Friday, August 5, 2016

Hip Deep in Schadenfreude: A Drive By of Some Election News

The Trump campaign has reduced the spigot of crap that was flowing so heavily early in the week, but not much good news for Donald Trump.  I don't have heaps of things to say about any one of the latest items, but I have one or two things to say about some of them.
  • Are Democrats being hypocritical as they revel in Melania Trump's potentially illegal immigration?  Sure, as they want to reform immigration so that folks like Melania don't end up lying on their forms.  However, this is a basic reality--that when you notice someone else's hypocrisy (Trump's on immigration), it tends to conflict with one's own stance (illegal immigration is messed up) most of the time.  So, I am not chuffed about the hypocrisy.  I think it is more important that Trump sees himself and his kin as above the law (something that the Clintons, alas, tend to share).
  • Re the Iran deal.  I am not surprised that Trump would make a big stink about this.  The optics, as Dan Drezner suggests are bad, even as the basic deal has been known for quite some time.  What I like about Trump's stance here is that it symbolizes his basic take on everything: "Wait, you kept your word on an agreement? Why would you do that?"
  • Perhaps the best anti-Trump letter was written today by Michael Morrell, former head of the CIA.  He lays out the case for Clinton clearly and cogently and does the same for the case against Trump.  And, well, the Clinton campaign are sharp to post this the same day.
  • I may be a victim of confirmation bias: I love the Keeping It 1600 podcast, and they did a great job of predicting the waves of polls the past few weeks, but I have doubts about their latest predictions, probably because of my own desire not to believe it. 
    • How so?  Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer, who worked in the Obama campaign and then White House, argued before that folks should not get nervous during the conventions about the polls as they would shake out afterwards, and that the important ones are the battleground state polls.  And woot!  We have great outcomes: HRC is up by 9 or more points in the national polls and up in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and even Georgia.  HRC is cutting TV ads in VA and CO because the campaign is confident about how they are doing there.  
    • But they insist that the polls will tighten, and this I am not so sure about.  Sure, they are the experts, but is this just a bad week for Trump or something that will keep on happening.  I have seen some folks say that Trump will inevitably have a good stretch of days, but can that happen if he is so easily trolled?  Can he and his organization (I use that word loosely since their organization is small and staffed by less competent folks [more on that in a minute]) actually not shoot themselves in the foot for a significant stretch of time?  I am doubtful.  
  • About that organization, one of the realizations this week is that Katrina Pierson, Trump's spokeswoman is simply awful.  She was hired despite/because she had a history of loose tweets, such as being a truther.  This week, she and others in the campaign blame Obama/Clinton for Captain Khan's death despite the fact that it happened in 2004.  Unless Obama has a time machine, I am not sure how he could affect the rules of engagement five years before he was President.   Indeed, it belies one of Trump's key points--that he will hire the best people to run the government.  What evidence do we have that he can do that?  None as far as I can tell.
Anyhow, this week of news may have done more to talk down my family who were mighty spun up last week while we were on vacation together than I could do, despite my self-assigned role to chill folks out.  Of course, as my brother keeps hectoring me--complacency needs to be avoided.  So,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This week will be remembered as the turning point everyone had been waiting for: the Trump campaign drunkenly stumbling out of the convention, attacking a core conservative constituency - military vets and their families - and suggesting primary challenges on GOP leaders. College-educated white women in particular have finally had enough, forcing a trickle of Republican congressmen in blue states (Hanna, Dent, Coffman, Kitzinger, etc.) to unendorse. Plus, the "don't give HRC a blank check" rhetoric being thrown around this early means that the GOP is worried about losing the House.

Trump can't unite this toxic, crumbling mess of a party by November, and it's mostly his own damn fault. The only question now is if Clinton wins by Obama 2012 margins or far higher.