Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trump Roundup, Volume 1

Stephen Hayes's sensibilities which determine why he cannot vote for Trump are largely the same as mine. If I lived in Maryland or Texas where my vote didn't matter one way or another, I'd probably vote third party like Hayes says he plans to if the Donald is nominated. Excerpt:

....I care most about the two issues that directly threaten the continued viability of the American experiment: national security and the debt. My views on individual politicians are shaped mainly by their positions on protecting the country and reforming entitlements. Accordingly, the most promising policy development over the past decade was Paul's Ryan victory over the GOP establishment and its determined opposition to entitlement reform and the most worrisome was Barack Obama's abandonment of the war against the global jihadist movement.

A Trump presidency would be disastrous on both scores. Trump opposes entitlement reform, and it's unclear whether he even understands the central role entitlements play in our mounting debt. Trump claims Republicans lost the presidential election in 2012 because of Ryan's reforms. "He represented cutting entitlements," Trump said last month, pointing to the selection of Ryan by Mitt Romney as "the end of the campaign." Trump has said repeatedly that he won't touch entitlements. "The only one that's not going to cut is me."

On national security, Trump says he'll be strong and frequently pronounces himself "militaristic." But he doesn't seem to have even a newspaper reader's familiarity with the pressing issues of the day. He was nonplussed by a reference to the "nuclear triad"; he confused Iran's Quds Force and the Kurds; he didn't know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah. The ignorance would be less worrisome if his instincts weren't terrifying. He's praised authoritarians for their strength, whether Vladimir Putin for killing journalists and political opponents or the Chinese government for the massacre it perpetrated in Tiananmen Square.

Then Hayes basically reminds us of the steaming pile of crap and dead guts that represent the tip of the manure pile which is Donald Trump's thought process. The John McCain remarks, the Megyn Kelly remarks, the Carly Fiorina remarks, the Kovaleski remarks... He especially gives some insights to Trump's remarks about John McCain by relating that Trump's response to Hayes's question about "whether he'd read any accounts of McCain's time in captivity or was otherwise familiar with his experiences as a prisoner of war." Trump said "It's irrelevant." Really, he did.

If anyone wonders why Trump can't get to 50% anywhere and only wins open primaries, there's your answer. And speaking of 50%... For anyone out there who thinks that Trump's issue with women voters—which I blogged about earlier—is not a big deal, guess what? It's gotten worse. The Very Unfavorable camp has increased by 10 points since October. Excerpt:

Real estate billionaire Donald Trump’s coarse rhetoric has won him some fans, but there’s at least one large group in America that is increasingly unimpressed: women.

Half of U.S. women say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, up from the 40 percent who felt that way in October. The survey was taken from March 1-15, and included 5,400 respondents.

I'm hoping Kasich stays in the race. He can take more of California away than Cruz can. I want to see an open convention at this point. Barring some type of strange intervention of Fate or something, he can't win.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Coulter: Trump campaign is like an "outlandish business idea"

No, not Trump-groupie Ann Coulter. Please. Mike Coulter is a friend of mine who I've known since we were in grade-school, and today he wrote a very practical piece explaining why Donald Trump would likely lose the general election if he is nominated. Excerpt:

But Trump claims—and Rush Limbaugh affirms—that he’s drawing independents and Democrats. He’s getting some of those voters, but the polling data suggest that it’s going to be very hard for him get enough independents and Democrats to win in the fall. A January poll from Gallup indicated that Trump had the worst favorability ratings among any Republican candidates among independents and Democrats. Trump was net -27 among independents (that is, his unfavorability rating was 27 points higher than his favorability rating) and -70 among Democrats. No other Republican was so far underwater with non-Republicans (Trump’s -97 combined was far worse than Huckabee, Cruz, and Bush, who were around -40). It’s not enough to get some independents and Democrats. For Trump to win, he gets a majority of independents and at least 20 percent of Democrats.

Trump, the businessman, should understand you need a plan for winning. When an entrepreneur seeks support for a new venture, he or she has to show how the business idea will attract enough customers. In presidential politics you need a plan for winning a majority of electoral votes because there’s only one winner. Attracting a dedicated minority of voters wins no prize.

The Trump campaign is like one of those outlandish business ideas, like personal travel to the moon, that has some potential customers, but it doesn’t have a winning business plan.