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Archive of Articles in the "2016 Elections" Category

From The Archives -- The GOP Race At The Bottom

[ Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2023 – 17:16 UTC ]

Sorry folks, but there will be no new column today. I had to deal with some real-world stuff (car, etc.) and also will be preparing for tomorrow's column later, so I just didn't have the bandwidth to write a new one today. But there seem to be an adequate number of people commenting on how bad the Ron DeSantis "failure to launch" event was yesterday, and the temptation to write about it again would probably have been too much for me today, so I guess the rest of the internet already has that subject adequately covered.

Instead, just because I was curious, I went back eight years to May of 2015, just to see what I was saying about the state of the presidential horserace back then. I came across this column -- published eight years ago tomorrow -- where I reviewed the state of the Republican nomination race. Astonishingly, there was one prominent name missing. Which means I have to live down having written the following line, back then: "[Donald] Trump would be (quite obviously) nothing more than a vanity candidate...." We all had to eat a few words in 2015, and that was just one early embarrassing example from my own keyboard, I fully admit.

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And Then There Were Two

[ Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 – 16:46 UTC ]

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now officially a candidate for president of the United States. He filed paperwork earlier today, and he will be making his campaign launch announcement in a fairly unconventional way (perhaps even as we write this) on Twitter (with Elon Musk). His entry into the race is not at all unexpected, and will have come as a surprise to precisely no one. He's essentially already been running since at least last year. But by announcing, DeSantis has now made it official -- the race for the Republican nomination is now a two-man race.

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Sadly, Nietzsche Was Right (About Trump)

[ Posted Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 – 15:29 UTC ]

In 1888, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote a book of aphorisms which contained the following: "Aus der Kriegsschule des Lebens. -- Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker." This can be translated into English as: "Out of the war-school of life. -- What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." In a different book he wrote in the same year, Nietzsche refined the thought a bit, speaking of "nature's lucky strokes... among men," and saying of such lucky individuals: "He divines remedies for injuries; he knows how to turn serious accidents to his own advantage, that which does not kill him makes him stronger."

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Don't Count Chris Christie Out

[ Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2023 – 15:31 UTC ]

When pundits handicap the possible Republican presidential field these days, several names almost always lead their lists of those who have not yet declared their candidacy (but probably soon will): Ron DeSantis (of course), Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and Tim Scott. These are all the current favorites, and all have been at least making some moves towards actually declaring and running. Then there's a second tier of possibilities that usually gets mentioned as well: Chris Sununu, Glenn Youngkin, and maybe Kristi Noem or Greg Abbott to round things out. But for some reason, Chris Christie is almost always treated as an afterthought -- someone barely worth a mention in a tertiary list that might be called: "Oh, these people also might run, too." I've always thought this was a mistake because it seems to me that Christie is all but champing at the bit to take on Donald Trump.

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Happy Groundhog Day

[ Posted Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 – 17:20 UTC ]

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! Or, to be more accurate, I should wish everyone a happy Groundhog Day, since I speak not of a small, furry weather prognosticator but instead of the movie of the same name which starred Bill Murray. For those of you who have just woken up from a multi-decade coma, the film subjected Murray to living the same day over and over again in a time loop. Which today certainly has some significant flavors of, you have to admit.

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"Russia, Russia, Russia" Investigation Ends With A Whimper

[ Posted Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 – 15:39 UTC ]

The left had the Mueller investigation. In response, in 2019 Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr launched a counter-investigation, led by Special Counsel John Durham, which was theoretically supposed to prove that the F.B.I. (and the entire "Deep State" working within the federal government to bring Trump down) had committed heinous crimes that were entirely political in nature. This was, according to Trump, all going to expose "the crime of the century." In August, Trump was still hopeful, sending out the message on social media: "The public is waiting 'with bated breath' for the Durham Report, which should reveal corruption at a level never seen before in our country." Here's a spoiler alert for Trump: It won't.

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The Pollsters Can't Tell Who Will Vote

[ Posted Monday, October 10th, 2022 – 14:51 UTC ]

We seem to be entering the homestretch of the midterm election cycle, and I should begin by pointing out that this term is loaded with meaning. A "homestretch," of course, is the last part of a race, generally a horse race. So that's what the political media reports on -- the "horserace" aspect of the contest. Or, put more simply: the polls. But the reputation of professional pollsters has taken quite a beating over the past six years, as they have been proven surprisingly wrong time and time again. So everyone should cast a very skeptical eye over all the polls we'll all be hearing about over the next month. Because the recent polling miscalls (most notably in 2016 and 2020) can all be boiled down to one key cause: pollsters cannot accurately predict who is going to turn out to vote.

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Utah Democrats To Try A Political Experiment

[ Posted Monday, April 25th, 2022 – 15:38 UTC ]

Utah Democrats have just announced they're going to try an experiment. Instead of running a Democratic candidate in the upcoming Senate race, they are instead throwing their weight behind an Independent candidate, Evan McMullin. By doing so, they hope to boost his chances over the incumbent Republican Mike Lee. This is an experiment, so there's no guarantee it'll work -- but it undoubtedly will give McMullin a much better chance at beating Lee, so it will be very interesting to see play out.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Circus Comes To Town

[ Posted Friday, March 25th, 2022 – 18:07 UTC ]

Lo, how far the moralistic mavens of the Republican Party have fallen! They keep attempting to take the moral high road so they can piously point out all the failings of their political opponents in this realm... but they keep being undermined by fellow Republicans who have embraced the new amoralism Donald Trump ushered in to the GOP.

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Biden's Infrastructure Week Is No Joke

[ Posted Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 – 16:32 UTC ]

During the presidency of Donald Trump, the term "infrastructure week" became a running joke. Team Trump would tee up some big infrastructure event or announcement (in the hopes of driving the media narrative), but then the team captain would just self-destruct in front of everyone, derailing any hope of actually achieving anything meaningful. The first time this happened -- although few now remember it as the first infrastructure week fiasco -- was at a press announcement event with Trump's secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. There were a few dog-and-pony props set up, and Chao made her announcement, which mostly dealt with cutting what Republicans consider onerous rules and regulations, in order to move things like highway projects forward faster with less red tape. After her presentation was over, though, Trump took the podium and was soon asked by a journalist about the other big story of the day: the violent and deadly clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and people opposed to white supremacy. Few may remember the context, but everyone remembers what happened next -- Trump's: "very fine people on both sides" rant. That was the first infrastructure week under Trump.

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