Beyond the Cusp

January 26, 2016

What if Trump Trumps the Competition for Nomination?

 

Trump is still there against almost every prognosticator and editorial writer who keep interpreting polls and explaining how when people have to actually vote they will become serious and then they’ll vote for a serious candidate. Initially that serious candidate was Jeb Bush who flamed out really fast, then it became Governor Scott Walker but he soon decided to walk on home, then it became Senator Marco Rubio who has slowly sunk into the more of mediocracy and now the latest is former Ohio Governor John Kasich who is in third and a fairly distant third which will likely also fade in the setting poll numbers after Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina. The betting line now is after Trump, providing Trump snags victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina, who will have polled well enough to have a reasonable standing to attempt to catch the nomination starting from behind, a not completely unheard of happening and, except for blessings in the Torah of second born sons, only considered expected in elections and the last two months of baseball season and a few other sports. The latest New Hampshire polling we were able to locate a poll out of New Hampshire which placed Donald Trump at twenty-seven per cent, John Kasich at twenty per cent, Marco Rubio at ten per cent, Ted Cruz at nine per cent, Chris Christie nine per cent and Jeb Bush eight per cent, with at least fifteen percent undecided as of the polling with some obviously supporting Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee and wise enough not to admit so. What is interesting about these polling numbers is that Senator Ted Cruz is receiving much of the bloviating all a titter, not to be confused for a twittered, about the Donald-Cruz one-on-one bashing, smashing, slamming, screaming with blood flowing and bruises and contusions on the stage and some Twitter smears in one-hundred-forty characters or less free-for-all. Now we see a poll of real people, not to accuse media personnel as being other than real or people but me thinks they would all protest too much and break the one-hundred-forty characters or less Twitter limits, and Cruz is in single digits making his chances as remote as expected from the start. So, what are we to take away from all of this?

 

Firstly, there is a lot of room for improved polling for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and anyone else still in the race and below Senator Jeb Bush and his eight percent polling and that the media elite and controlling editors apparently have their own agenda. Let’s look at the media, or at least a wide swath of the media and even FOX from what we have seen and read. The media will push candidates which either have little hope of becoming the nominee such as Ted Cruz, one they expect would be a weak candidate against the expected Democrat candidate which will likely be Hillary Clinton or potentially Bernie Sanders. In either case, the universal choice happens to be the front-runner Donald Trump. The media was handed the perfect storm when Ted Cruz and Donald Trump held a one-on-one, mano-a-mano, slugfest which carried on for almost a week and was the only news event as all else fell off their radar screens. The media is simply giving their largest audience exactly what they are paying to hear, and that is whatever is the most sensationalistic and bombastic news with all the gory details and particulars their money can buy. The media live and breathe in the cities and the media which has a much larger area to cover is completely different and that is what conservative talk radio serves and they are covering the rest of the field and even they find they need to invest an inordinate amount of time covering the Donald Trump phenomena as that is where their audience desires to hear about because it affects them as well.

 

 

Democrat Front Runners Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

Democrat Front Runners
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

 

 

The particulars about this year’s Republican race and the media covering it until the news is up to its neck in coverage of the Donald has part of its root in the fact that the Democrat race is a two person race from the outset and the only real question there is Hilary, Hilary and more Hilary. Bernie Sanders is sneaking up on the media because they did not believe the crowds he was drawing with his carnival like atmosphere were real because the media had been told by the Democrat establishment that they had piled all of their apples into Hilary as it was her turn. Well, the people have different ideas and Bernie has lit up their interest and he is now the face of the true believers on the left and the antiestablishment candidate. When the media realizes that Hilary had a credible challenger, even if it is Bernie Sanders, the media will clump around them and squeeze until the pressure breaks him or the primaries are over and all of a sudden Bernie will be their man and he was their man all along because Hilary was just too much yesterday’s news. If, or dare we say when, Bernie Sanders finished off the last gasp from the Clinton ‘machine,’ the question will be does the Clinton machine now swing in behind Bernie or will they hold their cards and donor lists close to their chests and hope he fails so they can begin claiming that 2020 was their target year all along. That decision may decide if there is a Clinton machine left after this race as if they do not back Bernie and he wins, that will be the end of it, done, over. Be that such as it may, the crash and burn by Hilary twice in a row and in both instances to what everyone claimed were too weak and unknown candidates who had one thing Hilary lacked, excitement. Hilary never ran for the nomination and simply waiting for what she claimed and honestly believed was inevitable, the White House and status as the first woman President and she offered nothing more and a whole lot less.

 

The Donald is proving that there is no inevitability in politics and that it truly has become a circus. Like Hilary on the democrat side there is Jeb, it’s my turn to be President, Bush who thought when he had the walk-in victory well in hand when he was the only candidate we had heard of and all the money was flowing his way, the republicans were almost giddy with the idea of another Clinton/Bush contest they figured they could win simply by showing up. Well, this year is looking anything but set in their ways, establishment backed Party politics and the people have finally decided it is their country and their Party and they are going to do what they desire and not just follow the Party line drawn for them. This is going to be the year of the populace come what may and the establishment is not what they want in either side. There is no ‘anybody but Bush’ line in the Republican race. The race was Jeb’s to lose and it appears he has done exactly that, lost it. What started this insanity which is quickly becoming the mainstream effort if, for no other reason, because that is the story the media may have caught onto right at the onset when Donald Trump, old Clinton friend and cohort grabbed large audiences to his appearances just as much to laugh and at some point turned and supported him just as Bernie has been doing on the Democrat side.

 

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

 

So, what happens if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? The question is more as to what will the Republican establishment do should Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? It is important to remember that Donald Trump does not need the permission of the Republican Party as much as they will need his stamp of approval as he will have already passed the baptism by fire the campaign threw at him and came out on top. Further, Donald Trump does not need to rely upon the Party money to back him and he does not need the Party permission once he has won the nomination and he might do all that much better without the support of the Republican Party establishment. The favor the Republican Party elites would hand the American public would be for them to refuse to accept Trump as their candidate after he wins hands down the elective process and they deny him his rightful place through manipulating the Convention voting or other controls the Parties hold over their nomination processes in each state and in a larger part over their convention voting itself. It is still possible in both parties to win big in the primaries and still lose by a fairly surprising margin in the convention vote.

 

How is that, you ask? Without going through a ton of confusing math, here are the basics. Just because you win a state’s primary, do not go counting those delegates quite yet. Many states have adopted to use some method other than the winners take all allocation of their delegates. They get as confusing as having each voting district winner getting that delegate and the final delegates which would represent the Senators that state has in Congress usually going to the winner of the state overall but that can be altered and given by the Party bosses as they see fit. There are also the super delegates which are controlled by the elitists of the Party by which they retain some degree of control over who wins the nomination. Then there are all sorts of devious manner in which any selection process can be swayed and be controlled by the Party elite through such means as releasing the delegates from their presumed sworn obligation to vote as they were legally instructed by the states and then lean on the delegates seen as most likely to be susceptible to pressures and other manners of ‘buying’ their vote. Then there is the old adage that it is not who wins the election but who counts the votes that matters, also known as the Stalin approach to politics. After all, it was Joseph Stalin who pointed out this little fact that, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” So, assume it safe to say that as long as Donald Trump does not win the necessary number of votes outright, even going down to the Congressional seats level and delegate by delegate count, then the often referred to as the powers that be will control who the candidate representing the Party and then appoint the person most likely to lose and have their political career ended once and for all. There are serious consequences for crossing the people when it comes to negating the power of their votes. That is a part of the animus against President Obama as he takes matters into his own hands bypassing the Congress.

 

Finally, just as Donald Trump could do by running as a third Party or no Party candidate, the Republican elites could put their influences and resources behind a third Party candidate either overtly or covertly using all sorts of weapons the largest of which is their influence over money. The Party establishment could decide suddenly that the Presidency is less important than winning Congress and claim in panicked desperate soundbites that they must, in order to save the Party, take all the Party monies and use them to elect every office other than the Presidency thus taking huge sums of money and other resources from the Presidential campaign with the most damaging part being the voter rolls and donations from the Presidential candidate in the final two to three months. Against Donald Trump such a move would be suicidal as he could finance his entire campaign without a penny from the Party but his slogan of win against the dirty money; after all there is nothing cleaner than a candidate using their own money to mount their campaign. Any nefarious or clandestine manner used to steal the campaign from the obvious and going away victor from the primary system would simply be the final nail in the Party coffin as when it comes down to it, what makes a political Party if it is not votes from the public, so ignore them at your own peril.

 

So, now Donald Trump is the Party candidate and will be listed on every state’s ballots as the republican nominee for President, now what? This is where the runner meets the road and we stop using these silly catch phrases as this is where the sloganeering gets decisive. The slogans are chosen and the campaign commercials are shot and the final race to the finish has been run and it is Election Day. There are numerous kinds of Republican and Democrat voters. There are the voters who always vote Party line, the absolute, who else would they vote for base. There are the base behind each candidate which may place some voters who were a different candidate’s true supporter who now must choose between two people they did not support or chose to stay home and watch the Gilligan’s Island Marathon on the who are we kidding channel. It are these stay at home my guy lost and I’m going to pout on election day hoping that if the Party candidate fails they can blame the Party for not seeing your infinite wisdom and intelligence when you supported candidate X and the Party foolishly tempted fate choosing candidate Y. The thing which has changed in politics has been the importance of turning out your Party’s base supporters which, except in the most unusual of cases, is not simply the important thing but the most vital thing in the universe. Elections here in the Twenty-First Century are not won on winning the middle voters, the average voter, as almost none of those voters who will cross ideological lines and even Party lines exist any longer. There are all kinds of single or three issue voters and the candidate needs to turn as many of these from their Party’s voters out to the polls. This is why many politicians have mastered talking out of both sides of their mouths simultaneously and some even manage saying three things at once all while stating nothing at all. This is seemingly more important for the conservative candidate as they have far more to lose if they do not hold true to every single issue which gets tricky when there are opposites within your Party structure. The easiest issues are gun rights and abortion. There are those Second Amendment voters on both sides of the abortion issue just as there are pro-life voters on either side of the gun issue. There is no way of parsing these dichotomies which will produce a guaranteed victory and all one can hope to do is tell the truth and hope they have not hurt themselves too badly.

 

These such issues are often far more damaging for conservatives because liberal media types will always attempt to peel back supporters by asking pointed and sharp edged questions on the most contentious issues hoping to cut voters away from the conservative candidate one-by-one if need be and conservative media will question them similarly claiming to want to present the truth to the voters. In elections there is such a thing as too much truth, especially for conservative candidates as each truth may cost them the election. This is especially true in the Presidential elections as there are far more liberal voters who will hold their nose and vote for the liberal party candidate, the Democrat just because they are not that evil person over on the other side of the ballot. Conservatives need a reason to vote for you and not just I’m not that other person, I am the Republican as that does not walk the walk or even talk the talk according to all too many voters. Those who claim they cannot vote for Trump because he used to be a liberal would likely not have liked Winston Churchill as he was among the left when he was young and somewhere during World War I he became a conservative and an ardent proponent of being prepared to fight a war when it is easily won rather than refuse to face facts that a storm is brewing. He had a number of great sayings on just that subject but I would rather use a different category on which he was also a great and wise discerner of humankind. Sir Winston Churchill stated, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” That’s a great stopping point, till tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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April 11, 2012

The Conservative Race to Romney Begins

Rick Santorum has dropped from the race leaving Mitt Romney as the de facto Republican candidate for President against Barack Obama. This will lead to many people from the two ends of the political spectrum throwing accusations back and forth for the foreseeable future over whether there is a principled and constructive reason for a conservative to now actively and enthusiastically campaign for Mitt Romney beyond their opposition of President Barack Obama’s reelection. Any conservative claiming otherwise is very likely blowing smoke unless they can give examples of the events in Mitt Romney’s time since he was governor which indicates his changes on numerous issues. On the other hand, those who simply condemn conservatives for opposing President Obama as their singular reason without explaining how conservatives should have no opposition or problems with another four years of Obama in the White House are simply taking cheap shots and are no better. Yes, there are going to be many many nasty exchanges which will contain volumes of hot air and little else but will be forceful and just as viscous as ever. It is all part of the modern partisan oppositional political atmosphere where each side views the other as toxic and counter to the continued existence of the United States.

The one entertaining event which has probably already begun is the complete change of direction by numerous talk show hosts who had backed candidates other than Romney now bending over backwards to appear to have been ardent Romney supporters from the get-go. Nothing is ever more shameful than those in the public eye changing horses in mid-stream when their candidate loses or drops from the intra-party race leaving their opponent as the new standard-bearer. We should grant those who still recognize their oppositions to Romney and find valid reasons for their change of heart, even if that reason is simply their opposition to the opponent, President Obama. We should accept their reasoning and realize that this might be their only escape and they are at least being forthright. It is those who pretend they had always been behind Mitt Romney even after supporting his opponents and having cast aspersions and doubts on Romney’s integrity previously who are most guilty of this sin. Such phony allegiance should be roundly condemned and pointed out for the shallowness it displays. I would respect anyone who simply states that their primary choice lost and they are simply intending supporting the Party candidate as they are a Party person, a Republican Party front person in this case.

We have already seen the first few salvos fired between President Obama and Presidential Candidate Romney last week and hopefully things will only get more contentious. A good race with both candidates giving and taking all in stride and with relatively equal aplomb is always more interesting and better to cover than runaway races where it becomes obvious within weeks which way the election will end, ruling out any unforeseen disasters striking down the frontrunner. It was the seemingly inevitability of Romney that probably made the debates so offensively boring as they ended up not having any effect on the outcome. I might as well say that at times it felt as if Mitt Romney had been chosen as the preordained candidate since about thirty seconds after John McCain gave his concession speech after losing to Barack Obama. So, let the games begin and may those who are about to throw barbs, give stirring speeches, and give their all in the race for the golden ring at least be competitive and entertaining, if nothing else. I long ago gave up on politicians being completely honest and accurately representing their true intentions. I guess part of the reason behind this is they cannot know exactly what is coming down the pike any better than most of the rest of us and they are just trying to look good while flailing in the winds of outrageous fortune.

Those who are regular readers of Beyond the Cusp have probably surmised that we tend towards being libertarian Constitutionalists. They may also remember that our original candidate of choice was John Bolton who decided not to run after giving the subject some consideration responding to those who had urged him to enter the primary race. Once the candidates had reached Super Tuesday and been whittled down to four, we had settled on Rick Santorum. He gave it a decent effort and we wish his little girl returned health and a long and happy life as our prayers are with his family. As far as who we will support in the race, we will see. Do not expect us to be anywhere near the front of the race to push Romney, assuming we ever do get corralled into the Romney camp. To be honest, going forward will require serious inspection and also deep introspection and our end conclusion will hopefully not sway our coverage away from critical honesty and frank assessments of the candidates’ positions and their strengths, weaknesses and rough edges. Let the race begin and let the fur fly.

Beyond the Cusp

March 15, 2012

Santorum Wins, Newt Soldiers On, Romney Still in the Lead

The first report I heard this morning on last night’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi along with caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa just had to mention Mitt Romney after referencing any of the other candidates. It went something like this; Santorum won both southern primaries in Mississippi and Alabama while Romney came in a competitive third also coming in behind Gingrich. Romney swept the caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa. Santorum will pick up around forty delegates while Romney will garner fifty. Gingrich coming in second will add over thirty delegates to his count leaving Romney still comfortably in the lead.

 

The main themes of the news last night appeared to be that despite winning both primaries, Rick Santorum was still going to lose ground because of the delegates being assigned in the Pacific Islands. It was further pointed out that Rick Santorum can only win should Newt Gingrich leave the race and that possibility was hashed out until after Gingrich spoke showing all indications of continuing to the bitter end. This slid the conversation to how Mitt Romney winning the nomination was now guaranteed and an overly long string of attempts to rationalize the reasoning behind Newt Gingrich remaining in the race. I thought maybe I might share my insights on the rest of the Republican delegate race heading for the Convention.

 

I have a little difference of opinion with the so-called experts and pundits about Gingrich remaining in the race will solely work to thwart any chance for Rick Santorum to win the nomination outright. The reasoning for this line of thinking is based upon the primary belief that almost every vote won by Gingrich would have otherwise been a vote for Rick Santorum. I find this a difficult point to swallow. While I will grant that very likely three fourths of the Gingrich support is diverted from Santorum with fifteen to twenty percent are taken from Romney, the remainder very probably would have sat out the primaries. Some of my thinking has been due to the fact that in many states the numbers of votes being cast in the Republican Primaries have been higher than the average as the race is tighter and more competitive and thus stirring up increased participation. The real question is what is Newt Gingrich thinking which has him believing that he can actually win the nomination?

 

My theory has it that Newt Gingrich does not believe he is going to win the nomination any more than does Ron Paul. Newt also resembles Ron Paul in that he believes he is the only candidate representing his views which is a vitally necessary message which must be professed no matter what the consequences. I suspect Gingrich has another reason to remain to the bitter end, and that is because he believes that he and Santorum together can garner sufficient delegates to prevent a first round nomination of Mitt Romney thus leading to that mystical political state, a bartered convention. Should the Republican Convention end up unable to give any of the candidates over fifty percent of the vote, then the bartering and maneuvering begins. If the divide is such that Romney has less than fifty percent, say forty-five percent, with Santorum a close second at say thirty-nine percent and Gingrich holding fourteen percent with Ron Paul holding the remaining 2 percent, insufficient for Ron Paul to put anybody over the top. This places Newt Gingrich in the spot of king-maker as whoever he backs would easily win with their delegates added together. My suspicion is even more absurd as I can easily envision Newt Gingrich presenting himself to the Convention as the sole candidate not destroyed by the process as both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney had focused their aim on each other leaving Newt safely on the sidelines away from the mud-slinging.

 

For those who claim that the only result that can come out of Newt Gingrich remaining in the race taking most, but not all, of his votes and delegates from supporting Rick Santorum thus keeping him from winning outright have overlooked a small matter. My thought is that when Mitt Romney falls short of the necessary delegate count we will find that this will be due to the small but still measurable number of votes and delegates stolen away by Newt Gingrich and simply having the votes he took away from Santorum being insufficient to have put him over the top anyways. So, it is possible that it will be better for Santorum to have Gingrich in the thick of things instead of dropping out of the race. Finally, should we end up with a brokered convention, actually a convention that goes past the first vote casting before reaching a nomination, it is more likely that Rick Santorum would be able to enlist the support from Newt Gingrich than would Mitt Romney. The drawback would be that after a certain number of ballots have been held, some states release their delegates from their elected obligations allowing them to vote for whoever they choose. This would very likely lead to the so-called Republican elites making the decision on who would be the candidate. Even if this was not the real reason for a Romney win, it would be suspected should he not have reached the magic number of delegates through the primary process and a perceived back-room deal appeared responsible for a Romney candidacy. Such a perception would weaken Mitt Romney’s campaign from the outset which might affect the outcome of the national election in November. The best result for the Republican Party is for one candidate, whichever one is less important than the manner, to win the nomination outright through the primary votes and not reliant on super delegates or other non-elected delegates being the deciders.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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