Paranoia Is Sexy, Reality Is a Basic Bitch

21 11 2016


A few current years ago, if you read a lot of nodes that later came to be known as alt-right, you read these two speculated truisms about conventional politics:

(1) The Iraq War was such a debacle that the American national electorate would never again trust the Presidency to a Republican (or even a Democrat) that was too close to and comfortable with neoconservative foreign policy ideology.

(2) Paul Ryan’s toying around with relatively drastic changes in Social Security and Medicare cost Mitt Romney the state of Florida.

And what happened this year?

The Republican nominee all but wrote a promise in his own blood to leave SS&M as-is, and said with enough credible evidence to be believed that he opposed the Iraq War.

And guess what?  He won both Florida and the Presidency.

Among other reasons why he did.

Easy, practical, easily digestible.

But no, it’s much more sexy to cook up theories that Vladimir Putin hacked Facebook to insert fake news in its news feed.


Strange New Respect Mode: On

25 10 2016

Los Angeles


Obama: McCain and Romney Were ‘Honorable,’ Wouldn’t Have Worried About ‘General Course’ of US If They Had Won

On Monday’s broadcast of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” President Obama said of his former opponents Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R), “they’re both honorable men, and if they had won, then I wouldn’t worry about the general course of this country.”

Obama stated, “[T]here is something qualitatively different about the way Trump has operated in the political sphere. I — look, I ran against John McCain. I ran against Mitt Romney. Obviously, I thought that I could do a better job, but they’re both honorable men, and if they had won, then I wouldn’t worry about the general course of this country.”

Funny, I remember 2008 and 2012 pretty well; I was a thirtysomething during both of those election seasons, and I was lucky to squeeze out one more Presidential season as a thirtysomething. And what I remember is that John McCain was a dangerous hot head who would be Bush’s third term and couldn’t be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button, even though he was an old fogey klutz because he had never sent an e-mail in his life. Mitt Romney killed women because he denied them health care after having hog tied his dog to the roof of his gas guzzling SUV.

If nothing drastic changes in the country and Hillary wins, then four years from now, as Hillary is running for re-election versus the Republican nominee of 2020, everyone then will develop strange new respect for Donald Trump. “You know, at least he was a moderate-liberal on social issues, he openly appealed to LGBTQ, made Peter Thiel the first gay RNC speaker, and had some innovative proposals on a lot of things and genuinely cared about working people. Unlike the evil reprobate the Republicans sent up this year, a social issue Neanderthal and total elitist corporate-plutocrat shill who can’t deviate even one iota from conservative orthodoxy.”  In fact, I’m making this my first post in the new category “Campaign 2020” so we’ll be able to check back in four years to see if I’m right; of course, if Trump wins, I wouldn’t possibly be able to be right unless he declines to run for a second term.

It’s Nothing Now

11 10 2016


And it was nothing four years ago, either.

Claire, yesterday, to the WSJ:  It was just an accidental misstatement, a slight confusing of the science.  It’s no way as horrible as Trump’s locker room talk!

And I certainly agree.  Which is, in turn, no way as horrible as Bill Clinton’s actions and his wife’s attacks on the victims.

But let’s talk about Claire’s new found clarity about my former boss.

No Problems Here

28 08 2016


Note that the record for white Evangelicals voting Republicans is 79%, for Romney in 2012 and Bush in 2004.

Miss You Not

14 03 2016

Your Blogmeister’s Hotel Room

Ben Shapiro and Michelle (Corey didn’t assault me) Fields are leaving Breitbart.

Good for Breitbart.

Shapiro, one of the bigger Trump haters in the the neo-to-lamer right universe, was singing a different tune five years ago.


Excuse You

3 03 2016

Salt Lake City

We don’t need someone who, when he was running for President, deceitfully used Kris Kobach and immigration patriotism in order to scam his way into the nomination, then ditching both after he effectively won it, lecturing us about how another Presidential candidate is a phony and a fraud.


Patterson’s First Axiom

22 12 2015


Buckle up; I’m about to prove why Nicholas Stix calls me the country’s greatest living political scientist.

While I think Trump has way more support among blacks than the typical Republican Presidential candidate, resist the temptation to interpret this to mean that just because Trump’s percentage is highest in “minority center counties” means that Trump is actually getting that support from the minorities in minority center counties, read:  blacks in the Dixie black belt.  In reality, because of Patterson’s First Axiom, it is white voters in minority center counties that’s driving the Trump support.  Even this article tries to warn us of this:

The idea of Mr. Trump doing well in counties with large minority populations may seem counter-intuitive, but, remember, we’re focusing on a specific set of voters that live in those places: Republican primary voters. With that group, we are focusing almost solely on white voters who live in those counties. Even in states with large minority populations, the Republican primary electorate is more than 90% white.

However, there is some hidden good news in this fact:

Moreover, the analysis suggests that Mr. Trump has pockets of strength that could prove valuable in states, some of them beyond the South, that award delegates to the top vote-winner in each congressional district. Districts with a large minority population may not include large numbers of Republicans, but they award delegates, nonetheless. Winning those districts could yield Mr. Trump a sizeable cache of delegates in states such as South Carolina and California.

There’s another reason why Trump’s popularity among Southern whites who are surrounded by blacks is a good omen for Trump elsewhere in the country.  The white Republican primary voter in the Deep South is a very very good leading indicator of how working middle class whites outside the South will be able to warm up to a Republican nominee on general election day.  You may not remember this because of the conventional wisdom, but Mitt Romney didn’t win a single Deep South state during the primary season when the race was competitive; in fact, in some of them, he finished in third behind both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.  I’m reminding you of this because the CW ever since November 2012 is that Romney had to take “extreme” positions to win Deep South primaries and this in turn hurt him in November, when in reality Romney didn’t win competitive Deep South primaries.  You saw sort of the same thing present in 2008, when the only two viable candidates left were John McCain and Mike Huckabee; the latter beat the former in some Southern primaries and caucuses after everyone else dropped out.  I interpret this to mean that a Republican candidate who can win over whites in Alabama in the spring has a chance to win over working-middle class whites in Michigan in the fall, and, vice-versa.  McCain and Romney could not, so they did not, respectively, and therefore lost the election.  This point will become relevant in a moment.

You can see a map of all the 2016 county types as designed by the communities project here. Note the green Minority Center counties running through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Many of those states vote on March 1; South Carolina votes even earlier. March 5 brings Kentucky and Louisiana. On March 8 is Mississippi.

This paragraph has caused me to figure out two mysteries.

First, why the RNC set up 2016 so that events before March 15 award delegates proportionately while events after March 15 award delegates winner take all.  That’s because just about all of the Southern primaries and caucuses go before March 15; what this means is that, on the margins, the RNC wants Dixie to have less influence in choosing the nominee or influencing the ultimate nominee than it would have if their contests were winner take all.  Post March 15 contests tend to be big delegate prizes outside the South, and, at least when the RNC enacted this provision, they thought those would be Jeb! friendly.  That way, the establishment-conservative split pre-3/15 would not mean that the conservative(s) who might win those states would get all the delegates from those states; Jeb! or whoever the party brass wants would get delegates proportional to their vote percentages.  But after 3/15, Jeb! wins Jeb! style states and win all of their delegates. Also, if Jeb! didn’t have to worry about actually finishing in first place in Alabama to get any delegates from Alabama, he wouldn’t have to try to appeal to enough of the kind of white voters that make Alabama Alabamay just to finish in first; he could RINO it up, finish in third, (even Alabama has its share of Republican establishment flunkies), and get some delegates anyway. He could walk away with delegates but also be able to brag to the media that he didn’t have to bother pandering to knuckledragging troglodytes, either.  The reason why I think the RNC wanted to cock block the South was because it buys into, and in fact, has helped to peddle, the post-Romney conventional wisdom I wrote about and refuted above.

Second, and in turn, this solves the mystery to why Jeb! said this inexplicable thing late last year; he knew (or he thought, at the time) that the RNC rigged the schedule and the game to make that possible.