The Phony Campaign

2020-01-05 Update

[Amazon Link]

Well, for our first phony poll of 2020, we've gotten rid of Andrew Yang and Hillary Clinton, as the Betfair punters apparently awoke hungover from their New Year's revelry, looked at their betting slips, and said: "What are these blokes thinking? Blimey!"

Does that sound authentic? I was really trying.

In addition, Donald Trump has moved into better-than-even odds; Bernie and Joe showed solid gains. Liz and the mayors sunk, and I'll derive whatever joy I can from watching them wonder what they did wrong in getting beat by Trump, Bernie, and Joe (combined age 228 years).

So you might want to pick up our Amazon Product du Jour, before Mayor Pete decides to ride off into the South Bend sunset on his trusty steed.

And President Trump can rest assured that if he looks in the Google Magic Mirror and asks "Who is the phoniest of them all?" … that title is his for at least another week.

Candidate WinProb Change
Since
12/22
Phony
Results
Change
Since
12/22
Donald Trump 50.8% +1.0% 1,450,000 -520,000
Pete Buttigieg 3.8% -0.6% 992,000 -1,558,000
Bernie Sanders 11.3% +2.4% 509,000 +36,000
Joe Biden 17.0% +2.9% 427,000 -88,000
Elizabeth Warren 4.6% -1.7% 279,000 +53,000
Michael Bloomberg 3.9% -0.5% 80,200 +3,800

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • You know who's not even threatened to break into our phony results, despite his TV commercials blanketing my local TV news show? Tom Steyer.

    He is literally a finger-wagger. Tom, if you can't think of what to do with your hands, just keep them in your pockets.

    Anyway, at Reason, Eric Boehm points out that Bloomberg, Steyer Showing Money Can’t Buy Elections After Failed $200 Million Ad Blitz.

    There are two lessons here. First, Bloomberg and Steyer seem to be on an inadvertent crusade to prove that progressive fears about the influence of money in politics are largely unfounded.

    Secondly, the two billionaire candidates are providing a real-world lesson about opportunity costs by setting fire to their huge campaign war chests. They've got the means to change the world, but getting involved in politics isn't the best way to do it.

    Nevertheless, the wannabe political speech censors will continue to assert the necessity of "getting money out of politics".


  • Also at Reason, Jacob Sullum looks back "at a year of presidential blame shifting". Starring who else: Trump’s Inartful Dodges. Sample:

    Love Him or Leave. After Trump supporters at a July 17 rally chanted "send her back" when he mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.), who was born in Somalia, he claimed "I felt a little bit badly about it" and "started speaking very quickly," which was not true. Trump's attempt to distance himself from the spirit of the chant was especially implausible because just a few days before he had suggested that "'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen"—a reference to Omar and three other minority representatives, all of whom were born in the United States—should "go back" to the countries they "originally came from."

    Given that he's referred to me (and people like me) as 'human scum', I'm not inclined to cut him a break on this.


  • [Amazon Link]
    Not that the front-running Democrat septagenarian septugenarian septuganerian guy-in-his-seventies would be much better on the not-making-stuff-up front. Fox News reports: Biden now denies he told Obama not to launch Bin Laden raid in 2011.

    “As commander in chief, if you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you could stop an imminent attack on Americans -- but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terrorist leader -- would you pull the trigger?” Fox News asked Biden.

    “Well we did - the guy’s name was Usama bin Laden,” Biden replied.

    “Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?” Fox News followed up.

    “No, I didn’t,” Biden said.

    It might be time to reread Harry Frankfort's classic On Bullshit (link at right). I seem to remember he made a fine and crucial distinction between lying and bullshitting, but I'd need to refresh my memory… Either way, a useful skill for navigating the presidential news no matter who wins.


  • Bernie's doing pretty well in fundraising, I hear. It probably helps him in that he and his campaign find the malign influence of evildoers everywhere. As the Free Beacon reports, Sanders Campaign Manager: Buttigieg and Biden Are Kowtowing to the Rich.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) campaign manager Faiz Shakir on Thursday said Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are kowtowing to rich donors while the Sanders campaign is funded entirely by small donations.

    "If you have Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden telling you that they need to go kowtow at the altar of the rich to fundraise for the general election, they are wrong," Shakir told CNN. "We are upending those notions. You can fund this totally in a grassroots way."

    Shakir added that Biden and Buttigieg are ultimately selling political influence to those donors.

    Bernie's perfectly amenable to changing his positions (on, say ethanol) to get votes from Iowans. Is that kowtowing?


  • Tulsi Gabbard … ah, if only she were slightly more liberty-friendly! Because this is pretty (and literally) cool: Tulsi Gabbard draws crowd while surfing in New Hampshire. And on January 1, baby.

    OK, I'm getting the chills just typing about it.