The Phony Campaign

2019-06-09 Update

It's been a couple weeks since our last phony update. And phoniness did not go on hiatus during that time. Let's open with a fine … nay, brilliant video from those wacky folks at Reason:

Uncomfortably verisimilar!

Our candidate lineup has remained unchanged since March. Beto! remains on deathwatch, however, flirting with our 2% inclusion threshold. The most likely candidate to appear… remains Tulsi Gabbard.

Mayor Pete maintains a slight lead in phony hit counts this week. Will President Orange regain his rightful lead soon? Stay tuned!

Candidate WinProb Change
Pete Buttigieg 8.0% +3.1% 2,170,000 -2,730,000
Donald Trump 46.5% -0.4% 1,850,000 -510,000
Bernie Sanders 8.3% -1.2% 464,000 +57,000
Joe Biden 15.4% +1.3% 275,000 -38,000
Elizabeth Warren 5.1% +1.4% 201,000 -78,000
Kamala Harris 6.3% -0.2% 102,000 +8,100
Beto O'Rourke 2.1% -0.3% 66,100 -6,700
Andrew Yang 2.3% -0.5% 21,600 -400

"WinProb" calculation described here. Google result counts are bogus.

It was really tough to avoid making this week's update exclusively about Joe Biden. Don't let the bogus Google hit count deceive you: Biden's phoniness over the past few days has been unmatched by any other candidate.

  • It's been less than a couple weeks since Paul Mirengoff wondered: Where’s Joe?. In reference to a WaPo story by Annie Linskey and Chelsea Janes documenting Biden's absence from campaign events:

    Why is Biden limiting his exposure so sharply? Linskey and Janes are too diplomatic, or partisan, to discuss the obvious reason — he’s a gaffe machine. Instead, they note that he has plenty of name recognition and leads in the polls. But if Biden were confident in his ability to face public scrutiny, he would be pressing home his advantage instead of avoiding the public.

    Biden’s backers say that the public has no doubt about where their man stands on the issues of the day. That statement is laughable, though Linskey and Janes don’t challenge it. Biden has stood on both sides of many important issues.

    Biden keeping himself out of the news? Ah, good times. (That link goes to the wannabe guillotine operators at Jacobin by the way.)

  • An old plagiarizer finds the habit hard to break, as reported by Business Insider: Joe Biden climate plan copies language from other organizations.

    Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden released on Tuesday a comprehensive proposal to combat global climate change, adding to the mix of candidates who have made rolling back dangerous emissions a central tenet of their campaigns.

    But multiple sentences in Biden's proposal appear to lift passages from letters and websites for different organizations. The copied sentences are particularly notable because of Biden's past history of plagiarism, which played a major role in tanking his 1988 presidential campaign.

    Biden's campaign says "oops, inadvertent, sorry." But CNN said, hey, what's the big deal? What would Democrats do without the MSM making excuses for them?

  • Of course, the big Biden phoniness, was, in comparison, an attempted triple Lutz ending with a facedown into a pile of zamboni shavings. Alexandra DeSanctis at NR observes the obvious. Joe Biden & Hyde Amendment Opposition: Former Vice President Was Never Pro-Life.

    In a catastrophic failure of moral and political judgment, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden has buckled under pressure from abortion-rights activists and stated his newfound opposition to the Hyde amendment, a bipartisan rider that has prevented the direct public funding of abortion for decades.

    It is no great shock that the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination would feel obliged to uphold his party’s platform, which in 2016 was rewritten to formally reject the Hyde amendment as an unconscionable restriction of a woman’s right to abortion. (Arguing that a lack of federal funding to enable the exercise of a right is an unconstitutional limitation on that right likely would draw objections from Democrats if it were applied to, say, the Second Amendment.)

    Congratulations, Joe. You've won a spot on the phony all-star team. That's quite an accomplishment.

  • And going from dishonest, to stupid, to pathetic

    Stephen Miller commented: "Biden is the 15 year old kid who can’t take a hint that his bestest friend Barrry has moved on to chicks now that he’s a sophomore."

  • But speaking of the Hyde Amendment: Politico encourages us to Guess who else voted against federal funding for abortion?. (Written when Biden was FOR the Hyde Amendment.)

    THE THING ABOUT THE HYDE AMENDMENT … Over the last day, there’s been a pile-on on JOE BIDEN -- Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren and others have ganged up against the former VP over his support of the Hyde Amendment, language that prohibits most federal funding for abortion.

    BUT … If you are or have been a member of Congress -- 15 people in this field -- and you’ve voted for big spending packages, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve also voted for the amendment. OF COURSE, Biden is actively supporting it, and that’s a bit unique. But this language has been a part of a lot of funding bills and gotten plenty of votes from Democrats over the years.

    AN EXAMPLE: ELIZABETH WARREN SAYS SHE DOESN’T LIKE THE HYDE AMENDMENT … Warren told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Wednesday night that “we do not pass laws that take away the freedom from the women who are most vulnerable.” Her team tweeted: “I will not support any effort to take rights away from women who are the most vulnerable. It’s time for Hyde to go. #WarrenTownHall”

    … BUT, OF COURSE, SHE’S VOTED FOR IT! It doesn’t take long to find an example of Warren voting for the Hyde Amendment. Take this bill, which funded a big chunk of the government last year.

    IT INCLUDED this language: “(a) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for any abortion. (b) None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.”

    WARREN voted for this bill twice. So did Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Eric Swalwell and others. Bernie Sanders voted no. President DONALD TRUMP signed it into law.

    A long excerpt, but worthwhile. Note that the presidential role in federal funding of abortion is pretty much indirect, limited to what he or she will veto. If those Congresscritters and Senators really thought getting rid of Hyde was important, they'd stay in the legislative branch and vote appropriately.

    But they don't. Not really. It's all posturing and appeasement to the baby-killing mob.

  • Michael Graham of Inside Sources notes, and asks: Joe Biden's Draft Record Looks a Lot Like Donald Trump's. Do Democrats Care?.

    He was 6 feet tall and had an athlete’s build. He played football in high school and was active in sports throughout college. He spent one summer as a lifeguard at a local pool.

    But after he graduated college in the spring of 1968 and became eligible for the draft and —possibly — combat duty in Vietnam, he received a diagnosis that let him avoid military service.

    No, not bone spurs. Asthma.

    And his name was Joe Biden.

    Hint: Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies to Michael's question. Candidataes Buttigieg and Moulton have been playing up their own military service, denigrating Trump's lack thereof, and have been (as near as anyone can tell) silent on Wheezy Joe.

  • And it's been a long time since New York's junior Senator has appeared in our standings. Because, as I type, the Betfair bettors judge her to have a 0.24% shot at becoming our next president. (People with better odds than she: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson; Oprah Winfrey; Stacey Abrams; Nikki Haley; and many more.)

    But this is (nonetheless) on target, from Politico: NRA takes a dig at Gillibrand: 'She'll say anything' to get ahead.

    The National Rifle Association hit back at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday, calling her out for changing her stance on gun policy and claiming "she'll say anything" to get ahead in the Democratic presidential primary.

    The tweet comes after the presidential hopeful's remarks on the NRA at a Sunday Fox News town hall in which she called the group "the worst organization in the country."

    "Gillibrand called us the worst org in the country, but when she represented NY20, she wrote us: 'I appreciate the work that the NRA does to protect gun owners rights, and I look forward to working with you for many years,'" the NRA tweeted. "Now that she’s looking to crack 1%, she’ll say anything."

    Darnit, I suspect Kirsten's showing in the polls would improve if she just said: "I will say anything to get elected. Please tell me what I should say."

  • And a nod to our current phony leader from Benjamin Horvath at the Federalist: Pete Buttigieg Has Nothing To Recommend Him Except Identity Politics.

    Also part of [Buttigieg's] schtick is to label himself a foil to Pence, a supposed bogeyman of LGBT people. Buttigieg announced his sexual orientation a few months before his re-election bid, just after huge public backlash to then-governor Pence’s signing of a statewide religious liberty law (that Pence quickly reversed). It was also right before the Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states.

    Buttigieg speaks of the public announcement of his sexual orientation as if it were politically risky. One has to be naïve or ignorant of American politics to believe there was anything but upside to be gained by this timely announcement.

    The timing of his announcement allowed for a prepackaged media narrative: gay mayor wins landslide reelection in Pence’s deep-red Indiana. Predictably, the media has run with this narrative, with nary a mention that a Republican hasn’t won a mayor’s race in this city since Richard Nixon was elected president.

    Is it just me, or are people getting tired of Buttigieg already?

Last Modified 2019-06-10 5:45 AM EST