The Phony Campaign

2011-09-25 Update

[phony baloney]

In shocking news, a lot of Intraders gave up on Jon Huntsman this week, dropping his odds of getting the GOP nomination under our arbitrary threshold of 4%. Taking his place in the phony ranks is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Whose Intrade odds, as I type, stand at 8.8% probability.


Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Rick Perry" phony 14,300,000 -15,200,000
"Barack Obama" phony 7,400,000 -500,000
"Sarah Palin" phony 4,720,000 -150,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 3,610,000 +50,000
"Chris Christie" phony 1,730,000 ---

  • Rick Perry had a universally-acknowledged bad debate performance. (Commented Korax of the Klingon Empire: "Hab SoSlI' Quch Ptak Gahg!" Or, loosely translated: "Honor demanded that he should have disemboweled the smooth talker where he stood! Also, that short human female strangely set my blood afire!")

    But Perry fans should take heart: Karl at Patterico notes a news article slamming a Texas governor for a "less-than-commanding performance" in debates—twelve years ago. And the NYT's Nick Silver thinks the Intraders may be misunderestimating Perry as well.

  • Betsy Newmark summarizes the phoniness of President Obama's budget plan. Remember when Candidate Obama promised that his budgets would reflect a "net spending cut"? Memory hole, baby.

    As Philip Klein points out, Obama has decided to throw out any hope of compromising with the Republicans and instead produce a campaign document that will solidify his liberal support. Instead he introduced a plan that included more of the same sorts of stimulus ideas that have failed already along with tax hikes and some modest spending cuts. He ignores entitlement reform. On top of it he includes phony claims of budget reduction.

    Beyond the phoniness: is a campaign explicitly based on promises of increased taxes and increased spending really going to cut it in the 21st century USA? If it turns out to be a winning formula, don't blame Obama: blame the American voting public.

  • Keith Hennessey zeros in on Obama's claim that his proposals are "balanced" between spending cuts and tax increases. He makes many solid observations, but this is my favorite:

    The President is not, as he claims "proposing real, serious cuts in spending." His proposals would result in a tiny net reduction in spending: -$86 B over 10 years. Almost all of the spending cuts for which he wants to claim credit have already been enacted or accounted for. Almost all the new spending cuts he proposes would be used to offset higher spending in his Jobs bill proposal and for more Medicare spending on doctors.

    $86 billion sounds like a lot, but it's a rounding error compared to the totality of Federal spending. And remember: even these are "promised someday" spending cuts, to be "balanced" by actual, right now tax increases.

  • ttys Herman Cain won the Florida Straw Poll yesterday. In honor of that, and especially because of those last two items, let me (once again) plug his book: They Think You're Stupid. Whoever gets the GOP nomination should steal that and use it as his or her campaign theme.

  • Much of President Obama's phoniness is disgusting, infuriating, and depressing. But let's look on the bright side: sometimes it's downright amusing too. Ed Morrissey's "Obamateurism" for Friday noted this tidbit from the President's UN speech:

    The Qaddafi regime is over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, Mubarak are no longer in power. Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him.

    Ed notes that, in QDaffy's case, "change" came via the non-violence of (among other things) a few months of NATO bombing raids. And in bin Laden's case, among the things that were "buried with him" were non-violent 5.56-mm bullets fired non-violently from a US Navy Seal's non-violent M4 carbine.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:45 PM EDT