The Phony Campaign

2016-03-13 Update

PredictWise has dropped Marco Rubio below our (arbitrary) 2% inclusion criterion. So: Farewell, Marco. At least for now.

We observe negative readjustments overall for Google hit counts this week. Trump saw a big decrease, but not enough to knock him out of first place. (That would take a yuuge decrease.) Hill's decline dropped her into third place, putting Kasich in second. I would not have expected that.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-03-06
"Donald Trump" phony 547,000 -1,543,000
"John Kasich" phony 372,000 -196,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 234,000 -459,000
"Ted Cruz" phony 176,000 -282,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 164,000 -135,000

Despite the decline in hit counts, there was more than enough phoniness on display this week.

You know what the Kids Today say:

That does not apply to politics.

  • For those who managed to tune out the past few decades, the Daily Beast brings "A Brief History of Donald Trump’s Get-Rich Schemes". The take-home point: as with many flim-flammers, his core idea is to make himself rich by promising, somehow, to make you rich.

    Throughout his decades-long business career, Donald Trump has launched a series of businesses that follow this model, with his presidential campaign being the latest. But in between founding phony universities and multi-level-marketing scams, Trump has also fallen victim to many of his own plainly stupid ideas.

    Key detail: suckers customers buying Trump Steaks off QVC later reviewed them as “extremely greasy” and “tasteless and mealy.” One can only imagine similar buyer's-remorse reviews for President Trump.

  • Speaking of Trump, Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week is long and ranty, and revolves around his dismay at the (relatively few) ordinarily-thoughtful pundits that can find anything nice to say about Trump.

    At times, I sometimes think I’m living in a weird remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you’ve seen any of the umpteen versions, you know the pattern. Someone you know or love goes to sleep one night and appears the next day to be the exact same person you always knew.

    Except.

    Except they’re different, somehow. They talk funny. They don’t care about the same things they used to. It’s almost like they became Canadian overnight — seemingly normal, but off in some way. Even once-friendly dogs start barking at them. I live in constant fear that I will run into Kevin Williamson, Charlie Cooke, or Rich Lowry and they will start telling me that Donald Trump is a serious person because he’s tapping into this or he’s willing to say that. I imagine my dog suddenly barking at them uncontrollably. (I don’t worry about this with Ramesh because Vulcans are immune.)

    No matter how you feel about Trump—and by the way there seems to be no middle ground on him, does there?—I recommend you read the whole thing. So funny, but also so sad, because so true.

  • A little phony amusement at a Kasich campaign event in Illinois: "Bernie Sanders impersonator thanks John Kasich for staying classy".

    "This is not so much a question so much as it is a compliment. On behalf of all the American people, I want to thank you for bringing a little class to the Republican debates," the impersonator said in what sounded like a fake Brooklyn accent.

    I'm sure Kasich was pleased with the authenticity of this compliment, coming as it did from an impersonator with a fake accent.

  • I'm sure Kasich's also bemused to be running ahead of Hillary in phony hit counts. Her minions are trying their hardest to paint her as an innocent victim of the VWRC, for example:

    Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a senior member of 2016 Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign, tried on Tuesday to blame her candidate’s pitiful image as an untrustworthy phony and hypocrite on the typical scapegoat: Fox News.

    Poor Governor Granholm. To find the real problem behind Hillary's issues with honesty, you don't need to look for conspiracies, and you don't have to wait very long for fresh examples.

    For example: while attacking Bernie Sanders' (lunatic) ideas on socializing health care:

    She said she has “a little chuckle to myself” when she thinks about the current debates over health care. “I don’t know,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Where was he when I was trying to get health care in ’93 and ’94?”

    It took the Sanders campaign about 3.4 nanoseconds to rebut:

    Let's recycle a quote from an eight-year-old Slate article from Christopher Hitchens, which examined her classic fabrication about her first-lady Balkan adventures.

    The punishment visited on Sen. Hillary Clinton for her flagrant, hysterical, repetitive, pathological lying about her visit to Bosnia should be much heavier than it has yet been and should be exacted for much more than just the lying itself. There are two kinds of deliberate and premeditated deceit, commonly known as suggestio falsi and suppressio veri. (Neither of them is covered by the additionally lying claim of having "misspoken.") The first involves what seems to be most obvious in the present case: the putting forward of a bogus or misleading account of events. But the second, and often the more serious, means that the liar in question has also attempted to bury or to obscure something that actually is true. Let us examine how Sen. Clinton has managed to commit both of these offenses to veracity and decency and how in doing so she has rivaled, if not indeed surpassed, the disbarred and perjured hack who is her husband and tutor.

    She's an astonishingly inept liar, even for a politician, her history of lies is long and unbroken. Even more astonishing, her supporters (mirror images of the Trump apologists) don't care.