The Phony Campaign

2020-01-19 Update

In a week where the impeachment articles finally moved to the Senate, we find that bettors took a look at the field and decided… Donald Trump is slightly more likely to win the November election. Funny old world, isn't it?

Also improving their odds: Wheezy Joe. But everyone else lost favor with people betting their own money.

In phony standings, of course President Bone Spurs widens his lead over Mayor Pete. As reported by Susan B. Glasser in the New Yorker:

Soon after the day’s ceremonial start to the Senate trial had wrapped up, Trump appeared before the cameras to call the case against him a “big hoax,” “a witch-hunt hoax,” “a complete hoax,” and “a phony hoax.” What will he talk about when the trial is over and he is completely and totally vindicated in the greatest acquittal of all time? How will he govern then?

I detect sarcasm.

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 53.7% +1.7% 1,980,000 +370,000
Pete Buttigieg 2.3% -0.3% 962,000 +107,000
Joe Biden 14.6% +1.3% 492,000 +39,000
Bernie Sanders 12.6% -1.6% 435,000 -59,000
Elizabeth Warren 3.6% -0.6% 207,000 -37,000
Michael Bloomberg 5.9% -0.2% 76,300 -6,700

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

In these weekly updates, Pun Salad usually spreads out its commentary among the various candidates, not unlike scattering bread crumbs to the pigeons. But this week, one candidate generated a veritable flood of phoniness. So today we'll concentrate on Senator Elizabeth Warren. Take it away, Liz:

  • First up is Jonah Goldberg's G-File, hosted at his new website, the Dispatch. Jonah delves into How Elizabeth Warren Is Like Michael Scott.

    Elizabeth Warren is a remarkable liar. “Remarkable” is one of those funny words, like unique, that often sounds like a compliment but might not be. If asked about a dress, or a tie, or a baby with an unfortunately bright red unibrow, you might respond with, “What a unique dress” or, “That baby is remarkable!” 

    In other words, Warren’s a remarkable liar, but she’s not a very good one. Much like Barack Obama’s sense of humor and Donald Trump’s eloquence, Warren’s lying gets a boost from her fans. I remember liberals doubling over with laughter at Obama’s utterly banal dad jokes and mediocre quips (in fairness, sometimes he could be funny, particularly when scripted). I remain amazed by people who can listen to Trump vomit up a barrage of sentence fragments and non-sequiturs and then gush about his brilliant communications skills. (In fairness, Trump can approach eloquence—when scripted.)

    Michael Brendan Dougherty has a fantastically frustrated I-feel-like-I’m-taking-crazy-pills rant on the latest episode of National Review’s Editors podcast in which he approaches one of John Belushi’s old Saturday Night LiveWeekend Update” tirades about Warren’s dishonesty and insincerity. “Everything about her is phony!” he rails. MBD notes how she changes her accent, her syntax, her persona based on perceived political need—I say perceived, because she often has a thumbless grasp of what the political moment requires. For instance, no one put a gun to her head and made her release a DNA study, to much fanfare, that proved her claim of being Native American was bogus. She did that all by herself. 

    And more at the link. Pow-wow chow, lactation, minority faculty hire, and "I'm gonna get me a beer". And that just scratches the surface.

  • The link in Jonah's quote will take you to a podcast, but fortunately, Michael Brendan Dougherty also managed to type his commentary for National Review: National Review. Specifically…

    Warren’s political persona is entirely false. She claims to be a populist, but her form of social democracy is a kind of class warfare for millionaires and affluent liberals against billionaires and the petit bourgeois entrepreneurs who vote Republican. Her student-debt and free-college plans are absolute boons to the doctors, lawyers, and academics — the affluent wage-earners — who are her chief constituency. Meanwhile, her tax reforms go after not only billionaires but the small entrepreneurs: the guys who own a car wash, or a garbage-disposal service, and tend to vote Republican. Her consumer-protection reforms have hampered and destroyed local banks, and rewarded the bad-actor mega-banks she claims daily to oppose.

    And more…

  • At Reason, Peter Suderman's article from the print edition is available: Elizabeth Warren Has a Fake Plan To Pay for Medicare for All. Peter painfully details all the problems (which you should check out) but here's the bottom line:

    For Warren, however, realism is clearly not the point. She released her plan after months of pressure to explain precisely how she would finance the tens of trillions in new government spending that even the cheapest, most implausibly efficient version of a full-fledged single-payer system would require. Just as World War I generals used wooden tanks to fool enemy infantry, Warren has enlisted a legion of implausible savings mechanisms and unworkable tax hikes, hoping to look convincing from afar.

    Warren did not come up with a plan to pay for Medicare for All. Instead, she concocted a $52 trillion package of fanciful assumptions and unworkable reforms, and figured out how to pay for that.

    So the phoniness continues…

  • Sharp-eared Andrew Stiles at the Washington Free Beacon picked up another phony chord: Elizabeth Warren Takes Credit for Sponsoring Bills She Voted Against.

    "I do work with the other side," Warren said in October during a radio interview in New Hampshire. "I've gotten more than a dozen bills passed into law, and they've been bipartisan. And that's just been since Donald Trump has been elected president." A post on the "Fact Squad" section of Warren's campaign website similarly boasts that "Donald Trump has signed more than a dozen of Elizabeth's proposals into law" and lists 15 pieces of legislation Warren sponsored.

    Three of the items included in that tally, however, are bills that Warren ultimately voted against. The Gambling Addiction Prevention Act, the Sexual Trauma Response And Treatment Act, and the National Guard Promotion Accountability Act all passed the Senate in August 2018 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. Warren was one of only 10 senators who voted against the 2019 NDAA, along with fellow 2020 contenders Kamala Harris (RIP), Kirsten Gillibrand (RIP), and Bernie Sanders.

    It would be nice if Liz realized that these items were either stupid or budget-busting, but… are you kidding?

  • So you won't be surprised at Wired's explanation of Why Elizabeth Warren's Feeds Are Flooded With Snake Emoji.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren’s social media feeds are crawling with snakes. If you scroll through the replies to every new tweet and the comments of her most recent Instagram posts, you won’t find much discussion about the actual content, whether its donations or the student loan debt crisis. Instead, it’s line after line of acid-green snake emoji, intermixed with people apologizing for the people inundating Warren’s accounts with snake emoji. Lest ye think that Senator Warren’s campaign for president has suddenly become much beloved by reptile enthusiasts, #NeverWarren is also trending, alongside #WarrenIsASnake.

    Sample, with additional meme:

    The Wired writer (as you might expect) plays the "sexism" card.

  • And you've probably seen this done to death, but I liked Dana at Patterico: CNN Debate Moderator Shamefully Takes Sides In Warren-Sanders Feud.

    Look, either Elizabeth Warren is lying or Bernie Sanders is lying. And moderator Abby Phillip, to her discredit and without any evidence, made it clear by the framing of her question to Warren, that she believed Sanders was not telling the truth. Not only did she openly confirm that she believed Sanders was untruthful, she gave Warren a convenient opportunity to pivot from confronting Sanders to move on to the broader picture of women and elections. This morning, I noticed that CNN’s Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza somehow completely missed his colleague’s act of “media malpractice” in his analysis of the interaction. Perhaps it has something to do with this, eh?

    CNN contributor Jess McIntosh suggested later that Phillips had taken her stance because of the network’s reporting: “This was a reported-out story that CNN was part of breaking.”

    Abby Phillip discredited herself with her clear and obvious bias, and Elizabeth Warren discredited herself by not directly confronting Bernie Sanders about his sexist remark. Her decision to choose party unity over standing up for herself and standing against an act of alleged sexism came off as weak. On behalf of women everywhere, it’s not an impressive look for a Democratic woman contending for the presidency of the United States to pass on an open opportunity to condemn sexism, especially when it has allegedly coming from a powerful, white male seeking the presidency.

    Or: 🐍

Last Modified 2020-01-19 12:00 PM EDT