The Phony Campaign

2019-09-08 Update

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Another week with no additions or deletions to our phony candidate lineup. And no huge movements in the betting odds at Betfair to talk about, either.

In fact, the only big change is the increase in phony hits for President Donald J. Trump:

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 44.1% -0.2% 2,230,000 +690,000
Bernie Sanders 7.5% -0.2% 873,000 +47,000
Pete Buttigieg 2.5% -0.1% 718,000 +10,000
Joe Biden 12.8% unch 443,000 -9,000
Elizabeth Warren 16.8% +0.4% 208,000 -8,000
Kamala Harris 5.0% +0.2% 114,000 +7,000
Andrew Yang 4.0% +0.7% 35,700 -1,000

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

  • Trump's phony bump was spurred, no doubt, by…

    And thanks to his Sharpie alteration of an out-of-date NOAA hurricane projection map, we now have "Sharpiegate" in our political lexicon. And further note that our Amazon Product du Jour attests to the rapidity with which "book" self-publishers can leap at this sort of thing.

  • So I know Beto! is long-gone from our major-candidate list. This more complete list of election odds has him, as I type, tied with Amy Klobuchar and (hm) Michelle Obama. But he recently tried to revive things with what J.D. Tucille calls Beto’s Impossible Gun Ban Dreams.

    "The newest purity test for Democrats is whether to mandate assault weapons buybacks," The Washington Post reported recently—with "buybacks" a popular euphemism for compensated confiscation. Donkey party potentates including Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) share Beto's taste for imposing a new form of prohibition.

    Maybe that's a winning formula for harvesting votes, but it's terrible as policies go, unless they really want to make the government look thoroughly impotent. Similar bans, restrictions, and confiscations have been tried before, with minimal success.

    "More than a year after New Jersey imposed the toughest assault-weapons law in the country, the law is proving difficult if not impossible to enforce," reported The New York Times in 1991. "Only four military-style weapons have been turned in to the State Police and another 14 were confiscated." Police also knew "the whereabouts of fewer than 2,000 other guns"—out of an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 privately owned weapons in the state.

    As with so many proposals, it's difficult to decide whether

    1. Candidates are unaware that gun prohibition and confiscation is unworkable, unconstitutional, and counterproductive (in which case they are stupid); or
    2. Candidates know that such proposals are unworkable, etc., nevertheless claim to favor them because they know their stupid followers will buy them.

    Which is worse?

  • James Freeman at the (perhaps paywalled) WSJ wonders: Can the Climate Cause Survive the Democratic Primaries?. He notes the disconnect between candidates who (a) tell us that fossil fuel emissions are “an existential threat”, but (b) say no to nuclear power. Especially droll is Mr. Bernard Sanders:

    We’re facing an immediate need to turn our economy upside down to avoid a planet-destroying disaster—but nuclear power is off the table because it may not represent a solution for the infinite future? Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders raised a similar objection about long-term storage. He also addressed the generation of nuclear power and said he’s concerned about the costs, which would a be a first for the man who backs a $16 trillion climate plan on top of his $33 trillion health plan.

    Bernie, do you even listen to yourself?

  • At Real Clear Politics, Ben Shapiro describes How the Quest for Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren. Ben describes how just a few years ago, Liz was (1) against housing market regulation; (2) in favor of school choice; (3) skeptical about taxpayer-funded daycare; and…

    She ardently opposed additional taxpayer subsidization of college loans, too, or more taxpayer spending on higher education directly. Instead, she called for a tuition freeze from state schools. She recommended tax incentives for families to save rather than spend. She opposed radical solutions wholesale: "We haven't suggested a complete overhaul of the tax structure, and we haven't demanded that businesses cease and desist from ever closing another plant or firing another worker. Nor have we suggested that the United States should build a quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model."

    So, what happened to Warren?


    Warren probably is the smartest candidate on either side. Which is not good news, because see above: she's tailoring her advocacy of silly, destructive policies simply to cater to the D-side electorate.

  • Chrissy Clark of the Federalist watched the CNN town hall with the ten Democrats taking turns on … well, let's just say this was not the hardest column Chrissy has ever had to write: 10 Craziest Things About Dems' Economy-Wrecking Climate Extremism. Let's pick one… oh, we haven't mentioned Wheezy Joe yet, have we?

    Issac Larkin, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, accused Biden of going to a fundraiser with a fossil fuel executive the next day. Larkin was also introduced as a staunch Sanders supporter.

    Now, I know you signed the no fossil fuel money pledge, but I have to ask, how can we trust you to hold these corporations and executives accountable for their crimes against humanity, when we know that tomorrow you are holding a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by Andrew Goldman, a fossil fuel executive.

    “He’s not a fossil fuel executive,” Biden responded.

    Goldman is a fossil fuel executive.

    So (as usual): Biden either didn't know he was lying, or did know. Which is worse?

  • And the headline in the Daily Mail really says it all: Elizabeth Warren demands ban on bump stocks 5 months AFTER Trump outlawed them.

    Elizabeth Warren told a New Hampshire campaign crowd on Monday that the federal government should ban 'bump stocks,' a device the Trump administration outlawed in March.

    OK, I have a hard time believing that was intentional. Sometimes I overestimate Warren's intelligence, I guess.

Last Modified 2019-09-09 5:36 AM EST