The Phony Campaign

2023-04-16 Update

Mr. Ramirez describes the cynical revisionism of the Biden Administration, in a picture:

[Credibility Left Behind]

And also in words:

The Biden administration has just completed a review of the Afghanistan withdrawal. The administration says, “they were proud” of the botched withdrawal, and then blamed it on the Trump administration. Coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, John Kirby said, “For all this talk of chaos, I just didn’t see it.”

Kirby either needs to get a better television or a seeing-eye dog.

He doesn't excuse President Bone Spurs:

Granted, the withdrawal was part of an ill-conceived Trump administration U.S.-Taliban deal signed in February of 2020 designating the date for complete withdrawal by May 1st.

Trump even impulsively tweeted that he would have the troops home by Christmas in 2020, which caught administration officials by surprise, undermined negotiations and emboldened the Taliban. In January 2021, the Trump administration reduced U.S. troops to 2500.

But the Buck stops with the Biden administration.

And yet, according to the latest word from Election Betting Odds claims these two irresponsible, incompetent clowns together have a > 60% of being elected in 2024:

Candidate EBO Win
Hit Count
Ron DeSantis 17.1% +0.4% 10,500,000 +5,920,000
Donald Trump 26.6% +0.7% 1,320,000 +160,000
Joe Biden 34.1% +0.5% 544,000 +131,000
Kamala Harris 2.9% -0.2% 104,000 -4,000
Gavin Newsom 3.0% +0.8% 47,300 -1,200
Other 16.3% -2.2% --- ---

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • All that makes this entry from Reason's "Debate" issue particularly relevant: Jesse Walker (pro) and Jason Brennan (con) argue about whether Democracy Is the Worst Form of Government Except for All the Others.

    The above tilts me toward the "con" side, so I will quote Brennan:

    Imagine you were deciding what to eat, whether and with whom to have sex, how to dress, whether and what to worship, where to work, or what rules would govern your life. Imagine we gave you a one in 3 million chance of making these decisions for yourself, along with a 2,999,999 chance that others will decide for you. We wouldn't call this a situation in which you consent to the outcome, exercise autonomy, live only by rules you set for yourself, or govern yourself. We wouldn't call it freedom.

    Indeed, that's the very point of democracy. Democracy is not supposed to be a system in which we as individuals decide for ourselves. It's a system which disempowers individuals in favor of the majority—or the biggest minority. Even members of that very majority are powerless. It's better to have a vote than not, but an individual vote protects you from the caprice of the majority no more than a bucket protects you from a tsunami.

    This is why I get so cranky when dim bulbs like Stefany Shaheen prattle on about "The beauty of a democratic form of government is that WE the people have power." And then proceed to demand that "WE" vote for politicians that would institute "A mandatory assault weapon buyback program."

    And how much "beauty" is there, really, in a system of government that, odds are, will provide us with either Trump or Biden on January 20, 2025?

  • I would, for example, vote in a heartbeat for Vivek Ramaswamy. Unfortunately, as Charles C. W. Cooke tells us, Vivek Ramaswamy Isn’t Really Running for President.

    I first became aware of Vivek Ramaswamy at an event in 2021. Like Austen’s Mr. Wickham, he simpered, and smirked, and made love to us all, without ever having considered that we might notice. He was, he explained through his TED-style headset microphone, so profoundly worried about the rise of wokeness in America that he had decided to leave his lucrative job and work on the issue full time. There was, he insisted more than once, nothing in this for him. This was an all-hands-on-deck moment that required personal sacrifice and the suspension of ambition. If the audience wanted to grasp just how bad things had become, it should read his new book, available at all good bookstores for $27.99 plus tax.

    Two years later, Ramaswamy is still sacrificing himself for the cause. To help us all fight against those dastardly progressive threats, he has launched an anti-woke ETF, with an expense ratio four times higher than its nearest competitor. He has bravely launched a podcast to which you ought to subscribe; “political consultants told me launching a podcast is a major campaign liability,” he tweeted last week, but “we’re doing it anyway.” Oh, and he’s running for president, too. Not since the burning of William Tyndale have we been blessed by self-abnegation on this scale.

    Click through, if you can, to continue reading about the guy CCWC describes as "a smarmy, opportunistic automaton."

    Still, better than Trump or Biden, right? Such is my mood this mid-April morn.

  • EBO says that Ron DeSantis still has a significant shot at the presidency, so let us take a look at What 'Freedom' Means to Ron DeSantis, according to Reason's Eric Boehm:.

    DeSantis talks a lot about freedom, and even more about the supposed threats to it. For the governor, those seem to lurk everywhere, from drag shows to Disney and from undocumented immigrants to corporate "diversity, equity, and inclusion" efforts. In his new book, titled The Courage To Be Free, and in speeches like the one he gave on April 1 to a crowd of local elected officials and conservative activists in central Pennsylvania, DeSantis portrays Florida as a place that's been able to withstand the myriad assaults on freedom because he's been willing (and eager) to deploy the power of the state.

    But he rarely offers much in the way of a definition of freedom, preferring instead, one assumes, to let everyone in the audience define the thing for themselves. When he does get into specifics, it's usually to draw some telling distinctions.

    "For years, the default conservative posture has been to limit government," he writes in the new book. That idea must be discarded, he adds: "Elected officials who do nothing more than get out of the way are essentially green-lighting these institutions to continue their unimpeded march through society."

    I'm afraid anyone with libertarian tendencies would have to hold their nose pretty hard to vote for Governor Ron.

  • It is inconceivable to me that there doesn't appear to be any song, ever, called "I Just Can't Shake Them Chicago Blues". Alexa won't play it, anyhow. ("Sorry, I don't know that one.") (Which would also be a damn good song title.)

    Chris Stirewalt comes pretty close to writing it, though: Democrats Can’t Shake Chicago Blues.

    When people suffer as a result of doing something foolish, like being hospitalized after seeking the healing power of “raw water” or having to be saved by a rescue crew after choosing a tidal cave for do-it-yourself porn pictures, we are first tempted to say, “Ah, drugs …”

    But people do amazingly dumb things all the time without the aid of any chemical enhancements—like, for instance, Democrats choosing the city of Chicago as the host for its 2024 convention. One assumes that the members of the Democratic National Committee were not under the influence of anything stronger than statins and maybe some legal ganja when they picked the troubled city for their gathering.

    Yes, the most powerful mind-altering agent in politics remains self-deception. Democrats going to a city that is infamous for street crime and soon to be under the mayoralty of a progressive favorite who is already facing pushback from the police and business leaders would be like Republicans holding their convention at Mar-a-Lago. (Not that I would put it past them …) The first rule of a nominating convention, especially when your party is incumbent, is to make no trouble. So why on earth go to Chicago?

    Wasn't the last Democratic National Convention held in Chicago in 1968? I remember that went well…

    Ah, no. They slipped into Chicago last in 1996, renominating the Clinton/Gore ticket. Kind of a mixed bag, to put it mildly.

    Except for connoisseurs of phoniness. That was an excellent pairing for them.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 6:11 AM EDT