Maybe I'll Just Write In "Nikki Haley"

You can only hold your nose in the voting booth for so long. A big factor for my bipartisan disdain, as Jacob Sullum summarizes: Biden and Trump Try To Wish Away the Looming Entitlement Crisis.

In a recent interview with former President Donald Trump, CNBC's Joe Kernen called entitlement reform "a third rail of politics" and suggested "there's not a whole lot of difference" between Trump and President Joe Biden on the issue. The contretemps that followed confirmed the accuracy of both observations, illustrating yet again the bipartisan refusal to seriously address, or even acknowledge, the looming Social Security and Medicare crises.

"There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements," Trump said. The Biden campaign seized upon the comment as evidence that Trump wants to "slash Social Security and Medicare," and Trump denied any such plan, saying, "I will never do anything that will jeopardize or hurt Social Security or Medicare."

Biden likewise promised to "protect" both programs. "If anyone here tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age," he vowed during his State of the Union address this month, "I will stop you."

Apparently, talking to American voters about reality-based options as if they were responsible adults is not on the table.

Our new and improved weekly table checking on betting odds and (bogus) indications of phoniness:

Warning: Google hit counts are bogus.

Candidate EBO Win
Hit Count
Donald Trump 45.2% -2.6% 2,470,000 +330,000
Joe Biden 41.9% +2.2% 434,000 +62,000
Robert Kennedy Jr 2.8% -0.1% 42,800 -2,800
Michelle Obama 2.6% -0.3% 280,000 +174,000
Kamala Harris 2.2% -0.2% 120,000 -14,000
Other 5.3% +1.0% --- ---

I don't want to alarm any Trumpocrats that might be reading this, but the Trump-Biden odds spread has been shrinking for a while. It's now at 3.3 percentage points. Less than a month ago Trump was up by 20.8 percentage points.

Also of note:

  • It's not exactly revelatory, but it needs be said: Matthew Continetti points out the emperor has no clothes, specifically: Joe Biden Has No Israel Policy. Springing off the US failure to veto the UN Security Council resolution demanding an "immediate and unconditional cease-fire between Israel and Hamas", and the administration's spokesmodels denying that this reflects any change in policy, Continetti calls bullshit:

    Vice President Kamala Harris’s warning over the weekend that “any major military operation” in Hamas’s last redoubt, Rafah, “would be a huge mistake”? That must not be different from earlier administration policy, either. After all, “I have studied the maps.” It’s one smooth continuum, we are supposed to believe, from Biden’s visit to Israel and embrace of Netanyahu on October 18 to Biden’s current oppositional posture toward Israel’s tactics, strategy, and elected leader.

    Well, then. The absurdity of the Biden position is not surprising. These are the same people who said that inflation would be temporary, that unauthorized crossings on the southern border were seasonal, that America would prevent al-Qaeda and ISIS from recouping in Afghanistan, that the threat of sanctions would deter Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, and that the president’s age and memory aren’t concerns because he is really mean to staff and swears a lot. Of course they would pretend that their turn against Israel, their lurch toward a cease-fire that would allow Hamas remnants to survive, was something else entirely. Gaslighting is not just a hobby for team Biden. It’s a lifestyle.

    See my post from last Wednesday for my comments about Vice President Fredette. "I've studied the maps." Gah.

  • As a Nikki Haley voter, I view this as a threat. Zach Jewell of the Daily Wire sends out a warning: Biden Campaign Releases Ad Targeting Nikki Haley Voters: ‘Donald Trump Doesn’t Want Your Vote’.

    President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is reaching out to voters who sided with one of former President Donald Trump’s top Republican primary opponents.

    On Friday, the Biden campaign released an ad targeting Nikki Haley supporters, spending $1 million on the effort to court voters who appear disillusioned by another Trump nomination, The Washington Post reported. Haley was the last of Trump’s GOP opponents to drop out of the race when she ended her campaign earlier this month, and she has not endorsed the former president.

    “If you voted for Nikki Haley, Donald Trump doesn’t want your vote,” the Biden campaign ad says. “Save America. Join us.”

    Jewell quotes and links to Trump's famous "Truth Social" post from January 24 which told me I'd be persona non grata if…

    Anybody that makes a “Contribution” to Birdbrain, from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp. We don’t want them, and will not accept them, because we Put America First, and ALWAYS WILL!

    As a result, I sent Nikki's campaign $25 on January 25.

    So yeah, Trump doesn't want my vote.

    Vote for Biden instead? Please.

  • Gird thy loins. Jonah Goldberg warns: Get Ready for the Veepstakes. ("In case you hadn’t heard, his former vice president, Mike Pence, is not available.")

    There’s also the matter of Trump’s personal preferences. He now values blind loyalty and even blinder sycophancy more than electoral appeal. He’s convinced that he’s popular, and he wants someone to hype his greatness, not highlight his weaknesses.

    Fortunately for Trump, there’s no shortage of candidates who meet those criteria. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who implored voters not to vote for a “con man” like Trump in 2016, now says he would be “honored” to be his No. 2.

    Picking Rubio would make a lot of political sense. He’s a gifted and extremely flexible politician who could appeal to both college-educated suburbanites and working-class and Latino voters.

    But I think Trump and his advisers understand that if he is elected, he could very easily be impeached again. In that light, selecting a conventionally reassuring politician as his constitutional understudy is risky. If removing Trump from office would result in a President Rubio—or even a President Tim Scott—a lot of Republicans might take that bargain. Also, Trump doesn’t want another Pence—a politician who, when truly tested by a constitutional crisis, sided with the Constitution.

    Jonah thinks this indicates Trump will pick from the crazy/sycophantic wing of the GOP.

    The Election Betting Odds site puts Tim Scott in the lead with a 22.2% chance. But he trails behind "Other", which scores 26.2%.

  • Another non-option. Matt Margolis has the story and analysis: RFK Jr. Picks Radical Leftist As Running Mate. That would be Nicole Shanahan. Who? Margolis embeds a Charlie Kirk oppo-research tweet:

    So, no.

  • In even more depressing news… Cato's Andy Craig takes to the e-pages of Persuasion to examine the trial balloon from hell: the possibility that RFKJr could run for, and perhaps obtain, the Libertarian Party nomination. It reflects, he thinks What RFK—And the Libertarian Party—Have Become. Bottom line:

    Kennedy and the Libertarian Party deserve each other. And if their pairing hurts Trump’s chances, that could even be good news for those who regard the former president as a grave threat to liberal democracy.

    Not for the first time, I say: Isn't there some way they could all lose?

Last Modified 2024-03-31 10:08 AM EDT