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Another Horserace Column

[ Posted Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 17:23 UTC ]

It's time once again to take a look at the emerging 2020 Democratic presidential field. Those of you who sneer at horserace columns would be advised to just skip today's offering altogether, we should point out right up front. And as usual, we have some new candidates and some updates on the current horde of hopefuls.

We've refined our ever-changing column format this time around, adding a "campaign news" segment at the start, followed by the three tiers of candidates and then some conclusions. This format may endure, or it may get tweaked further as the race develops, but for now it'll have to do.

 

Campaign News

The biggest news is, once again, no news. Joe Biden is looking and acting more and more like an actual candidate, but so far has remained coy about what he's up to. Since he is still playing this game, we are going to ignore him for the remainder of this column. When he announces, we'll include him in the field, but as it stands we've got so many others to keep track of that Joe will have to wait his turn. He did make some news for his past "handsiness," and he attempted to get beyond it by explaining that times have changed since he entered politics -- but this may be counterproductive in the long run for two reasons: times have indeed changed and Joe isn't sounding all that in tune with where things stand now, and it only serves to highlight one of Biden's weakest points (his age). Irony alert: most pundits missed it, but this whole storyline was truly oxymoronic: "Biden out of touch, for previously touching too much."

Also sounding like he's about to toss his hat into the ring is Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. Like Biden, though, we'll deal with him when he gets around to actually announcing.

As usual, we do have some new candidates in the race. Last night, Congressman Eric Swalwell announced his bid on Stephen Colbert's show, and seems poised to try to become the "gun control candidate." No idea how successful this is going to turn out to be, but he's the second Democrat to try and singlehandedly stake out one particular issue (the other being Jay Inslee, who is trying to be the greenest candidate of them all on climate change).

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has also officially entered the race, after Sherrod Brown surprised everyone by taking a pass on 2020. Ryan's candidacy will most likely lean heavily on: "I can win Ohio and the Midwest," naturally.

And we've now got an official 2020 gadfly in the race: Mike Gravel. He may not be running so much as trolling all the other candidates in the race for his own amusement, though. Actually, he's not even the one most amused, as his candidacy is largely the product of some much younger activists who convinced Gravel to turn over his Twitter feed to them to needle the other Democrats running. So there's that to look forward to, folks.

This brings the whole Democratic field, by our count (which currently only includes Democrats who have previously held some sort of political office), up to a grand total of 17 candidates -- exactly the number of Republicans who ran in 2016. And with both Biden and Bennet poised to enter the race, this number could well hit 20 before we're done.

One final note about the field: Andrew Gillum has apparently decided to take a pass on a presidential bid.

There is one other arena where news is being made, although we won't know the full story for another few days (when the filing deadline arrives). The end of March marked the end of the first quarter of fundraising, and the candidates who have done well in this regard have already released their numbers. Here is the rundown of the candidates who have so far admitted how much money they raised in the first quarter of 2019:

Bernie Sanders -- $18.2 million

Kamala Harris -- $12 million

Beto O'Rourke -- $9.4 million

Pete Buttigieg -- $7 million

Amy Klobuchar -- $5.2 million

Cory Booker -- $5 million

Bernie's pretty obviously way out in front of the pack, with Harris, O'Rourke, and Buttigieg also posting impressive numbers. As we mentioned, we'll have a complete list of how much each candidate has raised within the next week, but we fully expect the others to post numbers at or below the Klobuchar/Booker level (or else they'd already be bragging about it).

OK, that's it for the recent news, so let's move on to dividing the field up into tiers.

 

First Tier

Bernie Sanders continues to lead the field, by a wide margin. He hasn't gotten a whole lot of media attention for this feat, mostly because the media already seems to have pegged Bernie as some sort of fringe candidate who can't possibly win -- even though he's leading the polls of declared candidates and leading the fundraising race as well. The voters are quite obviously very interested in what Bernie's got to say, but so far the media continues to sneer at his candidacy. We'll see whether this changes over time, but our guess is that when Biden finally does announce, the media will completely forget that Bernie's even running.

In contrast, Beto O'Rourke has enjoyed a good few weeks basking in the sunshine of media attention. So far, he's proven that his fundraising prowess during his Senate race has not gone away (O'Rourke even slightly bested Sanders in the "first 24 hours" fundraising metric), and that his charisma is fairly magnetic. Since at this point in the race the real battle is for any attention at all, this has to be seen as a solid victory for O'Rourke. He has drawn some criticism early on for being too vague and nowhere near specific enough in his policy proposals, but he's certainly got time to improve in this regard.

The other media darling for the past few weeks has been Pete Buttigieg. Everyone even now knows how to pronounce his name, which was a steep hill for him to climb. Most pundits have gone with the phonetic "BOOT-edge-edge," but his husband's got an even better and easier one to remember: "BUDDHA-judge." Either one beats what most people sounded out when first confronted by his name ("BUTT-ig-ig"). He's been making the rounds of popular talk shows and news interviews, and so far has made an impressive showing. He's a straight-talker and he's not been afraid to make a religious case for why Democrats are the more moral choice (which is somewhat surprising, coming from the first gay candidate). He's used his own Christian faith to directly attack fellow Hoosier Mike Pence for his smarmy hypocrisy, to good effect. "Mayor Pete" has been more successful at vaulting into the top ranks than any other little-known candidate, by far.

And rounding out the top tier we have Kamala Harris, who is competently campaigning without generating a whole lot of media buzz. This isn't that big an issue for her, because she already is somewhat of a media darling herself. And, as her fundraising numbers plainly show, she is garnering quite a bit of attention and support from Democratic voters, so she's definitely still holding her own in the top tier of candidates.

 

Second Tier

We only have three candidates in the middle tier this time around: Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren. The first two have been pretty steadily in the second tier all along, but we had to drop Warren back from the top tier this week, since her candidacy seems to be fading somewhat. Now, we admit that this might be a problem of perception on our part, and we are eagerly awaiting hearing her first-quarter fundraising total. Warren hasn't garnered much media attention over the past few weeks, which is a clear condemnation of the dismal state of American political journalism, since Warren has been out front of the entire pack in one very important regard: actual policy specifics. Warren, unlike many other candidates, is putting together a detailed and well-thought-out campaign platform, and continues to lead the other candidates on certain issues (such as taxing the rich, most obviously). But even with this flurry of new and detailed agenda items, the media has largely yawned, so for now we've got to demote her to running in the pack rather than out in front.

Both Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker continue to struggle for any media attention as well, although Klobuchar has a leg up here due to her being seen as "the best moderate candidate" by many. Whether or not the Democratic electorate is in the mood for a moderate candidate, Klobuchar seems to so far have staked out this ground better than any other candidate running.

Booker, after an initial splash in the media at the start of his campaign, has seemed to fade into the background. He could always turn this around, though, and he's still running strong enough to be considered second-tier.

 

Third Tier

The bottom tier continues to grow, as more enter the race and the ones already in fail to move the needle much at all. Both Tim Ryan and Eric Swalwell enter in the third tier of candidates, since nobody really knows their names yet. This could change, but they've both got a long way to go in the name recognition arena. Also definitely third tier is Mike Gravel, or (more accurately) "Mike Gravel's Twitter account."

Also of note this week is Kirsten Gillibrand, who we're finally demoting from the second tier. Gillibrand made her formal announcement right in front of Trump Tower in New York, but barely caused a ripple by doing so. She is the highest-ranking candidate down in the third tier, being a sitting senator and all, but that's a dubious honor since as a senator she really should be doing better than she is.

This leaves six other candidates who have gone nowhere in the race. Quick quiz: can you name them all without scrolling down? If you came up with even four of these names, we'd be impressed.

We do feel somewhat sorry for the first name on this list, as he's gotten the same raw deal that Chris Christie got in the 2016 GOP race. Christie was going to run as the brash tough-talking guy from the New York City area, until this shtick got completely dominated by Donald Trump.

Which is why we feel sorry for Julián Castro, who was going to be the brash young liberal from deep in the heart of Texas -- until Beto O'Rourke completely stole his thunder. Castro still could make a splash in the media in the coming months (perhaps if Beto stumbles at any point), but for now he remains an afterthought.

And then there's the rest of them: Representatives John Delaney and Tulsi Gabbard, Governors John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee, and Mayor Wayne Messam. As we stated, if anyone managed to name all six of these trailing-the-pack candidates off the top of their heads, we'd be seriously impressed.

 

Conclusions

It's still a wee bit too early for any comprehensive conclusions, but perhaps the release of the first quarter fundraising numbers in the upcoming week will help in this regard. We're roughly only three months from the first Democratic debates, though, which will be the first real acid test of the entire Democratic field. Some candidates will shine and gain the all-important media spotlight, and some may fade further into the background. Either way, it will be the first time the general public pays all that much attention to the race and each individual candidate.

We do seem to be getting to the end of the Democratic "announcement season," though. While Joe Biden and Michael Bennet seem on the brink of announcing, the list of other possible candidates who have not yet made up their mind has shrunk considerably (by people either throwing their hat in the ring or by bowing out).

The only solid conclusion to draw from all of this is that Democrats are definitely on track to have a larger field than the Republicans did in 2016. So there's no shortage of candidates to watch!

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

55 Comments on “Another Horserace Column”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Welp, BS is supposedly finally ponying up his tax returns and we'll see how much $ he's made in the last 10 years, and when, and how much he gave to charity and etc.

    Then we'll see how it all squares with his "I'm the only PURE politician in America" schtick/brand.

    Arguments are breaking out in response to his "I'm a millionaire coz I wrote a bestseller and you can too!" admission/comment. They break down to the: "nothing wrong with being rich" crowd vs. "yeah, but he's pontificated about wealth and corruption etc. for years - seems hypocritical" crowd.

    A minor theme is also emerging demanding taxes from 2008 (technically eleven tax returns ago) coz that's when Jane was doing something snaky and is why, some are contending, he wanted to drag it out til now so he could release 10 yrs. without revealing that specific dirty laundry.

    So we'll see if the issue gets put to rest or not.

  2. [2] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    I'm reading this while watching the PBS Reconstruction documentary. I just heard a pithy phrase that could prove helpful in future horserace columns.

    "A first rate second rate man."

    Originally used in the context of Rutherford B. Hayes (presently best known for a Simpson song about forgettable presidents).

    For present day purposes "A first rate second rate candidate" covers all sexes!

  3. [3] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    I’m honestly rather surprised that Gillibrand is doing as badly as she is. Not that she’s a fave of mine or anything. But she already has at least a decent public profile, she’s a fairly prominent Democratic senator. I guess I expected her to be at least second tier. Anyone have have any speculation why her campaign isn’t taking off?

    I gues when you have so many candidates, it’s inevitable that some will underperform. I Back in early 2015, I was expecting then-Wisconsin-governor and Koch prodigy Scott Walker to be a major player in the GOP primary. With his presumed Koch backing and fairly high national profile(for a governor) he seemed like a strong horse to bet on. But Walker turned out to be a rather weak campaigner, and he was the first Republican to drop out of the race.

  4. [4] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    FWIW, the interviews and footage of Sanders that I’ve seen tend to involve him going over the exact same talking points about income inequality, and the need to reform our healthcare and higher education systems. That’s not the whole symphony, but it is by far the main motif repeated over and over. It can almost be dull listening to him because he is so consistent. As far as presenting himself as the only ideologically pure one, I haven’t seen those clips. I have seen him say(recently) something along the lines that he was the OG championing single payer/free public college/&c. before support for these policies became widespread in the Democratic Party. But I didn’t take that as implying that all other Democrats are phony or “impure”. I actually think he is pleased that these issues have caught fire enough that they are becoming standard for Democrats. I sure am. In any case, I took it as more a boast that he was ahead of the curve.

    Or if Sanders’ promotion of his own purity was in 2016, and directed against Clinton, I don’t remember any particularly mudslinging attack ads. My understanding is it was a fairly clean primary as far as the candidates were concerned(supporters of the respective candidates slinging vitriol at each other online notwithstanding). I’m not aware of a 2016 equivalent of the famous 3am ad from 2008. As far as the super pak/campaign finance issue goes, I remember Sanders being fairly circumspect in that he usually presented it as a systemic issue(which it is), not an issue with Clinton specifically and personally. His supporters were, again, not always so circumspect. I’m not sure how the issue could be treated by a campaign in such a way that no one would notice that your opponent actively participates in the system you are criticizing. Inevitably some people are going to take it as an attack on your opponent. But it isn’t as though Sanders only pretended to care about campaign finance for the sake of indirectly attacking Clinton. This has been a major issue for him for years.

    Most of all, I think if he was obsessed with purity, I doubt Sanders would have endorsed Clinton after she won the nomination. Plenty of people on the left were pissed at him for doing so. As for myself, I knew it was the right choice. From a pragmatic standpoint, Clinton was just a far better option than Trump. Every child who was separated from their parents and put in a cage is a testament to that. Walking out of the Democratic convention and forming a new party(a bit of foolishness I heard floated by some on the left) would have been a terrible move. Better to keep association with the Democratic Party and try to influence its policy leftward. Which is pretty much what happened. Although you can always debate how much the party’s embrace of more progressive economic policy is due to Sanders. No way to know for sure.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW...

    Are we ever going to get a Mueller Totally Exonerates President Trump On Russia Collusion commentary??

    I realize it's a very depressing subject for the Left, but it IS pretty momentous..

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    You know what's so hilarious about all this Mueller Report Release hysteria from Democrats??

    If Democrats want to protect the rule of law, they can’t rush the Mueller report

    Democrats demanding the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s complete and unredacted report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election should pipe down, at least if they want to preserve a reputation for consistency. They spent over two years reminding us how important the rule of law is. They, more than anyone, should know that the law does not permit Attorney General William P. Barr to give them what they desire.

    Two sets of laws and regulations govern what the attorney general can release. The first concern how any special counsel’s report should be handled. The second are those Barr cited in his summary, longstanding rules designed to protect law enforcement investigations and ongoing prosecutions.

    The first set plainly envisions disclosing less rather than more of any special counsel’s investigation. The governing law and accompanying regulations were written in the aftermath of special counsel Kenneth Starr’s public release of his explosive and salacious report into a variety of allegations against President Bill Clinton. As Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith explained at the Lawfare blog, the regulations were drafted specifically to limit public discussion of the special counsel’s investigation, and thus to provide fewer incentives for independent counsels to overstep. They were intended to make a special counsel’s investigation more like a normal criminal investigation whose conclusion is rarely, if ever, made public
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/29/if-democrats-want-protect-rule-law-they-cant-rush-mueller-report/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.64d2eabc5672

    It was ***DEMOCRATS*** who created the law that Special Counsel reports are NOT to be released to Congress or the Public...

    That's right, ladies and germs... The same Democrats who are screaming hysterically to the high heavens that Mueller's report MUST BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC are the SAME Democrats who, in the aftermath of the STARR REPORT, screamed hysterically to the high heavens, "NEVER AGAIN!!!! NEVER AGAIN WILL A SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT BE RELEASED!!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!!"

    It was DEMOCRATS who created the law they are now denigrating and castigating..

    Howz THAT for delicious irony... :D

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's rather amusing..

    2016 Bernie Sanders actually had a chance to beat Donald Trump because, at the time, both were Anti-Establishment candidates...

    In 2020 Bernie is the Democrat Establishment candidate and, as such, doesn't stand a chance, even if he does win the nomination, which is not likely...

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Purity and irony are together in perfect harmony,
    side by side with my keyboard here on my computer screen..."
    -Ebony and Ivory song parody

    The purity claim on Sanders, as Belaney said, is mostly a creation of his opponents. It is a standard attack made to ridicule/demean an opponent that is pointing out something that the person making the accusation doesn't want to acknowledge or cannot make a rational argument against.

    You could probably find good examples of this just by reviewing comment threads here on One Demand.

    It is rich that Hillary supporters would now be claiming that Bernie is impure and therefore not suitable because he may be a millionaire but they were okay with Clinton.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    A week or two ago I sent Bernie a copy of the article I tried to send you, "Are you supporting a small donor candidate or a small contribution candidate?" along with a note explaining that I was a contributor and primary voter in 2016, but would not be supporting him this time around unless he ran a PURE small donor camapign (I did not use that word in the note, I threw that in for fun due to comments above).

    Yesterday I received a post card from the campaign with the standard "thank you for writing us" form letter. But there was a hand written note added.

    It said "Thank you for a very interesting essay. It is definately food for thought."

    While it is unclear if this was written by Bernie or someone in his campaign, it does show his campaign is aware of the issue of small donor campaigns vs. small contributor campaigns and is thinking aboot it.

    Time will tell how PURE Bernie's campaign will be in 2020.

    I will send the article to you again so you can see what Bernie/his campaign has seen so you can better cover this issue as it develops if you will provide an email address or let me know the one I sent it to that was full has been cleared to accept the article.

    Or perhaps you will want to read it just because it is, according to Bernie's campaign, an interesting and thought provoking essay.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    From a previous commentary..

    not having read the mueller report i can't say with certainty,

    If Mueller is the man of integrity, the man of honor ya'all have been claiming for the last 2+ years he is, then we CAN say with absolute certainty that President Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the election..

    Of course, if the Weigantian gallery wants to alter their opinion of Mueller, SOLELY based on what he reported, that is an option...

  11. [11] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The Democtarics seem to be able to find a way to screw up pretty much everything. I can remember when being "handy" was a compliment.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now THAT...

    Black hole picture captured for first time in space breakthrough

    Network of eight radio telescopes around the world records revolutionary image
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/10/black-hole-picture-captured-for-first-time-in-space-breakthrough

    ... is way WAY kewl!!

    Kinda makes all of our petty ass issues insignificant by comparison...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Democtarics seem to be able to find a way to screw up pretty much everything. I can remember when being "handy" was a compliment.</I<

    heh

    Back when a hoe was a hoe
    Coke was a coke
    And crack's what you were doing
    When you were cracking jokes
    Back when a screw was a screw
    The wind was all that blew
    And when you said I'm down with that
    Well it meant you had the flu

    -Tim McGraw, BACK WHEN

    Or, if you prefer...

    "You got an armed escort home!!"
    "It's not the arms I am worried about.. It's the hands..."

    -GREASE

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Aaaarrrrggghhhhhh

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    William Barr Is the Democrats' Worst Nightmare

    Though they were excruciatingly obnoxious to William Barr at Tuesday's House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Democrats would be well-advised to lay off the attorney general, maybe even treat him with kid gloves, because he holds a good deal of the future of their party in his hands. In fact, he is positioned to make that party bleed as perhaps no one in history. And it only makes it worse that he is clearly such a straight shooter.

    The big story from Barr's testimony then before the subcommittee was not that the AG plans to release a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week or even that those redactions will be color-coded four ways and annotated to explain the reasons for the edits. Or that Democrats like Nita Lowey whined about transparency with all the hypocrisy only a politician can muster. This is all pro forma and predictable.
    https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/william-barr-is-the-democrats-worst-nightmare/

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Reynolds: Rock band The Slants' frontman, Simon Tam, knows more about free speech than CNN

    CNN’s Christiane Amanpour doesn't know what hate speech is. The Slants' frontman Simon Tam, on the other hand, knows much more about protected speech.

    One of the things I tell my Constitutional Law students is that if someone says something like “hate speech isn’t free speech,” or “the First Amendment doesn’t protect hate speech,” they can safely write that person off as an ignoramus and ignore anything else they have to say.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/09/cnn-journalist-understand-free-speech-the-slants-simon-tam-column/3403958002/

    It's SCARY to listen to Left Wingers on what is and isn't constitutionally permissible...

    Hate speech is protected speech.. Every American has a first amendment right to be offensive and hateful and intolerant...

    This is fact that no amount of social constructs and delusions can erase...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    AG William Barr says 'spying did occur' on Trump campaign, is reviewing whether it was lawful
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/10/ag-barr-says-spying-did-occur-trump-campaign-reviewing-legality/3421411002/

    Rut Roh, Raggey!!!

    Democrats are going down!!! :D

  18. [18] 
    John M wrote:

    C.W. You TOTALLY MISSED and FAILED to mention Andrew Yang, who is also running. Yang is a businessman who founded Venture for America, working to revitalize struggling urban centers by training and fostering entrepreneurs in cities like Detroit and New Orleans. Yang’s campaign announced it raised $1.7 million in the first quarter, putting him in 7th place behind Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker. Yang has also qualified to take place in the debates under the conditions set by the DNC.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is no Left left in Israel
    https://theweek.com/articles/834287/there-no-left-left-israel

    If only we could work that here in the US.. How joyous THAT would be :D

  20. [20] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re: "Hate speech" being subject to First Amend. protection.

    Much as Democratics hate to admit it, there is no such right, constitutional or othrwise, as the "Right never to be offended".

    End of discussion.

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    Someone must have, recently, explained to Blotus exactly what treason is which is why the demented criminal is now accusing Dems, and Mueller, of treason. Projection, projection, projection.

    Maybe Mueller couldn't get the "smoking gun" because the gangster Blotus has been smart enough over the years to avoid records of his crimes where possible, but evidently there's enough bad-sounding circumstantial evidence in that report that Blotus knows people will fill in the blanks if they get access to it.

    Crimes Blotus accuses others of are always what he's done.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Re: "Hate speech" being subject to First Amend. protection.

    Much as Democratics hate to admit it, there is no such right, constitutional or othrwise, as the "Right never to be offended".

    End of discussion.

    Preachin' to the choir my friend..

    Preachin' to the choir..

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Maybe Mueller couldn't get the "smoking gun" because the gangster Blotus has been smart enough over the years to avoid records of his crimes where possible,

    OR....

    Or maybe there WERE no crimes and it's only your hysterical fevered imagination that says there is..

    but evidently there's enough bad-sounding circumstantial evidence

    And yet, the evidence was not bad sounding enough for Mueller to make a determination. He let AG BARR and ASST AG ROSENSTEIN decide and THEY decided the facts weren't sufficient..

    So, all the way around, ya'all lost...

    Accept reality... You'll be better off..

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Barr says he thinks spying occurred on 2016 Trump campaign

    Says spying on Trump Campaign by Obama Admin DID occur... Developing...

    'Failure' at 'upper echelons'...

    WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday U.S. intelligence agencies engaged in spying directed at the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and that he would look at whether the surveillance was undertaken legally.

    "I think spying did occur," Barr told a Senate hearing. "But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. ... I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

    "I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal - it's a big deal."
    http://news.trust.org/item/20190410144125-laelo

    Now Odumbo and the Dumbocrats are on the hot seat.... :D

  25. [25] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    It's abundantly clear now that when the "Russian collusion/conspiracy" dust finally settles and the Mueller Report passes into history, I'll still be telling the crazy girls "Told Ya So", and the crazy girls will still be trying to save face, saying, "We were right, He did it, He's guilty, but He got away with it".

    Is anybody really surprised?

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    "He got away with it." is hardly a good epitaph for anyone, much less the POTUS.

    Have you, at long last, any shame?

    ..

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    "He got away with it." is hardly a good epitaph for anyone, much less the POTUS.

    As usual, you misunderstand..

    "He got away with it" was one person's claim.. A claim unsupported by ANY facts...

    The FACTS clearly show that there was no "IT" to begin with...

    It was all in the fevered and hysterical imagination of those who simply cannot handle the fact that they got beat by Donald Trump...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, President Trump is the freely, fairly and legally elected President of the United States..

    Hillary Clinton lost because she was a shitty campaigner that took for granted alleged Democrat strongholds that were not....

    That is the beginning and end of this sad sorry Democrat debacle...

  29. [29] 
    Paula wrote:

    Blotus corruption spreads:

    "New DOJ court filings on emoluments “would permit the president & all federal officials, to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official”

    https://t.co/HrSDrj6eLe

  30. [30] 
    neilm wrote:

    Remember folks, do not use #YachtCocaineProstitutes on social media because it makes Devin Nunes unhappy.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/heres-why-yachtcocaineprostitutes-is-trending-on-twitter/

    It seems that Devin Nunes has some really good lawyers who give him great advice like:

    1. Sue a cow
    2. Try to get a story squashed by turning it into one of the top trending hash tags on Twitter

    Can somebody please lend Devin their copy of the constitution and highlight the First Amendment for him please.

    On second thoughts, don't, he might stop the entertainment machine that he is kind enough to pay for via legal fees.

  31. [31] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthy [26]

    Don't understand where you're coming from on the "shame" thing. I intended to point out that the "he got away with it" thing is inevitably going to be the last gasp of the crazy girls, who've been saying for over 2 yrs that he colluded/conspired, and that such is clearly against the law, while I've been pointing out the obvious fact that any politician is perfectly free to get "political dirt" on his opponent from any source.

    But actually, no, I definitely have no shame, nor any reason to have shame.

  32. [32] 
    Paula wrote:

    There's a lot of different kinds of privilege. Here's another that benefits the tRump crime family:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/us/maryanne-trump-barry-misconduct-inquiry.html

    Retiring as a Judge, Trump’s Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Tax Dodges

    The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

    Judge Barry, now 82, has not heard cases in more than two years but was still listed as an inactive senior judge, one step short of full retirement. In a letter dated Feb. 1, a court official notified the four individuals who had filed the complaints that the investigation was “receiving the full attention” of a judicial conduct council. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

    The status change rendered the investigation moot, since retired judges are not subject to the conduct rules. The people who filed the complaints were notified last week that the matter had been dropped without a finding on the merits of the allegations. The decision has not yet been made public, but copies were provided to The Times by two of the complainants. Both are involved in the legal profession.

    The piece goes on to list the skeevy things she did and made money from.

  33. [33] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I've been pointing out the obvious fact that any politician is perfectly free to get "political dirt" on his opponent from any source.

    If ignorance is bliss, everyday must seem like a party for you.

    If what you say were true, why has Trump lied about his son’s meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower? Why continue to claim that NOTHING came of that meeting?

    If what you say were true, why would Trump defenders continue to call for investigations into the Steele dossier?

    Also, information has value, wouldn’t you agree? Campaign finance laws state that it is illegal for foreign governments to donate anything of value to a political campaign... which renders your claim that campaigns can receive “dirt” on their opponents from any source they choose false.

  34. [34] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Bclancy [3]

    I’m honestly rather surprised that Gillibrand is doing as badly as she is. Not that she’s a fave of mine or anything. But she already has at least a decent public profile, she’s a fairly prominent Democratic senator. I guess I expected her to be at least second tier. Anyone have have any speculation why her campaign isn’t taking off?

    I believe that her role in pressuring Al Franken to resign is why her campaign is stalling. Franken’s actions were juvenile, but they did not warrant his resignation. Gillibrand used the MeToo movement to rid herself of someone she saw as a political rival, while ignoring the fact that more importantly, Franken was a valued member of the Democratic Party. Her putting personal gain over the good of the people is why many, including myself, won’t support her.

  35. [35] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    LWYH [33]

    That of course is Kick's interpretation, but I suspect where it breaks down is the interpretation of the 'anything of value'. I'm saying (and obviously Mueller and pretty much the whole legal establishment appears to agree), that the anything of value has to be something tangible. Information, gossip, news "dirt", etc., regardless of how valuable they my be toward victory, do not qualify, Indeed, communications of that sort are clearly covered under the 1st amend.

    We'll just have to disagree on that, but you'll soon have to admit that the people who count (the legal establishment) are going with my interpretation.

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    30

    I know, right!? This Devin Nunes' cow thing is hilarious. Devin Nunes is suing multiple entities and journalists trying to silence their opinions of him. It is fun to watch it backfire spectacularly, and he's going to lose in court. Devin is following the marching orders of Donald Trump on this issue because Trump hasn't exactly made it a secret that he wants to stifle the free press.

    https://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-libel-laws-219866

    It seems that Devin Nunes has some really good lawyers who give him great advice like:
    1. Sue a cow
    2. Try to get a story squashed by turning it into one of the top trending hash tags on Twitter

    and drumroll --------> 3. Sue your mother

    Can somebody please lend Devin their copy of the constitution and highlight the First Amendment for him please.

    I steadfastly refuse, but tomorrow I'm going to see the Declaration of Independence, one of the originals created on July 4, 1776, referred to as "John Dunlap's Broadside." Dunlap was the official printer of the Continental Congress, and it is believed John Adams took the original Declaration to have the broadside printed because there is evidence he was also buying ladies gloves that day. I'll send Devin Ignorant Tool Nunes a picture to remind him we are no longer subjects of a king. :)

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    34

    Nailed it! :)

  38. [38] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    33

    As far as Stucki's redundant and asinine claims that the "whole legal establishment appears to agree" with him regarding the utter nonsensical claim of his that "anything of value has to be tangible," I can't stop laughing. Mind you, this is the same guy who professes to be the board expert on economics repeating over and over ad nauseam the ridiculous concept that information doesn't qualify as a thing of value because it's intangible.

    It's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard from a "smug" self-professed economics explainer, but it is always there as living proof that Stucki doesn't have a clue about basic economics or legal concepts, and I'm not even going to try to explain to Stucki about intellectual property law and how intangible assets are indeed valuable things (actually it would be the third attempt). It is the height of ignorance for a guy who claims he understands economics to not understand the concept that something doesn't have to be "tangible" in order to be considered valuable.

    I will say it would be a laugh riot to attend a court proceeding wherein lawyers for Donald Trump attempted to argue the utter asinine position that information and intangible assets don't qualify as things of value... the same guy who overinflates the intangible asset of his brand name in order to claim he's worth over $10 billion dollars arguing the position that something had to be "tangible" in order to be valuable would be highest order entertainment -- yet another thing of value that's intangible -- yet totally worth the price of admission. :)

  39. [39] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    CRS,

    That isn’t just Kick’s interpretation, it’s the court’s rulings as well. If “dirt” information had no value, then blackmail wouldn’t exist. As for the stolen DNC emails, how can someone be convicted of stealing electronic copies of something that had no value? Paying hush money to keep a porn star from telling the world about his small penis was Trump violating campaign finance laws with an unreported campaign donation. That means that SILENCE also has value.

  40. [40] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Industrial or commercial espionage is one example of theft not being 'tangible'. If someone takes details of Company A's process, whether as photographs or in a person's memory, to Company B, Company A can bring charges. Company B's culpability might be argued: did they employ or contract the person who carried out the espionage (by illegal means) for that purpose, or did they fail to question the source and legitimacy of the information they received?

    Plagiarism of a published work is another example. It makes no difference whether the plagiarist bought the original book, got a copy from a library or stole a copy; it's the infringement of copyright that is the offense. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Copyright_Law_in_the_United_States

  41. [41] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear(34)

    Yes, that’s a good point. At the time, I agreed with Gillibrand’s stance re. Franken’s resignation. Though in retrospect, I think I overreacted. Even at the time though, Gillibrand’s pushing so hard for him to resign seemed a bit self serving on her part(even when I agreed in thinking he should resign, I mean). Gillibrand didn’t endear herself to me by calling for Franken’s resignation. It would probably be going too far to say she tried to co-opt #metoo to boost her politcal career. But especially in hindsight it does appear a bit cynical and self-serving. Maybe I shouldn’t throw stones though, since my initial reaction was to want Franken to resign also. In any case, I do recall that a lot of people were pretty unhappy with Gillibrand over it. If it was an attempt to boost her profile and promote herself as feminist in anticipation of 2020, it sure seemed to backfire.

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Can somebody please lend Devin their copy of the constitution and highlight the First Amendment for him please.

    Funny how you go to the first amendment when it suits your agenda..

    But you are strangely silent when Democrat AntiFa terrorists attack those on the Right to silence them..

    Hypocrisy much..

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Russ,

    If what you say were true, why has Trump lied about his son’s meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower? Why continue to claim that NOTHING came of that meeting?

    Do you have any facts to prove Trump lied? Any facts to prove that something came from the meeting??

    No, you do not..

    What part of THERE WAS NO RUSSIAN COLLUSION is unclear to you??

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Funny how no one wants to talk about Barr's assessment that spying by the Obama Administration on the 2016 Trump campaign DID occur...

    Not only did Mueller completely exonerate President Trump on Russia collusion, he also provided Barr with a ready made case against Odumbo for spying on the Trump campaign..

    Ahhhhh Sweet delicious irony... :D

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    8

    The purity claim on Sanders, as Belaney said, is mostly a creation of his opponents.

    She didn't actually say that DH; that was your interpretation of what she said.

    It is a standard attack made to ridicule/demean an opponent that is pointing out something that the person making the accusation doesn't want to acknowledge or cannot make a rational argument against.

    Wrong again, DH. Bernie and his supporters have set the terms of the "purity" or "litmus" tests in a similar manner that you've set your own terms of purity for your failed attempt at political activism.

    Bernie Sanders
    @BernieSanders

    You can be a moderate. You can be a progressive. But you cannot be a moderate and a progressive.

    11:34 AM - 3 Feb 2016

    https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/694967235333484544

    It is rich that Hillary supporters would now be claiming that Bernie is impure and therefore not suitable because he may be a millionaire but they were okay with Clinton.

    What's really rich is you -- as per your usual modus operandi -- missing the entire point that it was indeed Bernie himself who defined this particular purity test by spending multiple decades wagging his finger in the air while prattling on and on endlessly about "millionaires and billionaires" and the "one percent" and "monied" in Washington being the root of all evil for the original Berner sin of having money... as if everybody with money had nefarious intentions and were inherently evil while Bernie and many of his supporters claimed the moral high ground and mantle of purity regarding the issue.

    I don't know any Hillary supporters who are now claiming that Bernie is "impure" and "not suitable" because he is admittedly a millionaire and has been for years... not remotely and not at all. They think Bernie is unsuitable because he is an inauthentic hypocrite.

    It's nothing new, though, since Bernie supporters would be the first ones to criticize Hillary's looks while Bernie would slink out on stage with his hair going in all directions and looking like he just crawled out of bed. They'd also be quick to criticize her advanced age when she is 6 years younger than Bernie and shall remain ever thus, but I digress.

    Imagine you are back in 2016 at one of the many Democratic debates: Bernie is wagging his finger like he always does and railing against the "millionaires and billionaires" like he always does and has done over several decades over and over ad nauseam, and then Hillary leans into her microphone and says:

    "I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too."

    The Berners heads would have been exploding; they'd have gone positively ballistic in their outrage that Hillary Clinton was so out-of-touch to think that real working men and women of America could just churn out a best-selling book in their spare time and get rich too like Hillary. Then after their quick turn at authoring a book was over, perhaps they could do some voiceover work for cartoons or maybe cut a record or star in a blockbuster movie or two.

    So let me be as clear as I can, DH: The issue isn't Bernie having money. Nope, not at all. The issue is the hypocrisy and the ease with which Bernie blows off his own inability to meet his self-imposed decades old purity test and his tone-deafness that Americans could join the "one percent" and "millionaires and billionaires" if they'd just get busy publishing.

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick, and anybody who agrees with Kick on Trump having violated election laws by getting "dirt" on Hillary from Russians.

    You're all doing the classic comparing apples to oranges thing here. Nobody, least of all this writer, claims that there is no such thing as "intangibles of value" (i.e., "intellectual property", etc.)

    The only thing we're talking about here is election law, and whether you people believe it or not, no law that prohibits any politician from getting "dirt" on his opponent, REGARDLESS OFTHE SOURCE, would ever pass constitutional muster.

    Trump will not be prosecuted for getting any non-monetary help from Russians or anybody else, so as I've previously stated, when the Mueller Report dust finally settles, Trump will still be ensconced in the oval office (at least when he's not golfing), and you nut jobs will be left with claiming some sort of facesaving "moral victory", by saying "he got away with it" (the crime of collusion.)

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    no law that prohibits any politician from getting "dirt" on his opponent, REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE, would ever pass constitutional muster

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, as I suppose you'll see.

    The laws against foreign interference in our elections aren't a great work of art, but succinct enough to pass constitutional muster.

    But Trump is a tough target. He's lawyered up like the executive session of the ABA. All of the crimes that we know he did, such as the payments to the model/girlfriends, are on the table, as well as others that are harder to prove.

    The question isn't when, but if. Start any of these and you've got yourself a decade's work. It would probably be way easier to just defeat him at the ballot box.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    All of the crimes that we know he did, such as the payments to the model/girlfriends, are on the table, as well as others that are harder to prove.

    Which are not crimes..

    The laws against foreign interference in our elections aren't a great work of art, but succinct enough to pass constitutional muster.

    Obtaining opposition research from foreign sources is not foreign interference..

    If it were, then Hillary would be as guilty, likely MORE guilty, than Trump..

    You lost.. The sooner you accept that, the happier you will be..

  49. [49] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    47

    Very well stated. :)

  50. [50] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    46

    Kick, and anybody who agrees with Kick on Trump having violated election laws by getting "dirt" on Hillary from Russians.

    You keep misrepresenting my views while insisting on defining the entire "thing" by this one tiny aspect of it as if no other laws may have been violated. You seem blissfully unaware that there are a myriad of laws that apply to the "thing" versus this singular focus and obsession of yours. Try to "clue in" to the fact that your ridiculous limited focus and futile attempt to boil the entire "thing" down to the single aspect of "election law" is a fool's errand. The law is nuanced and not remotely as simple as you'd like to make it. You're the only one on this blog arguing that it's all just a simple issue of "campaign finance." It isn't and never has been. That little bean is but one tiny aspect of the whole enchilada.

    You're all doing the classic comparing apples to oranges thing here.

    Wrong. It's actually more like you're doing the limited focus on "apples" alone and failing to see the entire cornucopia full of produce, flowers, and nuts.

    Nobody, least of all this writer, claims that there is no such thing as "intangibles of value" (i.e., "intellectual property", etc.)

    Oh, please! Who could forget the time I had to explain to you about intangible items being sufficient to constitute a "purchase" when you insisted that I couldn't have made a "purchase" because I received nothing "tangible"!?

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/12/20/gops-swamp-creature-of-a-tax-bill/#comment-112723

    The only thing we're talking about here is election law, and whether you people believe it or not, no law that prohibits any politician from getting "dirt" on his opponent, REGARDLESS OFTHE SOURCE, would ever pass constitutional muster.

    Wrong again! Two things:

    1. Firstly, you are the one who can't "let it sink in" to your oxygen deprived cranium that this entire "thing" isn't remotely just related to the singular issue of "election law." The fact that you keep trying to wrap up the whole issue into one facet of law is the entire problem! It's way more than that.

    2. Your opinion of the constitutionality of laws that actually exist in the United States Code does not change the fact one iota that those laws exist. You keep insisting it isn't illegal to "get dirt" from "foreign nationals," and I keep pointing out that the law says it is. Fact: Whether or not it might at some later date be deemed an unconstitutional law or some old man living in the State of Taters thinks it's unconstitutional now does not in any way, shape, or fashion change the fact that the law exists. :)

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    The only thing we're talking about here is election law, and whether you people believe it or not, no law that prohibits any politician from getting "dirt" on his opponent, REGARDLESS OFTHE SOURCE, would ever pass constitutional muster.

    Imagine a perp in federal court in the... oh, let's say... Southern District of New York, New York, a city that doesn't sleep... king of the hill, top of the heap.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Judge: You are being charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, theft of documents via hacking, multiple counts of attempted theft via hacking, aiding and abetting [long list of multiple counts]. How do you plea?

    Perp: But, but, but, your honor, I read on the Internet that "no law that prohibits any politician from getting 'dirt' on his opponent, regardless of the source would ever pass constitutional muster, and I quote, your honor.

    Judge: Would you like me to restate the charges or would you like to enter a plea?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And scene. :)

  52. [52] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    OK, we're just repeating ourselves here

    So where are you at this moment?

    You still hoping/claiming that Trump is guilty of collusion and going down, or are you at the concession point claiming "He did it but he got awasy with it."

  53. [53] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    52

    OK, we're just repeating ourselves here

    You do that a lot, and that's what makes others have to do it a lot right back at you... so there's that.

    So where are you at this moment?

    Making a drink at my local pub called the Rose & Crown... located in my house. Where are you? I would wager somewhere in Podunk in the State of Taters.

    You still hoping/claiming that Trump is guilty of collusion and going down, or are you at the concession point claiming "He did it but he got awasy with it."

    You are still doing that "thing" where you misrepresent my positions regarding the entire "thing" and asserting the ridiculous and nonsensical notion that the very big "thing" where we are living history can all be boiled down to one issue in law and/or a few limited talking points... when it cannot and never could be. Stop doing that, please. :)

  54. [54] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Sorry, but those are the only two possible positions consistent with your side of our dispute: 1), he's guilty and he's going down as soon as they get around to prosecuting him, 2), he's guilty but he's gonna get away with it.

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    Wrong again, Stucki. Beyond that pronouncement, I will just refer you back to Russ's very apt statement at comment [33] above:

    If ignorance is bliss, everyday must seem like a party for you.

    *toots party horn*
    *throws confetti*

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