The Phony Campaign

2016-07-24 Update

The PredictWise punters give Hillary a 70% probability of being Our Next President, Trump 30%. (No longshot bets reported on Johnson/Stein yet.) Hillary was at 78% about a month ago, but that was apparently Irrational Exuberance.

In the phony poll, however, the race is much closer:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-07-17
"Donald Trump" phony 822,000 -133,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 813,000 +92,000
"Jill Stein" phony 410,000 +141,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 37,600 +12,700

  • At the Daily Beast, the cheerful Olivia Nuzzi reports: "Trump's Newest Ad Is So F---ing Weird". (No bowdlerization at the link; and for some reason the URL spells it "frickin".)

    No foolin'. Through the magic of Twitter-embedding:

    And if you can't bear to watch it, it's in reference to Trump's convention speech, and (other than bombastic, obnoxious music and images of said speech) the content is "75 MINUTES TOTAL SPEECH TIME,” “24 MINUTES TOTAL APPLAUSE,” “33% TIME SPENT APPLAUDING.” Really. That's it.

    That could be true, Nuzzi notes, other than the last number, which should be 32%. And I think she really nails it here:

    Trump has no values, no internal world, no sincere desire to make concrete changes to this country to fix what supposedly ails us, he has only a primal need to know how long people cheered for him and how big of a deal that length of time is, given the total time of the event in question.

    I'm sure all successful politicians have (let me be as charitable and non-judgmental as possible) unusual psychological profiles, putting them well outside the mainstream.

    But I can't think of any mainstream-party Presidential candidate with Trump's obvious psychological kinks, ever.

    And, as Nuzzi notes, it's frickin' weird that the Trump campaign makes those kinks so blatantly obvious.

  • Other big GOP convention news was (you've probably heard) that Mrs. Trump's speech was blatantly plagiarized. Does that matter? Well, according to Mr. Matthew Yglesias, "Melania Trump's plagiarism matters because it exposes Donald Trump's profound laziness".

    Plagiarism offers a window into a different aspect of Trump, one that isn’t integral to his appeal. Trump is a phony. And a lazy one at that. He refuses to put in the work, and if he becomes president the consequences are likely to be disastrous and unpredictable.

    Just ask his wife who stood up on a nationally broadcast primetime telecast to vouch for his integrity and decency, and turns out to have been set up for humiliation because Trump couldn’t be bothered to build the kind of professional presidential campaign that would equip Melania Trump with a decent speech.

    The Yglesiasian argument seems to be: if Trump weren't such a lazy phony … well, Mrs. Trump would still be using someone else's words. But at least her hubby would be paying someone for them.

    (Applying the Yglesiasian plagiarism standards to college students is left as an exercise for the reader.)

  • The headline on Jeff Jacoby's Boston Globe excellent column is inaccurate: "Trump and Clinton: A guide for haters". Among the numerous points made:

    The former first lady and secretary of state is at least as unprincipled as Trump, willing to say or do virtually anything in the pursuit of power and wealth. Like other politicians, Clinton’s stands on controversial public issues have flipped and flopped, invariably putting her on whichever side has grown more popular: She’s been for expanding free trade and against it, for same-sex marriage and against it, for the Iraq war and against it, for more gun control and against it, for a crackdown on illegal immigrants and against it, for the trade embargo on Cuba and against it, for the ethanol mandate and against it — the list goes on and on.

    But really, Read The Whole Thing. Other than the headline, which I assume some dimwit Globe editor wrote. Because note the final paragraph:

    To be clear, I don’t hate Hillary Clinton. I don’t hate Donald Trump. But I do find them both to be indecent and unworthy, graspers of low character whose rise to political eminence is a terrible reflection on the Republican and Democratic parties. Neither deserves a vote for president. They certainly won’t get mine.

    Good on you, Mr. Jacoby. Mine neither.