A Choice That Is No Choice

Donald Trump wins the Nevada caucus. Polls in upcoming states are looking good for him. He’s the Republican (sort of) version of the Obama messianic complex, but perhaps illustrated differently:

Know He's Wrong

In my view, as much intellectual power is being shown in supporting Trump as Democrats exercised in their worship of Obama. And the two candidates who might have a shot at doing something about this are trying to destroy each other instead.

Car Crash

If you think this makes no sense, that means you still have some sense.

Meanwhile, on the other side, we have a candidate who ought to be prosecuted and sent to prison, but the focus of the media is not exactly on her misdeeds.

If Only

So we face a choice between a progressive, entitled, and should-be-convicted liar on one side vs. an arrogant, profane, deceptive liar on the other.

Hold Your Nose

A Trump-Clinton election choice is no choice at all.

Our Campaign Dramedy

With Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in the presidential race, this campaign has taken on historic significance already—as possibly the most bizarre in American history.

First, we have a former First Lady, senator, and secretary of state who could be the first First Lady and secretary of state to end up in prison.

Clinton's E-mails

Besides that, she’s also, shall we say, a trifle greedy and disconnected from what most people experience in life:

Connect

Just this past week, she tried her hand—again—at humor that kind of fell flat as she took to barking like a dog in a campaign appearance. It was odd, almost surreal. One wonders who told her that would work. Yet perhaps she’s used to doing whatever is considered necessary to achieve her goals:

Learned to Bark

Her main opponent, outright socialist Bernie Sanders, spends all of his time telling everyone what “free” things the government will give them. With all the hubris of someone who never understood Economics 101, he boldly goes where no one ever should go. If we follow him, we can expect certain results that have been tried the world over:

Make America Greece

On the Republican side, Trump has turned what is supposed to be a serious consideration of issues into a circus, and in the process, has dazzled untold thousands by his grandiose promises, his public vulgarity, his steady stream of personal insults, and continual threats of lawsuits. It hasn’t been pretty.

Presidential

What might some of our former presidents who believed in the dignity of the office think of the current dramedy?

Front Runners

That’s pretty much what I think, too.

Political Cartoon Day: Campaign Edition

So many political cartoons, so little time and space to share them all. I’m going to try today, though. The emphasis will be on the Democrat side, but I won’t forget Republicans either.

Hillary Clinton has got to be one of the more radioactive candidates in presidential campaign history. Some Democrats are finally beginning to hear the alarms going off:

What

She thought she would waltz to the nomination, but results in New Hampshire show she hasn’t even won the majority of women, which has to be dismaying for her, since she bases most of her “appeal” on being the first woman president:

Shut Up

Yet there is some question about just how effective her husband’s support on that issue really is:

One Reason

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has surprised everyone with his appeal, which comes down to one thing only:

Free Stuff

Despite his appeal to pure-bred socialists like himself, Sanders realizes he needs to reach out to voters who might not ordinarily support him. So where does he go to win them over? To that champion of uprightness and integrity, Al Sharpton:

Black Votes Matter

Even though Sanders swamped Clinton in New Hampshire by 22 percentage points, they got the same number of delegates, thanks to Democrat party rules that include “super delegates” who can choose whomever they want. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

Delegates

That would be Sanders’s philosophy coming back to bite him. Yet, despite how the game may be rigged for her, Hillary isn’t taking any chances. Perhaps she will unveil another campaign revamp. Hillary 4.0?

Revamp

On the Republican side, South Carolina may be Jeb Bush’s last gasp; that’s why he has brought in the former president to campaign by his side. Will it help?

Campaign Support

And Donald Trump keeps being Donald Trump, which is a problem in itself. His use of insults, vulgarities, threats of lawsuits, and claims of being cheated are what seem to dominate his campaign. Don’t go looking for any real substance there; you’re just supposed to feel his anger and jump on board his train wreck.

For what it’s worth, he’s pledged to stop using curse words and obscenities publicly.

Juvenile

For the record, I’m not impressed.

What to Think of New Hampshire?

The New Hampshire Republican primary last night had some poignant results, some of which might be lost on those delirious over a Trump win. New Hampshire was Trump territory: allowing independents to vote as Republicans, a state described by some as one of the least evangelical in the nation. The state motto is “Live free or die.” As more than one commentator tweeted last night, after the Trump triumph, New Hampshire voters chose the “or die” part.

Democrats, faced with the choice of an outright socialist and a covert one with possible criminal charges hanging over her head, revealed their hearts by endorsing the former.

Sanders-Trump

Back to the Republicans.

Yes, Trump outdistanced everyone. Here’s the rest of the story, though. The vote was the death knell for at least three candidacies: Christie, Fiorina, and Carson. If they continue, it will not be because there is any credible hope they can win the nomination. Christie went back to New Jersey afterwards to talk with his people. A formal withdrawal from the race is expected soon.

Reports are that Carson will be talking with Ted Cruz on Thursday. There’s speculation about the reason for that meeting. We’ll see.

Kasich came in second, but this will be the high point of his campaign. He practically lived in New Hampshire for months and couldn’t win. Watch the media; he will be its darling until the South Carolina results later this month, but it won’t matter. He doesn’t have the organization on the ground anywhere else to even hope for a win.

Rubio, after his fifth-place finish, which had to be a major disappointment, in his concession speech acknowledged that his debate performance led to the poor showing. He vowed that won’t happen again, but one has to wonder now if his moment has passed.

Bush has to be disappointed with the result, especially since he spent $35 million on ads, etc., to get his message across. He came in fourth, not exactly inspiring, especially given the fact that Cruz beat him for third, even though he spent only about $800,000 total. Here’s another way of looking at it:

Money Per Vote

For me, Cruz is the one to watch if Trump is to be stopped. Cruz knew from the start that New Hampshire was not winnable, so he didn’t waste his funds on a hapless effort. What’s surprising is that he did so well comparatively, given that he not only spent less than everyone else, but also didn’t spend time either. He held fewer events in New Hampshire than the others. Yet he still came in third.

Why is that significant? He heads into more friendly Cruz territory now, and with the demise of Bush and Rubio–and the burnt-out comet of Kasich—he is now the one man standing. He won Iowa, despite what Trump says. He has a well-organized campaign in all the upcoming states. If his people do as well in South Carolina and throughout the South as they did in Iowa, he could very well emerge with the largest delegate total in the end.

Those who read this blog know I cringe at the thought of a Trump nomination. For those trying to make a comparison between Trump and Ronald Reagan, I have only one reaction: if you can make that comparison, you don’t understand who Reagan was.

On the Democrat side, the curiosity that is Sanders will now wade into states that Clinton people think she has sewed up. It will be interesting to see what happens. And there’s always the real possibility of a criminal indictment. Would even that persuade Hillary to drop her candidacy? Ego probably won’t permit it.

The last thing I want to see is a Trump-Clinton general election. I freely admit that would be the most depressing sight in my lifetime. The bright side is that if it occurs, I will be driven even closer to the Lord for comfort and guidance.

May God have mercy on us all.

And on the Democrat Side . . .

I’ve spent more time analyzing the Republican field than the Democrat. Of course, one reason is that there’s really no “field” on the Democrat side, but it has become more interesting. This was supposed to be a Hillary coronation, but it hasn’t quite worked out the way she expected.

I admit I never thought Bernie Sanders would get any traction anywhere. Maybe I was living in a dream world where I never imagined that even in the Democrat party an outspoken socialist would be a threat to Queen Hillary. Keep in mind that Sanders has not run as a Democrat for many years; he has preferred the title of “independent.”

Yet here he is as a possible nominee in a party he eschewed. One thing you can say for him is that he is consistent: as an avowed socialist, he is promising the sky—free this, free that, free everything:

Slackers Like Me

The little secret that his followers don’t understand of course is that nothing is free; somebody is going to pay for all of that, and that somebody is the rest of us who aren’t getting those freebies.

Hillary, realizing the threat, has become even more outspoken as a progressive. Those who know her (and the party as a whole) aren’t surprised by this; she’s always been a progressive but hasn’t been quite this open about it for fear of losing votes. Now, in a tight race, she feels she has to pull out all the stops.

What all of her rhetoric about the evils of Wall Street hides is just how tied in to Wall Street she is. Where does she receive much of her financial support? Reports show exactly where:

Definition of Progressive

Why the Sanders surge? Could this have anything to do with it?

Slow Speed Chase

I freely admit I would love to see Hillary (and Bill) finally get what they deserve. The FBI seems poised to recommend indictment. If the Obama Justice Department—a misnomer if ever there was one—declines to prosecute, she could still get the nomination. With that hanging over her, she should be easier to beat. If Sanders gets the nomination, America would have finally bottomed out if he is elected, but I believe he would be even easier to overcome.

The key now is whether Republicans are wise in their selection of a nominee or whether instead they will turn to Donald Trump. A Trump-Clinton or a Trump-Sanders race would be the worst of all possible scenarios because no matter who wins, the nation would lose.

Comrades in Arms

Enough about Trump for now. How about that other race on the Democrat side? What do we have there? On the one hand, we have a failed secretary of state who is as corrupt as . . . well . . . her husband. She is being challenged by a 70+ avowed socialist who wants to make everything “free.” What a duo.

Dragging

Let’s be honest here. It’s not really a contest between one socialist and a liberal; it’s one avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, and another socialist, Hillary Clinton, who tries to hide the fact. They are, in truth, comrades in arms philosophically:

Comrades

So when it comes to philosophy, there’s not much difference. On the practical side, the distinction is that Sanders is true blue in his philosophy whereas Clinton rakes in the money from Wall Street while bashing Wall Street simultaneously.

Polls show that Democrat voters (both alive and dead) are drifting toward Sanders, perhaps because they perceive him as being the “pure” candidate. The Iowa caucus result, if it proves anything, shows he is a threat to Clinton. In a state where she should have run away with a victory, it was a virtual tie. Sanders is far ahead in the New Hampshire polling.

Both claim to be the eventual winner, but what kind of a win might that be?

Winners

In Iowa, they battled to a tie in six caucus locations. How did the Democrat officials determine who won? They tossed a coin. In all six instances, Clinton won the coin toss. The odds of that, I’m told, are highly improbable. Did the Sanders people inspect those coins beforehand? What? A Clinton devotee might cheat? Perish the thought. She and her people are above reproach. If you don’t think so, just ask them. Surely her history doesn’t reveal any integrity issues, right?

Great Victory

As a nation, though, perhaps we’re used to scandalous coin tosses leading to calamitous results:

Coin Toss

If we end up with a Clinton or Sanders presidency (slight pause here while I meditate on that horrid thought), we can expect more of what we have experienced the past seven years.

The Campaign Show

This presidential campaign is certainly a show, if nothing else. I do believe it is something else, however; most of the GOP candidates are at least addressing the issues. But we have had our fair share of strange moments.

When’s the last time the supposed frontrunner for one party was being investigated for federal offenses, the kind that could land a person in prison? The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal e-mail server handling top-security matters and the manner in which she enriched her family through a phony charitable foundation has become increasingly serious.

In her last debate with the other erstwhile Democrat challengers, Hillary uttered words that were immediately applied to her by many:

Too Big

The irony seems to have been lost on her. What is particularly galling is that Gen. David Petraeus, for a lesser violation, is being singled out for possible reduction in rank and prison time. Can anyone say “double standard”?

Change Your Name

What’s really funny—in the sense that anything about this can be labeled as funny—is that a man who should be merely an also-ran in this race, Bernie Sanders, is picking up momentum:

Feel the Burn

Sanders, an outspoken socialist (as opposed to the rest of the Democrats who don’t want it to be known that they too are socialists), is ahead of Hillary by double digits in the New Hampshire polling and is about even in Iowa. This is not the way Hillary’s shining path to the nomination was supposed to happen:

Close-Up

The Republican side of the race has attracted even more attention, thanks to the Trump circus. The media just can’t seem to help themselves:

Pied Trumpeter

Trump has taken advantage of the failed leadership in the Republican party to attract a devoted following, so devoted, at least in his estimation, that they will never desert him no matter what he says or does. As he infamously joked a few days ago, he could shoot someone on a public street and his supporters would still vote for him. As I commented in yesterday’s post, the saddest part of that statement is that it’s probably true for a significant segment of his loyal fans.

Yet when his rhetoric is analyzed without bias, there isn’t really much “there” there. Is it possible that may change in the upcoming debate on Thursday?

More Serious

Nah.