Crexit

So I guess the withdrawal of Ted Cruz from the presidential race means November will be a contest between an ignorant, cynical, morally bankrupt New Yorker who has accomplished nothing and been obscenely overpaid for it…
… And Donald Trump.

Strategery

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Last time around, Hillary was the Democrat heir presumptive until Barack showed up out of nowhere and blew her away.  In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Black beats Woman and all the Democrat delegates knew it.  She never had a chance.

 This time around, Hillary is the heir presumptive and Bernie is just a Socialist.  In the Hierarchy of Liberal Victimology, Woman beats Commie any day.  She’s got the nomination locked up.

 But wait!  Bernie could suddenly decide to become Transgender!   Transgender is the new hotness.  Liberals insist transgender men must have the right to use the women’s bathroom regardless whether the women like it or not; therefore, in the hierarchy, Trans beats Woman. 

 Bernie is running to the left of Hillary economically; he ought to be running to her left socially.  The best Hillary could do in response is admit to a Lesbian affair with Huma, which everyone has long suspected and would be boring old news. 

 Bernie could condemn anybody who didn’t support him as a Hater, as old-fashioned, as not Progressive, as Not a True Democrat.  Trans versus Lesbian – that’s a much better matchup than Woman versus Commie.  Delegates looking for an excuse to dump Hillary would have a perfect out.

 She’d never have a chance.   

 Joe Doakes

There’ve been dumber ideas out there.

See:  this past eight years.

For Purposes Of Argument

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals moan about money in elections. Imagine the Liberals are correct and it’s possible to buy politicians. How much would you pay to buy a Supreme Court justice seat to replace Scalia, knowing that failure gives the other side decades to control the law?

Joe doakes

I for one will throw a bake sale.

The Vandal

Like a lot of people last fall, I figured that the Donald Trump candidacy was nothing but a marketing ploy to buff up the power and prestige of the Trump brand.

Trump’s surge over the winter – intended or inadvertent – pushed that narrative to the back of the stove for a few months.

But how comes some intimations that perhaps Trump really doesn’t actually want the presidency, and is working on his exit strategy:

Over the course of the last week, Trump has made headlines and drawn attention by doing and saying things that are completely contrary to what anyone would consider sane.

Trump’s conversation with Chris Matthews on MSNBC …he told Matthews that women who seek abortion should be punished…women are the largest demographic in this country. There is no path to nomination without their support. Why would anyone alienate them?

…[later that week] Trump told the audience that the Geneva Conventions hinder our efforts…“The problem,” Trump said, “is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight. We can’t waterboard, but they can chop off heads. I think we’ve got to make some changes.” …Trump also said he would not be opposed to using nuclear weapons in the Middle East or in Europe, during the above-mentioned interview with Chris Matthews.

It does seem odd that Trump – not being an idiot – said such idiotic things.  I think it’s entirely plausible Trump wants to avoid Jesse Ventura’s fate, actually having to run a government.

Which is fine and dandy – but galling for those of us who have been fighting to advance the conservative brand and rehabilitate the GOP.

Last September, the GOP had one of the most stellar line-ups of candidates in history.  Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and on and on and on.

But for six months, Trump sucked all the air out of the room, eating up any chance for an accomplished but regional figure like a Walker or a Jindal to break out of the pack.

And if Trump does eventually bow out, or lose at the convention, that will be his greatest disservice.  Not that I don’t think Ted Cruz will be an excellent candidate – he will – but how much better a race would this have been had it been six months of grappling among serious and sincere candidates rather than the Vince McMahon stunt we’ve just spent six months watching?

 

Trumpeloven

The Republicans of the Upper Midwest have made their distaste for Trump pretty obvious.  The Donald lost Minnesota and Iowa bright and early, and went on to tank in Wisconsin and, over the weekend, North Dakota.

I won’t say I predicted it in as many words – but this bit summarizes what I’d hoped and believed; Trump’s braggadocio doesn’t resonate with quiet, modest, stoic, passive aggressive Minnesotans.

Most of us have heard of “Minnesota Nice” — the friendly, reserved, play-by-the-rules behavior favored by that state’s residents. But Wisconsin has a similar Scandinavian (though more German) culture, as do North and South Dakota. When the Upper Midwest of Europe relocated to the Upper Midwest of the United States, they brought their politeness, understatement, and emotional restraint with them.

All of these characteristics are diametrically opposed to the Trump ethos of baseless braggadocio, histrionic complaint, and conflict as first resort. Critics of Minnesota Nice cast it as barely masked passive-aggressiveness, but active-aggressiveness is considered not only unseemly, but unmanly.

Scandis find virtue in stoicism. When you’re shoveling a sidewalk buried in three feet of snow, your neighbor doesn’t want to hear your complaints — especially since she’s 68, has a bum leg, and cleared her driveway before the sun rose. Just do what needs to be done, and would it kill you to put a smile on your face?

Invoking “Minnesota Nice” is lazy – but it’s not wrong, either.

Seven Words

Whenever someone on the left mentions Hillary Clinton – ever! – you, and I, need to repeat these seven words that came straight from her entitled piehole:

Earlier this evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted how Hillary Clinton committed an obvious gaffe for someone who is supposedly radically pro-abortion. On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked, “When, or if, does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” Mrs. Clinton responded that “the unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

If you don’t believe this, then how do you believe rights are endowed by our creator?

It’s simple.  You don’t.

Two Americas, Redux

As you may recall, I had the great pleasure of hobnobbing with Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager last week.

And we were regaled with Hugh’s optimism…on many fronts.  He’s an optimistic guy.  He also just landed a drive-time network talk show contract with; I’d be pretty sunny too.

But one of Hugh’s rays of sunshine continues to be his faith in the criminal justice system; that it’ll work the way it was explained when he was a 1L at Michigan Law, or maybe 9th grade civics class.  He has that faith in the system that only people in the system have.

In this case, it’s the faith that Hillary will ever be indicted, much less tried, for deliberately breaking federal law with her email server.

It’ll never happen.

Kevin Williamson:

People like Hillary Rodham Clinton do not go to jail without first becoming governor of Illinois or mayor of Detroit, and Herself always has her sights set on a higher office than those. But even relatively lowly players in her world escape jail time. Lois Lerner turned the Internal Revenue Service into a branch of the Obama campaign, using the agency’s fearsome investigatory powers to harass tea-party groups and conservative organizations. She’s enjoying a fat pension right now rather than the federal hospitality she so richly deserves. Kamala Harris, who is trying to do much the same thing with the office of the attorney general in California, probably is headed to the Senate. The Texas prosecutors who harassed Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom DeLay, and Rick Perry for wholly imaginary crimes are in no danger of facing real recriminations.

One of the few legitimate reasons for a goverment at all is a fair, predictable, just system of justice.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has violated a half-dozen national-security statutes, has criminally withheld information from investigators, and much more. It is a safe bet that the consequences of her doing so will be considerably less than those of failing to pay a parking ticket issued by the duly constituted authorities of Muleshoe, Texas. Something about that isn’t right.

When you lose that, in addition to all the obvious things, you lose…one of the few legitimate reasons to have a government.

I Have A Theory. Which Is Mine.

Bear with me, here.

So how does the GOP save the party, the conservative movement, the country, and perhaps Western Civilization itself – from the Dems, from Trump, and even from themselves?

I’ve got an idea.

Assumptions:  Trump is going to get slaughtered by Hillary – but he’ll drawn a lot of “disenfranchised”, PC-weary voters from both parties; Dems who’d never dream of voting for Cruz, but find Hillary warmed-over and underwhelming.

So Here’s The Plan:  Here’s how it works:

  1. The GOP should “steal” the nomination from Trump.  And they shouldn’t be even a little bit subtle about it; they should make it big, arrogant and blatant.  They should poke the bear’s gargantuan ego with big nasty sticks – the better to inflame The Donald.    They should do it, and do a big, ugly, arrogant end-zone happy dance when they do.
  2. The Donald, his ego suitably affronted, will launch a “Great” third party bid – The Trump Party”, most likely.  It’ll be the best ever; Trump will bring more money to the table than Croesus himself.  By the time he’s done, nobody will care about “that loser” Cruz or “that witch” Hillary.
  3. Of course, they will.  The three parties will split the vote such that nobody gets 270 electoral votes.    Oh, it’ll be close – but let’s look at the Electoral College under my scenario:

3PartyElectoralCollege

Lets assume Hillary takes Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – none of which I consider givens, but lets be, ahem, conservative here.

Hillary comes up one electoral vote short.  Cruz, 24 shy of a win.  Trump, 247 light.

And then what?

Here’s What:  According to the Constitution, if there is no winner in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives chooses the President.

Disclaimers:  I’m not going to bet money on any of this.  Also, I’m being tongue-in-cheek as can be (which, I’m going to guess, completely escapes any left-leaning commenters and bloggers who read this.  In fact, just watch; that, I’d bet money on) .

In-Kind Contribution

SCENE:  At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston.   A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.  

Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order. 

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz.  Ruth?

Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”

EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant.  Joshua?

Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.

KORN-FLEEBER:  That’s correct, Hanna.  The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to:  belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  Americans  love Robert Reich!\

(Entire table nods assent)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?

KORN-FLEEBER:  I’m sorry.  I just don’t get it.

LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  The what?

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  No idea.

(Muted chuckling)

EPSTAIN-FAEGER:  So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?

(General nodding)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  I say it’s a blip in the data.  Let’s run it!

(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)

And SCENE

If America Is Doomed…

…it’s because of the people in this room.

Starting with the questioner, who notes what a disaster Obamacare has been to her family, but still “wants to vote Democrat”, is a great (aka terrible, depressing, enervating) start.

And of course, Hillary, whose answer to “my healthcare costs have tripled” is “my goal will be to get them down” (without further elaboration) is deeply, corrosively depressing.

No, really – that’s what she said:

And of course, the – I don’t use the term lightly – sheeple who applauded her non-answer answer.

And as of 2012, that was 51% of your neighbors.

There’s a reason I remove all poison, sleeping pills and sharp objects from the room before I write about Democrat party politics.

Crocodile Protest

The following post is going to sound kinda conspiracy-theory-ish.  That makes me a little queasy – but hear it out.

The headlines over the weekend were all about Trump.

As in, all of them.  Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, even Hillary and Bernie, could barely buy a headline; as they used to say, they “couldn’t get arrested”…

…which, for one of the candidates, is suddenly not such a quaint expression.

And while Republicans more or less dropped the “Trump is really a stealth Democrat” meme a long time ago, this weekend started me wondering.

Lesser Of Three Goods:  Let’s say for the moment that Trump is a sincere Republicans.  As we’ve seen, he’s also the Republican that Hillary would rather face (assuming the polls are legitimate).   They keep the focus on him,

So anything that helps Trump to the nomination, presuming the polls are legit, benefits Hillary.

Distracted:  When was the last time you heard anyone outside the conservative alt-media talking about Hillary’s email server, much less Benghazi?

Follow The Money:  The “protests” have largely been associated with Bernie Sanders’ supporters…

…but have gotten ample financial support from the cabal of liberal plutocrats and their shills that’ve been working for Hillary Clinton for nearly 20 years, now?

Connect The Dots, People: So the “protests” simultaneously promote a candidate the Democrats would prefer to face, starve the dangerous ones of media coverage during the heart of primary season, keep the media’s attention off of the marching band of skeletons banging on drums in Hillary’s closet, and provide a couple of layers of separation between Hillary and the protesters, even providing another entire campaign to blame if needed?

I mean, yes, it sounds all Art Bell-y – but isn’t that the beauty of it?

 

 

In Praise Of Anti-Democratic Elites

As Kevin Williamson points out in the NR, much of what made this nation great and exceptional in the first place was the fact that we tempered democracy with many un-democratic, and even some anti-democratic, features – the filibuster, checks and balances, and of course, the most anti-democratic notion of all, “inalienable rights endowed to us by our creator”.

The idea was to moderate the depredations of the majority.

And the “political party” was one of the influences that moderated the passion of the mob. And with all their faults, they worked pretty well in American party politics.  Until “democracy” took over.

It is a little ironic that at the very moment when railing against the “establishment” of either party is so very fashionable, the parties are in fact shells of what they once were. To the extent that there is a Republican-party establishment, it plainly does not have the power to, e.g., call down anathema upon a potential Republican-party presidential nominee. The day before yesterday, Marco Rubio was the anti-establishment, tea-party insurgent; today he is the establishment, if the doggie-treat salesmen on the radio are to be believed. If that leads you to believe that the word “establishment” does not actually mean anything, you are correct.

Williamson echoes a point I’ve been making (emphasis added):

It was democracy that did the parties in, of course. One of the harebrained progressive reforms foisted upon our republic is the so-called open primary, which amounts to something close to the abolition of political parties as such. If anybody can vote in the Republican primary — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, independent, etc. — then membership in the party does not mean very much, and, hence, the party itself does not mean very much. Instead of two main political parties, we have two available channels for the communication of populist spite; the parties themselves are mere conveniences for political entrepreneurs and demagogues. Trump might as easily have run as a Democrat — he is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, and he raves about the wonderful things the butchers at Planned Parenthood do — but the opening was more attractive on the R side.

Parties in their classic form did a decent job of moderating the mob.  Not perfect – perfection is anathema to freedom, anyway – but decent.

It’s time to drop caucuses and go to a closed primary.

At Long Last, Agreement

At this past weekend’s Democrat candidates’ debate, Bernie Sanders testily shushed Hillary when she tried to interrupt him:

“If you are talking about the Wall Street bailout, where some of your friends destroyed this economy…” Sanders began.

“You know…” Clinton interjected.

“Excuse me, I’m talking,” Bernie stopped her.

“If you’re gonna talk, tell the whole story, Senator Sanders,” she shot back.

“Let me tell my story. You tell yours,” he retorted.

Policy-wise?  Who cares.

Etiquette-wise?  I could give the old duffer a big hug.

One of the biggest critters on my peeve farm lately is the sense of entitlement some people bring to interrupting others.  Of course, interrupting ones’ subordinates has always been a way to pee on your tree to establish corporate pecking order – but I’ve noticed in recent years it’s been moving down the corporate food chain.  People seem to feel more entitled to just interject whenever they feel like it.  Sometimes it’s an honest mistake – thinking you see a hole in the conversation where there isn’t one (sheepishly raises hand).  With others, it’s that they just don’t care that you’re talking, and they want the floor.  Now.

Incredibly, and utterly predictably, Clinton’s partisans are calling Sanders “sexist” for his response.

Of course they are.  What else could they say?

If there’s a person in this world who can not, not now, not ever, complain about being the victim of sexism on any level, ever, it’s Hillary Clinton.  She is arguably the most powerful woman in America (possibly tied with Oprah); she’s part of the 1% of the 1%.  If there is a woman in America who never needs to worry about being overpowered by the evil male, it’s Hillary.

It is, indeed, Hillary’s defenders who are being the sexists; Clinton walked over an unspoken societal rule (and a pet peeve of mine!), and got what she (and anyone) deserved.

Women – especially immensely powerful and wealthy ones – dealing with natural consequences of their adult actions.  What a concept.

Stork King

There’s an old parable; I want to say it’s Russian, since it sounds like it’s part of the Russian character.  I don’t know.

But it’s a good parable.  There once was a swamp full of frogs.  The frogs in a swamp were happy; plenty of slime to jump through, plenty of bugs to eat.

But something was missing.  So they asked “why can’t we have a king?”

And presently, a king was sent to them; a stork.

Storks, of course, eat frogs.

The moral:  be careful what you wish for.

Along those lines, a longtime friend of the blog writes:

I have a friend here at work who for years has said our problem is that we elect politicians. Well, now he belly-aches because he thinks a Trump presidency is a bad idea. Unless there is a serious change, soon, he’s going to get exactly what he said he wanted, originally — in nominee-form, anyway.

 

Jesse Ventura II

I like to think that’s why Minnesota bucked the Trump wave last night; we’ve been through this before.

Caucusians

I’m going to the caucuses tonight.

Who am I going to caucus for?  Well, not Trump.   I think he’s an epic fraud who will betray the conservatives who’ve lined up behind him.  He’s like an executive brand David Souter, via Vince McMahon.

And I won’t be caucusing for Kasich – who I think is a solid VP candidate – or Carson, who I believe is way out of his depth, and who needs to run for Mayor of Detroit, where he’ll do a lot more good than he’s doing now.

My short list – Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal – are both obviously out of the picture.   So it’s down to Cruz or Rubio for me.

Who’s it gonna be?

Not sure.  Partly because I am, genuinely, not sure.  And partly because the vitriol inside the party has gotten so very, very mindless and pointless.  Dennis Prager writes about  it – and it’s something every Republican, and especially every conservative, should read before they go to the caucuses:

So this is where we stand today: Many anti-Rubio Republicans regard Rubio as a traitor on the immigration issue and therefore have contempt for his supporters. Many anti-Cruz Republicans regard Cruz as an extremist conservative who is, moreover, a misanthrope, and therefore have contempt for his supporters. And many anti-Trump Republicans – perhaps most – regard Trump as a dangerous fraud, and therefore view his supporters with contempt.

Needless to say, with these attitudes, there is little chance any Republican can win.

So, then, despite eight years of failure under a Democratic president, and with Hillary Clinton — widely regarded as a completely untrustworthy woman who has put pursuit of money and power above the interests of her country — as the Democratic candidate, Republicans will still lose. And Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

One observation I made of Ron Paul supporters in 2008 and 2012 – that they seemed to be personality cultists, who believed not only was Paul the only valid choice, but that any other choice was no better in any way than a Democrat, or nobody at all – has metastasized across much of the GOP body politic this cycle.

And so while the “passion index” favors the GOP by landslide proportions – it is, at this point, almost entirely aimed at other Republicans, rather than at the doddering would-be Hugo Chavez or cynical, calculating would-be Eva Peron who, some need to be reminded, actually would be worse for the country than Rubio, Cruz or even Trump.

So if Trump wins the nomination?  I’ll vote for him – not because I think he’ll be a good president, not because I think he’s going to hold to his promises (not even on immigration), and not even because I think he, himself, will nominate better SCOTUS justices than Hillary.  I’ll do it because he’ll have to run to the legislative majority to get anything done – and if we don’t have a GOP Senate or House, we’re truly screwed.  And if Trump doesn’t win convincingly, then the coat-tail effect will tend to increase the power of the worthless whackdoodle Democrats.

And that is the only reason.

So I’ll be going to caucuses tonight.  Hope to see you there.

Politically Incorrect

Much has been said this election cycle about the value of having a candidate who, by way of “saying what needs to be said”, isn’t “afraid” to be “politically incorrect”.

Of course, I’d like to see that person also have at least some hint of civilization, as well as show some evidence of being able to accomplish the stuff they’re talking about.

Unfortunately, Jeremy Clarkson is neither available nor eligible to run for president.

Apropos Not Much

Rubio, this morning.

As Leon Wolf notes in Redstate:

This isn’t the menacing, scowling attacks that have been leveled at Trump before, it’s treating Trump like he deserves to be treated: like a joke. Like an object of particularly funny scorn and ridicule.

Watch and enjoy:

Trash And Tremors: Can’t Buy Me Love – Or Office

Want to to know the only thing that makes me happier than Chad Anderson winning the special election for Ann Lenczewski’s old seat in Bloomington?

Here it is.  

Income: Anderson received $11,805 in individual contributions:

Calrson-Con-Indiv

Carlson got $10,407:
Anderson-Con-Indiv

So in terms of on-the-street fundraising from actual people, Anderson had a slight edge.  The edge is especially notable in terms of non-itemized contributions – smaller contributions from regular people that don’t need to be itemized on state reports; 86% of Andersons contributions were from the little guy; with Carlson, 39% of his individual donations came from deep-pocketed suburban progressive grandées. 

In terms of funding from political parties:  Anderson got $500 from his local party unit- which, like most underfunded GOP party units in the city and the first ring of suburbs, no doubt had to dig really, really deep:

Anderson-Con-Party

 

 

 

 

 

The state GOP doesn’t spend a lot of money on special elections in the city and the first ring, while it’s still getting its financial house in order.

Carlson got $9,158.40 from the always well-heeled local party unit ($2,000), as well as cleaning out Lenczewski’s campaign account to the tune of $3,000, and a generous $4158.40 gift from the state DFL:

Carlson-Con-Party

Carlson received $9,700 from various union PACs.

Carlson-Con-Pac

Carlson also got a public subsidy of $6897.04:

Carlson-PublicSubsidy

Anderson got no direct PAC money, and he got no public subsidy.

Outgo: Here’s the fun part; in total, Carlson spent $25,122.67:

Carlson-Expenditures

On the other hand, Anderson spent a total of $6324.32.

Anderson Expend

That means DFL’s Carlson outspent the Republican Anderson by roughly 4:1.  And lost.

Apparently, people in Bloomington really don’t want their trash messed with.