The Phony Campaign

2019-03-31 Update

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No changes in our phony lineup this week! Although I'm not sure how much longer Elizabeth Warren can stay above our 2% WinProb threshold. The phrase "circling the drain" comes to mind.

As far as probabilities go, Donald Trump is our big winner this week, as apparently it took a while for the Mueller report news to filter over to the Betfair bettors. On the other hand, Joe Biden's probability took a equal and opposite hit since last Sunday, for reasons discussed below. So what's the story? Bad news travels faster than good news?

In phony news, about 99% of the phony hits Google reported for Kamala and Beto! just … disappeared, went poof, over the span of the past week. This leaves President Trump as our undisputed phony leader. For now!

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 40.3% +5.8% 1,870,000 +100,000
Pete Buttigieg 6.5% +4.0% 323,000 +140,000
Bernie Sanders 13.4% +1.2% 313,000 -48,000
Joe Biden 6.7% -5.8% 202,000 -24,000
Elizabeth Warren 2.3% +0.2% 197,000 -10,000
Beto O'Rourke 8.3% -1.7% 103,000 -7,147,000
Kamala Harris 12.2% +1.0% 93,700 -7,956,300
Andrew Yang 2.9% +0.1% 12,600 +1,500

WinProb calculation described here. Google result counts are bogus.

  • At the never-Trump Bulwark, Rachael Lattimore is not amused by the post-Mueller triumphalism exhibited by Trump and his supporters.

    In fact, you can almost taste the bitter tears: About That Victory Lap ....

    The reaction from the #MAGA crowd to the news that the Mueller investigation was completed and the report delivered to William Barr without calls for further indictment has been one long football-spiking, donut-spinning, fist-pumping Gatorade bath.

    And kudos! Enjoy! This is your moment. You guys earned this. You went all-in on the idea that Donald Trump did not actively collude with the Russian government during the 2016 election and, indeed, Robert Mueller could not find enough evidence to prove that charge. So much #winning.

    Rachael reminds us:

    […] at the end of the day Donald Trump is a bad man. A bad, orange man. And a bad president. Vanna, show them what they’ve won!

    Trump is still the same guy who:

    • Told Billy Bush that “I moved on her like a bitch” in reference to a married woman. And that his M.O. is to “grab ’em by the pussy.”
    • Insulted John McCain for being captured while serving in Vietnam.
    • Insulted a Gold Star family whose son died in Iraq.
    • Said Mexico was going to build America a wall.
    • Accused an American judge of dual loyalties.

    And, reader, that's just the first five things on a very long unordered list. You can quibble about context, fairness, etc. You can do the "Whatabout" shuffle. But, yeah, in your heart of hearts: you know he's not a good guy.

  • At Reason, Matt Welch notes that Trump's effective campaign style has its imitators, if not admirers. Witness the peddlers of Democratic Dystopias.

    From his opening campaign declaration that "the American dream is dead," to his creatively capitalized warning just last month that "without strong Borders we don't have a Country," Donald Trump has proven again and again that an apocalyptic style works in contemporary American politics.

    The president's 2020 challengers, alas, have followed Trump's lead.

    "We are at an inflection point in in the history of our world," Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pronounced when kicking off her candidacy in January. "We are here because the American dream and our American democracy are under attack and on the line like never before."

    Voters in the 1864 primaries might beg to differ, but that's not stopping the presidential primary field from serial declarations of catastrophe.

    "Today, millions and millions and millions of American families are … struggling to survive in a system that has been rigged by the wealthy and the well-connected," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said last month when announcing her presidential bid. "Millions of families can barely breathe."

    Matt's only flaw is saying this as it's something new. Couple examples spring to mind: Teddy Kennedy's denunciation of "Robert Bork's America" (1987, 32 years ago); Truman's claim that a GOP victory would "bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom" (1948, 71 years ago).

    You could probably dig up some examples from Republicans too. Exercise for the reader.

  • As promised above: Ann Althouse notes that It's been determined that it's time, at long last, to destroy Joe Biden. The trigger is Lucy Flores' article. Key dramatic incident that Lucy Only Just Now thought would be good to share:

    I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual […]

    Well, Lucy drops an f-bomb right there, and we don't want to offend anyone. But can there be any doubt that Lucy's a good candidate for writing a best-seller, Fifty Shades of Joe? Or The Veep Next Door?

    And I recommend our Amazon Product du Jour for any woman who has to be in Biden's proximity during the campaign.

  • Amy Klobuchar dropped below our 2% WinProb criterion a couple weeks back, and doesn't show any signs of returning. (Currently she's at 1.05% by my calculation.) Her "Minnesota Nice" reputation is gone, and now she appears willing to sacrifice whatever "Minnesota Honest" credentials she might have had. The WaPo clucks its journalistic tongue and awards her Four Pinocchios for her recent effort to pose as a social justice warrior: Klobuchar cites bad data to claim credit for reducing black incarceration.

    “If you look at the data, you will see there was a 65 percent decrease in incarceration of African Americans when you go from the beginning of my term to the end.”

    — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), in remarks to Jake Tapper on CNN’s "State of the Union,” March 17, 2019

    The Fact Checker "smelled a statistical anomaly." And, indeed, Senator Amy's "decrease" is entirely due to a change in reporting standards, not a wholesale release of unjustly imprisoned African Americans by the Hennepin County Attorney.

    Key, non-alternative fact: during Klobuchar's last full year in office, 2006, "African American prison admission rates were still 22 times higher than white prison admission rates."

    She'd be better off saying "Yeah, they were all bad dudes."

  • Jim Treacher finds only negligible traces of classical liberalism in the rhetoric of the Pride of South Bend, Indiana: Pete Buttigieg Wants to Free You from Freedom. Quote from Mayor Pete:

    "I don't think we need different values. I believe in the values of this party, that's why I'm doing this. But I do believe we could adjust the way we talk about it just a little bit. And it's one of the reasons why you always hear the word 'freedom' on my lips. We've allowed our conservative friends to get a monopoly on the idea of freedom. Now, they care about freedom, but they care about a very specific kind of freedom. Freedom from. Freedom from regulation. As though government were the only thing that can make us unfree. But that's not true, is it? We know that your neighbor can make you unfree. Your cable company can make you unfree. [LAUGHTER] If they're telling you who you ought to marry, your county clerk can make you unfree. [APPLAUSE] You're not free if you're afraid to start a small business because leaving your job would mean losing your healthcare. [APPLAUSE] You're not free if there's a veil of mistrust between you as a person of color and the officers who are sworn to keep you safe. [APPLAUSE] You're not free if your reproductive choices are being dictated by male politicians in Washington. [APPLAUSE] So don't let anybody tell you that the other side is the side that's got a handle on freedom. We are the party of freedom, and we shouldn't be afraid to go out there and say it."

    Treach comments: "Orwell wept." And goes on ably from there.

  • Like Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker has not cracked our 2% WinProb threshold for a couple weeks. (Currently: 1.54%) At Reason, Scott Shackford claims Cory Booker Is the 'Plug and Play' Democratic Presidential Candidate.

    Despite saying he's the candidate for "love and unity," Booker made no effort to court Republicans or independents. He instead called for Democrats to work to take control of state legislatures and then later complained about the influence of "Republicans who control state legislators" when it came to crafting education policy. He's apparently in favor of unity to the extent that Americans rally behind every single plank in the Democratic Party platform.

    If you were a Democrat, Booker's answers were probably comfort food. He is a "plug and play" candidate who's programmed with all the right things to say, with just the right tone and passion, to appeal to Democratic voters without being overly aggressive, even as he sets forth a vision that probably half of the American population does not support.

    "Just tell me what you want to hear. I'll say that."

Last Modified 2019-04-01 4:53 AM EST