The Great Debate Open Thread

First, from IBD which has Trump up by 1:

By gender, Clinton does much better among women — 47% to 37% — but Trump’s lead among men is just as strong at 47% to 32%. Trump does better among parents (46% to 32%), married women (44% to 41%), lower-class households (53% to 37%), and the religious, among whom Clinton’s support never tops 38%. Among those who express no religion, Clinton handily beats Trump 63% to 16%.

The fact that Trump is crushing it among lower-class households is a warning sign for Democrats – even if they win this one, they are getting in to a situation where they have no backup if their core voters abandon them. This is akin to the position the GOP was in where we only won as long as we kept certain groups happy (for us, it was suburban voters). We’re one financial crash away from Democrats losing everything. Meanwhile, most other polling (other than Rasmussen and LA Times) shows this race a walk-over for Hillary. My thinking – Hillary’s support is a mile wide right now, but an inch deep. If Trump can find a convincing argument for why people should vote for him – and stick to it without being distracted for even just a week – then he could still pull this off.

Malik Obama – the President’s half-brother – wants to Make America Great Again.

People are very much keying in on the amount of Anti-Semitism bubbling up in some areas of the right this year – but less examined is the rising Anti-Semitism of the left. At least Trump can say kind things about Israel and not risk any substantial support…Hillary’s people were worried that even mentioning Israel might be problematic. As the linked article states, Hillary is likely to be less hostile to Israel than Obama has been (and this is in keeping with my view that neither Trump nor Hillary can be as bad as Obama has been), but the bottom line is that, for Democrats, there isn’t much upside in being friendly to Israel…and as the left wallows ever more deeply in things like BDS, there is a risk that supporting Israel in the future will become an entirely GOP thing. Small wonder that Israel is reaching out to places like India and Russia…

Proof that some people keep in the public eye way too long after their sell-by date.

O’Keefe’s videos showing Clinton skullduggery were absolutely nothing – but, they went ahead and fired the guy anyway.

Some Odds and Ends

You can have Rules or Rulers, a wise man once said – meaning that you can either live by dogma, or you can live by the whim of a King. Take your pick – I prefer dogmas, myself.

A GOP office in North Carolina was fire bombed. Naturally, some Progs are thinking GOPers did it, themselves.

Know about the war in Somalia? Of course not – doesn’t fit the Obama Narrative. But, we are intensifying our effort in that war.

In October of 2008, a month before the election, the Democrats’ corporate paymasters had already settled on Obama’s cabinet. There is a bit of an internal battle among Democrats about how things will be divvied up in a Clinton Administration – hate to break it to you, earnest Progressive friends, but Democrats do not push back against those who write the checks.

Victor Davis Hanson lays out the modern medievalism of the United States. He notes that the modern medievalism lacks the saving grace of a deep, religious belief to provide a counter to despotism. I’ll never want to get too far into an argument with someone like Hanson – but the fact of life is that the Middle Ages were not so much an age of despotism as we moderns tend to think. Yes, people had a lot of duties to perform…but taxes took up a far smaller percentage of income than today and a person was free from relentless propaganda.

The Washington Post is convinced that Hillary has already won. So have most experts. Polling almost uniformly confirms this view. Except for the much-maligned LA Times Poll (currently showing a 0.6% Trump lead). Thing is, the Washington Post poll released yesterday pretty much has the race the same as it did in mid-September – Hillary ahead by 4; the Washington Post poll, in my experience, has always been a bit favorable for the Democrats (just as the Rasmussen poll very often favors Republicans). The spread in that poll is D+8 – but that is not as important as the fact that after a month of Team Hillary dropping nuclear Oppo on Trump, the race hasn’t changed much. In fact, none of the national polling I’ve seen actually shows much change over the past month. But, still, it almost all gives the advantage to Hillary – so, she’s the next President. As I said, only if Trump shakes up the normal electorate can he win…and such an shake up would not necessarily show up in polling. The LA Times says they have figured out how the electorate has been shaken up in 2016 and thus they stand by their polling – and Sean Trende notes that there is some reason for their confidence: the LA Times poll – called the Rand poll in the past – was dead-on in 2012. Of course, Trende also note that past performance is no guarantee of future results. My view – Hillary has the institutional advantage and by all traditional measures is the next President. And thank goodness that people are just in love with our institutions in this oh, so very traditional year.

UPDATE: the RCP average shows Clinton up by 7 – it’s over. Trump is heading for a crushing loss. So, has the LA Times poll gone along? Nope: Trump is now up 1.6 points in that poll. Just weird – and I guess we won’t know for sure until 11/8. If you’re betting money, lay it on Hillary…but maybe make a side bet on Trump.

UPDATE II: I’ve been a Republican since I became an adult. My first ballot was cast in 1988 – I could have voted in ’84, of course, but I was overseas in the Navy and absentee balloting wasn’t much of a thing back then; certainly not for a 19 year old squid. I did some volunteer work for George H W Bush in 1988 – but I had to reach out to volunteer. I’ve donated a few times to various GOP campaigns, but I think my last time was in ’04 (though I may have donated a bit in ’06 – but whatever I’ve done in the past 12 years, it wasn’t much). Other than that 1988 thing, I’ve never done any volunteer work. So, while Republican I’m pretty much off the radar – certainly haven’t donated this year either to the GOP, GOP candidates or Donald Trump. So, much to my surprise, I get a phone call today from the Trump campaign asking if I’d like to volunteer.

I’ve read several bits from GOPers swearing that they’ve got this Cracker Jack GOTV for November – something which will do wonders. I’ve doubted it – and all reports are that Team Trump and the overall GOP are going to be skunked by Team Hillary and the DNC in GOTV efforts. Me getting a call today makes me wonder if that will really be the case.

Weekend Open Thread

So, why the Nuclear Oppo Dump on Trump this week? Perhaps because of the news that 100,000 PA Democrats have switched to the GOP this past year? Now, to be sure, about 38,000 GOPers switched to Democrats, but that is still pretty bad news. Meanwhile, the PA GOP says that, in total, the GOP has signed up 243,139 since November of last year. The bad news? Given what Romney won in 2012 in PA, that would not be quite enough…if Hillary does as well as Obama overall. If. Big freaking IF. Oh, Trump back in the lead in Ohio.

A peak at what a Hillary Presidency would be like after she appoints a few Justices – Venezuela’s Supreme Court just ruled that the President can write his own budget.

If you like your freedoms, you can keep your freedoms – Feingold caught on tape stating that Hillary would use executive orders to curb gun rights. But, yeah, way more important to stop Trump ’cause he’s gross and all that…

Some like to think that if we had nominated Rubio, all would be well. I grant that smearing Rubio would have been more difficult than smearing Trump…but the Democrats would have done it anyway.

Always remember, the Democrats and the MSM don’t have to tell the truth – there is no power in this land which can make them tell the truth and there is no desire on their part that the truth be told.

Why, yes, Hillary does support taxpayer funded abortion on demand. Why? Because she has to – all senior Democrats must bow before the abortion lobby…

Former President of Haitian Senate calls the Clintons common thieves.

Podesta thinks he can get us backwards Catholics to change. He’s wrong. It doesn’t work like that – the Catholic Church just waits you out. Been around 2,000 years. Lot of changes during that time, folks – still the same, old Church.

You Can’t Say That About Democrats!

I did watch and/or listen to (was out driving, so part of it was on radio) a good portion of the debate last night. I admit that some of the things Trump said made me cringe – but as I thought it over, I realized that it wasn’t Trump’s rudeness which made me cringe but the mere fact that he was being rude to Democrats which made me cringe. I realized in an instant that I had been carefully conditioned over many decades to never really hit home against Democrats.

Think about it – we’ve all been conditioned. Ted Kennedy, in a drunken-drive, managed to get a woman (not his wife) killed. While that event pretty much ensured that Ted would never be President, it didn’t stop him from serving in the United States Senate for forty years after he got the woman killed. Forty years! Half a life time. And during that 40 years no one really called him on it. Oh, to be sure, some vulgar red-necks out there in fly-over country might go on about it from time to time, but not the general run of the GOP. Seven times after that incident Ted Kennedy went before the voters of Massachusetts seeking re-election to the Senate and if there ever was a GOPer who ran an ad, or even put out a flier, bringing up Chappaquiddick then I am unaware of it. And, meanwhile, Ted was just one of the boys – GOPers were proud to call him a friend; hang out with him; co-sponsor legislation with him; call him “esteemed colleague”. And then we gave the guy a State funeral when he died.

For goodness sake HE GOT A WOMAN KILLED. Shouldn’t that be a career-ending event?

Not for Democrats – and only because we’re not allowed to bring up just what it is they do. Not in any meaningful sense – and certainly not when they are in front of a national audience. That just wouldn’t do. It would be rude. Mean-spirited. A bit of the politics of personal destruction. Unworthy of anyone…who isn’t a Democrat, that is. Democrats are allowed to bring up whatever they want, no matter what the venue. And if there isn’t any real dirt on a Republican, Democrats are just allowed to make things up and never get called liars when they do…you know, like when Senator Harry Reid lied about Romney’s taxes. For decades it has gone on like this – Democrats can do really terrible things and we can’t use it against them while Democrats are free to bring against us anything they want. We’ve been like whipped dogs; quietly playing our part as honorable men and women who want what is best…but always working out to getting Democrats in power and Progressive policies getting enacted.

And then came Trump.

My goodness, what a crass, rude, vulgar man! I’m serious about that – a bull in a china shop is more elegant by comparison. Hang on him that famous sign which used to be present on animal cages in the Paris zoo: “Caution! This animal is vicious; when attacked, it defends itself”. For 90 minutes on Sunday night Hillary Clinton (and Bill), had to essentially just sit there and take it – someone talking openly (and rudely) about what they had done. Holding nothing back – just letting them have it (and it must have been even more excruciating for Bill as he’s just as much an alpha-male as Trump…just more charming; and he couldn’t hit back!). When it was done, it was clear that no matter what the election results will be, Hillary has been exposed before a national audience as someone who is unfit to be President of the United States. And saying Trump is unfit, as well, makes no matter – Hillary is damaged goods. Only a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat will ever think of her as other than a corrupt hack.

And…it was refreshing. A breath of clean, bracing air – a clearing away of cobwebs. It was invigorating. You know, like democratic politics are supposed to be…conventions are for aristocracies…democracies are rude, vulgar and crass and don’t give a darn about your rules of behavior. And from now on, we’re free to say what is on our mind about Democrats. I don’t expect most GOPers in current leadership will grasp this – certainly not all at once – but they’ve been given permission to just go at them with gusto…no matter how they do it, they won’t be able to out-vulgar Trump.

American politics are changing. The quiet dogmas of the past are fading away before our very eyes. There is no national consensus on what it means to be American, or what America should stand for. We’re working it out – and it is the nature of these things that there will be a period – perhaps quite prolonged – where things get quite hot. By every traditional measure of American politics, Hillary is the next President and that is probably what the result will be. Of course, it hasn’t exactly been a traditional year and so, hold on to your hats. But even if she gets in, all she represent is the corrupt, grasping, dying political order. In decades of public life she’s never accomplished anything other than to garner power and wealth, and that is all she’ll do as President…and, meanwhile, the American political scene will continue to seethe and boil…with people both of the left and the right furious with the status quo and looking for an answer. As Trump has very accurately said, a vote for her is a vote to keep things exactly as they are…but things as they are won’t work. Except for the rent-seekers already at the trough, everyone is getting the short end of the stick. Read a bit ago that Chicago is issuing short-term bonds…not in order to build infrastructure, but merely to keep up bloated pension payments for retired government employees. In other words, the money a Chicago taxpayer wants to go for his local school is being used to send a check to a guy who may be retired to Arizona…Chicago is essentially taking out payday loans to keep up the bribes the Ruling Class has paid to itself. This is not a system which is healthy or has any chance of surviving long term.

I don’t know how it will all work out – I freely admit that I know nothing, because what I know was learned up until now, and it is all based upon knowledge drawn upon the political settlement created between 1933 and 1964. All that is out the window, now. We’ll just have to see how it comes out – but at least we no longer have to be polite to political grifters while we work it out.

Astonishingly, 2016 Takes a Turn for the Worse

I don’t think I’ve ever been this disgusted with politics. The combination of willful blindness, mercilessness and vulgarity in 2016 has reached epic proportions. I admit to going on some Twitter rants today and saying some very intemperate things. But no insults! Still, calm reflection is now replacing anger and I’m really just thinking things over.

Never Trump is saying that the whole problem lies with Trumpster – but the reality is that both Never Trump and Trumpster were demanding all-or-nothing this year. Both sides got what they wanted – nothing. I lay the larger share of the blame on Never Trump. It appears to me that Never Trump, by refusing to treat with Trumpsters, was essentially resigning any ability to educate and channel Trumpster voters towards a more traditionalist, Conservative view of affairs. It was an abdication – but as it was also done in the meanest spirit possible, it was also a purposeful division (yes, plenty of Trumpsters were mean, as well – but when one side is feeling betrayed and acting out on that feeling, it is incumbent upon the other side to be the bearer of sweet reason and humility). And, now, the Trumpsters are justifiably feeling that this was Never Trump’s plan all along – knife the guy when the going got tough…and then demand in January that the Trumpsters just forgive and forget. I do think people should forgive and forget – but I suspect that the Trumpsters won’t be in a mood to do so. It was the duty of the Conservative leaders to go, hat in hand, to the Trumpsters, listen to their complaints, declare their support for the nominee and then work on ensuring that as much Conservatism as possible was injected into the Trump movement. They refused – and for all I can tell, their refusal was a matter of overweening pride rather than careful thought. Furious that the GOP base rejected their warnings, the leaders of Conservatism decided to teach the base a lesson.

Trump will almost certainly lose in November – I think that Independents are going to be vastly turned off by his vulgar comments and will either sit it out, or hold their nose and vote Hillary. Trump will retain his core supporters – and there is a high risk that these core supporters will abandon the GOP, never to return, thus making the GOP a minority party for a long time. Hillary as President – and possibly with a Democrat Congress – will be an utter disaster, and now there’s no assurance that the GOP can come back in 2018, as Trumpsters will still be furious for what they’ll view as a betrayal by the GOP. If Conservative leaders wanted to teach a lesson then they are also going to be taught a lesson – you can’t insult a substantial portion of your base and win – not now, not later. At all events, insulting people is never the way to go – tends to poison the well.

How do I feel right now? To paraphrase Chesterton, “as much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in republicanism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Republicans”.

Out and About on a Wednesday

Almost instantly after last night’s debate various MSMers and hangers-on started talking about how Pence did good, but refused to defend Trump…whole series of conversations about it on social media, with requisite “sources say” on background to lend credibility. But, it happened too fast…it was too many people essentially saying the same thing. I figure it originated with Team Hillary. Just because the JournoList was shut down, doesn’t mean MSMers ceased intimate coordination with the Democrats, folks. Remember, the MSM is on the Democrats’ side.

The NY Times says that Ohio is no longer important, so you know it’s pretty in-the-bag for Trump – and all those stories of the House being at risk for the GOP? Not so much. In fact, given current RCP ratings, the GOP could lose as little as one seat.

Realizing that for Trump States like FL and NC are must-wins and that he’s behind in both States…still, did anyone predict that by early October the GOP nominee would have OH and IA pretty much locked up for November? I don’t think so – and I do recall that Mitt was still desperately battling for both of them right before the election. Trump’s got lots of problems and the Democrats have massive power to push Hillary over the line…but Trump is the first GOPer who could feel secure about Ohio since George H W Bush ran in 1988.

If you like your liberty, you can keep it, right? Well, not so much – Uncle Sam enlisted local PD’s to scan license plates at gun shows. I’m sure someone back in there has some justification for it, but whatever they say, it’s nonsense. It is collecting data on people who are sure to be 99.99% free of any criminal activity. It is building data-bases on us – and I don’t like that.

Give complete control of a city to Progressives, things start to suck. It always works out like that.

Kevin Williamson gives the argument for keeping American foreign policy pretty much as-is. Not a defense of Obama’s blunders, but a defense of, for lack of a better term, the Post-WWII international settlement…where the US takes up the burden of keeping the peace of the world via military alliances and free trade. I disagree – have, in fact, disagreed for years. Many years. You see, the idea that we should keep US forces stationed somewhere as a trip-wire against military aggression is monstrously immoral – it is setting up some of our best and bravest to just die in a fight they can’t immediately win. It also gives an overblown sense of security in the nations the troops are stationed in, thus allowing the host nation to skimp on military preparedness. I don’t mind alliances – but we cannot have what was called in old diplomatic language inégale partie; each side must pull it’s full weight in any agreement. I do think we should agree to the defense of Poland – but this must be predicated upon Poland maintaining sufficient military force in being to offer a vigorous defense of Poland until such time as help can arrive or, given who might attack Poland, we could start attacking Russia on their Pacific frontier. Furthermore, the UN as structured is not just absurd, it is also a force for evil in the world because it allows bad actors on the world stage to use the UN to make demands in the service of evil causes. Finally, looking after the United States – our economic and military interests – does come first and foremost. Free trade is great, but if it means deals with a corrupt China, then it isn’t really free trade.

Everyone got burned by “un-skewing” the polls in 2012, so in 2016 complaints about polls are jokingly referred to as “un-cucking” the polls. But there is an argument to be made that things aren’t necessarily as they appear. I’ve been saying all along that for Trump to win he’d have to, in a sense, create a bit of a different electorate than we’ve seen the last few cycles – and that such a shift would not necessarily show up in polling. Anyway, take it as you like – we’ll see on November 8th.

Hillary, who turns 69 later this month, is tapping Al Gore, 68, to help her with the youth vote. No, that is not an Onion article.

ISIS is calling for more knife attacks – while the word is that the attacks will be “random” you can bet your last dollar that in the United States, if they come here, the attacks will be done in gun-free zones or areas with strict gun control. You guys out there on the shooting range have nothing to worry about…

Weekend Open Thread

Remember I promised that I wouldn’t hurl insults any more? This story tests my resolve:

The Rev. Gretta Vosper is a dynamic, activist minister with a loyal following at her Protestant congregation in suburban Toronto. She is also an outspoken atheist.

“We don’t talk about God,” Vosper said in an interview, describing services at her West Hill United Church, adding that it’s time the church gave up on “the idolatry of a theistic god.”

Some things cry out for a massive hurling of insults. This is one of them. But, I refuse…

Libertarians – there doesn’t seem to be much point to them – their VP candidate is saying that no one is more qualified than Hillary to be President. Allahpundit notes in the article that Governor Weld and Hillary Clinton have been friends since they worked together on the Watergate Committee. Keep in mind that Weld was an allegedly Republican governor – but with that kind of long-term friendship, just what would Weld ever do which would actually stop a Progressive thing from happening?

And that reminds me about the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. He’s a bit of an odd fellow. He won the election earlier this year with 39.01% of the vote. There were five major candidates for the office – one was the grandson of a previous President; one picked Ferdinand Marcos’ son as her VP; one was a former Vice President; one was an expatriate who only returned to the country when her father (a failed Presidential candidate) died. No wonder the outsider won. People will put up with Ruling Classes for quite a long time, but after a while as things just get worse and worse, they will turn towards anyone who will mix things up…even if his campaign pledge is to murder drug dealers (a campaign promise he is keeping). Perhaps Trump ends up flaming out – but if we keep getting this same old, same old Ruling Class BS over and over again, eventually the people will turn successfully to someone who will shake things up.

Ace goes on another rant. Quite a good one, too. Ace has some views I don’t agree with – but I’m 100% with him in having nothing but contempt for our “thought leaders” who first diligently surrendered on Conservative issues and now demand everyone help them elect Hillary because Trump says The Bad Words.

Trump is a sure loser! Perhaps. But the House is pretty much safe as it can be for the GOP and the Senate looks ever more likely to retain a GOP majority. The GOP is also crowing about the prospect of increasing their already record-high number of governorships…even Sanders’ Vermont might elect a Republican this year. For the GOP being a dying party, knifed in the back by Trump and his legions, it seems pretty electorally healthy at the State level.

As an aside, early voting in terms of ballot requests seems to favor Hillary in North Carolina, Trump in Florida. Of course, ballot requests are not a 100% predictor – if you’re registered as a Republican and plan to vote for Hillary, for instance, then your ballot request will sill be totaled up with the other Republican ballot requests and ditto for Democrats who are planning to vote Trump. Still, it is worrisome to Team Trump that Hillary seems to be getting a boost in NC…but it must be equally worrisome for Team Hillary that Trump is getting an apparent boost in FL.

The Obama Administration forgot that Jerusalem is in Israel, it would seem.

College kid chooses his pronoun – Your Majesty.