Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Trump Wins in New Hampshire. A defeat for Conservatism?

Well, the pollsters generally got it right Tuesday night in the granite state. Trump racked up 34 percent of the vote to win an impressive victory. The traveling political circus is now on to South Carolina.

I must confess that I have never understood the appeal of Donald Trump. Vain, gaudy, superficial and ignorant are some of the adjectives I would use to describe him if I were asked in a focus group. I remember once reading a quote from Trump, which he proclaimed, “Money can buy happiness you just need to know where to shop.” I read it and thought to myself that’s our Donald.

Well, it is still hard for me to imagine Republicans nominating Trump, I still believe sanity will prevail but a Trump nomination would not only be a repudiation of the “Republican establishment”, it would also be a repudiation of conservatism.

I fear many Republican voters have given up not only on Washington politicians, they have also given up on conservatism. Trump is a populist in the mold of William Jennings Bryan, who will go to Washington to “fix things”, put the “smart people in charge”, and “make good deals for America.” No doubt Trump is a man with a cliché for every occasion.

When I was a kid Democrat Michael Dukakis ran for President on the notion that the election was not "about ideology it is about competence." That is the Trump view. The Obama administration is not full of leftest ideologues, rather they are just stupid, and out of stupidity, not liberalism, they make bad deals for America.

Trump is fueled by his oversized ego, not conservative principles, and at some level his supporters know that. Sure they know he was for single payer health care, very pro-choice, for a pathway to citizenship, supported the bailout of the auto companies, bailout of the banks, for an Obama like stimulus package, but they discount all of it. Sure he gave money to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, but they don't care and if you press them on it they will explain it away by saying, "He had to do that because he was a businessman, they all give to both sides."

While, I think most Trump backers are conservative, they are more interested in Trump’s populist appeal, politically incorrect style, and a belief that he can fix Washington then in conservative principles.

Trump is for building a wall, and banning Muslims from entering the US, neither of which I would argue are necessarily conservative positions, but they are the populist appeals Trump voters are looking for. Sure he may be looking forward to working with Harry Reid, which he admitted last week, but to his supporters if he can keep a couple of the promises they will be happy. Conservative politicians have let them down. Perhaps the populist Trump can get things done.

After all, he may not be a conservative, but, “He will shake up Washington.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rubio's Big Night

No doubt it was a big win for Ted Cruz with 28 percent in last night's Iowa caucuses. It was a must win for him. And he pulled it off. In fact if he had lost Iowa his campaign might have collapsed. In some ways Iowa is a good state for Cruz. It is evangelical and socially conservative, while it may not be representative of the country or even representative of the Republican Party, it is Cruz country.

However, in some ways, and in terms of possible momentum, I think Rubio was the biggest winner last night.

Rubio out performed all pre election polls. I believe in the last Des Moines register poll Rubio polled at 15 percent. Throughout the fall he never broke single digits. On election night he got 23 percent, within one point of Trump at number three. Rubio closed so fast that if the election took place next week he might have won.

I think Rubio goes forward with great momentum. I think Jeb Bush will drop out and the little support he has will go to Rubio. In effect Rubio becomes the so called "establishment candidate."

As for Trump I think he is in serious trouble, not so much because he under performed pre election polls, but because Republican voters are now scrutinizing him! Despite the best efforts of the conservative talk radio industry, that is Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin et al. Trump is being exposed as a fraud, that is not a conservative.

Trump went into Tuesday night with a five-point lead and lost by four points. Perhaps skipping the final debate was a mistake.

I will make a prediction for you. Trump does not win a single state.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Some Questions for Republican Primary Voters

Well, primary season is here. Republican voters will have to decide whom to nominate for President. I came up with a couple questions to consider:

"If you knew that a candidate once described Nancy Pelosi as “very impressive” would you be more or less likely to vote for him?"

"If you knew that a candidate received a telephone call from Bill Clinton urging him to run, would you be more or less likely to vote for him?"

"If you knew that a candidate publicly declared that he looks forward to working with Harry Reid, and that Reid returned the compliment telling reporters he was “rooting for the guy.” Would you be more or less likely to vote for him?"

"If you knew that the candidate at one time opposed banning partial birth abortions, a procedure where as the baby is being delivered he is stabbed in the back of the head, describing himself as “very pro-choice." Are you more or less likely to vote for him?

And for Virginia Republicans:

"If you knew that a candidate gave 25K to the Terry McAuliffe gubernatorial campaign would you be more or less likely to vote for him?"

"Finally, are you more or less likely to vote for Donald Trump?"

Thursday, January 28, 2016