Sunday, July 24, 2016

Don't Wet the Bed Just Yet

Michael Moore was on one of Bill Maher's post-convention episodes the other night, postulating that he thinks Drumpf will win. Moore has followed that up with a post on his website, enumerating five specific reasons, which I'd like to rebut point-by-point.

Moore is correct that Drumpf could win, of course -- there are just enough stupid people in this country, who have no use for facts, who vote out of spite and foolishness and ginned-up nonsense. Anything can happen, and usually does. But let's take a look at Moore's reasoning.

Rust Belt Brexit -- Moore speculates that Drumpf will make a push for the broke-ass Rust Belt states (true) and take Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It's a safe bet that Drumpf might take one or two of those states (OH and PA are the most up for grabs), but it's unlikely he takes all four, considering all four of those states (and Florida) went for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Out of those five states, only Florida was a squeaker (50.01% - 49.13%) in 2012, Ohio was a hair under 3%, but Obama won the other three by at least 5%, and took Michigan by nearly ten points. Yes, HFC is deeply unpopular, and yes, a lot of hopeful broke-ass rubes will buy wishfully into Drumpf's empty promises about bringing their jobs back and starting trade wars. But he's even more unpopular and divisive than HFC, and the demographics are shifting to the Democratic constituencies. Ohio governor John Kasich's principled opposition to Drumpf, refusing to appear at the nominating convention in Kasich's home state, won't help Drumpf's efforts to win Ohio. We'll see if Kasich's principles hold out to the biter end, but for now he seems sincere in his studied indifference to any potential blandishments in a Drumpf administration.

Angry White Guys -- As Moore points out, this is probably about the last presidential election cycle that will be affected meaningfully by the white male voting demographic. Obviously that benighted contingent is deeply in the tank for Drumpf. But every other demographic is virulently opposed to his nonsense. All they have to do is show up and cast their votes, like everyone else. The angry peckerwoods may run Jebusland, but that's about it, and that ain't enough. Buh-bye, assholes, the world won't miss you.

The Hillary Problem -- Yes, she's widely (and deeply) disliked, managing to come off as insincere, aloof, arrogant, etc. And she's been around forever and people are just tired of her. But her opponent fits that bill as well, and he's a volatile, temperamental jerkoff to boot. You know the old adage about the two campers whose camp is getting raided by the bear, one camper puts on his shoes, and the second camper laughs, saying "you can't outrun the bear," to which the first camper replies, "I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you." Remember that one? So does HFC. She's got a hell of a lot more money to spend than Drumpf, who has been blowing off meeting with his potential donors, and can only sell so many hats to his bozo base. HFC also has a built-in ground game from her 2008 run, plus Obama's resources from both his campaigns, while Drumpf relies on his Twitter feed and a handful of lackeys. She could find a way to fuck this up, with her knack for unforced errors, but Drumpf has her beat on that metric by a country mile. Wait till the debates -- Drumpf's epic arrogance and ignorance will gull him into thinking he can just go in there and riff with his insult-comic-dog schtick, but it will only work on his cult followers. Everyone else will be repelled. Fifty-fifty chance he blurts out a swear word or a racial slur, or calls her a cunt. Oops!

Depressed Sanders Vote -- There are stubborn idiots in any given faction, but I am convinced that this bloc is overstated, not in the least that if they still don't vote for HFC, they were never going to, under any circumstances. I supported Sanders strongly throughout his run, and still feel he had a positive effect on the race, on HFC's campaign, and on the Dem platform. And I have no trouble voting for her; whatever my misgivings about her are, they pale in comparison to the cheeto goblin she's up against. It's just speculation, but I think even tie-dyed crunchy hippies get what's at stake here, and most will at least want to get rid of the monster. I'm also betting that whatever number of disaffected Dems do actually vote for Jill Stein or even Drumpf, that number will be offset and then some by disgusted Republicans who either stay home or vote for Gary Johnson.

The Jesse Ventura Effect -- This is the one point of Moore's that might actually have some merit. If we learned nothing else from the 2000 and 2004 debacles, we found out the hard way that there are just enough stubborn, ignorant assholes to fuck things up in some misguided effort to "shake things up." That's always going to be a factor -- in fact, it may become even more of a factor, as the insular feedback loops and niche disinformation networks become more and more sophisticated. However, there have to be enough of these fools in enough swing states to make a real difference, and there doesn't appear to be. Moreover, specifically in Ventura's case, he won narrowly as a third-party candidate who managed to capture the split between Norm Coleman (R) and Skip Humphrey (D), neither of whom were dazzling options. One of the effects of a hyper-polarized electorate is that "mischief" is less of a factor in the outcome than sheer repulsion.

As Yogi Berra famously said, it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. What makes it even tougher is that Drumpf's candidacy has been, to use the cliché, a true game-changer, making the prognostication game more complicated still. And there's always the wild-card effect of "black swan" events -- terrorist attacks, economic indicators, etc. But the recent spate of mass shootings, cop killings, and terror incidents seem to not have made a dent either way, and the economy seems to be holding steady at least.

Empirically, if one genuinely believes (and you know I do; it's one of the rare points of agreement I have with Drumpf) that the system is rigged to benefit a powerful cabal of wealthy elites, then HFC would have to win. Why? Because markets and their owners crave stability above all else, and these two candidates present a near-perfect contrast between absolute predictability and total volatility.

What about Brexit, you might say, doesn't that prove that the people have a voice sometimes, even when it's at odds with the elites? Yeah, you'd think so, but "elite theory" might also tell you that only London counts, and the high-end property market there has become wildly over-valued, what with Russian mobsters, Chinese businessmen, and Saudi princes snapping up houses and essentially squatting from great distances, leaving them empty, but driving prices up for everyone else. Drumpf himself hit on it the day after the Brexit vote, when he was in Scotland:  Great, guys like me can swoop in and snap things up for pence on the pound! I'm not saying that they "let" or "made" it happen, but it's an easy opportunity for them. It's not going to be the worldwide catastrophe that Preznit Von Clownstick would be.

We'll see. Every month seems longer than the one that came before it, and we've still got  just over three months left of this nonsense. One prediction is surefire -- a lot will happen. Another is nearly as certain -- the character and conduct of the GOP nominee and the convention rhetoric necessitate that the Democrats cannot simply squeak this one by. They absolutely need to dominate and win in a landslide. These people are going to be sore losers; implications of cheating and fraud will be the least of the Dems' worries, after a convention that proposed incarceration and execution for the opposing party's nominee. That is completely unacceptable, and these fucktards need to be stomped into the dirt, so that there is no doubt in their tiny brains that they are merely a rabid minority, a flared-up pimple on the ass of a great and tolerant nation, tolerant enough to let these weirdos engage in their violent performance art and spew lies and hate. An incontestable walloping is going to be the bare minimum for Clinton to be able to expect to govern effectively, or even get into office. It will be more of a motivation if Democrats and liberals take Moore's scenario seriously, and act and vote accordingly.

1 comment:

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