Thursday, September 28, 2017

Astounding Effect "Take The Knee" Had On Trump's Approval Rating

With all the MSM coverage of President Trump's strong condemnation of athletes "taking the knee" during the national anthem his "Get those SOB's off the field" and prominent, mostly Black athletes also attacking him, it might well be expected there would be a massive hit to his approval ratings.

Further, sports fans might be enraged by the seemingly overt politicization and disruption to their favorite winter game and this would also hit Trump's approval.

So what actually happened to Trump's statistics over the height of the controversy, did he experience a sharp and humiliating drop in approval from already historically low levels? 

Well, actually nothing happened and, if anything, Trump's approval rating ticked up a bit.

 The polls, Reuters and Quinnipiac which include part of Sunday and Monday the 25-26th the height of the controversy Trump is an aggregate 37%. These two polls however always give Trump a much lower number than do the majority of others.

The four polls which have larger influence of directly involved events;Economist/Fox/Gallup/Rasmussen
have an aggregate of 40.2%.They include Gallup which also gives a far lower rating than others and which ticked down a point from its previous poll but Rasmussen ticked up one.

What all this appears to show is that Trump's base is with him "even if he shot a man on 5th Avenue" the Black vote will go massively to the Democratic party with perhaps a small bit of growth to the GOP as in 2016 as economic conditions for Blacks improve.

And it shows the MSM for all its antipathy and dramatic images of mass kneeling and endless talking head shrieking, has just about zero effect on public opinion to Trump, and, to their chagrin, perhaps on anything else they get so exercised about.

New Fox Poll: "In general, do you think kneeling during the national anthem is an appropriate (41%) or inappropriate (55%) form of protest?


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Roseanne To Return; Will Hollywood Wake Up To Trump's America Too?

As everyone knows, and of course the Emmy's confirmed, Hollywood is a bastion of leftism, to the point where conservative actors,(James Woods "I may never work again" an exception) especially Christians are afraid to speak out against the monolith of 'progressivism" (i.e. being an outspoken Democratic Party member) that even the only visible Republican club the "secretive" 'The Friends Of Abe' disbanded.

The roster of actors/musicians/producers/directors who supported Hillary Clinton is legion but that has been considered to be one of the (seemingly endless) reasons why she lost. In a time of massive rejection of the Establishment, the liberal elite, and of being ridiculed and spoken down to by people outside of the major urban centers and centers of entertainment, the sight of actors and musicians being on a stage with Clinton simply reinforced this sense of being condescended to.

Clinton's campaign ending rally in Philadelphia with a host of rock stars showed just how ineffectual these superstars are in persuading not only those predisposed to support the left, i.e. young people who generally don't bother to vote, but how effective such a spectacle was in galvanizing rural voters to overwhelmingly reject Clinton.

One thing is certain after such a dismal failure of "star power" there never will be again such a useless reliance on an effort that brings so little reward and is in fact a detriment.

However Hollywood loves one thing more than it's leftism and that is of course money. During the end of the G.W. Bush years, and all throughout the Obama administration the Hollywood left has had free reign to churn out endless movies and television drama and sitcoms extolling their social views.

Gay sitcoms, lesbian drama's "modern family" mixed parentage sitcoms and all aspects of non-traditional marriage and family life have been the mainstay of the media. So too have big city travails of single women battling sexism, misogyny and all sorts of dastardly men been the norm. Depictions of working classand rural family life and struggles hardly merited a look-in.

With the election of Donald Trump and the complete dominance of conservatives in Congress and majority of state legislatures, if the Hollywood elite ever recover from their shock even the most blinkered of them (
"Progressive fundamentalism: how Hollywood and the media fortify the bubbles we all live in") could now see the entire zeitgeist, the mores of the nation, have swung dramatically against the one sided and distorted image of American society that they have relentlessly pushed onto the television and movie screens for over a decade.

To make money from this awakening, unless they stupidly persist in their rejected direction, Hollywood could climb down from their elitist heights and create entertainment that reflects the society that resoundingly rejected them in the election. It's not as if they would have to reinvent the wheel either.

There is a wealth of entertainment history that depicted wholesome American life that would be simple to recreate in a modern setting (including Black and Hispanic themes). My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best (or Mother Knows best for today's world) in the family setting.

The passing of Florence Henderson and the outpouring of affection for her memory proves the attractions still of the lighthearted the "Brady Bunch" happy family concept.

A new version of Andy Griffith Show set in rural "Mayberry" could make a comeback in a modern setting as a nod to the 2016 voters who made their presence and distaste apparent.

And what could be a more obvious tip of the hat to working class America than a revival of "Roseanne" whose leading actor, once robust feminist, tellingly has become a staunch opponent of Hillary Clinton.

Hollywood has a choice, continue with their grossly out of touch elitism or bring back more of the likes of the whip smart Roseanne Barr and family values movies and help bring the nation together whilst making money at it. My guess is that's the direction they will head in as they may be incorrigibly leftist but they are not stupid with it as far as their wallets are concerned.

Warning Sign As Trump And Palin Campaign for Different Candidates In Alabama

(Picture at BREITBART)

  Given the current state of the Democratic Party, the substantial possibility of their nominating a "progressive" candidate and the historical odds favoring sitting presidents running for reelection the greatest danger to a Trump 2020 run could come from within the GOP.

From the commencement of the primary system in 1912, every time a sitting president or vice-president has faced a realistic primary challenge they have lost the subsequent presidential election or withdrew from running after facing near certain defeat in the primaries.

Prior to that the only sitting presidents not to be renominated at conventions were Franklin Pierce, considered among the worst presidents, “the only time in U.S. history that an elected president who was an active candidate for reelection was not nominated for a second term" and the non-elected presidents Andrew Johnson and Chester A. Arthur.

   This historical truth is exemplified by President Taft's disastrous reelection campaign when former President Teddy Roosevelt bolted the party after failing to get the nomination even though he won over 51% of the primary vote.

   President Truman withdrew after losing the New Hampshire primary to Estes Kefauver. President Lyndon Johnson dropped out of the race after narrowly winning the New Hampshire primary. President Carter faced a massive challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy which was not resolved until Kennedy's begrudging endorsement of Carter at the convention "one of the nastiest on record".

  President Ford faced a similar challenge from Governor Reagan which went down to the wire at the GOP convention. In 1992 President G.W. Bush's reelection bid (his 1988 primary run as VP for the presidential nomination  was never in doubt) had to fight off a serious challenge from the right via Pat Buchanan "the fact that Buchanan received more than two million votes nationwide, prognosticated disaster in the fall."

   Sitting Vice-president Hubert Humphrey after the worst nominating convention in American history and a bruising primary campaign  (using "favorite sons" as substitute for campaigning himself) went on to lose to Nixon in 1968. VP Al Gore who went on to lose the presidential race to G.W.Bush was challenged for the Democratic presidential nomination by Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey who only lost the New Hampshire primary by 3 points.

  Former vice-president's had a mixed record with Walter Mondale winning the 1984 nomination after a primary battle and losing the presidential election and Hubert Humphrey being defeated by George McGovern for the 1972 nomination.

At this point in President Trump's administration there is not the slightest breath of speculation that he might be challenged for the nomination in 2020, nor has any Republican of note given any overt sign that he or she might do so.

However, such was the case during the first year of Jimmy Carter's presidency when the breaking with tradition cardigan wearing president with the big toothy grin was hugely popular. President G.W.H Bush seemed unbeatable after the Gulf War. Both presidencies ended very badly.

Are there any straws in the wind which, even at this point, might lead to a similar ending for President Trump? Yes there are.

​Damon Linker at 'The Week' who, apart from considering himself 'smart" ("a lot of smart people got Trump wrong") has been apocalyptic regarding Trump ("poised to lose in biggest landslide in history") right from the start, now sees the entire GOP breaking up;

"If the members of Trump's base do finally turn on him, where are they going to go? Into the arms of pro-immigration Paul Ryan and whatever candidate the still-reigning GOP establishment puts up in 2020? Or will they instead stew through what remains of the Trump presidency (including the now much-more-likely Trump impeachment) while they await a more competent and ideologically coherent candidate to emerge from the fully energized Breitbart/Bannonite wing of the party?

I'd place my bets on the latter. Which doesn't mean that such a hard-right nationalist "workers party" candidate would automatically win the GOP nomination. But it does mean that the 2020 primaries would be a contest over which faction gets to call itself the Republican Party and which ends up forced into the third-party wilderness."

This is of course utter nonsense and is refuted by no less than the New York Times which ruined an otherwise instructive article by titling it "When Trump say jump his followers say how high?" The gist of the academic study is that politics is now completely tribal and policies do not count no matter the flip flops, all that matters is a person’s side "wins" against the other party.

However, politics policies core beliefs and flip flops do matter and have their breaking point as regards the internal opposition and this is where an internal fissure could lead to a 2020 challenge.

The outlines of such a fissure showed its first sign in, of all places, Alabama where the extraordinary sight of the GOP’s sitting president and past vice-presidential candidate will be canvassing for different senatorial candidates in the same week.
Former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is heading down to Alabama to help boost former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) in his primary against appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), joining forces with a pro-Trump super-PAC to try to knock out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) strongly preferred candidate.
Palin will join a bus tour run by Great America Alliance, a pro-Trump group that recently added former White House staffer Andy Surabian, who has close ties to recently ousted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The planned rally will occur late next week, according to a strategist close to the organization.”
And from President Trump; “I will be in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday night to support Luther Strange for Senate,” Trump tweeted. “‘Big Luther’ is a great guy who gets things done!” 

  The mystery of Trump supporting a McConnell choice is a spectacle of much fascination whose machinations are too arcane to consider without minds being boggled. "The Art Of The Machiavelli" might be a Trump book in progress.

With Palin the certainty is core beliefs trump party and political appointment. Palin endorsed Trump well before anyone else and it is likely her support prior to the Iowa caucuses was instrumental in gaining Trump the credibility of a second place finish.

That she would campaign against Trump’s chosen candidate simply reinforces to her followers that principle counts above all else. Nobody else in the GOP could mount a primary challenge without some degree of self-seeking being attached to such an effort except “you don’t need a title to make a difference’ Palin.

 That Bannon, who touted Palin for president prior to the rise of Trump, is supporting her efforts in Alabama gives financial and media substance, allied to Palin’s personal mass following, to any future schism. So too is his attack on the same McConnell Trump is supporting "Bannon: Why Are McConnell And Ryan Letting Democrats Investigate Trump?"

If an internal breaking point comes, perhaps on “The Wall” (Hannity; "The wall better be part of Trump's deal"  
"Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, said activists were “very, very concerned" then President Trump, or perhaps more accurately the Priebus/Christie team who advised on cabinet appointments, may come to sorely regret not bringing Palin into the administration and not keeping Bannon in it.

See also;
"Trump's Move to the Left Ensures a Primary Opponent"

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Virginia Governor’s Race May Decide The 2020 Presidential Election

 This article first appeared in The Federalist with a comment section

An obscure Virginia House of Delegates Representative may be the Kingmaker in the 2020 presidential election.

Ed Gillespie is the Republican nominee for Virginia’s 2018 governor race. Gillespie narrowly lost his race for senator in 2014 by 0.14 percent, and was tied with Democrat Ralph Northam in a recent Washington Post poll.

As the GOP currently has a record 34 governors in office, the outcome of Virginia’s race—apart from bragging rights for the winners’ party—would not upset the balance of power. The most important political development would be a major swing against the GOP in the concomitant congressional elections and the governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia.

But history informs us that in mid-terms, the party that won the presidency nearly always has a substantial swing against it. It seems a result of the inevitably disappointed hopes of some voters, and perhaps a reluctance to give too much power to the party in office.

It’s also been true in the past that such setbacks for a president may have no effect on their second-term prospects: President Obama suffered massive congressional setbacks, but achieved a comfortable second-term election win.
Taking all of that into consideration, how could Virginia’s race for the governor’s mansion to have a crucial effect on the 2020 presidential election?

The Bill To End Virginia’s ‘Winner Take All’ System

The answer is in a bill that was put forward in the Virginia House of Representatives, one that would end Virginia’s ‘winner take all’ electoral vote system:
A bill to end Virginia’s “winner take all” system of awarding Electoral College votes was approved by a House subcommittee.
The electoral votes should be divided among presidential candidates based on how many of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts they win, the subcommittee of the House Privileges and Elections Committee decided on a 5-2, party-line vote.
HB 1425, sponsored by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would give Virginia’s remaining two electoral votes to the winner of the state’s popular vote.
This system is used in Maine and Nebraska and is known as the “congressional district system.” Under the system, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would have received six of Virginia’s 13 Electoral College votes, even though Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the state last fall.
As this map from 270toWin’s “Gaming The Electoral College” article shows, such a change in Virginia’s Electoral College votes would, on 2016 voting, have produced a Dem 7 GOP 6 split.

This type of vote allocation is currently in practice in Maine, which gave Trump one of its four votes, and Nebraska, which gave all of its five to Trump as per the map.

Why The Bill Hasn’t Yet Passed

Two other states, New Hampshire and Minnesota, had similar bills introduced this year. New Hampshire has GOP control of their Senate and House and a Republican governor, so it is surprising the bill died “Inexpedient to legislate.”
So too did a Democratic “partisan” bill which aimed to have New Hampshire join the “Electoral Compact,” i.e. have states assign their electors to whoever wins the nationwide popular vote, as a way to circumvent the Electoral College as set out in the Constitution.

Thus, if enough states were to join with 270 EC votes, there would be in effect a nationwide popular vote for the presidency.

In Minnesota, where the GOP also has a majority in the House and Senate, an Electoral College reform bill met a similar “Inexpedient” fate. However, unlike New Hampshire, Minnesota has a Democratic governor, and a veto would have been likely even if the proposal had passed both Senate and House. In Virginia, the proposal was withdrawn by its initiator, House of Delegates representative Mark L. Cole:
Cole pointed to the pending litigation and the General Assembly’s distaste for changing policy during lawsuits as one reason for dropping the effort.
He also said that even if the bill passed, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe would veto it. “I think probably the time is not right for it, though I still think it’s a good policy and something we may pursue in the future,” Cole said.
The words “something we may pursue in the future” creates a very real possibility that successfully pursuing this electoral vote change could decide the presidency in 2016.
Republicans have a near two-to-one advantage in the House of Delegates, 66-34, and a majority in the Virginia Senate 21-19. Current Governor McAuliffe is term limited, and if the GOP’s Gillespie is elected in 2017, the stage would be set for Cole to reintroduce the bill, which would then be free from the danger of a veto.

Donald Trump won the Electoral College handily 306 to 232, but that is of course no indicator of how close the race might be in 2020. If it were a Reagan-type blowout, then how Virginia’s electoral votes were allocated would be of passing interest. On the other hand, if the race were more akin to the Gore/Bush 2000 campaign, any change to Virginia’s apportionment would become vital, if not the deciding factor. 

Anything’s Possible In Politics

There are numerous permutations, among which are Trump losing Pennsylvania—won by the narrowest of margins in 2016—and Wisconsin with Arizona adding to the sunbelt drift from the GOP.
That result, if Trump held the other states he won in 2016, would give him 265 Electoral College votes: five short of the required 270. At that point, Virginia’s split allocation of 7 Democratic 6 Republican would give him 271 votes and the presidency.

Clearly a lot of ducks would have to line up neatly in a row for such a scenario to eventuate. But the same was said for Trump’s 2016 Electoral College “inside straight” chances.
The first stage in this scenario would be the election of Ed Gillespie in 2017. If that happened, Mr. Cole could pursue his bill anew. If successful, that bill might make him an unlikely kingmaker. But, as the whole Trump phenomenon showed, absolute anything is possible in politics.