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.

The Cruz-Trump Debate Showdown

The races for the presidential nomination are tightening in both parties. Bernie Sanders is doing surprisingly well against Hillary Clinton. I like what one commentator said about that: “To see her struggling to overcome the challenge from a glowering grouchy grandfather socialist like Bernie Sanders tells us a lot about how far left the Democratic base has drifted.”

On the Republican side, Ted Cruz is now pushing Donald Trump in a way Trump didn’t anticipate; he doesn’t like being behind in a poll, as he now seems to be in Iowa:

Biggest Problem

Trump has spent a lot of time trying to convince Republican voters that everyone else is a “loser,” and that he is the only one who can lift America out of its doldrums. The “loser” meme is getting kind of old:

Losers

So when it looks like he might be the loser, he comes up with a new strategy: claim that Cruz might be ineligible to run because he was born in Canada. Never mind that Cruz’s mom was always an American citizen; ignore that the distinction always has been between someone born to an American citizen and someone who has to go through the naturalization process (which Cruz didn’t have to do); suggest that this could be a huge problem if he becomes the nominee; call for him to have a court decide this.

We have a granddaughter who was born in New Zealand. Her mother—our daughter—is a natural-born American citizen; her father is a naturalized citizen; our granddaughter is considered a natural-born American citizen even though she has never spent one second of her life in the United States. Ted Cruz, except for that brief, transitory period when his father took a job in Canada, has lived in the U.S. all of his life.

There should be no controversy. Trump even acknowledged in the debate last week that he decided to raise the issue because Cruz was coming up in the polls. How crass can you get?

Cruz tore Trump’s argument to shreds in that debate. It was a joy to watch.

Later, Trump got his revenge when Cruz critiqued what he called “New York values.” Now, anyone with even half a brain knew what Cruz meant: that New York in general, and the City in particular, are havens for leftist ideology. When is the last time New York went for a Republican in a presidential race? (Hint: his initials are RR.)

Cruz was quite clear that was what he was talking about. So what did Trump do? He shifted the focus from that leftist ideology that has dominated the state and talked about the way New Yorkers dug out of the rubble of 9/11 and showed great courage in the process.

No one disputes that. It was a clever political ploy, but a ploy nonetheless. It had nothing to do with what Cruz was talking about; rather, it removed the entire context of Cruz’s comments and concentrated on something that had no relation to what he was saying.

In retrospect, Cruz probably should have known Trump might do that. He also probably shouldn’t have singled out New York but the elitist, leftist ideology itself. As a result, Trump had another “victory” in the debate, no matter how deceptive.

What was truly ironic is that he accused Cruz of being insulting, as if the Trump campaign hasn’t revolved around a steady stream of insults for which he never is called to account.

Once you get past the anger Trump has been able to take advantage of, and listen to what he actually says, you discover there is very little “there” there. What we get instead is a healthy helping of hubris, grandiose promises, scanty knowledge of the issues, and a character—based on his previous political/policy views and personal life—that cannot be trusted:

Trump at Debate

Called on by Democrats to apologize for his remarks, here’s what Cruz said in response:

Ted Cruz 2I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.

I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who have been denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won’t allow fracking. Even though there had been many high paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania, New Yorkers are denied the ability to provide for their families.

I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-second amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

I apologize to all the small businesses who have been driven out of New York city by crushing taxes and regulations.

I apologize to the millions of unborn children, many African-American and Hispanic, whose lives have been taken by politicians who relentlessly promote abortion on demand with no limitations.

I apologize to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools that were providing a lifeline to the American Dream.

I apologize to the people of New York who are offended when the New York Daily News lambastes anyone who prays for victims of violence.

I apologize to the people of faith who are ridiculed and insulted by the New York media.

And I apologize to all the cops and the firefighters and 9/11 heroes who had no choice but to stand and turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio, because Mayor de Blasio over and over again stands with the looters and criminals rather than the brave men and women of the law.

It was an eloquent “apology,” and one that I wish more Republicans had the courage to issue.

The Hillary Predicament

Hillary Clinton is in trouble, although she continues to laugh off her troubles as some kind of vast right-wing conspiracy. On the purely political front, she’s behind Bernie Sanders in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Bernie Sanders??? That has to be humiliating.

The reasons have to do with the lack of enthusiasm by Democrats for someone so flawed to be their candidate. Other polls show that Americans think she is a liar (Benghazi, e-mails, etc.) and her own base considers her a sellout to Wall Street.

So what did she promise to focus on recently? UFOs.

UFOs

Actually, that might be a pressing issue for a certain segment of her base, seeing as how they have a tenuous relationship with reality.

Here’s the reality, though: the FBI has now expanded its investigation into her potential criminal actions via the e-mails and inappropriate use of the Clinton Foundation as a funnel for personal enrichment while serving as secretary of state.

One cartoonist drew a parallel with the news that North Korea had developed an H-bomb.

Other H-Bomb

For the first time, there is serious talk about a possible criminal indictment. If the FBI says she should be indicted, will the Obama Justice Department follow through? Most dismiss the idea, but there isn’t a whole lot of love between the Obama and Clinton devotees. Perhaps they would prefer Sanders as the most ideologically “sound,” from their perspective.

Hillary’s go-to guy, husband Bill, may be too flawed himself to be of much help now. His tawdry past is becoming an issue, as well it should be. Can he really be considered a plus for her this time around?

Break Glass

If she should somehow survive this and Republicans do the unthinkable, this is what we will face in the general election:

Snake Eyes

Not a pretty prospect.