Tag Archives: Presidential elections

Two different kinds of boos

The American election process can be messy and entertaining, frightening and exhilarating, confusing and educational. In the past week we have had one great example of this during the nominating conventions of our two main political parties. In both cases, the convention-going party attendees have broken out in loud boos, loudly attacking people on the podium for their positions. Such behavior is not what you would expect from the modern conventions, which for several decades have been nothing more than staged propaganda events designed to sell their candidates to the American public. One doesn’t usually boo during such staged events.

First we had at the Republican convention the response to Ted Cruz’s speech, where when he refused to endorse Donald Trump he was almost literally driven from the stage by boos from the audience.

Then, yesterday we had Bernie Sanders supporters overwhelm the Democratic convention with boos, first during an appearance of former Democratic chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and then during the convention’s opening prayer.

It is important to understand the difference between these boos, as they are a strong marker of what will happen in November. In the case of the Republicans, the booing was in support of the Republican candidate, hostile to the implied opposition to Donald Trump by Ted Cruz. In the case of the Democrats, the booing was in opposition to the Democrat candidate, hostile to Hillary Clinton’s nomination and the perception that the Democratic Party stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

I have always believed that Hillary Clinton was the worst presidential candidate I have seen in my lifetime. It seems to me that this difference illustrates this fact once again. Sadly for me, the Republicans have wasted this opportunity and picked a liberal Democrat as their candidate, losing the best opportunity since 1980 to put an honest and principled conservative into office.

All I can do now is hope that Donald Trump will surprise me and be far more conservative than I expect, when he becomes President in January.

“The Republican Establishment is Worse Than Trump.”

Link here. This article is a nice bookend to my previous post, as it outlines quite nicely the reasons why Donald Trump is doing so well. As the author says,

Donald Trump is not the candidate I want to see Republican voters select, but I do love the fact that he’s raised a giant middle finger two inches from the face of the Republicans who prefer to mock, ignore and alienate those of us who put them into power rather than fight for God, country and conservatism.

The author also does a nice job of reviewing the history of the past six years, starting with the 2010 election when the voters gave the Republicans control of the House in one of the biggest landslides in decades, followed four years later by an even bigger landslide to give them the Senate. What did that Republican leadership do with those victories? Nothing. And when a handful of Senators and Congressmen (included Ted Cruz) tried to fight back against the Democratic Party’s agenda, the Republican leadership in Congress acted horrified and appalled.

The article at the link is also interesting in that it opens with a very telling quote from Cruz, noting how that Republican leadership only has outrage against anyone who tries to give the voters what they were promised.

What’s considered unpleasant in the Senate is not lack of civility – you can insult the heck out of each other although I don’t engage in that. What’s considered unpardonable is actually speaking the truth and doing what you said you would do and even worse making clear, shining the light on the fact that there are a whole lot of other people willing to do exactly the opposite of what they said they would do. That’s treated as the unpardonable sin, how dare you be so selfish – and it’s funny they use the term selfish – as to actually honor the commitments to your constituents.

Which is why it doesn’t bother me in slightest that Cruz is rumored to be hated in the Senate. He should be hated in the Senate. He hasn’t been playing their corrupt game.

The politics of high fantasy

Link here.

Beyond railing against the wreckage, the other commonality between the two big New Hampshire winners is in the nature of the cure they offer. Let the others propose carefully budgeted five-point plans. Sanders and Trump offer magic.

Take Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)?

So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind.

How? That question never comes up anymore. No one expects an answer. His will be done, on Earth if not yet in heaven. Yes, people love Trump’s contempt for the “establishment” — which as far as I can tell means anything not Trump — but what is truly thrilling is the promise of a near-biblical restoration. As painless as Sanders’.

I would say that this above all is my biggest problem with Trump. As good a deal maker as he claims he is, he really seems to have a very childish and naive understanding of what he’ll be able to do once in the White House. Worse, he might very well decide that following the Constitution is too much of a bother, and that though he might think that Obama had the right idea to chew hard at its limits along the edges, maybe it would be better if President Trump tore it apart with his teeth.

Even more frightening to me is the apparent naive belief the electorate seems to have in these pie-in-the-sky promises. Our civilized society cannot stand if our citizenry has become so muddled-brained that it sees these promises as realistic.

The state of the Republican presidential campaign

This political report on the annual Southern Republican Leadership Conference and its response to the speeches of a large number of the Republican presidential candidates provides a very good overview of the state of the campaign, and who is really in front.

Not surprising to me, Walker is considered the front runner, with Cruz and Paul in the second tier (best indicated by how often both were attacked by the other candidates).