The Phony Campaign

2020-04-05 Update

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

Our Amazon Prouduct du Jour looks pretty good for evening wear! A mere $26.94 + $3.99 shipping, but … oops … arrives May 22 - June 15. Geez, I hope things are over by then. [October 2022: the product link broke, sorry. I don't even remember what it was. Replaced.]

And, oh yeah, it's phony day. Andrew Cuomo is still (barely) meeting our credible-candidate inclusion criterion, and he still is beating the pants off Trump in the phony-hit category:

Candidate WinProb Change
Andrew Cuomo 2.1% -1.1% 2,380,000 -360,000
Donald Trump 48.5% -0.2% 1,250,000 -150,000
Joe Biden 42.0% +0.9% 351,000 -71,000

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • So, while we've still got Fredo's brother to kick around, let's look at (thanks to Byron York at the Washington Examiner) The #PresidentCuomo fantasy.

    How nervous are some Democrats about Joe Biden's chances against President Trump this November? Nervous enough to entertain the notion that another Democrat, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, might swoop in and save the day.

    Cuomo, who has been governor for nearly a decade and has one of the most famous names in Democratic politics, found new prominence when his state became the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States. In February and March, some New York officials urged the public to maintain regular activities even as the virus took hold in the state, leading to the worst outbreak in the country. Now, with New York in crisis, the governor holds daily briefings that some politicos see as an effective counterpoint to Trump's White House updates.

    Byron (I call him Byron) finds the scenario that might give us President Cuomo to be farfetched. (Can you really call it the "Democratic" Party when it nominates a guy that nobody has voted for? That hasn't happened since… hm, 1968.)

  • Reason's Robby Soave asks the musical question: Why Are the Mainstream Media Ignoring Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden?

    On September 14, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of an unverified sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The story cited three people who had read a letter sent by the accuser—Christine Blasey Ford—to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.). Ford was not interviewed for the story; indeed, she wasn't named.

    Unconfirmed reports of a teenaged Kavanaugh assaulting a teenaged Ford evidently merited coverage from The Times. This prompts an obvious question: Why is the paper of record now declining to publicize a very troubling allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden?

    The Times is hardly alone in this regard. The mainstream media have remained bafflingly silent about Tara Reade, a former member of then-Senator Biden's staff who claims that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. Reade's name has only appeared twice in The Washington Post, and both were quick asides: A news roundup from April of last year briefly acknowledged an earlier, milder version of Reade's accusation, and a recent rapid-fire Q&A asked a Post political reporter to weigh-in on the political ramifications "of the Tara Reade bombshell." (The nature of the bombshell is not described.)

    I don't see any reason to believe Tara Reade. But I didn't see any reason to believe Christine Blasey Ford either. This isn't about me.

    I believe the answer to Robby's question is pretty simple: Ms. Reade's accusation is being ignored because drawing attention to it would hurt a Democrat instead of a Republican.

  • Vanity Fair alleges that Trump thinks “Every Country” Spreads Lies About the Coronavirus, What’s the Big Deal?

    Asked by cohost Brian Kilmeade about a Washington Post editorial condemning Russia and China for spreading absurd misinformation about the virus—including, in the case of Russia, that it was made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and in the case of China, that it had been let loose on Wuhan by the U.S. Army—Trump responded, “Number one, you don’t know what they’re doing. And when you read it in the Washington Post, you don’t believe it. I believe very little when I see it. I see stories in the Washington Post that are so fake, that are so phony. I have stories that are such fake stuff, and that’s number one.” Then he added, of governments spreading completely outrageous lies: “They do it and we do it...Every country does it.”

    Whoa, Trump really said that America spreads "completely outrageous lies" about Coronavirus origins? Certainly this guy thinks that's what he said:

    Well,… here's the transcript of the interview. Check for yourself.

    It's fair to say that Trump's comments are (as usual) full of bile aimed the Washington Post and the New York Times. But it seems that he's really talking about trash-talk between countries ("I make statements that are very strong against China"): his example is calling it the "Chinese virus".

    Which might not be nice, but it's hardly a "completely outrageous" lie.

    Trump's rambling stream-of-consciousness rants are difficult to parse, and easy to interpret uncharitably. That's on him, of course. But I'm reasonably certain that the uncharitable interpretation is also an unfair one in this case.

  • Which brings me to Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek. He's not a Trump fan either. But he finds that Trump is Too Easy an Excuse and Target. And, to my mind, he gets it exactly right:

    “Things would be much better now if only we’d had a better person as president,” the lazy thinking seems to be.

    One major danger of this particular blame-game is that it creates the impression that little or no deep thinking about this crisis need be done. All or most problems are caused by Trump’s incompetence, megalomania, and evil mien. End of story. There’s no need, therefore, to question objectively the incentive structures within government agencies and within legislatures. Also, there’s no need to investigate carefully whatever changes in incentives and constraints are created in private markets by taxes and government spending, proscriptions, and prescriptions.

    There’s no need for any such hard-nosed analysis because we all know the chief reason for any and all problems: President Donald J. Trump.

    Would matters be better today if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election? Or if Barack Obama had been anointed to serve a third term? Or if Ronald Reagan or George Washington had been resurrected and ensconced in the Oval Office? Maybe. But if so the improvement would have been small. We Americans would still be in a heap of trouble.

    Trump did not create the FDA, the CDC, or any of the countless occupational-licensing and certificate-of-need restrictions. Trump, being governor of no state, has imposed no stay-at-home diktats on private Americans. Trump isn’t the author of federalism. Trump did not create COVID-19. Nor did he bring this virus to the U.S.

    As best as I can judge, a Pres. Clinton (H. or B.) or Pres. Obama or Pres. Biden or Sanders or Warren or Klobuchar in this moment would likely have done some things better than Trump, but also would likely have done some things worse. The social-engineering itch of modern-day Democrats would have prevented any of them from easing some of the regulations that Trump justifiably eased, and would perhaps have, in addition, moved them to impose restraints and restrictions that Trump never dreamed of and which – although surely these would have been greeted with “Oooohs” and “Ahhhs” from the intellectual and entertainment-world elite – would perhaps have inflicted even graver damage on the economy than that which we are enduring now.

    As matters stand, however, Trump is the excuse. It’s lazy. It’s largely mistaken. And, as such, it’s dangerous. But it’s oh-so convenient and cool.

    That's a long excerpt. But a good one, right? A commenter also notes the "progressive" attitude: " if Obama were still president he'd have magically stopped the virus form ever harming anyone outside of Seattle. He organized a "pandemic response team" which would have sprung into action, vanquished this evil virus immediately, and left the U.S. the only country on the planet to have avoided the pandemic completely without so muchTrump's super racist move of prohibiting international travel. Apparently, that pandemic response team was the key."

Last Modified 2022-10-14 5:36 AM EDT