05.13.2020 11:11 AM

Unless you are Trump, incumbency has become a blessing

49 Comments

  1. the real Sean says:

    Look at Mt. Rushmore! Look at the Last Supper! None of those guys are wearing masks and they were the Fathers of the Apocalypse! Liberate Toad Suck Arkensas! As the four horsemen once said, those who are doomed to forget their own history are entitled to re-write someone elses! Sleepy Joe is hiding masks at Area 51. Crooked Hillary framed Roger Stone and Roger Rabbit. Lyin Ted ate a live bat in the secret lab in Wuhan. Eat some fertilizer and drink some engine oil.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    My Ranked Ballot:

    Peter

    Leslyn

    Erin

  3. Premier Ford has definitely risen to the occasion.

  4. Chris Sigvaldason says:

    “Brains will only get you so far, and luck always runs out.” Harvey Keitel’s policeman character (Thelma & Louise)

    Trudeau and all the others are getting bumped by the proverbial Canadian deference to authority. People will begin to tire of the daily speeches. The scripted talking points from the stairs will increasingly be seen as infomercials. Bills are going to start to become due for the governing class (literally). More and more are going to start demanding real answers.

    • Chris Sigvaldason says:

      An aside:

      Just saw this: The May 2020 Special Election in CALIFORNIA’s Congressional District #25…

      Republican Mike Garcia beats Democrat Christy Smith (56% to 44%) to replace the disgraced Katie Hill in US House of Representatives.

      Not good news for Democrats.

      • Chris,

        More an editorial on Hill than on the Democratic candidate, or the party. I wouldn’t read much into this win.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “More an editorial on Hill than on the Democratic candidate, or the party.”

          Probably, but the Republicans also won the Wisconsin district back. If these are their versions of by-elections, voters usually use them to signal their unhappiness with the current government, don’t they?

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Fred,

            But you could also turn it around: I’m thinking of governments who lost byelection after byelection and were subsequently returned with a majority.

          • Mark D says:

            “If these are their versions of by-elections, voters usually use them to signal their unhappiness with the current government, don’t they?”

            Two different political systems. Works two different ways. Which is why the U.S. Senate is going to be so competitive this year.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Mark,

            I’m a huge Pelosi fan. That person takes strategic thinking to a whole new level. Boy, is she cunning. She passes the second relief bill in the House and sends it over to Grinch McConnell in the Senate. Is Mitch smart enough to deal during conference? I hope to hell not. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see Mitch, then Elaine out of a job. Nancy, smack ’em but good!

          • Mark D says:

            Ronald,

            Speaker Pelosi (D) and Sen. McConnell (R) are probably the two craftiest politicians among Washington insiders today. Which is why their deft handling of President Trump’s impeachment negotiations was so interesting to watch. First, Speaker Pelosi with reining in Rep. AOC, and then Sen. McConnell with reining in President Trump.

            So a political tete-a-tete between the two would be as interesting to watch for its subtleties as a Twitter feud between President Trump and Rep. AOC for its creative use of social media.

  5. Mark D says:

    Come the fall, I suspect Mr Trump’s numbers will be back up enough for him to win re-election.

    Though I also expect Democrats to expand their lead in the House, while holding or exapanding their lead in state legislatures and governor’s mansions.

    Whether Republicans hold the Senate, or Dems take it, is still too close to call.

    Basically the U.S. equivalent of re-electing the incumbent, but punishing him with a minority government.

    • Mark,

      For starters, how many recent American Presidents with a bad to horrendous economy got a second term?

      The other factor is Amash’s run. He’s the spoiler. Hope he siphons off more Trump than Biden votes but there are no guarantees.

      • Mark D says:

        “For starters, how many recent American Presidents with a bad to horrendous economy got a second term?”

        I think the bigger question is “How many recent American presidents failed to get elected for a second term?” If we count recent as the past 100 years, there have been four; Bush 41, Carter, Ford, and Kennedy.

        Mr Kennedy, tragically, was assassinated before he could run for a second term.

        Mr Ford was never president or vice-president elected for his first term, but rather he was a congressional politician who inheritted the presidency alongside the Watergate mess.

        Mr Bush 41 faced major third-party interference with Ross Perot.

        Which leaves only Mr Carter.

        “The other factor is Amash’s run. He’s the spoiler. Hope he siphons off more Trump than Biden votes but there are no guarantees.”

        Latest polls I have seen put Mr Amash at under one percent. He likely will be offset as potential spoiler by whoever the Green Party runs. Which is why I don’t see him as any more effective at stopping Mr Trump’s reelection than Evan McMullin was at spoiling Mr Trump’s election in 2016.

        Again, Democrats will be thrilled if Mr Biden actually wrestles the presidency from Mr Trump. However, that is not why Mr Biden was selected as the party’s standard bearer in 2020.

        Rather he was selected as a “safe candidate” to protect the Democrat brand among political centrists, moderates and independents, so as to lose gains made in the House of Representatives or at the state level during the 2018 mid-term elections, and also to remain competitive in the senate that could go either way in November.

        To use a sports analogy, as Canadians we need to remember we are watching American football. It looks very similar until one learns the rules of each game.

        • Mark D says:

          My apologies, but I just noticed I omitted the word *elected* when discussing Mr Ford. The sentence should read: “Mr Ford was never *ELECTED* president or vice-president elected for his first term, but rather he was a congressional politician who inheritted the presidency alongside the Watergate mess.”

        • Fred from BC says:

          “Rather he was selected as a “safe candidate” to protect the Democrat brand among political centrists, moderates and independents”

          Agreed. I think it was a matter of taking out Bernie Sanders , and he was the candidate best placed to do that.

          (he still won’t be running against Trump, though)

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Fred,

            With respect, the Democrats can’t do that. There’s no way they can have a brokered convention and annoint someone else. Trump would have a field day on the campaign trail: look, look, the Democrats dumped their primary winner and nominee-elect in favour of…is this democracy or how elections work in America? The script practically writes itself.

          • Mark D says:

            What we all need to remember is that Hispanic-Americans are not “one issue” or “one party” voters. I know many Hispanic-Americans who are Republican, many who are Democrat, and many who are Independent.

            This diversity of political ideologies is also well-represented among Hispanic-American politicians and jurists in Washington (Rubio, AOC, Sotomayor, Cruz)

          • Mark D says:

            Ronald,

            I think Fred has suggested elsewhere that Sen Biden will withdraw before the end of summer, citing declining health, which will then lead to a brokered convention.

            Possible? Yes.

            However, I do not believe it probable for the reasons you state.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Mark,

          With Amash out, I think that gives Biden somewhat of a boost. But technically speaking, I prefer someone else over Harris for Veep. You’ve absolutely got to get Latinos energized and voting in huge numbers. It’s beyond critical. Obviously, you can’t go with AOC but IMHO it’s got to be a woman who is Latino who will mobilize that vote.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “You’ve absolutely got to get Latinos energized and voting in huge numbers. It’s beyond critical.”

            Yes, Joe Biden just tried that when he slammed Donald Trump for allowing Cuba to rejoin the UN Human Rights Council (home to such bastions of fairness and freedom as China, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc.).

            ““Trump’s international failures have cleared a path for Cuba to join the U.N. Human Rights Council,” Biden said.

            Problem is, Donald Trump *didn’t* actually do that… in fact he withdrew the USA from the so-called Human Rights Council (a long overdue move, to me) because the council is a joke and an insult to oppressed people all over the world.

            You know who *did* allow Cuba to join the UNHRC, though? Vice-President Joe Biden, under Barack Obama’s administration. THREE TIMES.

            (so much for the Latino vote)

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Fred,

            IMHO, you’re overreaching. The automatic blanket hostility toward Cuba is primarily concentrated in Miami, particularly among the older generation. The younger generations know how to deal with the Cubans and realpolitik. They’re far more pragmatic, just like much of the Spanish-speaking Americas. In short, their manta is deal with the reality in Havana, while pushing for change.

  6. Miles Lunn says:

    Very true, question is how will that hold up post crisis. Most countries are going to take on record debts without possibility of post WWII growth which made it possible to pay off, there are going to have to be some very tough and unpopular decisions post COVID-19. We might see one term governments become the norm until this is cleaned up as the kind of policies needed to clean up debt mess after will be super unpopular and no way around it. Either massive tax hikes and not just on rich, but also middle class too and/or big spending cuts.

    • Why can’t we have post WWII growth? Like the post war period we have a dilapidated infrastructures and the need to rebuild the transportation system to support new technology. We need to expand government supported housing to make it affordable to live. We have the ability, with international cooperation, to increase tax rates on the wealthy to 70%+ rates that existed at that time. We have the ability to encourage increased unionization.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Darwin,

        With respect, crony capitalism makes that impossible. It’s everyone in this for himself…that’s the crony mentality.

        As for the tax rates you suggest, that’s called political suicide. Most voters will never go for that. Sure, their rates need to go higher but the 40% who don’t pay taxes also need to pay their share, if they are not living in poverty, that is. Tax reform must always be done equitably.

        • People look at the past with rose coloured glasses. Back then was the age of the Political Machine when the head of the local post office would change when a new government was elected.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Darwin,

            That’s exactly what my great-uncle, Oscar Boulanger did. He was MP for Bellechasse for a while under Mackenzie King. Two of his brothers served in WWI and Richard came back shell-shocked and prone to drinking, so he had him named postmaster in Saint Charles, where my maternal grandmother was born.

            Oscar received plenty of suitcases before being named to the Superior Court. He had a summer home in Bellechasse and MK had them dredge the little river near his cottage so Oscar could use his canoes! Later in life, his second wife drove him around in a Cadillac. Those were the days.

  7. Mark D says:

    Here is a good article from Bloomberg (of all sources), explaining the fault lines within the Democrat party going into primary season, from the perspective of moderate and centrist Democrats. (Of course, keep in mind that Bloomberg would eventually enter the race approximately three months after this article was published, although it was published during a period in which he claimed to have no interest in running.)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-16/swing-district-democrats-offer-counter-to-ocasio-cortez-s-squad

    I’m also trying to find an unbiased media source for the “night of long knives” between Mrs Pelosi and Miss AOC, after AOC and her allies threatened moderate and centrist Democrats one too many times–either in public call outs intended to shame them, or in threats of mounting a primary challenge. If I recall correctly, this was also right around the time Mr Trump mounted a series of tweets hailing Miss AOC and her allies as the new face of the Democrat Party. But as American friends who are political pundits explained to me, this was basically Speaker Pelosi schooling Miss AOC in the difference between Washington and New York City. Anyway, some of these issues are allued to in the following article published by the Hill:

    https://thehill.com/homenews/house/455996-ocasio-cortez-chief-of-staff-to-leave-her-office

    Basically, history supports a high probability of Mr Trump being re-elected as an incumbent seeking re-election for a second term as well as the perceived political outsider. Experienced Democrats know this.

    They also know that in recent decades, voters have seen a president’s particular weaknesses shake out during his first term, and they will give the House to the challenging party during the president’s second term, provided the challenging party’s candidate appears moderate, bi-partisan, and calm. Mr Biden pretty much solidifies Democrat control over the House.

    Where the real fight will take place between Mr Trump and Mr Biden is in the Senate. Especially since there are a number of unique races openning up that could see control of the senate go either way in November.

    Personally, I believe that Bernie was better placed than Biden to beat Trump since Bernie is also perceived as a political outsider, has a lower enthusiasm gap among core supporters, and he also draws from many of the same disenfranchised constituencies as Trump. (Keep in mind that the portion of the electorate that swings elections tend to identify with issues claimed by both sides of the political spectrum).

    However, Bernie had a much higher probability of costing Democrats control of the House, and almost certainly control of the Senate, and perhaps some state legislatures and governorships as well. So Bernie was basically “high risk, high reward,” whereas Biden signalled to voters that moderate and centrist Democrats are firmly in control of the party, and that they can be trusted to counterbalance Mr Trump during his second term.

    • Fred from BC says:

      That’s a great analysis, Mark. Lots of background and some good, factual information.

      But the Democrats will have to bring Joe Biden out of hiding sooner or later, and put him right smack in front of Donald Trump for a public debate…which will be A DISASTER for them, since Biden can’t even read off a teleprompter or printed notes properly anymore (and his wife won’t be able to run interference for him, either).

      Bernie was too far left, sure…but at least he can still debate. I stand by my original theory, which is that the DNC will ‘encourage’ Biden to select the VP candidate they think can give Trump a run for his money, then allow Joe to withdraw “for health reasons” when the time is right.

      As Ronald mentions above, there is no other reasonable path for them to take: they can’t just ‘anoint’ someone out of the blue to take Biden’s place (although I bet they really, really wish he hadn’t made that promise of a female running mate, which severely limits their possible selections).

      There’s also the worry that Bernie’s supporters will make good on their threats and just stay home on election day. The DNC will have to be very careful making their choice, I think.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Fred,

        Ask AOC and her fellow travellers what or who is public enemy number one, and thy name is Trump. They will vote in droves, across the board, to take him down. If I was an American, so would I.

        Trump is without a doubt positively the worst president in American history. FFS, he makes Buchanan look good.

        • Mark D says:

          Mr Trump, like his predecessors, has some good and some not-so-good. He’s human after all.

          However, he has been elected to an office that magnifies one’s personal weaknesses for the world to see.

          Voters understand this. In fact, this is in part why they elected him over Mrs Clinton. His personal weaknesses are what made the New York billionaire relateable to the average person.

          Some highly-partisan Democrats will try and blow up each of Trump’s personal faults into a political scandal, whereas some highly-partisan Republicans will try and explain away Trump’s faults the president “playing 3D chess with opponents much too stupid to notice.” Whereas most Americans simply look at President Trump and take the good with the bad.

          And again–my apologies for the broken record–come November they will most likely re-elect Mr Trump for a second term, because they already see him as their president (incumbent’s advantage in U.S. politics) and still see him as an outsider to the Washington establishment.

          However, having now experienced his weaknesses for a term and how they impact his presidency, they will likely elect a Democrat House to mitigate against President Trump’s weaknesses.

          What I am interested in seeing is what happens in the U.S. Senate. Especially with a number of veterans stepping down, a handful of tossup states, plus some special circustances from prior elections where an ordinarilly safe seat swung to the opposing party because of voter dislike of a particular candidate (Sen Doug Jones, who defeated Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election, is up for re-election). Add to that Republicans are going in with a narrow lead to begin with, and both parties could win or lose seats, and the Senate outcome is the least predictable of the various 2020 elections.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Mark,

            Jones will lose for sure but this is all about what Grinch Mitch does or doesn’t do. Either way, McConnell will seal the Senate’s fate.

            As for Mr. Outsider, people are out of their minds. Just look at the composition of Trump’s cabinet. That says it all.

            Like I said before, there are only two kinds of Republicans: billionaires and millionaires and incredibly deluded suckers thanking God for Trump’s rounding error crumbs.

          • Mark D says:

            “Like I said before, there are only two kinds of Republicans: billionaires and millionaires and incredibly deluded suckers thanking God for Trump’s rounding error crumbs.”

            And this type of thinking among his critics is why Mr Trump is likely win re-election.

            With regards to “the millionaires and billionaires”: The last statistic I saw may be outdated, but while millionaires slightly favour the GOP, billionaires tend to support the Democrat Party.

            In fact, I believe Mr Trump was a longtime Democrat before hijacking the Republican Party in 2016. He basically had to use his own money–and more importantly, celebrity status and genius with social media–to run his presidential campaign since both the Republican political establishment and the right wing media strongly opposed him as a populist and former Democrat who had hijacked the Republican primary process. It was not until he defeated Clinton for the presidency and followed through with his promise to appoint conservatives to various judicial appointments that the Republican establishent finally got behind him.

            As for “incredibly deluded suckers thanking God for Trump’s rounding error crumbs,” please remember these are the same swing voters who elected Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama to two terms each. Sen. Clinton and her inner circle (with one exception) ignored them to her own peril during the 2016 election. They silenced the one exception when he raised his concerns these swing voters were feeling disenfranchised and were in danger of shifting to Mr Trump.

            The advisor even went rogue for a few stump speeches to prove his point, but was reined in by Sen Clinton and her campaign. At this point, he deferred to Mrs Clinton out of respect for their marriage and her as the candidate, just as she had done for him during his two successful presidential campaigns. Only in hindsight of Mr Trump’s election day upset did Mrs Clinton’s inner circle recognize Mr Clinton had been correct about Democrats losing working-class swing voters to Mr Trump.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “Ask AOC and her fellow travellers what or who is public enemy number one, and thy name is Trump. They will vote in droves, across the board, to take him down.”

          AOC is kind of a joke, even to her fellow Democrats. But sure, they’ll vote against Trump…and the people who support him *plus* the people who really don’t support him but are angry at the Democrats for all their lies and dirty tricks aimed at bring Trump down will get out there and vote, too.

          “Trump is without a doubt positively the worst president in American history. ”

          Well, the polls say that millions of Americans disagree, and millions more would wait until he is at least finished his two terms before making such a judgement.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Fred,

            True, but I’ve never, ever, seen a President so completely inept, untrustworthy and totally incapable of telling the truth. And I don’t need any polls to confirm my assessment.

            Trump makes W look like a genius. Please, pretty please, let him lose all three cases before the USSC. Thank you, Jesus.

          • Mark D says:

            Bush 43 was a genius. You don’t get to be president without being one. Nor become one of Bill Clinton’s closest friends and political partners.

            Likewise, both President Trump and Rep AOC are considered a joke by each other’s most partisan supporters, and a headache by portions of the Washington establishment. However, they both share a genius for social media and capturing the media cycle with soundbytes.

            This is what makes U.S. politics so interesting compared to our side of the border.

          • Mark D says:

            Ronald said : “I’ve never, ever, seen a President so completely inept, untrustworthy and totally incapable of telling the truth.”

            There are two difficulties Democrat partisans encounter with Mr Trump’s lying. The first is best summarized by one former insider to Mrs Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign: Voters trusted Mr Trump to lie more than they trusted Mrs Clinton to tell the truth.

            The second comes from the aforementioned insider’s Republican counterpart: Mr Trump does not so much lie as exaggerate for effect, on issues of concern to many average Americans but often ignored by the political classes. So when mainstream media fact checks Mr Trump and exposes his exaggerations, they end up reinforcing the narrative among the average voter that Mr Trump is the only politician of national stature willing to acknowledge people’s concerns over these issues.

            Most of Mr Trump’s audience knows he is exaggerating on any given controversy. But they feel comforted that he is willing to acknowledge their concern at the root of the controversy, despite the political and media storms provoked by his exaggerations.

            A good example of this is Sen. Elisabeth Warren’s pyrrhic vindication of her partial Indigenous American heritage. Technically and scientifically, she was justified in her claim and Mr Trump was wrong. However, her Indigenous American heritage was so far back in her geneology as to reinforce Mr Trump’s overall narrative among non-Indigenous voters, while raising concerns among Sen Warren’s Indigenous supporters that she was claiming a common heritage without having shared in its social and cultural realities.

            I’m not claiming Mr Trump comes off looking good here. But nobody is surprised by his actions or the direction he was willing to take his feud with Sen. Warren. So nothing changes about the average voter’s perception of Mr Trump as a result of this feud.

            This is another area where Mr Biden demonstrated much more prudence and savvy at resisting Mr Trump’s political provocations than any of Mr Biden’s primary opponents. Which is another reason why Mr Biden was chosen to “protect the Democrat brand” as his party looks to expand their lead in the House and in various state legislatures, as well as possibly take back the senate.

            Of course, no Democrat will complain if Sen Biden also happens to take the White House (except maybe those waiting for 2024 when circumstances are much more likely to favour the Democrat nominee), but the main focus in nominating Mr Biden for 2020 is to “protect the Democrat brand” downticket.

  8. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    The DNC has absolutely no say in the VP pick. Only the nominee can do that. Nothing else is possible. It’s Biden’s call, and ONLY Biden’s.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “The DNC has absolutely no say in the VP pick”

      Perhaps not directly, but they control a lot of money, plus superdelegates and PACs.

      “It’s Biden’s call, and ONLY Biden’s.”

      He’s not even the Democratic nominee yet, and he only gets to run as a Democrat if the DNC SAYS HE CAN (they just passed a rule to that effect, aimed at Bernie Sanders but equally applicable to any other presumptive candidate).

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Fred,

        You already have Trump serving two terms and you’re telling me Biden isn’t even yet the nominee? I’ll wager you’re reaching a lot more than I am. LOL.

        And don’t forget that supers can’t vote in the first round of balloting at the convention.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “You already have Trump serving two terms and you’re telling me Biden isn’t even yet the nominee? I’ll wager you’re reaching a lot more than I am. LOL.”

          Maybe so, but I wouldn’t be able to make such a prediction if the Democrats had someone capable of taking him on. They’ve spent so much time viciously attacking Trump non-stop for the last three years that they haven’t had any time to put forward a platform of their own (a DNC responsibility, in fact). What do they stand for, exactly, other than hating Donald Trump? What are the policies that they plan implement in America if elected? How do they plan to restart the economy and get everyone back to work? How’s the health care issue coming along?

          So many questions, but they all start with one inescapable one:

          Who do you plan to run as your Presidential candidate against Donald Trump?

          (no, sorry…not the guy who just claimed that “millions of Americans have died” from Covid-19 so far…your REAL choice, please?)

          Figure that out first, then work out the actual platform (the platform by itself is useless). It’s the only way to beat him, and you know it…

          • Warren says:

            For all commenting: denial of coronavirus deaths is like Holocaust denial. I didn’t ever permit the latter, and I’ll be damned if I permit the former. Deny coronavirus deaths here and you are gone.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Warren,

            I don’t think Fred is denying the deaths in very significant numbers. Instead, he seems to be questionning Biden’s numbers. To me, that’s fair game.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “I don’t think Fred is denying the deaths in very significant numbers. Instead, he seems to be questionning Biden’s numbers. To me, that’s fair game.”

          Thanks, Ronald. You’re right, and I should have been more clear on that point:

          “Hundreds of millions” is a long, long way from 92,000 (the most recent number I can find). Last month it was “150 million Americans have died of gun violence since 2007″…he was way. way off on that one, too.

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