The Phony Campaign

2018-12-02 Update

[phony baloney]

Our 3% nomination probability threshold (according to Predictwise) is more of a semi-permeable membrane at this point of the phony campaign. This week saw John Hickenlooper go under 3%, but (hey!) somebody named "Mitt Romney" has popped above it. So we still have a healthy field of 16, six Republicans (if you count Donald Trump) and 10 Democrats (if you count Bernie Sanders).

And (of course) Trump leads the pack by far in phoniness, as judged by Google result counts:

Candidate NomProb Change
Since
11/25
Phony
Results
Change
Since
11/25
Donald Trump 67% -4% 2,320,000 -100,000
Nikki Haley 5% unch 1,030,000 0
Hillary Clinton 3% -1% 880,000 -40,000
Beto O'Rourke 18% +3% 851,000 -239,000
Paul Ryan 3% unch 593,000 +390,000
Kamala Harris 17% unch 559,000 +5,000
Mitt Romney 3% --- 239,000 ---
Bernie Sanders 7% unch 238,000 +15,000
Joe Biden 10% +3% 218,000 -21,000
Elizabeth Warren 6% -4% 194,000 +15,000
Kirsten Gillibrand 4% unch 191,000 +26,000
Mike Pence 8% unch 168,000 -18,000
Sherrod Brown 3% unch 156,000 +5,000
Amy Klobuchar 6% +2% 92,300 -6,400
Cory Booker 4% +1% 66,000 0
John Kasich 4% unch 65,300 +24,100

Standard disclaimer: Google result counts are bogus.

  • [Amazon Link]
    Bernie has a new book out (Amazon link at right), and his promotion efforts were noticed by Newsweek: Bernie Sanders Slams Donald Trump As a ‘Total Phony’ Who’s Only An ‘Extreme Right-Winger’ To Get Votes.

    President Donald Trump’s conservative agenda is not grounded in any real beliefs held by the president but is based solely on Trump’s pandering for votes, according to independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday.

    Sanders blasted Trump as a political leader with no true beliefs and who previously held far more left-wing views well before he ever entered politics.

    “Look he has no political belief. He is a total phony and a political opportunist,” Sanders said of the president to CNN while promoting his new book Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance. The progressive movement leader also detailed how Democrats can form a message to appeal to voters in the Midwest and around the country.

    Bernie, of course, is no stranger to changing positions in order to pander for votes.

    I agree with Bernie (however) that Trump's political positions are stuck on "inchoate", but his analysis is facile. He exemplifies the standard Progressive view about non-Progressives: they're either (a) being paid off by plutocrats; or (b) in the grip of some combination of stupid/ignorant/insane/evil/pathetic psychological dysfunction.

    Data point: WaPo article from November 29: How Donald Trump appeals to men secretly insecure about their manhood.

    Another example:

    Former President Barack Obama listed "mommy issues" as one explanation why U.S. has failed to make progress addressing policy problems ranging from education to the environment.

    "The reason we don't do it because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues," Obama said, specifically using the possibility of decreasing carbon emissions by 30 percent with available technology as an example.

    The guy who talked about "bitter clingers" … is still bitterly clinging to his simplistic views of his opponents.


  • You've heard of people singing from the same hymn sheet. A recent example had a CBS "journalist" singing a lovely duet with Bernie: Gayle King Finishes Bernie Sanders’ Sentences During CBS Interview.

    "As we talk about Black Friday and people shopping, we should remember that millions of workers who are out there now who are selling us products in department stores are making what I consider to be starvation wages," Sanders said.

    "Yeah," King said.

    "And I think we have got to finally make it clear that if you work 40 hours a week in America, you know what?" Sanders said.

    "You should not be poor. Yeah," King said.

    Alternate theory: Bernie's so utterly predictable in his stale tropes that an impatient interviewer might want to finish his sentences just to move things along, in hopes that he'll go on to say something new.


  • American Greatness, as its name implies, is a little too Trumpian-cheerleader for me to visit regularly, but Brit journalist Christopher Gage has an agreeably nasty article there: Brutal Truths for ‘Beto’ Believers.

    Only in the Current Year could an Irishman married to a billionaire pretend to be a Latino progressive fighting for the little guy. The title for biggest phony threatens to desert Rachel Dolezal.

    Beto O’Rourke, who is about as Hispanic as a penchant for California rolls makes me Emperor Hirohito, is running for president.

    It's not bad, and even has a Nathaniel Branden mention later in the article to appeal to us libertarians.


  • As our table shows, the betting markets show Beto with the current best shot (18%) at the Democratic nomination, edging out Kamala Harris (17%). Kamala can give Beto a run for his money on phoniness, though. It's not recent, but Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown took on The Phony Feminism of Kamala Harris.

    Kamala Harris has long positioned herself as a feminist crusader. But both as attorney general of California and now as a member of the U.S. Senate, she has actively championed policies that deny women's agency, ratchet up female incarceration, and endanger those most vulnerable to sexual abuse. Along the way, she has shown an utter disregard for civil liberties and constitutional law—a tendency she will now get to take to the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Note that this was written back in January, long before the Kavanaugh hearings, where Kamala beclowned herself by:

    California Sen. Kamala Harris and other prominent Democrats distorted Brett Kavanaugh's statements on birth control in widely shared warnings that the Supreme Court nominee is a woman-hating religious extremist. Harris' comments about Kavanaugh have been deemed whoppers by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler and ruled as false by the lie detectors at Politifact.

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a Democrat politician found to be lying by even Politifact and the WaPo must really be lying.


  • Bad news for the "Hillary, but younger" candidate: Franken Fallout Continues to Hurt 2020 Hopeful Gillibrand Among Donors.

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) might have thought she helped Democrats put former Sen. Al Franken’s groping scandal behind them, but big-money donors are keeping the issue alive.

    The donors preoccupied with the scandal are predominately in Franken’s corner, according to a report from Politico declaring that the matter "haunts Gillibrand’s 2020 chances." The report comes after Gillibrand was blackballed by mega-donor George Soros, who accused the New York senator of stabbing Franken in the back to improve her 2020 chances.

    An older story on Senator G from Paul Bois at the Daily Wire: Kirsten Gillibrand Is A Shape-Shifting Phony. Here Are 10 Times She Flip-Flopped Positions.


  • And we have a Trump/Pence/Hillary three-for-one phony bonus in this Politico story from Rebecca Morin, apparently one of the staffers assigned the sorry task of monitoring and analyzing presidential retweets: Trump retweets fake Pence account giving thanks for Clinton's 2016 loss.

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday shared a post from a parody account of Vice President Mike Pence giving thanks “for every day Hillary Clinton is not president.”

    The post was originally shared by @MikePenceVP, a profile that uses the same photo as one of Pence’s verified accounts but describes itself as a “fan account. My Goal is to expose liberal hypocrisy and Fake News Bias.” The vice president’s official Twitter accounts are @VP and @Mike_Pence.

    Here's the tweet in question:

    The issue in the Politico writer's mind seems to be whether Trump knew it was from a fan account (not really a "parody" account), and not the real veep. And she admits she doesn't know.

    Hmph. Without even so much as a "sorry I wasted the time that you spent reading this."