Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Welcome to the Dumbest Show on Earth
Trump joins Michael Savage in fueling conspiracy theories around the death of Scalia. Ted Cruz promises no gluten-free MRE's if he is commander-in-chief. Jeb believes a hand gun is the symbol of America. Marco Rubio said he was faking it when he showed support for the immigration reform bill back in 2013. Ben Carson thinks Muslims who embrace American values are schizophrenic. And, John Kasich doubles down on his proposal to create a new government agency to promote Judeo-Christian values.
This is all well and good as far as South Carolinians are concerned. A PPP poll found some rather disturbing opinions being expressed in the Palmetto State. Not surprisingly, most South Carolinians believe the Stars and Bars should still be flying over the state capitol, but what is alarming is the degree of anti-Muslim sentiment among state residents. Not only did 25 per cent of those polled believe Islam should be banned in America, but 47 per cent supported Trump's idea of creating a national data base of Muslims. and 60 per cent supported a ban on any more Muslims entering the United States.
Not surprising, the six remaining GOP candidates have all staked out hard right positions with the South Carolina primary on the immediate horizon, which will award the largest number of Republican delegates to date. Kasich's pronouncements are a bit odd, including his decision to sign a state bill to defund Planned Parenthood, as he isn't expected to do well in South Carolina anyway, so why turn hard right when he has Midwest states later in the primaries, where his more moderate message would resonate. It just shows the degree to which the tail is wagging the dog in the Grand Old Party.
It is too much for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who voiced his disdain for the "circus of bombastic attacks" and the "lack of dignity" being expressed in this election cycle. Billionaire and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is similarly upset, once again pondering a potential White House run of his own.
We hear a lot about the conservative billionaires funding Republican campaigns, but we don't hear much about the liberal billionaires who generally support Democrats, but like to exercise the option to run themselves if the mood suits them. Bloomberg has considered a presidential run probably more times than Donald Trump, but never could bring himself to do it. At least, he tested the political waters in New York, where he served as mayor for three terms. He is worth an estimated 37 billion dollars, which is four times more than Trump's own accounting. So, on paper that would make him a far better candidate.
To Bloomberg's credit, he forsook the Republican Party sometime ago, largely over the lack of fiscal responsibility, but also because of its gun fetish. However, he hasn't quite been able to align himself with Democrats, although he supported Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and in general promotes the same political agenda. He isn't overly happy about the Democratic choices this time around, which is why he is considering an independent run for the White House.
This is exactly what Trump wants. A Bloomberg candidacy would peel away independent and conservative Democratic support for Hillary, giving him a fighting chance in the general election. I'm sure former Mayor Mike knows that but maybe he thinks he can come away with the lion's share of the votes in a three-way and even a potential four-way race if Trump is forced to run as independent himself. Then it really would be a circus, as Howard Schultz said.
Right now, it is more a vaudeville act with GOP candidates not afraid to plumb the lowest depths of the lowest common denominator. Ted going after gluten-free MRE's takes the cake. He seems to think gluten intolerance is a politically correct condition, not a medical condition, and doesn't believe that persons can have very bad reactions to gluten, including American soldiers. I think this position may have come from Trump calling Ted a pussy, and now he has to go out of his way to prove what a he-man he is. Gluten-free bread is apparently for pussies.
It doesn't help when the GOP primaries get the most attention, because Hillary and Bernie have been quite civil for the most part, and have tried to keep the focus of their campaigns on serious issues. Sadly, however, it is pretty hard to beat the pie-throwing between the Republicans when it comes to television ratings, and that is what drives mainstream news media today. Case in point, the media chose to magnify Trump's puerile retort to the President's criticism of the GOP field on national security rather than stress what is a very serious concern.
One can understand Mayor Mike's and Mr. Starbucks' anxiety, but adding more candidates to the mix will hardly solve the problem. It will just split the vote even more. If their aim is to defeat Trump and Cruz, the biggest Republican clowns, then it would behoove them to consider either Hillary or Bernie, and put the full weight of their sizable fortunes behind one of the Democratic candidates, as obviously their own messages are not going to resonate with the GOP.
Given the PPP poll, I think the media should also discount South Carolina as a failed state, as obviously these people are too fucked up to be taken seriously. After all, it took an executive order to bring down the Confederate flag, not a public referendum.