The Phony Campaign

2020-06-07 Update

Well, that was quick. Just like that, Wheezy Joe Biden has bumped President Orange out of the lead in the betting markets. (A 6.7% net swing in a single week!)

Probably had something to do with Trump's dismal polling in battleground states. I stand by my fearless prediction: come November, the American people will half-heartedly vote for the "Awful, but At Least Different" candidate.

Four years ago, I was equally as confident about President Hillary, so discount the above as heavily as you'd like.

The President retains his strong lead in phony hits, however:

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 45.1% -2.6% 1,820,000 +190,000
Joe Biden 49.6% +4.1% 482,000 +18,000

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • At Hot Air, Taylor Millard conducts an interview with the Libertarian Party's candidate, Jo Jorgensen. Excerpt:

    Millard: During the Libertarian Primary, you were accused of being too pragmatic. I think it had to do with comments made on social security and paying back seniors what they paid in. Is that pragmatism or just good policy to eventually reach the Libertarian Party’s goal of a smaller, weaker government.

    Jo Jorgensen: Well, not only do I think it’s good policy, I think it’s morally correct because you’ve got someone who, for 50 years, was required to pay into the Social Security system against their will. They had absolutely no choice, in fact the money was taken out before they even received their paycheck. So for 50 years, their money was taken away. I think it’s only right to give that money back to them. And so, we can do that, not through the Ponzi scheme that we have right now, where we take from other earners, from younger earners, but by selling national assets…assets belonging to the federal government. Because, after all, that’s what their money was spent on. Their money was not put in a lockbox, their money was spent on these assets, so I look at it that they are part owners, and let’s give them their money back.

    That's not a bad answer, but the details matter. Will President Jo "give" me the nominal value of my "contributions" over my working career? Or will she adjust for inflation? Or will she give me the (theoretical) present value of the money the state took, assuming I had invested it wisely over the years?

    Or, given that there's no way the legislatures are suddenly going to turn libertarian, maybe just wait until the system goes to partial payments, then figure out what to do?

  • Jim Geraghty is understandably glum about a Democratic Party takeover. Because it's A Socially Cocooned Nepotistic Aristocracy.

    The end result is a political party that wants a sweeping overhaul of American society and the status quo, and that cannot bring itself to criticize any other faction that claims to act in the name of progress, regardless of what the consequences of their actions are. We now see it in some progressives’ response to the violence that followed George Floyd protests. The hosts of the Slate podcast What Next argued that “non-violence is an important tool for protests, but so is violence.” As even Vox writer Matthew Yglesias concedes, some circles on the Left cannot bring themselves to denounce vandalism, looting, or theft as unacceptable. Some on the Left cannot or will not conceive that unacceptable and unjust actions could taint a cause they support. They cannot draw distinctions and seek to lead society to enact a worldview in which there are no distinctions.

    The Democratic nominee’s recommendation for reforming the police is to train them to “shoot them in the leg instead of the heart.” His previous advice on home security in the face of threats was “Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.” If Joe Biden were not Joe Biden, he would be widely denounced in Democratic circles as just another privileged, out-of-touch older white male who has no idea what he’s talking about, and whose ill-considered advice could get someone killed. But because so many Democrats want to see Biden as a wise oracle — or they hope other people can be fooled into believing he’s a wise oracle — they look at the ceiling or floor and pretend they didn’t hear it. (They’re not alone in this habit; keep reading.)

    On the other hand…

    But there’s another side to the coin, of course. It can be fairly argued that the modern Republican Party doesn’t stand for much, or perhaps really anything, beyond a nebulous, childish urge to “own the libs.” The GOP sure doesn’t worry about the debt, deficits, or runaway spending anymore. The relentless blanket excuse-making for Trump’s treatment of people — and in particular, women — indicate that many Christian conservatives no longer mean what they say about “family values.” Republicans who claimed they stood for a strong defense have largely nodded as this administration abandoned longtime battlefield allies, praised authoritarian rulers, and discussed withdrawing from NATO entirely. Even on the administration’s signature issue of border security, progress has been small and slow, but few in the GOP ranks would ever publicly criticize the president over it. Most rank-and-file Republicans begin with the conclusion that the president is right about whatever is being discussed at that moment and work backwards from there.

    About the only shred of good news I can pull out of this: Jim Geraghty exists.

  • Not only are the parties dreadful, but also blue-check Twitter, as exemplified by the tweet from Ed O'Keefe, political correspondent from CBS News, covering a recent emittage from Wheezy Joe:

    Only problem is…

  • Betteridge's law of headlines applies to this fact-check from Dispatch Media: Did Trump Say He Hoped George Floyd, Looking Down From Heaven, Is Happy About Job Numbers?

    Reporting on President Trump’s press conference Friday, several journalists and news outlets claimed the president said he hoped George Floyd is looking down from heaven and is happy about improving job numbers. A number of news outlets including ABC News, Business Insider, the  Independent, and the  New York Daily News also made the claim in news stories they published about the press conference.

    And, well, Trump is bad, but this yarn is totally made up:

    It is true that Trump made the comments at a press conference in which he touted better-than-expected job numbers. But Trump was not referring to those jobs numbers when he mentioned George Floyd. The comments in question came immediately after Trump discussed the role of the National Guard in limiting the damage caused by riots and looting, contrasting places like Minnesota, where the National Guard was active, with New York.

    Congratulations, MSM. You've reduced your credibility below zero.

  • And of course, that wasn't all, as reported by Power Line: Washington Post Dismayed By Great Economic News, Here's a tweet showing the whiplash:

    Power Line: "At first glance, it might seem shocking the the Post writes its story to fit a preconception before it knows the facts, but on reflection, that is pretty much what it does all day, every day."

  • And an amusing tweet:

    And dang if that's not an accurate transcription of what he said. Our next President. And that pencil's not gonna get any sharper, folks.

  • And an amusing two-pinocchio analysis from the WaPo on Joe Biden’s sometimes fuzzy concept of time. With many examples, here's just one:

    April 1, El Show De Piolin: “The president was very, very slow out of the gate. I argued a month ago he should invoke what they call the Defense Production Act, but we didn’t have enough ventilators to go out and say this, under the law, the president can become the commander in chief as in wartime, and dictate that companies produce things that are badly needed."


    The reality: The earliest we can find that Biden called for invoking the DPA was March 18, in a news release: “Prioritize and immediately increase domestic production of any critical medical equipment required to respond to this crisis — such as the production of ventilators and associated training to operate — by invoking the Defense Production Act, delegating authority to HHS and FEMA.”

    Biden’s statement came just minutes after Trump first said he would invoke the DPA.

    You can call it a "fuzzy concept of time". Or you can call it a lie.