The Phony Campaign

2016-06-19 Update

PredictWise has finally dropped Bernie Sanders (look out below) under our 2% threshold. And although he doesn't yet appear on Predictwise's radar, I'm putting Gary Johnson into the mix, dammit:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Donald Trump" phony 631,000 +47,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 530,000 -91,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 69,900 ---

Well, what do you know? D. Trump is on top once again.

  • So about Gary Johnson? Well, he has his detractors. For example, earlier this year one Jeb Lund wrote at theguardian: "Presidential hopeful Gary Johnson is no Libertarian. He's a pro-pot Trump"

    In an exclusive interview with Reason on Wednesday, former New Mexico governor and former Republican Gary Johnson announced that he will again seek the Libertarian party presidential nomination in order to, among other things, ban Muslim women from wearing burqas.

    As it turns out, it took about 24 hours for Johnson to realize that banning burqas would be a bad idea. The Reason link makes that 180 clear.

    One might wish that an ideal candidate would be able to articulate a well-developed position and supporting arguments on the pressing burqa issue on the spur of the moment. That would make embarrassing day-later reversals unnecessary.

    Nevertheless, burqa-banning is not on Johnson's to-do list. That, of course, makes much of Lund's article misguided and silly.

  • Tho Bishop at a site called "The Liberty Conservative", in a pre-LP convention article, noted: "Gary Johnson Selects “Phony Libertarian” As VP". Bishop, I fear, is a little more on-target than was Lund:

    Gary Johnson, perceived front-runner for the Libertarian Party, announced today that he would choose former Massachusetts’s Governor Bill Weld as his Vice Presidential candidate. On paper, the move seems to make a lot of sense. Weld, like Johnson, is a former Republican who has long had a reputation for being a “libertarian,” having been a long standing supporter of abortion, gay marriage, and the legalization of marijuana. Unfortunately, also like Johnson, his grasp of libertarian principles is questionable outside these few social issues.

    I was never enthusiastic about Weld when he was governor of Massachusetts; his subsequent political behavior struck me as erratic at best. Still, he's respectable. And my guess is he'll be better than whatever veep picks the major parties emit.

  • Okay, what about the Donald?

    To be fair, the WaPo briefly had an online screaming headline: “Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting.” This was later downgraded to “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.”

    To be double-fair, trying to extract coherent thoughts out of Trump's stream-of-consciousness babbling would be challenging for even the fairest news organization.

  • Also this week

    Donald Trump is not a man of ideological principles, conservative or otherwise. He's a reflexive authoritarian who thinks the answer to virtually every problem is more government involvement, at least and especially if "winners" like himself are in charge. Case in point: Trump is backing a gun control measure fervently supported by Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.

    Specifically, Trump is backing the use of the no-fly list ("a poorly curated list of predominantly Muslim names") to prohibit gun sales. A measure that would have prevented precisely zero recent mass-murders, but would deliver far more power to the government.

Last Modified 2016-06-27 8:40 AM EDT