The Phony Campaign

2016-04-17 Update

It's the same old lineup, according to our 2%-or-better PredictWise criterion. Cruz's big hit-count lead from last week was one of those ephemeral Google glitches, and he drops back into third today:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-04-10
"Donald Trump" phony 372,000 +102,000
"John Kasich" phony 254,000 +140,000
"Ted Cruz" phony 253,000 -88,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 190,000 +79,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 81,800 +15,000

  • On Al Sharpton's 8AM Sunday MSNBC show last week, ex-Congresscritter Anthony Weiner (pictured) deemed Donald Trump a "phony". You have to sit through six minutes of video to dig it out, but Weiner's main evidence for this allegation was that Trump made donations to his past political campaign.

    Sharpton and Weiner also criticize Ted Cruz's disdain for "New York values". Left unspoken, I'm pretty sure: "Hey, here we are, two disgraceful people on a national TV show. There's your New York values."

    Back in August, Trump called Weiner a "perv". So there's no love lost there.

    (Note, however, the CNN headline back then: "Donald Trump defiant after calling Anthony Weiner a 'perv'". Like there's some reason for Trump to be apologetic about that? Yes, Trump's often an obnoxious blowhard, free with reckless insults. But not in that particular instance.)

  • The Donald had his own phony charge this week, a result of getting skunked by Cruz in the race for Colorado delegates:

    Debunked in a number of places, for example National Review:

    Donald Trump is right: The system is rigged. It’s rigged in favor of front-runners. That’s why Trump, who is leading the Republican nominating contest, has a larger percentage of delegates (46 percent) than of votes (37 percent). Unsurprisingly, Trump never mentions when the rules have helped him. He much prefers to whine and peddle conspiracy theories when they don’t.

  • Also at NR, Dennis Prager is peeved at a perennial campaign trope about "unity":

    In their current campaigns for president, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John Kasich regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naïve, and she because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.

    Why the universality of this nonsensical "unity" theme? Easy, Prager notes: "Because Americans fall for it every four years." For the low-info voter, it's easy to hear calls for "unity" as containing a soothing implication: "At last, people will stop disagreeing with me."

  • In this week's Demo Debate, Bernie made mention of Hillary's "super PACs and 501(c)(4)s, money which is completely undisclosed." Hill was prepared:

    CLINTON: Well, make -- make no mistake about it, this is not just an attack on me, it's an attack on President Obama. President Obama...

    (BOOS)

    CLINTON: You know, let me tell you why. You may not like the answer, but I'll tell you why. President Obama had a super PAC when he ran. President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from contributors. And President Obama was not at all influenced when he made the decision to pass and sign Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulations...

    (APPLAUSE)

    CLINTON: -- on Wall Street in many a year.

    CLINTON: So this is -- this is a phony -- this is a phony attack that is designed to raise questions when there is no evidence or support, to undergird the continuation that he is putting forward in these attacks.

    Or, shorter: Obama and I can take contributions from anyone, in any amount, because we're incorruptible.

    And what happened after the debate? Maureen Dowd of the New York Times (never a fan of Hillary's brand) observes:

    Sanders flew to the Vatican that night to underscore his vision of himself as the moral candidate. And Hillary headed to California, underscoring Bernie’s portrayal of her as the mercenary candidate. She attended fund-raisers headlined by George and Amal Clooney in San Francisco and at the Clooneys’ L.A. mansion that cost $33,400 per person and $353,400 for two seats at the head table in San Francisco — an “Ocean’s Eleven” safecracking that Sanders labeled “obscene.”

    Agreeing with Bernie about George Clooney's money-raising obscenity : George Clooney:

    To go with the "obscenity" theme, it looks like Clooney is working on a 70's porn-star mustache.

  • If you've been wondering what Bernie Sanders' tax return and private plane menu prove, look no further than PJMedia's Michael Van Der Galien: "Bernie Sanders' Tax Returns and Private Plane Menu Prove: He's a Hypocritical Phony Extraordinaire."

    The menu (pictured at the link) is pretty fancy. But what might be a dealbreaker for a significant fraction of Bernie fans: no vegan main course offerings. The horror!