The Phony Campaign

2020-08-23 Update

Our Getty Image du Jour is US presidential Candidate Vermin Love Supreme, to whom we'll be referring later.

The betting markets were apparently unimpressed with the Democratic Party Convention/Infomercial this past week. Wheezy Joe continued to lose ground to President Bone Spurs, this week by a net 2.5 percentage points.

The GOP is up this week. Can't help but wonder if we'll see a reversal in Trump's fortunes, as a few million people tune in and say… "Oh crap, I don't like this guy much either."

And Joe Biden was the only candidate to gain phony hits this week. Again, I expect a big convention-related boost for Trump there.

Standard disclaimer: nobody's paying me to watch the GOP convention, so I won't.

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 41.7% +1.3% 2,590,000 -80,000
Joe Biden 55.4% -1.2% 1,560,000 +500,000
Jo Jorgensen 0.0% unch 23,400 -3,000
Howie Hawkins 0.0% unch 15,000 -77,500

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • We really should show Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins some love. By which we mean, share the views of the World Socialist Web Site ("Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International"), which finds him to be a Phony Socialist, engaging in Capitalist politics in the guise of “ecosocialism” (from May of this year):

    In the aftermath of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden last month, the Green Party is presenting itself as the continuation of Sanders’ “political revolution.” Workers and youth seeking an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans must be warned: The Green Party is a capitalist party with no real independence from the Democrats.

    The Green Party is presently on track to nominate Howie Hawkins, one of the co-founders of the party in 1984, as its presidential candidate. Hawkins has announced that Angela Walker will be his running mate for vice president. Both Hawkins and Walker are also members of Socialist Party USA and Solidarity, pseudo-left groups that operate in the orbit of the Democratic Party.

    The Hawkins-Walker campaign platform itself is an eclectic list of various reform proposals, centered on an “Ecosocialist Green New Deal.” To fund their programs, they call not for the expropriation of the wealth of the capitalists or the nationalization of any corporations, but simply “progressive taxation.” The words “working class,” “capitalist class” and “revolution” do not appear in their platform.

    "Howie Hawkins: not totally in bed with Trotskyites." Maybe he could print up some bumper stickers.

  • Let's also look at the top phony hit for Jo Jorgensen. It's from New York magazine, by Ed Kilgore: Libertarians Decide to Become a Joke in 2020. Oh, no! And here's our promised Vermin connection:

    During the last three presidential election cycles, to the dismay of purists, the Libertarian Party has nominated ex-Republican politicians who offered conventional credibility and name ID in exchange for something a bit less than full subscription to libertarian ideology. The transaction paid off pretty well in 2016, when a ticket of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts governor William Weld won more than 4 million votes and more than 3 percent of the national popular vote, tripling its prior best performance.

    But in 2020, Libertarians are going in a very different direction, best evidenced by Bill Weld’s successor as the party’s veep nominee, Spike Cohen. Cohen, an online media entrepreneur, is best known as the designated running mate of political performance artist Vermin Supreme, the perennial candidate known for wearing a boot on his head and promising all voters free ponies. Supreme, who was a bizarre minor presence in the 2012 and 2016 Democratic presidential contests, took his act to the Libertarians this year, and though he finished third in last weekend’s online presidential vote, his sidekick Cohen won the separate vice-presidential balloting.

    On a 0-to-10 enthusiasm scale, my vote for Gary Johnson in 2016 was about a 5.68. My vote for Jo in November will probably come in around 2.83.

  • The Baseball Crank Dan McLaughlin, pens a missive in National Review (NRPLUS, sorry): Dear Biden Supporters: We Can Read, You Know.

    The Democrats’ pundit class has a Joe Biden agenda problem. On the one hand, they are devoted to reassuring centrist voters that Biden is a soothing moderate because of things he did decades ago (say, the 1994 crime bill), because he talked down some of the most ridiculous of the left wing’s policy proposals (notably “Medicare for All”) in the primary, or because he does not speak the language of the woke “defund the police” faction. But at the same time, they are hard at work loudly telling the Bernie/Warren/AOC wing of their party: Don’t worry, Joe won’t stop you from getting what you want. He’s actually going to help you.

    The problem is: We can read. This stuff is all out there. And voters who are being sold the “moderate Joe” line need to understand that the people selling it are simultaneously building support to govern with a much more radical agenda.

    "Radical? Moderate? Hey, I'll be anything you want, as long as I get to be President."

  • The Reason video folks detail: Kamala Harris’ Dishonest Campaign To Destroy

    Before Senator and former California Attorney General Kamala Harris was chosen as Joe Biden's running mate in the 2020 election, she played a role in a campaign to force a website called to stop operating on the grounds that it was used to facilitate sex trafficking.

    " needs to shut itself down, when it has created as its business model the profiting off of selling human beings and the purchase of human beings," Harris said at a 2012 press conference.

    She would go on to spread misinformation about the site and its co-founders, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, and she co-filed criminal charges that were quickly dismissed but succeeded at garnering headlines and photo ops that raised her political profile. In reality, had become a powerful tool for law enforcement to help catch sex traffickers because of the cooperation and commitment of the site's founders to that cause, whom Harris and many other states' attorneys general had painted as villains.

    Surprise: truth is the first victim of political ambition.

  • Oh oh. Is Joe in trouble with teacher again? The NYPost says Joe Biden faces plagiarism claim over DNC acceptance speech.

    Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reprised his penchant for borrowing lines from other people’s work this week — apparently relying a bit too heavily on the words of a deceased Canuck party leader during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, reports said.

    Biden concluded his Thursday night speech by saying: “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark.”

    But Canadian media quickly noted that the former veep’s words were uncannily similar to those of Jack Layton, the leader of Canada’s left-wing New Democratic Party, who issued a poignant open letter to his fellow citizens as he lay dying in 2011.

    In Joe's slight defense: there are only so many ways to express meaningless platitudes.

    (And it's always nice to hear "hope is more powerful than fear" from a guy that's just told me that Donald Trump is personally gonna kill my grandma.)

  • As Tim Graham from the Daily Wire notes, the convention/informercial also featured a blast from a past master: Phony Lines From Barack Obama’s Speech. Five examples, here's the final one:

    Finally, Obama said of the Biden-Harris ticket: “They understand that political opponents aren’t ‘un-American’ just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn’t the ‘enemy’ but the way we hold officials accountable.”

    False. In April, Biden said Trump’s differing opinion on mail-in voting was “un-American.” And most conservatives thought it was rich for Obama to uphold the press, when even Obama-supporting journalists admitted he was the harshest president in history in prosecuting journalists during leak investigations.

    Donald Trump isn’t wrong to think of the media elite as an enemy, even as Obama arrogantly poses as the defender of hardened observers such as ABC’s Terry Moran, who oozed in 2009 that Obama was “taking a step down into the Oval Office.”

    Biden has also called Trump "un-American" for his efforts to take down DACA; restricting Muslim immigration; and probably on more issues to come.

Last Modified 2020-08-23 11:30 AM EDT


[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

It's almost a genre in itself: revenge fantasy, where the hero suffers grievous loss, takes personal responsibility for vengeance against the perpetrators. Here, it is Jennifer Garner, who I keep expecting to snarl "What's in your wallet?" as she is dispatching one of her victims.

Not that she doesn't have a good reason to be pissed. Her husband made the mistake of considering, then turning down, an offer to assist in ripping off a drug dealer. Guess what, that's good enough for the drug dealer to order a drive-by on hubby, who just happens to be enjoying a night out with Jennifer and their cute young daughter. And Jennifer is (barely) the sole survivor. Man, that's rough.

Combine that with an utterly corrupt miscarriage of justice, and Jennifer develops an unusual mental attitude. (I almost said "goes crazy", but that would be too judgmental.) She drops out of normal society, self-trains to be an urban guerilla, and eventually starts shootin'. IMDB puts her body count at 43, which seems low.

Ms Garner was nominated for a Razzie "Worst Actress" award for her performance. That's kind of harsh. Anyway, she lost to Melissa McCarthy.

Last Modified 2022-10-16 9:49 AM EDT