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May 5, 2016

Open Thread: Thursday, May 5

  7:00 am

This is the open thread for Thursday, May 5.

This is a good place to post anything that would be off topic in other threads (articles of interest, polls, etc).

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Trump is Hillary, Hillary is Trump

  11:02 am

There isn’t a significant difference between Hillary and Donald. In important respects, they’re the same. Call them Evil One and Evil Two. You can vote for Evil with a penis, or evil without one. Or, vote for Evil with a real hair piece, or vote for evil with real hair. Either way, it’s a distinction without a difference.

After Sanders upset Hillary in Indiana it became clearer than ever that there is significant opposition to her in the Democrat Party. She had locked up the nomination and it seemed rather petty for Sanders to have not withdrawn. Yet he did not and was recalcitrant about it. Further, his supporters in a relatively conservative state refused to unite behind their own party’s certain nominee and repudiate the socialist in their midst. It was a spit in the face.

Remember Bernie’s main critique of her: she’s got close ties to Wall Street and big banks. She is supported by the elites of the establishment. She is corrupt and has been given very large speaking fees in exchange for favors and phony rhetoric.  Sanders is the ultimate outsider trying to take down an established party: he isn’t a member of it. Trump, at least, changed his registration before he ran.

On the Republican side, much of the criticism of Donald is of a piece with much of the critique of Hillary offered by Bernie: he is corrupt, part of the establishment, an elitist to the core. Examples abound, but everyone who follows politics has heard them, or enough of them. No one knows all of them, although the Hillary campaign is reputed to possess mass quantities of negatives about him the media have somehow overlooked.

Search the media and you will see articles about how the normal Republican donor class simply isn’t going to give any money to the Trump campaign. Indeed, many Republicans are outspoken as to the reasons they’re not going to vote for the party’s nominee. Some, such as Matt Walsh, writing at The Blaze, are leaving the Republican Party. Just to quote one of his reasons, in bold to highlight its relevance:

“Trump is Hillary, Hillary is Trump.

Many conservatives have told me they “hate Trump” but “hate Clinton more,” or words to that effect. Last night, a good number of them condemned me in no uncertain terms for daring to do anything but fall in line behind Trump and his party. “Lesser of two evils,” they cried. “If you don’t vote for Trump, you vote for Hillary,” they insisted. And they were wrong and will continue to be wrong on both counts.

What these people have not been able to do is explain, in clear and rational language, why they think Trump would be superior to Clinton. Reminding me that Clinton is awful doesn’t help. I’m aware, thank you. My contention is that Trump is awful in equal measure. I think the facts are on my side: They’re both elitist progressives. Both pathological liars. Both morally bankrupt. Both narcissists. Both entirely unconcerned about the issues and willing to take whatever position assures them more power. Both Statist. Both authoritarian. Both tyrants, the only difference is that Trump actually ran on a platform of tyranny – promising to murder women and children and squash dissent. etc. – whereas Clinton has to pretend she’s not a tyrant. That means Trump will have a mandate for tyranny that Clinton will, much to her chagrin, not be granted.

These two could not be more identical. That’s why they were such good friends. For God’s sake they’ll both be under investigation for crimes during the general election. Clinton for her email scandal and Trump for financial fraud. It’s like they’re fraternal twins or something. It would almost be kind of cute if they weren’t harbingers of national doom.”

One reason the “lesser of two evils” argument doesn’t hold is that it’s not altogether certain which of the two is the lesser evil. We have people who comment who contend that they will vote for Hillary because they can’t abide voting for Trump, and we have those who were not for Donald, but who will vote for him because she is the alternative.

If there’s any distinction between the level of evil on either side, it’s moot. The fact is that there is always an honorable vehicle for a lover of truth and integrity to occupy. This time around there might be more than one. On the Left, I suspect that Bernie will run 3rd Party.

Similarly, discussions about forming a vehicle for a conservative challenge to Donald have already begun in earnest. Regardless, the Libertarian Party will be far more relevant this time around than it has ever been.

 

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Poll Watch (CNN/ORC): Hillary Ahead of Trump by Double-Digits

  8:00 am

CNN/ORC released a new poll yesterday and the results are as expected – presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton trounces presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in nationwide general election match-up.

General Election

  • Hillary Clinton: 54%
  • Donald Trump: 41%
  • Other/Neither: 5%

Favorable/Unfavorable (Registered Voters)

  • Bernie Sanders: 61%/33% (+28%)
  • John Kasich: 54%/29% (+25%)
  • Hillary Clinton: 49%/49% (even)
  • Donald Trump: 41%/56% (-15%)
  • Ted Cruz: 37%/56% (-19%)

Interviews with 1,001 adult Americans conducted by telephone by ORC International on April 28 – May 1, 2016. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The sample also includes 890 interviews among registered voters (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points).

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Trump Won’t Self-Finance, Wants to Raise Minimum Wage

  7:30 am

Call it flip-flopping, call it pivoting to general election mode, call it Trump-being-Trump, call it whatever you may please. Yesterday, the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States reversed course on two major issues that were, at one point, centerpieces of his campaign.

Via the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump announced that he will not, prior to what he said previously, be self-funding his campaign and instead will create and make use of a traditional fundraising apparatus such as the ones used by politicians he upon whom he built his candidacy denigrating.

Facing a prospective tab of more than $1 billion to finance a general-election run for the White House, Donald Trump reversed course Wednesday and said he would actively raise money to ensure his campaign has the resources to compete with Hillary Clinton’s fundraising juggernaut.

Mr. Trump stated that he would build a “world class finance organization” to cover the over $1 billion price tag a run for the presidency requires. Now, there is no doubting that Mr. Trump has access to people with deep pockets – how else would have helped fund the campaigns of Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio? – yet the trouble comes when so many traditional GOP donors are saying ‘no way’ to Mr. Trump.

As David M. Drucker in the Washington Examiner reports, Mr. Trump is going to have a hard time finding deep-pocketed bundlers who are willing to donate their own money or hit-up their friends and colleagues to do likewise for the Trump campaign, which the vast majority of political observers expect to end in a Hillary Clinton landslide in November’s general election. These donors are saying they will shift their funds to various Republican candidates in US House and Senate races in hopes of preserving the GOP majorities in Congress, which Mr. Trump’s candidacy also puts in doubt, rather than donating to the Trump campaign.

Repelled by Trump and convinced he can’t beat Hillary Clinton, wealthy GOP contributors are abandoning the presidential contest and directing their lucrative networks to spend to invest in protecting vulnerable Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

“There’s a significant segment of large donors, and the donor community at large, that would need to see a fundamentally different approach to raise money, or give money, to Trump,” Fred Malek, a veteran GOP bundler and the Republican Governors Association finance chairman, told the Washington Examiner.

In another move that in a normal election cycle would raise the ire of ‘conservative’ stalwarts on talk radio and at Fox News, Mr. Trump on Wednesday said he would look into raising the federal minimum wage. It was a reversal on something which Mr. Trump said, just six months ago, was something he said, ‘we have to leave it the way it is.’

As Ben Kamisar reports in The Hill:

In a reversal, Donald Trump expressed openness to raising the federal minimum wage during an interview on Wednesday.

“I’m looking at that, I’m very different from most Republicans,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told CNN Wednesday about the prospect of increasing wages.

During a November debate, Trump voiced opposition to raising the minimum wage.

“I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,” he said during the debate.

During a November appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Trump said the current minimum wage is too high and was slowing job growth.

Conservatives, not to mention the vast majority of economists, argue that an artificially high minimum wage dictated at the federal level creates higher prices, lower employment and a general reduction in the average citizen’s standard of living.

Thus one is left to conclude that Mr. Trump was simply pandering conservatives with his minimum wage comments at the November debate and subsequent appearance on MSNBC, much as former GOP presidential candidates (whom Trump derided) have done with statements about matters such as ‘hunting varmits.’ Perhaps Mr. Trump is just yet another political opportunist after all.

These two policy shifts, significant as they are, are not likely to make any impact on Mr. Trump’s standing with his legions of fanatical followers, for whom honestly and basic economic principles are largely foreign concepts.

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May 4, 2016

John Kasich to Suspend Presidential Campaign

  2:59 pm

It’s all over now, NBC News is reporting that Ohio Governor John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday, senior campaign advisers tell NBC News.

Kasich cancelled a press conference in Virginia earlier in the day and announced he would make a statement in Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday afternoon.

 

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Open Thread: Wednesday, May 4

  7:00 am

This is the open thread for Monday, May 2.

This is a good place to post anything that would be off topic in other threads (articles of interest, polls, etc).

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May 3, 2016

Reminder: Race 4 2016 Will Not Be Supporting Donald Trump

  11:54 pm

Tuesday night’s blow-out win by Donald Trump in the Indiana Primary, and Ted Cruz’s subsequent suspension of his campaign, pretty much assured that Mr. Trump will be the Republican Party’s standard-bearer in the November.

With that said, yours truly feels it is necessary to remind our readers, once again, that under no circumstances will Race 4 2016 be supportive of Mr. Trump’s campaign for the presidency in any way, shape or form. There will not be any case of kissing and making up for the good of the Party, as we have done in the past. Furthermore, Race will work actively to oppose Mr. Trump, expose him for the fraudulent, racist, misogynist, faux-conservative that he is.

Race will call out any and every individual or organization that calls themselves conservative and supports Mr. Trump’s candidacy. This list will include elected officials, former Republican office-holders, members of the Republican National Committee and underlying state committees and members of the media. The time for recriminations is upon us and Race will take no-holds barred approach to dealing with the traitors to the conservative movement.

Additionally, Race will work to promote third-party candidates, their platforms and biographies, and encourage our fellow conservatives to cast their ballots in their favor, rather than for Mr. Trump, come November’s general election. Race will follow the fine examples put forth by entities including, but certainly not limited to, National Review, The Blaze, Red State, The Weekly Standard, The Resurgent, Mark Levin, The Liberty Daily and The Federalist.

 

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Ted Cruz Suspends Campaign

  8:55 pm

Cruz is out. That pretty much settles things.

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DEMOCRATS TO LAUNCH $20M ANTI-TRUMP MEDIA BLITZ ON JUNE 8

  2:23 pm

With Donald Trump’s tight-fisted campaign running on fumes through California, the Democrats are seizing the moment to define the historically unpopular GOP front-runner in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention. A $20 million negative ad blitz is coming to a swing state near you:

A series of ads paint­ing him as an un­ser­i­ous, un­ready, and un­scru­pu­lous busi­ness­man who also hap­pens to dis­par­age wo­men and minor­it­ies is to start air­ing June 8, the day after the fi­nal primar­ies in which Trump is likely to clinch the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion.

A similar strategy successfully defined the more favorable and vastly more presidential Mitt Romney before the 2012 campaign, and did so without the plethora of opposition research the Democrats have gathered on Trump. It will be interesting to see if the former Clinton donor decides to open up his checkbook to counter the Democrat effort, or if he will attempt to rely on liberal media coverage for exposure. The press is unlikely to be as forgiving in a general election as they were in the primary, a lesson learned by other media darlings, like Sen. John McCain, who was sandbagged by the New York Times within hours of becoming the GOP nominee with accusations of an extramarital affair.

Unfortunately for The Donald, the well-funded RNC that he frequently maligns will be unable to ride to his rescue, as the party is barred from using general election funds prior to the convention. The failure to build a national campaign infrastructure or fundraising database will leave Trump flailing against a deluge of Democratic attacks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg the Democrats have planned for Trump, who is already the most unpopular general election candidate in American history.

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Before The Fall; Epitaph and Requiem to Follow

  2:15 pm

Even now, the acceptance of a Donald Trump nomination is nearly nonexistent in the Republican Party. Of the 54 Republican United States Senators, how many have endorsed the man poised to win the nomination today? Not that his chief remaining rival, Senator Ted Cruz, is much more accepted. You could combine the number of Senators who have endorsed either of them and count them on one hand. The numbers aren’t a lot better among Governors, and even Representatives. In truth, the leading figures in the party are still trying to figure out exactly how this degrading debacle could have transpired.

Jay Cost, writing in The Weekly Standard in an article titled “Republican Party Down” has ruminated:

“Martin Van Buren—the country’s first unabashed advocate of party government—put it best when he wrote, “The disposition to abuse power, so deeply planted in the human heart, can by no other means be more effectually checked” than by a party that combines a well-maintained organization with vigilant leaders, who support the principles of the party “ingenuously and faithfully.”

Judged by Van Buren’s standard, the Republican party of 2016 is a spectacular failure. Lacking sufficient organization and largely bereft of vigilant leaders, it has proven itself incapable of refining and enlarging public views around a principled commitment to the national interest. It is little wonder that a demagogic, ill-informed outsider like Trump is on the cusp of capturing its most important nomination. The party lacks the strength to resist him.

Take the party organization, broadly defined. The rules of the presidential nomination process are a mess and have been for some time. Systematically tilted toward candidates who can raise the most money, hire the best consultants, and garner the most media attention, their purpose is not to generate consensus within the party around the best messenger of the party’s platform, but to deliver a plurality victory to the frontrunner. That is exactly what is happening in 2016; the only difference is that Trump, who is anathema to most regular Republicans, has compensated by dominating media coverage. The fact that he fails to adhere to basic conservative principles, and is a sure loser in November, should put him at a disadvantage to win the nomination. But the rules do not disfavor such candidates. They should have been reformed years ago, but were mostly ignored except by the lawyers at the Republican National Committee who tinker with them.”

The basic principle of the party has always been to reduce the size of the government. By doing that it follows that people and businesses keep more of their own money and advance their own interests further as a result. By doing that it follows that the market will function as only a free market can, unfettered and unrestricted by governmental regulation and legal impediments, and able to offer more and better products and services at lower costs to those who would benefit from them.

And now that conservative values and beliefs have been jettisoned by the party, it is a capital time to find a political alternative that is truer to that set of principles, and more resistant to abusers of power. As Cost explains:

“It is fair to ask: What is the point of the Republican party these days? It has won an extraordinary number of offices over the last several cycles, as voters have registered their discontent with Obama-style liberalism. But to what purpose? If we believe Burke and Madison, then a party should elevate and manage the public discourse, around principles that advance the general welfare. Nobody honestly believes today’s Republican party is capable of this on a national level.”

Those of us who have been willing to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt as to its ability to “elevate and manage the public discourse” have been disabused of that faith by the Trump rise. At the very least, a viable political party should be fashioned so as to prevent the enemies of all that its adherents hold most dear from taking it over.

That Republicans mostly stayed silent while their party was being trashed and distorted by the most egregious threat to its future existence since Joe McCarthy is more than reason enough to switch to the Libertarian Party this coming November.

Unless, of course, Republicans in Indiana prove themselves more impervious to the media-driven zeitgeist than those in the Northeast. Trump will be stopped if, and only if, he is stopped there.

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