The Phony Campaign

2016-01-10 Update

The leader board appears to have congealed into a conventional-wisdom seven candidates, according to PredictWise; no changes since November. Compared to last week, Ted and Bernie swapped third and fourth place; Jeb and Marco swapped fifth and sixth. (This returns to the same ordering, I think, as we had two weeks ago.)

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-01-03
"Donald Trump" phony 86,500 -7,600
"Hillary Clinton" phony 78,000 -500
"Ted Cruz" phony 43,200 +6,900
"Bernie Sanders" phony 32,500 -9,400
"Marco Rubio" phony 27,100 -200
"Jeb Bush" phony 26,400 -3,400
"Chris Christie" phony 17,500 +1,500

  • The CNN headline is bleak: "Donald Trump must be destroyed". (The ever-helpful CNN site classifies it as "opinion", and I assume this is not the same Sean Kennedy who played bass for "I Killed the Prom Queen".) Anyway, key quote:

    If his opponents can show Trump is the emperor with no clothes, they can win over voters. When attacked, Trump seems to grow stronger but to date Trump's phony persona has yet to be unmasked. That's his Achilles' heel with his voters. An inauthentic and craven Trump would have little appeal to those seeking a candidate who would really fight for them.

    The thing is: everyone who's been paying the least attention knows this already. But maybe it's true what they say about voters not paying attention until the last minute; maybe Trump's high poll numbers are based mostly on name recognition, and once voters clue in, his support will collapse like Sue Ann Nivens' soufflé.

    Maybe. Or maybe we're in for another demonstration of what Mencken said about democracy: "the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

  • The headline on the Reddit post was encouraging: "Hillary Clinton underestimates the intelligence of Millennials". And the opening was at least semi-encouraging:

    I hope this post doesn't become ironic because of my sh*t spelling. Anyway...

    I was watching this --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRufoNNV3ig analysis of Hillary Clinton and it got me thinking:

    Hillary Clinton's main problem is that such a high proportion of millennials are intelligent enough, curious enough, and well-informed enough to see right through her piles of bullshit. She is really really smart, but we happen to be smarter. [...]

    OK, so you're really smart, but you can't spell for shit. Still, points for recognizing piles of Hillarian bullshit. (Also, points for spelling "millennials" correctly. Not easy!)

    But then we take a deep dive (continuing our theme) into the crapper:

    Also, Millennial values intersect with Bernie Sanders' values so well. We care about attention to detail, truth/integrity, curiosity, flexibility, and optimism with a future-oriented focus. That practically defines Bernie to a tee. I also think the vast majority of millennials have certain skills in more abundance than our predecessors. We are capable of deeply understanding nuance/shades of grey. We also seem to be able to hold two conflicting ideas in our minds at one time, and realize that both can be true, even though they seemed at odds on face value.

    … and it goes on for a while in the same vain vein. I should have noticed the "Sanders for President" title on the Reddit before I got my hopes up and clicked in from Google.

  • Although from the Reddit commentators, I was led to this classic Hill-tweet:

    Condescending, while at the same time insulting. Implicit: "We assume your student loans provided you with merely enough education to communicate your feels in pre-literate hieroglyphics."

  • At NR, the tag team of Tim Alberta and Eliana Johnson report on evangelical skullduggery out where the tall corn grows:

    Many supporters of Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, the last two winners of Iowa’s Republican presidential contests, are grappling with a pair of grim realities as the 2016 caucuses approach. Not only have their candidates been stuck in the low single digits for months in Iowa, but they also view Cruz, the new front-runner, as a phony opportunist who has pandered to Evangelicals for political gain, particularly in Iowa. And they fear that if Cruz notches a win in the Hawkeye State — especially if he does so by a wide margin, which many Republicans now view as a distinct possibility — he will emerge as the overwhelming favorite to capture the nomination.

    Stranger things have happened, but (as I type) the Real Clear Politics poll average for Iowa GOP caucuses has Huckabee with 2.6% and Santorum with 0.6%. Adding that to Rubio's 12.6% and you get 15.8%. Which is about half of Cruz's 30.2%.