Worst Eye Candy Ever

News on the street (well, from Scott Johnson of Power Line) is that Vivek Ramaswamy is using tactics taken From the Chomsky playbook. (That's Noam himself over there on the big screen.)

I wrote about the monologue that preceded Tucker Carlon’s interview of Vivek the Fake in “Tucker’s tailspin.” Alana Goodman reported on Ramaswamy’s comments to Carlson in the Free Beacon story “Ramaswamy Says GOP ‘Selective Moral Outrage’ on Israel Driven By Money, Lobbying Groups.”

Goodman’s account was cruelly accurate and Ramaswamy threw a fit complete with press release denouncing her. John McCormack reviewed Ramaswamy’s critique in the cruelly accurate NRO/Corner post “what Ramaswamy Said about Israel, Armenia, and ‘Financial and Corrupting Influences’ in U.S. Foreign Policy.” McCormack found that Ramaswamy’s critique of Goodman’s account — how to put it? — lacked merit.

Essentially, Ramaswamy accuses his GOP antagonists of being "selective" in concentrating on Hamas atrocities while ignoring "the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan".

Mea culpa, Vivek. Since 2005, Azerbaijan has not rated a single mention here at Pun Salad. We've twice quoted people (Kevin D. Williamson in 2018 and David Bernstein in January of this year) who used the concept of Armenian Americans as kind of a reductio of what you get when you over-ethincize everything.

Never mind that, though. I always thought Chomsky's go-to argument was: if you go back far enough in history, you can always find that the USA was the Prime Mover for any current-day atrocity. As long as you stop once you find that Original Sin.

Vivek, on the other hand, just seems to be invoking the standard of Jewish campaign money dictating politicians' announced views. Different, but no less despicable, playbook.

Anyway, so how's he doing in The Only Poll That Matters? Or: what are the oddsmakers saying?

Candidate EBO Win
Donald Trump 35.0% +0.6%
Joe Biden 33.4% +0.3%
Gavin Newsom 6.7% +0.2%
Nikki Haley 4.3% +0.4%
Robert Kennedy Jr 4.1% -0.2%
Ron DeSantis 3.7% -0.1%
Michelle Obama 3.3% -1.4%
Kamala Harris 2.1% unch
Other 7.4% +0.2%

Go, Nikki!

If you click over to the Lott/Stossel site, Vivek's being given a 1.1% chance of grabbing the Presidency in 2024. Which is slightly better than Elizabeth Warren's odds (0.8%).

Also of note:

  • Let's say something nice about Vivek, though. I'm in agreement with Robby Soave: Vivek Ramaswamy Is Right To Oppose Blacklisting of Anti-Israel Harvard Students.

    Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy harshly criticized Harvard University students who signed a letter placing all blame for the Hamas attacks on Israel itself.

    But he broke with many other conservatives in opposing the blacklisting of all such students, decrying this as a form of cancel culture.

    Here's VR's tweet:

    Click over to read the rest. Charity is a virtue.

    I just got back from "Alumni Weekend" at my alma mater. Even the leftiest of my classmates were wary of cancel culture, saying: "If anyone publicized what I did back when I was a student…"

  • Don't fear the reaper. Rich Lowry notes the basis of Trump foreign policy, then and (possibly) future: Fear the Madman. If the past is any guide:

    The fact that Trump was erratic and took perceived slights so seriously made it difficult to know how he would react to any given provocation. Maybe he’d just bluster. Maybe he’d take it further. But who would want to find out?

    In other words, Trump spoke loudly and carried a stick of indeterminate size, and this was just as good as carrying a big stick.

    Lowry points to another facet of the (relatively) crisis-free years of Trump: our adversaries having "a nagging sense that he might not be bluffing, even if it seemed likely that he was."

  • Adding one to infinity. I hope you're not counting, but America Has A New Reason to Never Trust Joe Biden Again. Georgia Gilholy at 1945:

    Then-Vice President Joe Biden’s Office Exchanged Nearly 20,000 Emails with Hunter’s Investment Firm – A recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has unveiled a significant exchange of emails between then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office and his son Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca. The FOIA request revealed a total of 19,335 emails exchanged between the two parties.

    The content of these emails has sparked questions regarding President Biden’s previous claims that he never discussed business matters with his son. Such claims now seem to be outright lies.

    I'm pretty sure readers wouldn't trust either Trump or Biden to tell them the correct time.

  • She says it like it's a bad thing. Ana Marie Cox has always been heavy on snarky insults substituting for argument, but (really) who is this article of hers at The New Republic supposed to be convincing? Nikki Haley Is Masquerading as a Moderate.

    Perhaps Haley’s sneakiest maneuver has been to poke at the easily poked Mike Pence over his stated goal of a national abortion ban. During the August GOP debate, she scolded him over floating the ban as a political promise. “When you’re talking about a federal ban, be honest with the American people,” she said, pointing out that the filibuster threshold means (for now) that such legislation could never pass. Her admonishment, “Do not make women feel like they have to decide on this issue,” sounds almost like advocacy for women, except that she’s hiding the truth: Whether a candidate wants a national abortion ban—regardless of their power to impose it—very much matters when deciding who to support! Yet we have seen a flurry of credulous headlines: her “search of common ground,” she “seeks a New Path on Abortion for G.O.P,” she argues “the need for a broad middle ground.”

    For Ana Marie Cox, the only "moderates" are those who support baby-killing for any reason, or no reason at all, up until the moment of birth. (At birth, some sort of moral magic occurs, making that a heinous crime.)