Archive for February, 2024

spoiling the uncommitted

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Taking a gander at the Michigan primary election results in the Democratic side and I can’t help but speculate on the nature of the “uncommitted vote”. First for comparison’s sake I look at the 2012 results.

Obama, Barack. 87.78%

Uncommitted. 12.22%

And not wholly completed but pretty close to a point we won’t see any movement for 2024.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. +81.1%

Uncommitted. 13.3%

Marianne Williamson. 3.0%

Dean Phillips. 2.7%

The 2012 uncommitted vote can probably be tacked over to the same disaffected arena as the 40 plus percentage points received by a mulletted prison inmate in West Virginia, and I am guessing if we look at a map of votes, there was more strength for uncommitted in rural Michigan than urban Michigan. I may be wrong — if I am, even better for my thesis in that the uncommitted vote gets spread out into anything and everything at all. This year, the similar total for “uncommitted” is concentrated in Dearborn and college towns, all based on mobilizing against Israel.

The question: did the appropriation of the “uncommitted” line into a single issue mobilization depress the “Uncommitted” vote turnout, away from a more generic discontent, state-wide? Say you are a mainline Democrat who simply thinks Biden is too old and either who the Hell is Dean Philips or why can he not say a damned negative thing about Trump, and Marianne Williamson is a nutcase self help guru who dropped out of the race anyway. But now you cannot vote for “Uncommitted” because tomorrow you will hear from pundits declaring a victory for those has passed who were tying up the streets chanting the asinine premise “From the River to the Sea!” You are stuck back at Biden or not voting. Like, couldn’t this single issue campaign have formed a new ballot line instead of hi-jacking this one?

The Republican voters did not have to worry about this factor. A Nikki Haley was a vote for everything and nothing – – statement of discontent for the status quo of Trump. So uncommitted received 3 percent of that vote. Add another 2 percent for the drop-outs — which I guess are their truer supporters than the candidates themselves, and we are still always from the Obama 2012 / Biden 2024 numbers.

Michigan primary looms

Monday, February 26th, 2024

Trying too ascertain the coming Michigan Democratic presidential primary. Tlaib wants everyone to vote against Biden, to, as her cause claims, urge him to the right stance on Israel to assure a victory in November. We are stuck in a comical line — Biden attempting to lay something in the future against where Netanyahu standing in the present as the defender of the attacked state of Israel. There is no political gain here — Biden will never going to be able to get past the potential voter for Jill Stein and Colonel West who have this parcel of the issue flanked up. So we just sit and watch. I have no idea what the vote tally for an uncommitted push with uncommitted declared as “Viva La Palestine” could possibly end up at, or what it even signifies when we can shrug toward “Trump. Muslim Travel Ban” and try to sigh ” two state solution, if … Please, someone over there. “

I am told by someone with “the bulwark podcast” that there is a video I should watch on YouTube — lands as Biden propaganda if we take it that way — will through his career of meetings with foreign leaders beginning with Indria Gandhi. Sarcastically we want to see if he referenced meeting her last Tuesday. Curious to look up, I see instead when I try to find it at YouTube anti-Biden take which may as well be pro-Biden videos — “Biden’s History with Israel” — meeting with each and every one of Israel’s prime ministers. This is a kind of weird rorschach test, one thing which suggests a commitment that should have been dead in 1949 — if I really want to follow what the “no vote” wants to get Biden with on this.

On the other party with a ballot. Is this the one where Trump exceeds 70 percent? And moving forward — is there any state out there Biden will suffer an Obama Kentucky / West Virginia 2012 — or are the figures on the ballot (Dean Phillips) too actually definable?

the Haley Kucinich gambit

Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Consider the Nikki Haley campaign as analogous to Dennis Kucinich’s campaign in 2004 — the last person standing kind of. Kucinich described his path to victory as a change of decision at the convention as the issue of war becomes paramount — the delegates come over to Kucinich. It was all a pile of fantasy, but Kucinich continued to be an irritant and that for Kerry. Haley is, I guess, apt to the same approach — indictments and court cases will take their hold, and she is the one person standing there as it falls apart. The same sort of fantasy. As to whether she is a real irritant to Trump — it is hard to say. She has to be addressed. I see a sort of psychological analysis tea reading in his declaration that “the party is united as never before” after losing 40 percent of the vote — though this is the sort of doubling down rhetoric a normal politician may take. But there is not much Trump might do to sneak away the 40 percent. The total of Kerry’s handling on Kucinich came down to having Howard Dean as a surrogate at an Oregon primary race appearance, the better to get Kucinich down to single digits.

The question for the most important comparison purpose — how long is it going to take for Haley to get back to supporting Trump? Kucinich came around to that in 16 years — Haley it depends on what her point is.

3 for historical ponderances

Saturday, February 24th, 2024

The current political moment of lunacy makes me want to flesh out a pile of political figures history generally looks unfavorably on, but who have their defenders / supporters / sympathizers. A guidepost on how Trump could get sometimes related to by “dissident” historians of differing levels of respectability.

Charles Lindbergh. Favored somewhat by Kurt Vonnegut, upon his controversial speech squirmed that that won’t go well in the ptess. Roosevelt considered the guy a nazi, basically. His wife wrote a dreary book of historical interest spelling Democracy’s death and — in that Brown / red alliance that tends to favor the lot of the browns — foretold that as the wave of the future we need to give spiritually toward. Kind of looked the other way, pretending it never happened after Pearl Harbor. Lindbergh did perform admirably in the war period, a sympathetic senator clandestinely shuffling him to some fighter plane inspections — probably just busy work to allow him some pride in being against a hostile administration. A best selling book related counter-factual “what if” history on the isolationist turned fascist Lindbergh presidency — invariably ending with his disposition and the good guys winning. Justin Raimando wrote favourably on him in his anti-interventionist writings, claiming historical smear jobs.

Neville Chamberlain. Whipping boy of history, and why politicians are no longer able to carry umbrellas when trying for negotiations. He ends up on my mind simply because I see Joe Scarborough rattle on that is a mistake to compare Trump and his Republicans to Chamberlain — who was an honorable man. There are historic considerations — and in trying to ascertain what is to be done to keep Britain moving in some amoral sense, I am broadly considering the state of American politics in the 1850s — the North anti-slavery politicians reaching settlements with the Southern slave states and historically wise to do so as the military might is out of whack. When war did come, Chamberlain was in the war, as best he could muster.

Huey Long. Always a tad surprised by how much casual support he garners in various spheres. Untold history, supposedly — he drove FDR to actual action. Him and the Communists. Though when last I saw Huey Long love, it was relating the political figure of Hugo Chavez. I do not know if we are getting that for Putin and Orban — been a while since Dreher has his writings up at the American Conservative. In practice, Trump is that extra step beyond what Long aspired toward — history unclear on what would have happened had he not been shot, though as always your cinematographers write the Huey Long golden era counter-histories.

psycho-babble sticks

Sunday, February 11th, 2024

Imagine it were 2004. An official report comes out about President George W Bush. It exonerates him of wrong-doing, but in the process of doing so characterized his decisions as being based on his relationship with his father, a n over-correction to not make the mistakes of his father’s term in office and to show him up, with some added dimension of needing to show up Jeb Bush after a long career of him being presumed the heir Bush apparent. Skip a few years and the report adds some things about him clinging to women in the administration as some need for the maternal.

Effectively Biden was just handed an exoneration letter, which did as much. The headliner grabber of senior old fart was the cherry on top for a whole pile of crap about his long history of thinking himself a very important figure, and that is how the report characterized his keeping of lots of documents — just one egomaniac refusing to shred anything — why won’t this guy shred documents, damned it?

Both President Trump and President Biden present curious hypotheticals on the nature of the presidency and what I want, find acceptable, against public opinion. The problem is they are hypotheticals, and get buried by the actuality — if Trump were this and only this and not that, that would be an interesting president and not a harmful one. One with characteristics that were slammed that a different president who does things I actually want to see. Ditto a bit with Biden — an anti-Trump in the sense of quietly does his business without huge fanfare “look at me!” events, the big brouhaha tonight is him not doing the Superbowl interview — as though I care to see any Superbowl interview. Will we as a nation ever be willing to “Keep Cool with Coolidge?”. Deflecting any “cult of personality”, the problem there being the sense that there is a reason. Still a chance with Biden – – he only needs the nation to affirm him at the two and four year points, and then only against the competition.

We see the first thrust of what will be an unrelenting one note campaign on Biden, and I do not know that it can be successfully parried. I have seen this story play out already. Nothing wrong with Biden — I will not give a straight forward opinion on his presidency, but I can say he is not equipped for the performance aspect of the job. He is going to continue to make mis-speaks, casually referring to one foreign leader for a different one and referencing old leaders instead of new ones all in passing — and his re-election counts on the public not caring against the backdrop of this getting hammered away constantly and wrapped in a knowing prior of ” everyone holds this except brain dead partisans! “. Good luck on this bet. Or — hold on tight, the negative appeals are going to have hold as much or more than the positive appeals, and it is a tough ask.

If I had my way, I would switch Biden out for Kentucky governor Andy Beshear right now. And, no, I know little about Beshear except for two things – – one, he is politically within bounds of mainstream Democratic politics, or — he is not the last Democratic governor of Louisiana. And two: political instincts in winning twice stateside in Kentucky are transferable to winning the necessary voting bloc in Pennsylvania Michigan Wisconsin. The dreariness of the 2020 slate of Democratic candidates showed up a pile of candidacies lost in the twitter-sphere, not seeing the Internet was not real life. So. Biden it was. Barely elected, and with a sizable chunk able to move to him with an assumption that — he will stand for a term. This is the “every thing for every one” nature of coalition building to get to the 270 electoral votes — we need different people to think they are voting for different things and not necessarily what the other people voting with you are voting for. The two shadow candidates — Newsome and Harris– have obvious political drawbacks. (They will run against a “poop in the streets of San Francisco” with Newsome, and Harris has the unfortunate habit of talking to the public like they are ten.) Today I see Ramaswamy play his kooky “They are going to swap in Michele Obama!” game. Doing his best Dick Morris “Hillary versus Condi” fever dream of storytelling that titilates even as it has no basis in any reality.

I do wonder with Biden if there aren’t a couple things with the Eisenhower campaign that can be studied. Lean into the internationalist — “He has met world leaders, has the respect of blah blah.”. Or, more so than Trump. In the necessarily bunch of contradictory polls that are getting scoped out with a micro-scope, the ” winning the oldsters” number states at us — isolationist Trump shredding the Reagan legacy — why did they vote for Reagan again? Funny times, all.

Stare of border

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Stare long enough at the American political situation and I do not budge an inch in my lack of comprehension. Big defeat for the Republicans, I am assured, the core that can’t shoot straight, and they failed to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas. That is neat. They will be able to do so next week, though. The reason for Mayorkas’s impeachment, in case you are curious, is because he is doing a job where there are problems in that job.

We sort of tumbled around to a full 360. I recall a thought from somewhere in the National Review quoting Trump on how immigration on the Southern border came to be his defining issue in 2016. He noticed decreased energy when he discussed anything else on the campaign hustling, and a charge from the crowd when he went back to immigration (or, rather immigrants), so that is where he landed. The National Review commentator speculated that it looked like “trans-stuff” will be it for this campaign. And, it seems not — that skipped past everyone, and we are back to immigration (or, rather, immigrants), as that go-to speech due line. (Also, I guess, he himself). The polls say it is the winning issue for Republicans, a flip of how it polled through the Trump administration, and the Republicans… (Trump himself not a winning issue). This even as it beers into sickening “nullification crisis” territory on the part of certain Republican governors.

… Might be right in not allowing Biden to sell out on it? Maybe? Well, he was trying to do that for most of last year. To be fair, you can not say it is a “sell out” — transactional always, was he. And they are also wrong by means of their claimed policy, so I gather not. I suppose we are stuck in Why I was muttering “hold it” when hearing some ICE protesters with a kind of moral clarity of assumed priors in the last administration — see how much you can stick through in the next administration.

I am informed by a pile of MSNBC YouTube images that MAGA is obsessed with Taylor Swift in an unhinged manner. I would think of this were the case, the Fox News and assorted right wing clips on the YouTube page would inform me of it, and not the MSNBC and politicized late night hosts. The pulse of what is presumed is the pulse is off — but I guess it makes for good marked mocking.