Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Has Trump's Campaign Proven 'Nothing Matters?'

The media still has learned nothing from its failures:

"It’s become fashionable to claim that Trump is showing that “nothing matters” in campaigns, but Jonathan Bernstein argues that the positions and flip flops that Trump is adopting actually do matter, and are taking a real toll on his standing"

The first and foremost problem with this is Trump is losing and badly. How does this shows 'nothing matters' or that he's' Teflon?

The media was wrong about Trump's chances in the primary-they were way to pessimistic. They were to pessimistic about Brexit-though I sort of was myself on that one.

Now they are too optimistic about his chances in the general. First hint: follow the polls not your intuition.

You can argue about causation: why exactly is Trump losing but there's no doubt that he is. So how can you definitively claim that his candidacy proves that flip flopping doesn't hurt, etc?

There was this absurd piece-which Bernstein calls out which argues that unlike John Kerry, Trump is not hurt by flip-flopping.

"Many in the media seem to be having some difficulties comprehending just how badly Donald Trump is doing, and how unusual it is for the Republican Party to be so resistant to their own presidential nominee."

"Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman have a perfectly fine piece in the New York Times today listing the many issues on which Trump has flip-flopped. But the preface is bizarre: They compare Trump to Secretary of State John Kerry in his 2004 run for president, and claim Kerry was destroyed by charges of flip-flopping while Trump “has so far avoided much harm” from switching positions on core issues of public policy."

"For the record: Kerry lost narrowly to George W. Bush, a fairly popular sitting president. Trump is currently falling about 7 percentage points behind Hillary Clinton, even though she appears to be quite unpopular herself -- perhaps because Trump is the most unpopular major party presidential nominee in the polling era. And while Kerry had solid backing from Democratic Party actors in 2004, practically every prominent Republican seems to have come down with a severe case of needing-to-wash-their-hair the week of July 18, rendering them unable to make it to Cleveland for the party’s convention."

I do agree the media is doing a poor job of assessing how badly Trump is doing. Often you'll hear: well she's just winning by 5 points which is piratically a tie.'

Hillary's lead is always averaged down. This morning the Quinnipiac poll was hailed as a 'dead heat' even though she has a two point lead in it-the average is actually 7 now.

But Obama won by 5 in 2012 and it was a near landslide in terms of the electoral college.

If she wins by 7 this will be in line with Obama's lopsided 2008 win. With all these normal Red States becoming tossups, maybe she can win by slightly more even.

By the way, even this irks me a little. Jennifer Rubin:

"Trump on Muslim ban: Fooled ya!"

Her overall post here is good. But how exactly did he fool us? What I mean is this seems to assume he didn't mean he would do a Muslim ban as he''s now 'flip flopped.'

But I think where he really fools 'us' is if we buy into the idea that he's ruled out the ban. All he has really done is reframed it. 

Now he tries to justify it as just banning immigration from those countries with Islamic terrorism-which just happen to be Islamic. 

But is this an actual change in policy? Of course not. 

My theory of how you interpret Trump. 

1. Take him at his word. Don't divine for him that 'He probably is only fooling.'

2. If he has taken multiple positions assume the accurate one is the worst one. 

He has to pay the price for his deliberate 'uncertainty.' Voters can't vote for someone who won't tell them what he'll do until after he's President and he does what he will do. 

In any case, much of the 'flip flops' are just reframing the issue. 

For instance on the minimum wage, people get very confused-as is his intent. But in truth he's said:

1. Wages are too high

2. He doesn't know how workers get by on $7.25 an hour

3. He wants to eliminate the federal MW.

I'd argue that none of this is actually a contradiction, he's just reframing his position and too many seem to fall for it. 


  1. Supporting Trump is the white man's version of a race riot. These same white men look in astonishment at a riot in a minority community with people smashing windows and starting fires and say to themselves "Why are they doing it? They're only hurting themselves! Stupid." ... so those of us looking at Trump supporters are wondering the same thing. Sometimes people just want to burn it down. They don't care. They're not thinking about who will have to clean up the mess in the morning, or where they'll buy their groceries.

    They're acting like "spoiled guinea brats." It'll be fun watching reality take it's belt off and demand that they "Clean it up!"

  2. Mike, I love this guy Bruce Bartlett. Of course I've heard of him before, and I've seen you refer to him, but there's a bunch of videos on youtube featuring interviews with him, and I love it:

    "Half the Republican party is stupid or crazy!"

    1. Yes, he's great. I read his Tweets every day. He hates his old party: calls them 'wankers' all day. LOL

  3. Mike, this is O/T, but it's one of the best RedState pieces I have read in critiquing Trump's foreign policy "ideas" (more like emotional outbursts). It's actually rather curios that RedState (which specializes in red meat most of the time) is the one to put this forward. However, it's not too surprising that it was Leon H. Wolf that wrote it, being that he is one of the more sensible people over there:

    The irony of course (in reading that) is his promotion of the idea that "moderates must be protected" which is not something that RedState applies here in the US very much.

  4. This is one of the funny (because it's basically a clueless man finally waking up) pieces on RedState today: they discover that Fox is not fair and balanced:

  5. Mike, I'm surprised TheRersurgent allowed Jason Taylor to print this one at all because of one word that all True Conservatives despise: "compromise":

    Republican leaders would be better off reflecting not on what Trump must do to become a credible candidate, but on why their voters embraced Trump in the first place. He did not create an audience with nativist instincts that dismisses traditional conservative policies. He merely played to it. Said audience has been growing and fed by GOP leaders since the Clinton years. Instead of engaging Democratic politicians, GOP politicians shaped a Manichean universe that substituted anger for reason, and conflict for compromise. Whether it was the infantile replacement of “Democrat” for “Democratic,” or fantasizing that Obama is a Marxist, a Moslem or a Kenyan, the GOP did nothing to weed out the crop Trump has harvested.

    That sounds more like something Bruce Bartlett might write rather than the purists at TheResurgent. Not that they haven't complained about racists and birthers and conspiracy theorists in their midst, but the compromist vs conflict line really stood out as unusual. Recall, these people still blame establishment squishes for not getting behind Ted Cruz's plan to defund ObamaCare by shutting down the government. So although they have some principles and are not conspiracy nuts, they are nonethelesss in general still very very delusional.

  6. Wow, this one is good too (from RedState, regarding Howie Carr's war whoop and the non-apology that followed):

    And this is part of the way the Trump campaign is poisoning America in the name of opposing "political correctness." It's now somehow considered an improper thing to do to say, "You know what, I screwed up," when it comes to these sorts of things. You don't have to bow to ridiculous pressure or accept the unfair treatment the media throws at Republicans - feel free to point out that they've let Biden and others slide for years. But that doesn't mean you have to go on defending something improper that you've done, just because it's what Trump would do.

    The Trump campaign is basically a walking excuse for people to be as crappy to one another as they want, without care or apology. It is not making America a better place to live or improving the country as a place for all our children to grow up. Instead, it is actively encouraging life's losers to respond to their station in life by acting like they are all the Kim Jong Un of their own personal domain, subject to correction by no one and nothing.

    Maybe I am just a hopelessly naive person but I have always actually believed that it was important to not be an actually racist person, and that when one has done something that is racially offensive - even accidentally - one should at the very least apologize for having done so. No one is perfect, and we all constantly learn as we go throughout life about ways to improve our interactions with people who come from different cultures and backgrounds than we do. Fostering a culture in which apology for offense is an offense itself can lead to nothing good for America, and I hope Trump and his despicable minions fade in to the background sooner, rather than later.

  7. Mike, I had fun taunting E. Harding with the prospect of Chris Christie being vetted for the VP slot, which is what RedState is reporting on today:

    About 3 days ago Harding said such a move by Trump (i.e. selecting Christie for VP) would drive him into the #NeverTrump camp.

    1. To his credit (so far) he says he'll stick by that promise! That alone almost makes me want Trump to put Gary Busey on the back burner and pick Christy.

    2. ... maybe Gary can be Secretary of State.