Days of Change

8 Days

October 31, 2016
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How much can an October Surprise do?

The history of the October surprise varies. Some things happened in early October, some in the fall. The most famous October surprise may be Nixon’s announcement in 1972 that the Vietnam War was winding down. That surprise was of the candidate’s own making and probably was not necessary for victory. In fact, most surprises don’t seem to affect the fundamentals of an election. In 1980, Carter probably lost because of oil prices and the GOP’s new courting of evangelical Christians rather than the hostage situation.

The weekend before the 2000 election, a drunk driving citation was unearthed involving George W. Bush. Not only was this a sign of bad judgement, which Bush had previously admitted to, but it occurred after Bush said religion had helped him stop drinking. This character assassination was targeted directly at conservative Christians the Democrats lost 2 decades earlier. It probably cost Bush the popular vote, along with the media calling the race for Gore early in the night and likely depressing the Republican vote.

This year, Donald Trump’s moral failings were introduced in early October, except that Trump is full of moral failings, including affairs with wives 2 and three while married to wives 1 and 2, respectively. This time, however, evangelicals learned from the Islamists. Immorality in the service of a higher power is a strategic sacrifice. There was little effect on Trump’s support, except at the party level.

Now we have more Clinton e-mails about a week away. 20% of the vote has already been placed in the box. However, early voters are the most determined and there are few who wish they could get that ballot back. Even if the FBI closes the investigation this week, there will be a new cloud over Hillary Clinton. However, the goal is to keep her from winning.

I suspect that the GOP can use this scandal to hold the Senate and encourage opposition a likely Clinton victory. Unfortunately, the Democrats are still kings at dragging low-information Democrats to the polls in number large enough to win swing states.

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9 Days

October 30, 2016
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I am aware that I don’t get it, but I think I sort of get it.

Back in 2012, the conservative wing of the party wanted Sarah Palin to run. She declined, knowing that Republican would torpedo the election so that she wouldn’t become president and getting donations would be tortuous, even though her endorsements were like gold in 2010. I didn’t think Romney was an especially great choice, but I figured he could take all the crap the MSM could throw at him. He still lost.

2016 was a distorted version of 2012. The candidates were either completely inexperienced in politics, legislators who tried to make a name for themselves in the Tea Party, or establishment types who would eventually get the nomination. I don’t think Donald Trump won the nomination as soon as he announced. He probably did have it, however, when Sarah Palin endorsed Trump specifically over Ted Cruz. Cruz’s consolation prize was the endorsement of Glenn Beck, which was more of a wash in the end. Her endorsement still means something.

Like about 2/3 of the Republican Party, I don’t get why 40% of the party voted for him. Yeah, Trump got 45% of the primary vote, but some of them were Democrats and the last 9 states were won essentially uncontested. Winner take all is a hell of a thing.

Historically, I have backed horses in the GOP that I wasn’t crazy about. Romney is a good example, as well as McCain. I reluctantly voted for Bush at least once. Aside for a disdain I’ve had for Trump for at least a decade, I think the main problem is that Trump refuses to accept that he is part of something. He certainly isn’t a Republican. He’s a guy who was converted to Republican and reads out of the hymnal. He hates most Republicans and doesn’t have a vision, just a bunch of big ideas that will never happen. In a way, the Trump supporter is kind of like me, who knew this country was over when Obama won promising more of the same. Trump is not going to drain the swamp, he’s going to Drano the swamp.


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10 Days

October 29, 2016
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This election may be the most important since 1980 in defining what it means to be a Republican. Since Reagan, more people have described themselves as conservatives, but even conservatism is being redefined.

Redstate writer Susan Wright posted a piece about the two sides of the Trump divide who used to be one. There are the people who are, at this point, never to vote for Trump. Then there are the converts. These are Republicans who see this election as a binary choice between Trump and Clinton and have decided that Hitler is better than Satan. They make up the majority of the 56% of Republican primary voters who did not choose Donald Trump.

Most likely, Never Trump and recent converts will be able to play nice after the election. However, Trump supporters are going to have to define themselves outside of Donald Trump. Al lot of this will happen whether Trump wins or looses.

In the case of a Trump loss, it would be easy for the establishment to tell Trumpers to fall in line or go to hell. That would doom the GOP in vital 2018 mid-term elections. The reality is, however, they would have very little choice but to drop out and let Democrats double-down on Obamanation. Except for the bigots, conspiracy nuts and morons, Trumpers will slowly accept Republicans again, as long as they stick to some principles.

If Trump wins, it’s a different story. Given recent events, Republicans will have the House and have a decent shot at keeping the Senate. Almost none of these Congressmen are rabid Trump fans. A couple of veto overrides could teach Trump that there are three branches for a reason. However, Trump becomes the standard bearer for the GOP. Never Trump will have to make the decision of how to work in a political system where neither major party is in line with their beliefs. For me, it would be the year I stop being a registered Republican.


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If Trump Can’t Win Now…

October 28, 2016
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Anthony Weiner is the gift that keeps on giving.

In what can only be a case of intervention by angel Andrew Breitbart, an investigation into Weiner led to the seizure of his and Huma Abedin’s electronic devices. Of course, her devices contained e-mails that were not turned over by Hillary Clinton, but were meant to be. The FBI, either out of an abundance of caution or fatigue over getting jerked around by this administration, reopened the e-mail investigation. Just to make this clear, early voting is in full swing and the election is about a week away.

The fact is that literally and Republican should have been able to beat Hillary Clinton. Bush, Rubio, Cruz and possibly Kasich would have had more support from donors, used big data and acted presidential this campaign season. Trump, who lived on free media exposure, has been dying from it for a month now. Early voting is starting and the ground game is in effect. People are openly admitting to casting ballots of the dying before election day. As devastating as this is for Hillary Clinton the candidate, the Clinton machine is in full effect.

I suppose the good news is that Trump may actually snatch the presidency away from Hillary Clinton. Then there will only be the matter of Donald Trump being president.  I guess that’s better than the alternative.


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This is Why

October 27, 2016
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I understand that Trumpers want everyone to whip themselves up over the idea of a groundswell that will suddenly flock to the polls on November 8. The polls are skewed, look at the crowds and the media lies.

Been there, done that. Since most of my readership also views The Crawdad Hole, I linked to this post from 4 years ago. It’s about how Obama doesn’t have as good of a ground game and that Romney is going to win 300 Electoral votes, including the ones in Ohio. Romney lost 5 out of 6 states that were close, including Ohio. Also, some of the posters still thought Hillary was not involved in Benghazi.

I already psyched myself into the “Romney’s going to win”delusion 4 years ago and I liked him more than Trump. I really don’t care if Trump wins. It sets a bad precedent, but at least Hillary wouldn’t be president. Oh, and the reason I don’t have any posts in that topic is because I was banned for unknown (to me) reasons right before the election in 2012.


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I Think There’s Only One Week In Me

October 26, 2016
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What bothers me about politics is the number of people who treat it as a coin flip. Republicans have won in 2014, 2010, 2004, 2002 and to a lesser extent in 2000. The reasons are possibly disturbing. Either Democrat-leaning people only show up for the big elections or Republican-leaning people are sitting home during the big elections because they don’t like the choices. The second option is what Trump relies on. These are the “shy” voters who love him so much they will come out like its a local election.

People who don’t vote don’t seem to understand the effect of large numbers. They want someone to give them feels to motivate them. They also claim that the kind of candidate they want never runs. Well, small corrections come after large corrections. Vote for people close to what you want, and you should have the opportunity to vote for even better candidates in the future.

Donald Trump is the large correction. He’s too large, so we’ll get Obama 2.


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About that SNL Skit

October 25, 2016
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Saturday Night Live only stops phoning it in when they parody politics. This season, they have brought in heavy (as in overweight) hitter Alec Baldwin to play Donald Trump in what they assume is a limited engagement. Last weekend, Tom Hanks, former star of the sitcom Bosom Buddies, guest hosted. Interestingly enough, one of the less political skits got the most attention among conservatives.

The usual format for Black Jeopardy is two Black contestants and a clueless White person. In a twist, Doug was a White guy who was a little clueless, but shared a kinship with stereotypical Black culture. This was all in spite of the “Make America Great Again” he was wearing.

Conservatives have long lamented the phenomenon of Black voters supporting Democrats at over 90% even though they are culturally similar to conservatives in many ways. One clue is the end of the clip where “Doug” is at opposite ends from the rest of the contestants on the matter of Black Lives Matter. Why should the left offer something positive when they can scare with something negative?

One of the reasons I’m pretty sure Trump is toast is because there is no messaging in this campaign. There is only one theme, my way or the highway. Support Trump in every way, or get on his shit list when he wins. I don’t believe in Black outreach because only consistent action by Republicans is going to work. Then again, this idea that Black people will vote for Trump because they should is a total non-starter.

Ironically, Democrats are the reason the Black community is in jeopardy.


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Even McMullin

October 24, 2016
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So, it seems that Gary Johnson only needs 5% of the popular vote to get federal funds for the Libertarian Party. That’ enough reason for me to vote for him. 5% is possible.

Of course, 5% is not certain. Evan McMullin, the joke candidate endorsed by National Review and other #NeverTrump is pulling ahead of Johnson in a few of the 10 places where he’s on the ballot. In Utah, it’s a blowout. McMullin is in first place. Now, the Clinton campaign is trying to draw support off the anti-Trump Mormons to vote for Hillary.

The founders of this country were never happy with political parties. Unfortunately, parties were necessary for an uneducated population. Now, they’ve written the rules so that they get primary position in any election. Donald Trump is really and independent candidate, but he found it easier to take an existing structure and slap his name on it, much like most of “his” buildings.

If you can’t stop the parties, we need more of them.


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Still Indifferent After All These Months

October 23, 2016
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After the election 4 years ago, I wrote it was all over. Nothing has really changed that opinion. First we have Hillary, who is sort of like Obama, except that she has lived the political world longer than Obama has been alive. Winning with less than 50% of the popular vote (a distinct possibility) would not make her moderate her administration. Instead, it would encourage her to hit the gas pedal in case the Republicans get more or Congress, or get it back in 2018.

Hey, who’s kidding? This is about Donald Trump. Had the Democrats had control of the nomination process, they might have tried to get someone slightly more marketable than Hillary Clinton. Given her tendency to annoy everyone and the glaring failures and flexible ethics displayed by her and her family, a change should have been in order.

Instead, we have Trump. I’m not sure if the worst part for me is that he’s showing all the symptoms of a loser or that he’s nothing like the Republican president that I want. I suppose both are connected. On fear alone, I want Trump to win over Hillary. In the long-term, the GOP seems to put on their big boy pants best after a crushing loss, and that coupled with Trump exiting the stage, might spell grudging reform in the party.

Depending on where you look, Trump can win if he manages to swing +5% in polls with a margin of error of about 4%. No matter what pundits say, margin of error is not only real, but probably bigger than the statistically calculated sigma based on number of respondents. Still, the Brexit theory would have to hold up. Trump voters, not just supporters, have to be silent, but motivated. Clinton spent a lot of money to get early voting and registration up. Trump has sheer force of will.

There are mostly cons to any outcome of this election, except for a possible tie-breaker in the House of Representatives where Evan McMullin wins because he got 6 Electoral Votes in Utah. Otherwise, I remain indifferent.


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Angels With Dirty Faces

October 22, 2016
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Donald Trump cemented himself as a political force when he decided to refuse all immigration reform and proposed a big ass wall that would stop immigration by strolling over the border. It was the triumph of rhetoric over policy. Soon America would be great, Ward could find a job (whatever it was) and June could stay home in her house dress and pearls.

Politics is downstream from culture, but politics cannot be influenced by a cultural figure alone. Donald Trump and Barack Obama are only slightly different. Trump was a flamboyant figure to whom the media was attracted. Obama was a boring ideologue who was styled by the media as an icon of modern politics. In short, Trump is a self-made media figure, but a media figure nonetheless. Obama said he would heal the oceans and bring back America’s place in the world. Trump promises to make America Great again.

A conservative, pro-America message can go a long way. Running not only to the right, but to the fringe can be highly successful in the Republican primaries. The problem is that instead of a real candidate, we have Trump. A real candidate was like George W. Bush. He ran on conservative values, but also ran on his ability to bring both parties together back in Texas. A fake candidate says everyone who doesn’t agree with him is an enemy and the enemy deserves no mercy.

The problem is that Trump has no idea what he believes. He mostly wants to one-up the person he’s going against. I truly wonder why his supporters are so devoted to him. Only a few million people were watching The Apprentice the last time NBC decided to produce it. Were they impressed by Trump’s ability to cut people off mid-sentence and eventually get a paycheck for two of his kids as well?

Donald Trump has taken a valid theory, that of a candidate willing to fight the liberal media and speak plainly about where America should be, and extracted all the professional political work that could be employed in that pursuit. Then, he managed to make people think that lack of professionalism is a virtue.

Culture must come first. Trump was a liberal cultural figure and he is only a few years removed from being a Democrat and a Hillary supporter. Conservatives need to make their own fledgling and separate media into a cultural force. We would have been better off with Dean Cain or Kevin Sorbo running for president. At least they’ve believed in something for more than 6 years.


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