Sunday, 4 December 2022

Biden Is So Lucky That 2024 Isn't Tomorrow.

As a Democrat, I'm amazed that Biden actually wants to run for re-election. Let's face it, Biden would be an unusually weak candidate for re-election, and everyone knows it. It's no news to Joe: his polling ain't great, with approval ratings running from 36 to 45 percent, and those aren't solid re-election numbers. No other incumbent president with numbers like that has ever won re-election, period.

Then there's the implicit self-admission by The White House that Biden cannot or likely will not win re-election under the current caucus and primary system. That's why Biden is proposing change: you know, making South Carolina a first-in-the-nation primary, followed by Nevada and Iowa, then Georgia, Michigan, etc. Let's face it, if Biden is president, he can largely thank Jim Clyburn for that. So this looks like payback, in a good way, and it's cynical as hell. 

No one expected the midterm results, other than a very few. Biden seems to think that those results can be extended all the way to 2024. I don't think so. Biden's only hope is Trump. If any other Republican becomes the nominee, then Biden is unlikely to win. Every Democrat already knows that. So, it's either pray for Trump or go thru the motions straight to defeat. 

In short, I like Biden, but he's definitely not strong enough to practically assure re-election. So, Biden needs to do an LBJ, both for the good of the party and the country. He likely won't significantly improve his odds by monkeying with primaries and caucuses. As I said before, these proposed changes are an admission of Biden's weakness as a candidate. Only fools would go into a general election with such a vulnerable candidate. Shades of McGovern, or Dukakis, all over again... 

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Trump: Choose Your Alternative Universe.

Man, it actually all boils down to this. I mean, Trump's candidacy in '24 is not a normal candidacy. If you want to keep the faith, it means choosing from two alternative universes: the midterms are like the bible and meant to be unquestioned. They provided political reality as exhibited on the ground and now suggest a path forward -- a snapshot -- for moving ahead. 

What was their message? First and foremost, it was a message of hope and positive thinking for the future, both collectively and individually. In some ways it was the mushy middle: it revealed many of the positive traits exhibited by the average American: that ingrained sense of integrity, decency, honesty, optimism, generosity of heart, and desire to do good both at home and abroad. In short, it reflected the best of what America is and has always been. It's why the United States, even to this day, remains the most remarkable country on the face of the Earth, period.

Voters spoke without sending love to either party, but they did send a message about what is or what they viewed as un-American. And they massively rejected that in so many races. Good on them.

So, if you're still for Trump, you've got two choices: you have to live in a world where how people voted is not necessarily impactful on future political events. You have to believe that, no matter what Trump says or does, that he's somehow still enormously popular with the average American. And finally, you have to believe that the vote will come out massively in '24, without Trump asking. That's alternative universe number one. 

And then there's the diehard fringe who revel in fascism and think it was all hunky-dory on January 6th. These people believe Trump should be in office for life, not to mention that a legitimate presidential election is not only obsolete but in effect irrelevant in the Trump world. That is politics, Italian-style. Make no mistake, the numbers of those who believe this is not inconsequential. The gullibility level of these people is off the charts and nothing that man ever does can in fact or perception ever be perceived as wrong, dishonourable or dishonest. Like I said, the land of the true believers. For these people, what Americans did at Pearl Harbor, Normandy and Iwo Jima means nothing. The principles of those men and women who fought, died or were wounded were for naught, in so many of today's eyes. 

So, basically as Trump supporters, pick your poison. But then give your head a shake and remember this: no one likely can stop Trump from becoming the nominee, but prepare yourselves for a massive repudiation at the ballot box cause as sure as I'm breathing, it's coming in '24, Biden or no Biden.

I suggest all of you try to think back, what you were like before you met Trump. To use a cooking analogy, marinate on that. Then run it around in your head how you've changed post-Trump. May it prove to be both revealing and enlightening.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Midterms: How Sweet It Is!

I'll gladly wear egg on my face: I got it spectacularly wrong, and I'm happier than a pig in shit. The Democrats have held on to the Senate while Republicans have not yet taken the House, five days after the vote. 

It's reasonable to portray the election results as a hodgepodge of issues that favoured the Democrats: the desire by independents and others to get out front of and extinguish election deniers and those who deny the fundamental nature of American democracy. For women and some men, abortion and voting rights were also key, as was, as an interesting subset, the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi. All of the above changed the game and made an election that should have been based on presidential incumbency, inflation, the economy and crime one that moved the goalposts to reflect other issues. I go again with another pet theory: it seems to me that given the fact that Republicans have still not yet won the House outright, it flows from that with each passing day, their odds of winning the House become diminished. These twenty seats that are still in play are incredibly tight and representative of the struggle between Democrats and Republicans. Independents will call the tune in the end, and it's my contention that the Dems could end up still controlling the House. Maybe, just, maybe.

All of the above is important, but nothing is more so than making sure that Trump becomes a spent political force as quickly as possible. I will put it to you that with these midterm results, that Trump has almost no chance of winning the presidency, should he become the Republican nominee in 2024. 

Republicans would do well to go elsewhere and choose someone else as their nominee if they want 2024 to be at least competitive for them. But are they smart and politically sophisticated enough to do it? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Sunday, 6 November 2022

Midterms: A Democratic Rout?

In a nutshell, that's the question of the hour. Democrats do well to bring out the heavy guns, Biden, Obama and the Clintons in an attempt to stop the hemorrhaging. Because hemorrhaging is exactly what it is. In a good economy, incumbent presidents tend to lose on average between twenty and thirty House seats and usually up to two to four in the Senate. 

But this is a disastrous economy and inflation is rampant: so it doesn't take a genius to see big Republican gains ahead. Could Republicans win fifty House seats? Maybe. Could they also win up to five Senate seats? Maybe. That's how I read it. Frankly, I hope I'm wrong. 

But in the end, Biden did this to himself when he renominated Powell. What America needed was a stop to QE much earlier than it happened and rises in interest rates much sooner than they actually happened. When Biden went with Powell, he cut his own throat and that of fellow Democrats across the country. 

So, the chips will fall where they may. And Biden will be a lame duck the day after. Some will say no, no, Reagan, Clinton and Obama came back and won two years later. Sure. But none of them had the so-called Biden Inflation. Joe should cut his losses after the midterms and not run again. But don't dare whisper that in Democratic circles, even if that's reality because reality hurts.

Saturday, 29 October 2022

Midterms: The Incoming Tide Is Republican.

No question about that. Republicans will win big in the midterms up and down the ballot, largely due to independents, who've abandoned the Democrats. This thing has seesawed back and forth, but Republican momentum is now clear and perhaps unshakable: Walker and Oz are proof enough of that. 

The generic congressional polls show that the Republican tide may eventually turn into a landslide, but more than likely not a rout for Democrats. 

And then there's the terrible attack on Paul Pelosi. People will be appalled, disgusted, but will it ultimately move enough votes to mitigate or reverse the Republican trend? Who knows. It's the only thing not already baked into the cake.

RealClear Politics:

Polling Data

PollDateSampleRepublicans (R)Democrats (D)Spread
RCP Average10/12 - 10/27--48.045.1Republicans +2.9
Data for Progress (D)**10/26 - 10/271217 LV4945Republicans +4
Trafalgar Group (R)10/25 - 10/271089 LV4842Republicans +6
Rasmussen Reports10/23 - 10/272500 LV4942Republicans +7
InsiderAdvantage10/25 - 10/25750 LV4844Republicans +4


Generic ballot, 2022
Icon indicating this set of polls has an average.AVG.

Republican Republican+4
Republican Democrat+1
Republican Republican+6
Republican Republican+7
Republican Democrat+3

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Midterms: The Economy Number One, Inflation Number Two.

What an election is ahead: neither Biden nor Trump are on the ballot, but both have negatives above 50%. That will affect results in the midterms. 

With roughly two weeks to go, I won't be making any predictions just yet, but I want you to enjoy the last leg of the race.

Here are the two places to go to. Don't miss them.

FiveThirtyEight | FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and culture.

RealClearPolitics - Live Opinion, News, Analysis, Video and Polls

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Xi Is Now Dictator.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party has come to a close and in public fashion, Xi has put the final touches on the purge -- Hu was unceremoniously escorted out of the meeting allegedly for health reasons -- but seemingly showing resistance to leave, at least at first.

It was a spectacular and dramatic display that sent exactly the right message: Xi's takeover of the party is now complete.  Jiang and Zhu were nowhere to be found at the Congress, and Hu's protégée, Li, lost his position as number two on the Standing Committee. That means he'll be replaced as Premier soon enough.

But as they say, live pictures don't lie: just check out the guy who was sitting on Hu's left: the guy is sweating throughout and that says it all. He even takes out a handkerchief to wipe his face. End of story. That's pretty much it.

Of course, all of this has wider implications for world peace: first, Putin and his adventurism in Ukraine and now Xi unchallenged, who could strike at Taiwan at any time without being checked internally. Call it the second leg of the WW III stool. All we need now is the last leg, and where will that come from? Iran, North Korea, or somewhere else? Not good.