The Phony Campaign

2011-10-02 Update

[phony baloney]

Our arbitrary 4% Intrade criterion demands that Herman Cain be IN our phony poll this week (at 4.4%) and Sarah Palin to be OUT (at 3.9%). This is as I type, early Sunday morning; by the time you read this, things could change. It may seem the Intraders are needlessly volatile, but they're only trying to follow the mood swings of the GOP electorate, and the tergiversations of unannounced candidates. It's like trying to bet on the fate of Schrödinger's Cat, or the object of the affections of a fickle Omaha homecoming queen.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Rick Perry" phony 13,800,000 -500,000
"Barack Obama" phony 7,210,000 -190,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 3,230,000 -380,000
"Herman Cain" phony 2,340,000 ---
"Chris Christie" phony 2,000,000 +270,000

  • Kevin D. Williamson is concerned that one of the candidates might not be phony enough:

    I certainly hope Mitt Romney is as insincere as he appears to be. The alternative is that he really does, as he says, "see eye to eye" with Donald Trump on the question of China. In case you've forgotten Trump's position on China, it is:

    "Listen, you m---f---s" (and he didn't say "muffins") "we're going to tax you 25 percent."

    Hey, a trade war is exactly what this struggling economy needs, right?

    True fact: Senator Reed Smoot, of Smoot-Hawley fame, was a Mormon Republican.

  • Charles Krauthammer notes a sense in which President Obama's is actually less phony this time around, given his recent pivot to hard-left rhetoric:

    But this is more than a political calculation. It is more than just a pander to his base. It is a pander to himself: Obama is a member of his base. He believes this stuff. It is an easy and comfortable political shift for him, because it's a shift from a phony centrism back to his social-democratic core, from positioning to authenticity.

    The authentic Obama is a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state, a tribune, above all, of "fairness" -- understood as government-imposed and government-enforced equality.

    I hope Obama will continue his path toward refreshing honesty in this area.

  • Governor Rick Perry espies phoniness in all the talk about the "Buffett Rule." (Roughly: millionaires shouldn't pay income taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries, which Warren Buffett implied—falsely—was a common occurrence).

    When asked if he thinks taxing millionaires will kill jobs, Perry said, "I think taxing millionaires is such a fake way to talk about what's going on in this country."

    If you Google that quote, by the way, you'll find it mostly on lefty sites, who are outraged that Perry is presuming to know more about the real world than Saint Warren.

    But Perry is right, at least on this. Notes Mr. Mark Steyn:

    Obama is proposing to raise taxes because of some cockamamie yarn Warren Buffett has been peddling about his allegedly overtaxed secretary. Yet the court eunuchs of the media persist in taking Buffett seriously as a archetypal exemplar of the "American business community" rather than as an especially well-connected crony.

  • Steyn's column deserves a read-the-whole-thing award. I also liked this:

    Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law, a little light community organizing, a couple of years timeserving in a state legislature: That's what America's elites regard as an impressive resume rather than a bleak indictment of contemporary notions of "accomplishment."


Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:44 PM EDT