Thursday, February 6, 2020

All Politics -- Nothing About The Bakken -- February 6, 2020

This is over at The Atlantic, how Joe Biden blew it. It's behind a paywall, but most folks get three or four free articles each month before the paywall kicks in.

If you enjoy this sort of stuff, it's worth a read.

I normally wouldn't post it / link it but it gives me an opportunity to expand on a couple of items that I've wanted to talk about for quite some time.

First: money. From the article:
Running short on money is a big part of why [Biden] ended up here [in last place among the real contenders] ...
After a disastrous summer of fundraising, plans from the team in Iowa and other states would linger with national headquarters for weeks, then come back without approval for the spending being requested. Other candidates were quickly hiring staff—particularly Buttigieg, who in June had all of four staffers in the state but went into the caucuses with 170—while Biden’s team was under an almost complete hiring freeze.
The campaign yanked its TV ads, leaving Biden dark for weeks and exponentially outspent in online advertising by Warren and Buttigieg, who soon had the rising poll numbers to show for it. At one point, aides realized, Biden was on track to spend less on TV in Iowa in this race than in his 2008 run, when he finished as an asterisk, with 1 percent of the vote.
Comment: It is being reported elsewhere that campaign costs rose "exponentially" when Mike Bloomberg entered the race. Money was no problem for him, and networks raised their prices for advertising -- for all campaigns. Apparently other campaigns have noted that it's costing a  lot more to campaign now that Mike Bloomberg is in the race. Bloomberg is ruining it for all of them. LOL.

Second: impeachment. From the article:
Biden aides who were being honest with themselves knew for months that they were in trouble. Some didn’t want to believe it; some couldn’t. Others felt like they’d gotten into a taxi with a driver who was swerving all over the road, and they were just holding on and hoping they made it to the end.
They hoped that Democrats’ obsession with beating Donald Trump and voters’ sense of personal connection to Biden would pull them over the edge. Trump had blundered into his own impeachment out of fear that Biden was strong.
Now they were hoping the impeachment trial would help make up for his weakness. “We might win this,” one person who worked on the campaign told me the week before the caucuses, “and it might come down to nothing we’ve done.”
Comment: Donald Trump did not "blunder" into anything. The US House was going to impeach Trump at some point. 

I used to say to myself that I wish Trump had never made that Ukrainian phone call. That's absolutely wrong and no one has yet figured that out. The Ukrainian phone call was a McGuffin. That's what Alfred Hitchcock would have called it.

If there had been no Ukrainian phone call at all, there would have been something else. Assassinating a legitimate general Army office might be impeachable; it puts every one of our own general officers at increased risk. The emoluments issue is still out there. The "obstruction" on tax returns is still out there. Unilaterally withdrawing from the climate "deal" is still out there. There are/and were a million reasons that Nadler/Schiff could have come up with to impeach Trump. [The interesting thing is that they were unable to come up with anything substantial -- reminding us how weak their case really was. I'll get back to this later.] 

So the Ukrainian phone call was a McGuffin. 

The interesting thing is that of all the McGuffins that Nancy Pelosi could have selected, this was perhaps the worse: it would fatally wound Biden, and she knew it. Unless she's not quite as bright as the rest of the establishment sees her.

So, we have a twofer. At least a twofer. First, Trump did not blunder into impeachment. Three years ago it was decided that "they" would impeach him; they were hoping Mueller would give "them" the ammunition. Mueller did not. Second, Nancy Pelosi, et al picked exactly the wrong McGuffin. LOL.

Third: the candidate. The writer not once touches on why Iowans did not warm up to Biden. Of all the candidates, he and Sanders are the "old hats." Folks want to see fresh faces, hear new ideas, touch new hands. Biden might possibly transcend all that (Bernie has) but Biden has no new ideas. It's Obama (at best) all over again. Or at worst, stale Democrat Party platitudes His soundbite the other night in Iowa: his standing in the polls / the Democrat Party was all about unions. He said that he would win Iowa because the unions would make it happen. Wow. That's a throwback to the 1950s.

Now, back to McGuffin -- I said I would return to the weak impeachment case. "They" only had to find him guilty on one article of impeachment. Why did Nancy Pelosi not send up 35 articles of impeachment, or 24, or 55 or 31? Why just two? Mitch McConnell and company were able to dispense of two articles of impeachment in less then thirty minutes once the voting actually started.

In hindsight, the two articles of impeachment were so incredibly weak, nebulous, vacuous, Nadler, et al, should have been able to come up with dozens of similar Articles of Impeachment. Even if found innocent on all accounts, can one imagine the headline: 35 articles of impeachment! The New York Times would have needed to print a special Sunday edition just to showcase 35 articles.

If Biden is out of the race by Super Tuesday / or right after Super Tuesday, there will be a lot of articles, "how Biden blew it" and they will all be similar to The Atlantic article. But they will all miss the point.

The voters know Joe Biden. Twelve disciples with an unlimited bank account could not manage a winning strategy for this has-been plagiarist with a crazy affinity for the smell of hair spray. 

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