democrats want Cuba and Venezuela, the GOP wants Somoza’s Nicaragua and Batista’s Cuba.

    Americans want a Wall.

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  14. Yes, that’s why it’s a joke.

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  15. “To these folks, “Immigration Reform” means turning the United States into a Norteamericano version of Somoza Era Nicaragua of fond memory.”

    I’d add Batista-era Cuba in there.

    You know, this is why I never really wanted to call myself a conservative. I sympathize with the pessimism about human nature, but it seems like most conservatives are just about making sure rich people and businesses never have to pay taxes. Income inequality in the form of massive slaveowning turned the Roman Republic into an empire. I mean, the only real difference between these guys and the old crop of Republicans is that these guys want to make sure some of the serfs speak Spanish.

    I mean, apart from the complexion of the serfs, how is what they want different from any of the other free-market utopias the right has been peddling for years? Trump’s gained a lot of interest from moderates at least in part because he’s gone off the reservation on Medicare, etc.

    I fantasized for a while about an Old Right-Old Left alliance against the elites in both parties that would actually work for the working and middle class man. I still don’t trust Trump, but it could be that time is nigh. The question is whether Trump will do any of what he says or just enrich himself. I’m sure most of you would be willing to let Trump pocket a billion dollars from the Treasury if he shuts down immigration. I wonder if he’ll do even that.

    But, we will see.

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  16. The black way is to ATTACK AND ACCUSE. BAAA or Blacks Attack And Accuse.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/albany-students-claimed-racial-attack-charged-article-1.2543435?utm

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  17. Is that guy third from the left a human-alien hybrid?

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  18. Anonymous
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Steve,

    Matt Taibbi has an amusing article on the Trump phenomenon, noting how Trump’s experience and expertise with kayfabe has helped him succeed:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-unstoppable-20160224

    That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show, and the Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers of the world seem appalled. How dare he demean the presidency with his antics?

    But they’ve all got it backward. The presidency is serious. The presidential electoral process, however, is a sick joke, in which everyone loses except the people behind the rope line. And every time some pundit or party spokesman tries to deny it, Trump picks up another vote.
    …..
    The ninth Republican debate, in Greenville, South Carolina, is classic Trump. He turns these things into WWE contests, and since he has actual WWE experience after starring in Wrestlemania in 2007, he knows how to play these moments like a master.

    Interestingly, a lot of Trump’s political act seems lifted from bully-wrestlers. A clear influence is “Ravishing” Rick Rude, an Eighties champ whose shtick was to insult the audience. He would tell ticket holders they were “fat, ugly sweat hogs,” before taking off his robe to show them “what a real sexy man looks like.”

    Jeb took the high road for most of the past calendar year, but Trump used his gentlemanly dignity against him. What Trump understands better than his opponents is that NASCAR America, WWE America, always loves seeing the preening self-proclaimed good guy get whacked with a chair.

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  19. I’m sure most of you would be willing to let Trump pocket a billion dollars from the Treasury if he shuts down immigration. I wonder if he’ll do even that.

    To paraphrase Ann Coulter, Trump could perform abortions in the White House so long as he kept his promises on immigration.

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  20. I’m sure most of you would be willing to let Trump pocket a billion dollars from the Treasury if he shuts down immigration.

    Yup. Money well spent.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  21. Anonymous
    says:
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    Like reading a fake Onion article by Sailer about the self-serving “white Hispanics” who want more of their co-ethnics so they maintain their privileges: sports cars, spicy Latina girlfriends, and cocktails by the pool. No wonder Trump is clobbering the them, post-American schmoozers.

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  22. This article was written a little more than 3 years ago, and the frontrunners to all these elitists were Jeb! and Rubio. Thousands of words and no mention of Trump or Cruz. I suppose an article written three years before Obama’s ascendency would not have mentioned him either.

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  23. Too bad Larry Auster isn’t alive anymore. I bet he’d have some interesting things to say about all this.

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  24. Absolutely, we will take it out of remittances. Every other country, practically, taxes them, why not the US? It would pay for several walls…

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  25. the GOP wants Somoza’s Nicaragua and Batista’s Cuba

    To be fair, many of the true believers would prefer Echeverría’s Cuba. But that’s not he most reality-based community.

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  26. As a teenager in the late 1980s, Marco Rubio’s favorite place to get drunk with his high school buddies was the golf course surrounding the Biltmore Hotel

    I didn’t loiter around the golf course, but in the early ’90s I used to practice my Spanish on a few hot Cubanas at a lively Latin disco inside the Biltmore and once saw Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine perform there.

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  27. And being pro-choice, I actually agree. I just have my doubts Trump will even do that. Remember Trump University? The crappy steaks? The bankruptcies?

    But, hey, he’s proven me wrong twice already. ;)

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  28. IMO “getting something done” is overrated.

    Well, yeah. Seeing as how 90 percent of Federal legislation makes things worse, getting more of it passed, is not amongst my highest priorities. Getting things done might take on a new flavor, under President Trump, however.

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  29. I suppose there is a chance he won’t follow through on the wall. It seems like Congress could give him a lot of heartache on it. But he must at least try given he has put so much of his reputation on the line over it.

    However, even if they refuse to fund his wall, as chief executive he could at least let the border patrol do their job unlike the current guy. He could also have frequent raids of employers hiring illegals and impose fines on them.

    He would also set the general tone as being unwelcoming of illegals. That might at least stem some of the flow. Currently the message being sent out is that anyone who makes it to the USA, or Europe, wins the lotto.

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  30. You are quite right in stating that ” it seems like most conservatives are just about making sure rich people and businesses never have to pay taxes.”

    That pretty much defines the GOP platform that and screwing the white working and middle-class while they are it. For 40 or so years all I can remember is the same brain dead elitist mantra from the GOP and it’s shriveled up hacks from the country clubs and gated communities – cut bennies for the people while giving more and more to the wealthy.

    The only reason this unholy crew of oligarchs and kleptomaniacs got anywhere is because they played a couple of social issues such as gun rights, abortion and for a while school prayer. This kept the mainstream whites voting for them even though they knew party itself was totally hostile to them on economic issues. Whereas the Democrats were hostile on both fronts since Clinton signed NAFTA and moved their demographic base to blacks, homos and white professionals.

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  31. If president Trump wants the wall, he’ll get congress to approve it:

    1. Start enforcing the everloving #$!% out of immigration law…on Chamber of Commerce types.
    2. Profit.

    Congress would do all the heavy lifting for him.

    I’d just as soon leave it at 1., though.

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  32. Just start building it with the Army Corps of Engineers using his authority to defend the borders given him in the Constitution. Then see if anybody in Congress has the guts to demand that work stop on the wall.

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  33. Anonymous
    says:
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    “The machine is so filthy. Ughhhhhhh. That was painful to read.”

    I completely agree!

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  34. But of course…

    Obfuscation is the coin of the realm, deception is the weapon of choice and stupidity is the characteristic most easily exploited. But when the victims of the propaganda discovery their plight someone much less principled than Trump will be recruited try to right the ship.

    We have seen this all before, but the Democrats/Liberals/Leftists insist that anything known prior to 1970 is nothing more than ignorance, prejudice and despicable bias. Empiricism, for all its flaws, would not just be a step up, it would be a leap forward.

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  35. Anonymous
    says:
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    “In reading this, I had the feeling that I was reading something from another country. This is a culture totally alien from New England (even liberal New England) or industrial Pennsylvania, or rural Idaho.”

    I got the same feeling. I just kept thinking, “Who are these people and why are they making major decisions about the Republican Party?” They certainly don’t in any way represent my interests or concerns.

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  36. “And politics adopted a certain Jeb-Bush-be-damned attitude.”

    Ha! That was good.

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  37. Is there a Baltimore Biltmore? That would be funny.

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  38. “I fantasized for a while about an Old Right-Old Left alliance against the elites in both parties that would actually work for the working and middle class man.”

    Sure……………a mixture of Nationalism and Socialism…………..

    ……………………but what would we call it?

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  39. “Just start building it with the Army Corps of Engineers using his authority to defend the borders given him in the Constitution. Then see if anybody in Congress has the guts to demand that work stop on the wall.”

    That’s a good idea.

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  40. Matt doesn’t quite get it. Trump is indeed a showman and can work the crowds better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But, it can only be done if he has a message that resonates with the crowd, which in this case is immigration, trade and generally giving a big middle-finger to the MSM and GOP establishment that hates the white working and middle-classes.

    The rest of the GOP has no message – just a bunch of content free fluff aimed at the masses. BTW this is why these candidates need to hire spin masters – since they really cannot appeal to people on issues that really matter to them without hacking off their billionaire backers, all it leaves them are lies that need to be made palatable to the masses.

    As for Jeb, he was no gentleman, but merely a throw back to a time when inbred nobility ran the show. Jeb openly radiated a certain kind of malaise and deer in the head light incompetence that drove people away from him. Then add in his turning the U.S. into part of Mexico as a act of love, just didn’t cut it.

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  41. I also had the same feeling. And I always wonder at Jeb getting mixed up in this… I used to vacation near Kennebunkport with my family. How did the son of people who loved the rocky coast of Maine end up in that mess? Somehow, the way the genes combine in that pairing is non-optimal.

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  42. Flash alert, Scalia was with an Austrian hunting club when he died. Why do I have the image of some old drunks complaining about Scalia’s snoring so they put a pillow on his head. Oops, they suffocated him.
    Is this the group that is guarding the Spear of Longius? This is not the fake in the Vienna museum. This is the one that was kept in the Nazi U-boat base in Antarctica. It was brought back in 1979. Or was that a different group?

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  43. …the Biltmore is a creation of the North American dynamism so lacking in Latin America. It truly is a wonderful design.

    In 1926 it came within 30′ of being the highest point in Florida.

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  44. Is there a Baltimore Biltmore? That would be funny.

    Or a Biarritz Ritz. Or a Chilton Hilton. Or a Waldorf in Astoria or an Astoria in Waldorf.

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  45. Umberto Eco’s death shortly after Scalia’s and David Bowie’s was no coincidence, let me tell you.

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  46. When is Ana Navarro going to make good on her promise to “get into the fetal position and lock myself in a room for nine months”? Our punditry would be well-served if she’d just go away instead of playing the part of useful Republican idiot for the liberal media.

    This is right up there with liberals’ promises to leave the U.S. if George W. Bush were elected. Now Sharpton is saying the same thing about Trump (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3401977/posts). Talk about being too tone-deaf to understand how virtually all Americans would react to that threat.

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  47. “…but what would we call it?”

    I can not see a good name for them.

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  48. Anyone heard from George Shultz lately?

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  49. I live here and see this daily. It is 100% self-interest. Miami-Dade is no longer America in *any* sense. I’ve heard Latinos say, “I’m tired of this, let’s move back to America.” That’s a direct quote. The corruption is about the same as say Panama or Mexico City. The population is *exactly* the same. There are tiny islands of remaining whites, but as many Russian natives as Americans. Basically, you’ve got every fabulously wealthy person in the world with a home here. They line the beach and the bay, living in enormous mansions (when they’re here) and multi-million dollar high-rise condos. The rest of the city is identical to Panama City. MIA is unlike any other American airport. And of course it’s recent billion dollar expansion was riddled with corruption. The FBI has three South Florida *permanent* field offices to handle public corruption cases. South Florida leads the nation, by *far* in Medicare fraud. Today’s Miami was built and financed on cocaine money from the 80′s & 90′s before the Mexican cartels took it over. That spirit never left the town, just the white population evacuated. Broward County is rapidly becoming the same and Palm Beach will soon follow. Monroe (the Keys) will probably remain white longer, but will eventually fall as well. To the north, Orlando already closely resembles its vast Puerto Rican population. The Space Coast, mainly due to NASA, remains fairly white. Still further north, St Augustine and Jacksonville are changing at about the same rate as cities like Nashville or Columbus. But make no mistake, Miami is the model our political leaders envision. They come down, stay in a palace on the beach or bay, enjoy the absolute finest things money can buy, are dazzled by the mind boggling wealth, and see none of the day to day realities. They are wined and dined by billionaire developers like Perez or Steve Ross, and think how great all this would be in Dallas or Seattle or Des Moines. Miami is seductive, very seductive, for the rich and powerful.

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  50. To paraphrase Ann Coulter, Trump could perform abortions in the White House so long as he kept his promises on immigration.

    Ann lives in Palm Beach. PB is an island like Miami Beach. It’s inhabitants are hyper wealthy and many are *old* money (by contrast to Miami and Ft Lauderdale newer and global money). Rush Limbaugh is a neighbor although his beachfront compound is far beyond Ann’s relatively modest neighborhood. The point is, Ann sees up close what’s happened in Miami-Dade and Broward. She is already hemmed into PB by West Palm Beach (heavily African). It’s moving north at a fierce pace up Florida’s Gold Coast. Already today you’ll see nonstop Latino work crews flooding the island every morning and retreating every afternoon. Ann doesn’t want her favorite shops on Worth Ave to become Calle Ocho bodegas.

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  51. Just start building it with the Army Corps of Engineers using his authority to defend the borders given him in the Constitution. Then see if anybody in Congress has the guts to demand that work stop on the wall.

    Yeah if a wall is the thing, that sounds like a great idea. I’d rather see enforcement, though. On the other hand, enforcement requires two prongs, the second being a way to dry up gov’t services for illegals, and I don’t know how much Trump can do on that score without new legislation.

    “And politics adopted a certain Jeb-Bush-be-damned attitude.”

    Ha! That was good.

    Agreed.

    Sure……………a mixture of Nationalism and Socialism…………..

    ……………………but what would we call it?

    LOL.

    But, it can only be done if he has a message that resonates with the crowd

    The whole point is to weave a Narrative that leaves this part out.

    Trump is indeed a showman and can work the crowds better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

    HITLER!!!

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  52. Yet another trumpeting shift of the Overton window: I have always been a conservative, ‘republican’, and have grown up with casual anti-right humor in our culture. Just one example: the stereotypical right wing cabal in the Simpsons (Mr. burns, the crazy Texan, the Arnold mimic, and Dracula). I used to be slightly amused, but a bit irritated-’this joke again…’

    Thanks to trump, I basically see the Republican Party the same way democrats do, and that joke seems painfully accurate rather than a lazy stereotype.

    Joeyjoejoe

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  53. I was unaware of Ana Navarro’s cv but perfectly aware from having heard her bleats on CNN that she’s just a talking head with empty platitudes by the dozens.

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  54. The problem for a simpleton like Matt Taibbi is he sees the world linearly–with correlations that amount to causation, and conspiracies abound–unable to grasp the complexities in human endeavors and human relations.

    Trump’s appeal (and success, however defined), is also attributable to the lack of appeal in the other candidates. And in today’s 24/7 sound-bite driven media world, Trump has given a clinic on what communications/messaging tactics work. Trump has dumbfounded and confounded nearly every media pundit and political handicapper–if only in terms of the constant lament: “He’s not doing it the right way.” It may not hold up to the WH, but it’s radically changed the course of this campaign season.

    Tactics different than the ‘conventional wisdom’ often serves the underdog quite well. Establishment candidates are like the Maginot Line–how’d that turn out for the French…

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  55. ” I suppose an article written three years before Obama’s ascendency would not have mentioned him either.”

    It depends on when you measure “Obama’s ascendency” from. If 2008, then you have take into account that Obama received a great deal of buzz when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic Convention in the summer of 2004. He won the U.S. Senate seat that November, and, as soon as he entered the Senate in 2005, his colleague and fellow Democrat from Illinois, Dick Durbin, created a bit of a firestorm by talking about him as Presidential material. There was a lot written about him before he announced his run for the Presidency in early 2007.

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  56. “Umberto Eco’s death shortly after Scalia’s and David Bowie’s was no coincidence, let me tell you.”

    Welcome to the dark side, dude. Why did it take you so long? Scalia was assassinated almost two weeks ago, and we started getting stories about those mysterious pillows almost immediately. But I detected a note of skepticism in your posts at the beginning. I’m relieved to see that you have finally come around. I now think that reading unz.com turns you into a conspiracy minded individual. In fact, I’ve been meaning to post here and raise a question about that mysterious newspaper which keeps appearing at my front door each morning clad in a blue plastic bag. What can it possibly mean?

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  57. The problem with that is I’m on the other side of Florida north of Tampa visiting my mother, and in the three days I’ve been here I’ve only seen a couple black faces, Hispanics only in the restaurants and no Asians at all. Rednecks as far as the eye can see.

    Florida is a couple different nations by itself.

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  58. the second being a way to dry up gov’t services for illegals, and I don’t know how much Trump can do on that score without new legislation.

    A hostile take-over appears to be a done deal only at first glance but once someone has nominal control then the take-over battle shifts to within the organization, to clean out the old-guard.

    President Trump with the Congressional Republicans blocking him goes through the motions of initiating his reforms and when the Republicans block him he starts urging citizens to take over the precinct levels of their parties, for patriots to step forward and primary the obstructionists who are blocking the President, the leader of their party.

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  59. FTA:

    Update: In tonight’s GOP debate, Donald Trump responded, saying after Fox’s comments, the wall just got ten feet higher.

    Trump: “The wall just got 10 FEET TALLER”

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  60. Florida is a couple different nations by itself.

    Easily several different nations. Traditional Florida Cracker culture in central Florida and north Florida, rednecks around Tampa, Puerto Rico in Orlando, military in Space Coast, Jewish and Cuban/Latino in Miami-Dade, affluent whites in Collier County, blue collar Midwesterners north of Collier to Sarasota, Jewish and new money in Ft Lauderdale, old money Palm Beach with Africa running continuously from West Palm down to Miami-Dade in the strip between 95 and the Turnpike, and Jacksonville is Southern Georgia. But the overall trend, everywhere, is the Central American immivasion. You can’t find a job in Miami-Dade unless you’re fluent in Spanish, Haitian, or Portuguese (Yiddish a big plus). Broward demands bilingualism and Palm Beach is changing fast. The crime this all invites is huge. The FBI has a *massive* glittering new high-rise on I-75 and the DEA’s largest field office is also here. If the illegals were evicted, the population in Florida would decline by 30% or more.

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  61. Obama was a big deal nationally from his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention onward.

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  62. Just start building it with the Army Corps of Engineers using his authority to defend the borders given him in the Constitution. Then see if anybody in Congress has the guts to demand that work stop on the wall

    Border walls and fences are permanent facts on the ground that are more difficult for a future Obama or George Bush to sabotage and play their passive-aggressive non-enforcement games with. Such as our Southern border being currently unenforced for any Central American unaccompanied minors and women with children showing up. 5-10 thousand per month walk though and claim refugee and asylum status. Hussein O will be bleeding us this way until the day he leaves the White House.

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  63. If The STOOPID Party can’t beat Granny Alinsky or Bernie Bolshevik, I’ll cash in my chips and go raging into the darkness.

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Past
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Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.