The Phony Campaign

2015-12-20 Update

No changes to our lineup again this week. No changes in the top tier, but Marco Rubio jumps into a tie for fourth place with Bernie Sanders, and Jeb fades to sixth:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-12-13
"Donald Trump" phony 186,000 +84,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 80,000 +13,200
"Ted Cruz" phony 60,900 +23,200
"Marco Rubio" phony 43,800 +19,300
"Bernie Sanders" phony 43,800 +14,500
"Jeb Bush" phony 42,800 +12,700
"Chris Christie" phony 26,700 +9,600

And in phony news this week:

  • Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg are professors of history at Louisiana State University, and they have taken to Salon to display their insights: "This is the bluster of a phony: Donald Trump represents rage and rudeness, not populism"

    For a moment, earlier this year, Donald Trump was being taken seriously for his supposed straight talk, the idea being that he said what others were thinking but were held back from saying because of political correctness or some such thing. Those commentators who gave Trump the benefit of the doubt realize now that there was never any straight talk coming from that famously gaping mouth. No, Donald Trump, the politician, is a grab-bag of stolen bits from previous pols. Silent majority. Bubba cap. Reagan’s platitudinous “Make America great again.”

    Sigh. Yeah, fine. Except for the Reagan sideswipe, this ain't nothin' I didn't read in (for example) National Review months ago.

    I'd also like to see the names of the "commentators" who allegedly took Trump seriously earlier this year, but now consider him a phony blowhard. I suspect this is a null set.

  • At the Guardian, Lucia Graves observes and wonders: "Donald Trump is an erratic phony. Why believe he won't try a third-party run?"

    Much has been made of Donald Trump’s latest promise not to run as a third party candidate – a specter that has haunted Republican operatives ever since Trump started surging in the polls this summer.

    The curious thing is that anyone believes him this time.

    Ms. Graves notes that Trump has said this before. Another not-exactly-stunning insight: Trump does and says whatever pops into his head, unconstrained by previous positions and commitments.

    But she goes on to speculate on the legal challenges to mounting a third-party bid. Remember John Anderson? I (barely) did.

  • The WaPo serves up "campaign scoops" at the "Daily 202". On Friday, they asked the question on everyone's mind: "Is Ted Cruz a phony?"

    To stop Ted Cruz, the Republican establishment is working around the clock to caricature the Texas senator as just another career politician who follows the political winds and not core principles.

    There's been a lot of fire directed Cruz's way about his amendment to the failed immigration reform bill back in 2013. As local pol Jim Merrill (head of the NH Rubio campaign) tweets:

    Via Hot Air, which has more on the back-and-forth, and is excellent on the history.

  • So the Democrats debated last night. Quoth Hillary on Donald Trump:

    He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.

    That was too much for even the left-leaners at Politifact, who rated Hillary's allegation FALSE.

    They have a lower rating: "PANTS ON FIRE".

    Of course, in Hillary's case that would be … oh, wait, way too obvious.

  • Final note: gonna go see Star Wars Wednesday night, even despite J.J. Abrams giving Hillary a million bucks.