The Phony Campaign

2019-11-17 Update

Wow, how about that impeachment stuff, huh? Yeah, me neither.

A new phony leader has emerged in our standings: Mayor Pete had a nearly-eightfold increase in phony hits over the past week, while President Bone Spurs' dropped by nearly 75%. It's a funny world, and will probably change again next week; Google hits are not only bogus, they're volatile.

Slightly more tethered to reality—at least, "reality" as judged by people betting their own money on the election outcome—are the probability changes. Mayor Pete wins here too, with a decent upward bump of 2.6 percentage points.

And the big loser again this week: Senator Liz, down to a mere 13% chance of taking the oath on January 20, 2021. She still leads the Democrats, but… only a few weeks ago she was at 27.6%.

Candidate WinProb Change
Pete Buttigieg 9.5% +2.6% 7,240,000 +6,252,000
Donald Trump 40.5% -0.3% 1,990,000 -5,740,000
Hillary Clinton 3.0% +0.9% 949,000 -5,000
Bernie Sanders 7.0% +0.9% 538,000 +36,000
Joe Biden 10.4% -0.8% 440,000 -25,000
Elizabeth Warren 13.0% -4.1% 220,000 -42,000
Michael Bloomberg 2.1% -2.1% 80,800 +29,000
Andrew Yang 2.1% +0.1% 40,100 -2,500

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • A CNN opinionator, Frida Ghitis, detects heroism opposed to major inauthenticity: Real hero takes down phony corruption fighter.

    If we could remove partisan blinders, all Americans would see former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch as the national hero she is. Her testimony before the House committee investigating President Donald Trump showed a public servant who has devoted her life, at great personal risk, to bolstering the nation that gave refuge to her parents after they fled the Nazis and the Bolsheviks.

    She radiated the same dedication to freedom that seeps into the DNA of those who have fled oppression or seen it up close.

    That's why her story was not just inspiring but also dispiriting. An American hero, attacked by an American president -- removed from her post not because she failed to do her job but because she was doing it too well. As a result of Trump's actions, US policy went from supporting anti-corruption efforts to combating them. And for whose benefit?

    Trump, right?

    I'm not sure about the "national hero" and "great personal risk" stuff though.

  • Marc A. Thiessen puts his finger on a possible out for Trump: Incompetence is not an impeachable offense.

    The problem with most conspiracy theories is that they presume too much competence on the part of the conspirators. The same may be true when it comes to President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) put it, “What I can tell you about the Trump policy towards the Ukraine is that it was incoherent. . . . They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.”

    Graham may be right. Wednesday’s impeachment hearing certainly provided no new evidence that Trump had a coherent strategy to use U.S. security assistance, and the prospect of a presidential meeting, to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

    It may not be the best campaign ad, though.

  • E. J. Dionne really, really, wants Trump gone, and he's bereft that Democrats have put their differences above beating Trump.

    Somewhere on the seventh tee, the phony populist Trump is laughing. One side of the Democratic Party is denouncing its foes as class enemies and apologists of the rich. The other argues that champions of the left will destroy the American economy. Is this how Democrats want to spend the next few months?

    Yeah, E. J., they probably do. Or, more accurately, each Democrat will spend his or her time doing whatever they think is necessary to win the nomination. I wouldn't have thought I needed to spell that out.

  • E. J. is kind of irked about Bloomberg getting into the race. But at National Review, Kevin D. Williamson sees Upsides for Left & Right in Bloomie's campaign.

    The troubles with Michael Bloomberg, from the conservative point of view, are obvious enough: He has a terrible record on abortion and on Second Amendment rights. He is a climate-change crusader and is unlikely to install great heaping pallets of Federalist Society–approved judges in the U.S. courts. He is a nanny and a scold whose conception of the proper sphere of government action is broad enough to encompass salt-shakers and soda cups. But while Nurse Bloomberg may be Barry Goldwater in comparison to the silly Sandinista sad-sack who succeeded him, he is not running against Bill de Blasio or Warren Wilhelm Jr. or whatever it is the mayor of New York City is calling himself these days.

    The Democrats’ objections to him are partly demographic — he is an old, white, male billionaire in a party that increasingly is openly hostile to each of those categories independently and slavers with rage when they are combined — and partly political: In rhetoric and in office, Bloomberg has shown himself to be a bipartisan moderate who if not quite free of ideology at least has the good sense to try to subordinate ideological passions (his and others’) to the pursuit of administrative competence.

    Whatever Mike's multiple and egregious faults, KDW notes, he was an effective mayor of NYC. Democrats "could do worse". And "Unfortunately for them, they almost certainly will, too."

  • Ann Althouse notes the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is kind of iffy on Wheezy Joe: "[Biden] bereft of elementary appearance as a human being, much less a politician, again reeled off a string of rubbish against the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.". And moreover:

    "A crow is never whiter for often washing. Baiden [sic], still going reckless, not coming to his senses though he was censured and rejected by all people, must be a rabid dog only keen on getting at others' throats. Such rabid dogs are second to none in their craftiness in seeking their own interests... Such a profiteer who ran for the two failed presidential elections has now gone zealous in another presidential election campaign, wandering about like a starving field dog."

    A message from North Korea. It seems funny at first, but if you keep reading, it's a death threat: "It seems time has come for him to depart his life.... Anyone who dare slanders the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK, can never spare the DPRK's merciless punishment whoever and wherever. And he will be made to see even in a grave what horrible consequences will be brought about by his thoughtless utterances. Rabid dogs like Baiden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about. They must be beaten to death with a stick, before it is too late."

    Well, that seems intemperate.

  • Well, let's look at Mayor Pete with Scott Shackford at Reason: Pete Buttigieg Has a $1 Trillion Plan to Drive Up Housing, College, and Labor Costs.

    On Friday, Buttigieg revealed "An Economic Agenda for American Families: Empowering Working and Middle Class Americans to Thrive," his expensive proposal to push for even greater amounts of federal spending and regulation in housing, child care, college, and the workplace.

    This is hardly a surprise from a Democratic candidate, even a self-styled moderate like Buttigieg. He says in the proposal's introduction that he "doesn't mean government taking over the economy." But he nevertheless argues that government is supposed to have a "vigorous presence" in our economy to make sure it "actually works for all."

    As Scott notes, this is "a fantasy wish list with no relationship to reality."

  • But Senator Liz is still plumping for her phony plans. Which is too much for even the WaPo fact checker, Glenn Kessler: Warren’s misleading pitch for her tax on billionaires.

    “All we are saying is, when you make it big, pitch in two cents so everyone else gets a chance to make it,” Warren says before [her new TV] ad lists programs that the candidate says would be funded through a wealth tax, such as universal child care ($700 billion over 10 years), universal free college and student debt forgiveness ($1.25 trillion), “and more.”

    Only problem: Liz has already tripled her wealth tax proposal for "billionaires" to 6%. Kessler awards her Three Pinocchios.

  • Senator Amy is long-gone from our standings, down with the other dead-but-don't-go-away candidates. But Klobuchar recently komplained about the "relative success of Pete Buttigieg" — a mere mayor! — causing fellow Minnesotan Scott Johnson at Power Line to invite us to Meet Amy Whinehouse.

    In Minnesota politics Klobuchar has led a charmed life, but so have a few other DFL politicians who lacked the advantage of a widely known name. Her popularity among Minnesota voters is not a credit to us. From my perspective, the most notable fact about Senator Klobuchar is what a phony she is.

    She is not nice. She is not funny. She is not a moderate. She is not an accomplished legislator. She is an incredibly boring speaker.

    EBO currently has her probability at 1.1%. Same as Tulsi, but better than Kamala (0.7%), Cory (0.4%), or Julian (0.1%).

Last Modified 2019-11-17 11:06 AM EDT