Tag: 2016 Presidential Election

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Hillary Clinton held a rally in Greensboro, NC, on Sept 15, after taking a little time off to recover from pneumonia. The rally took place at the Greensboro Middle School gym, so it’s not especially large. This seems to be the official footage of the event: Preview Open

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Tonight on the US national news, it was announced that a new form of heroin that is 10,000 times stronger is now hitting American streets. You read that correctly – 10,000 times stronger than plain heroin! Is that even possible? Apparently so, and where was the story from? The brutal inner cities of Los Angeles […]

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Victor Davis Hanson examines Donald Trump’s shifting tone on immigration — and provides a prescription for what a sensible immigration policy should look like.

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Blood Red Moon Over Israel in 2015   Today was a strange day in an otherwise normal year (not). I listen to the radio driving around for work. Today’s message on Fox talk radio was how Americans are losing or have lost their faith in God. Many no longer believe in God, or don’t have time for […]

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Never Trump, Never Hillary, and Strategic Miscalculations

 

Cpqxa9fUEAA13s6On the flagship podcast some weeks ago, Bob Costa explained Donald Trump’s theory of the 2016 election. Among the country’s large body of nonvoters, Trump sees disaffected Americans who are disgusted by both parties. He believes his nationalist, populist message will resonate and bring waves of them to the polls. In fact, he believes he can bring them out in such numbers that he can afford to lose the votes of the limited-government, Tea Party, Reaganite Republicans who heretofore composed the GOP base. Costa’s reporting is corroborated by that of others, and bolstered by Trump’s own public statements. (“There were statements made about me — those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we serve two terms…. Honestly, there are some people I really don’t want.” Regarding party unity: “I don’t think it’s necessary; people will be voting for me and not for the party.”)

So is Trump’s strategy correct? Recent opinion polls suggest not. He is behind nationally, in swing states, and even in former GOP bastions. He claimed he would put states like NY in play; instead, he is 30 points behind there. The signs are clear: Trump has lost more Republicans than voters he has brought in. Jettisoning Reagan Republicans in favor of Reagan Democrats would appear to have been a strategic miscalculation.

At the outset of the campaign, many commentators and Ricochet members considered Trump’s strategy eminently plausible. Trump, they claimed, was a different kind of candidate, with a media savvy the others lacked. He could reach new voters by “disrupting the narrative” and bending the media to his will, inducing them to cover the stories he desires. In a sense, he has done just this, though not in the manner his supporters had hoped. His outrageous newsmaking has repeatedly distracted the media from Hillary’s deepening scandals: using racial language to criticize the judge on the Trump University case, starting a spat with parents of a Gold Star recipient, making bad jokes about Russian espionage and armed insurrection, calling for tribute from NATO members before honoring our treaty obligations, insisting that Obama “founded ISIS,” and more. In view of Trump’s daily whining about media treatment, however, it would appear that relying on his ability to generate positive attention for conservative causes — among them Hillary’s corruption — was a fairly large strategic miscalculation.

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Plurality or first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting is not ideal in a race in which there are more than 2 candidates. This is because this voting system only ranks a voter’s first preference. Mathematically, all candidates a voter didn’t vote for are ranked equally by FPTP, namely they all receive 0 votes. In a hypothetical 3-way race […]

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There has been much speculation about who Trump relates to historically and whether he is fighting a totally new form of political war or is simply fighting like those before him. As a matter of fact on Ricochet I can recount at least one post that posited Trump was fighting a new war. Usually by […]

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A couple of months ago, I came across this column by John Fund in which he discusses the concept of having a None of the Above (NOTA) option in the voting process. Fund notes, I think correctly, that if such an option were available in this years’ presidential election it would most likely prevail (In […]

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Trump Does Data

 

shutterstock_179439824Credit where credit’s due, it seems the Trump campaign’s investing in a data operation, at least for fundraising:

GOP strategists familiar with the Trump team’s efforts pointed out that his campaign has been working for weeks to integrate its data operation with the RNC’s, and they suggested that the candidate may have been intentionally head-faking his critics with comments suggesting he doesn’t see the importance of data to his campaign. For instance,Trump told he Associated Press last month, “Obama got the votes much more so than his data processing machine. And I think the same is true with me.”

One GOP data source said the Trump campaign is “far more sophisticated than anyone has seen or reported on.” The source said “there’s a substantive infrastructure that’s not been seen or found out about or reported about quite purposefully.”

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On the Hugh Hewitt show today, hour 1, here’s what our great conservative hope said: I’m going to tell you this — and this might blow your mind — on the pure commander-in-chief argument, only on the commander-in-chief argument — I think Hillary is clearly better than Donald Trump. Preview Open

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Trump’s FEC Filings

 

Donald Trump’s May FEC filings were released yesterday evening and they do not paint a pretty picture. Trump entered June with $1.3 million in cash-on-hand. That’s fairly typical… for a semi-competitive congressional race. Over on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton had $42 million going into June. In May, Trump’s campaign spent $6.7 million. About 20 percent of this spending was payments to firms he owns and covering his children’s travel expenses. Looking forward, Clinton’s campaign has reserved $117 million in ad buys between tomorrow and Election Day on television, while Trump and his groups have reserved $700,000. It’ll be hard for the RNC to cover the gap, as:

…the RNC had only about $20 million cash-on-hand at the end of the month — $40 million less than the RNC did as of May 2012, when Mitt Romney, a prolific fundraiser, was topping the ticket. And it raised about $20 million less in May 2016 as it did in May 2012.

A Trump Compromise

 
emperor-trump

The republic is dead. Long live the empire.

No matter who wins in November, the next President of the United States will be a self-absorbed multi-millionaire who doesn’t see the Constitution as binding on his or her power, who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and who is willing to use racial and class grievances to get elected. As such, I had been planning to leave the presidential line of my ballot blank, as I could not fathom voting for either of the two realistic candidates. I’ve felt like Claudius stammering, “B- b- but I want a republic!” as others debate which candidate will make the better emperor.

Congress Can and Should Contain the Next President

 

hillary_clinton_donald_trumpOn Tuesday I made the case that this is the most consequential presidential election of my lifetime. That in choosing historically bad presumptive nominees in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump we have slumped rather than risen to the occasion, and that, as a result, the job of Congress for the next four years will be to contain whichever of them is elected. Today I will expand on those ideas and argue that Trump is more preferable than Clinton at face value and inherently more containable.

During the Cold War our foreign policy across multiple decades and multiple presidents of both parties centered on the idea of containing communism. We weren’t going to try to eradicate it where it existed but we also weren’t going to let it expand into new territories. During the middle of the Cold War we fought hot wars in Korea and Vietnam mainly to enforce containment. Similarly, we will have no choice but to accept whomever is elected President and deal with the reality of their presence in the Oval Office. It will be up to Congress to contain the new President’s ability to do lasting damage to the country.

There are three primary ways Congress can implement a policy of presidential containment.

Slumping to the Occasion in 2016

 

Hillary Clinton and Donald TrumpAs we roll into the summer of discontent this presidential election year, it seems the stakes have never been higher. We say that every time, don’t we? “This is the most important presidential election of my lifetime. The Supreme Court hangs in the balance!” In these high-stakes moments — when it seems that one more presidential term is all it will take to irreversibly place our nation in a death spiral — we somehow find a way not to rise to the occasion. You might even say that instead of rising to it, we slump to the occasion. Consider the last two presidential elections.

In 2008 with the economy circling the drain and a war-weary nation ready to focus on anything but Iraq, we nominated war hero who was more hawkish than the unpopular incumbent. To run against the least-experienced presidential candidate in modern history, a half-term junior Senator from Illinois who openly talked about making our electric bills skyrocket and bankrupting entire industries, we nominated a man who couldn’t manage to articulate a coherent economic thought and admitted to having a poor grasp of economics. The challenges for our nation were substantial but we slumped to the occasion; John McCain was not the man for the hour.

In 2012 with an unpopular incumbent president who had shoved an increasingly unpopular semi-nationalization of the healthcare industry down the throats of an unwilling population on a party-line vote, it seemed there was a real chance to make President Obama a one-term wonder and to reverse some of his disastrous policies. We responded by nominating the one candidate who could legitimately be called the “father of Obamacare” and consequently could not channel anti-Obamacare sentiment into electoral victory. We are very good at this slumping to the occasion business; Mitt Romney was not the man for the hour.

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From Harry Enten at Five-Thirty-Eight: There’s a belief, which I don’t share, that the growing share of nonwhite voters in the population, particularly Latinos, is giving Democrats an enduring advantage in winning elections. The theory — known to some as the “Emerging Democratic Majority” — works only if voting patterns stay the same and Republicans […]

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The current rumor is that David French is thinking of running for President. While tantalizing, nothing has been confirmed. I’d like to suggest two other possibilities: French might be considering running as the VP to whomever tops the ticket, or he might be helping whomever’s running put together a platform. Just something to mull over until […]

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With Hillary’s growing negatives, will Democrats feel they must nominate someone else to avoid a massive defeat? In the past few days Hillary’s negatives have exceeded Trump’s, and Trump now leads in the latest poll. (I had expected this to happen, but not till late June or July; and to be fair, Trump has likely gotten […]

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