Thursday, March 3, 2016

Response to Stopping the Orange-Haired Frankenstein

(See: Just Above Sunset: Stopping the Orange-Haired Frankenstein)

Every now and then, I feel I have to express what many of us liberal Democrats are feeling right now, which is an almost equal mixture of glee and chagrin -- glee over all this enfeebling combat amongst Republicans, but chagrin for our country, fully realizing for the first time that so many of us, just to spitefully shit-can America because it won't give them their way, would vote to make Mussolini its president.

A few observations to think about:

First of all, there's that question of the value of Mitt Romney injecting himself into this election:
Do you really think those Trump fans will listen to a bit of scolding from the most spectacular failure of the Republican establishment in recent memory?
Okay, but Trump fans need to ask themselves, was Romney's failure really all that spectacular? The popular vote margin was only about three-and-a-half million votes out of about 122-million cast -- 51% to 48% -- so Obama didn't really beat him in a huge landslide.

But also, just as Donald Trump will (probably) be this time, Mitt Romney was the strongest Republican and was the choice of most Republican voters last time around, so the Trumpeteers should try not to bring the guy down too much.

On CNN this morning, I heard another one of those ubiquitous attractive Trump-babes opining that Romney should just stay out of it and keep his preferences to himself, since this is a democracy and people can vote for whoever they want -- apparently not realizing that this advice would not only also apply to newly-confirmed Trump-acolyte Chris Christie, but also to herself.

As for other Republicans funding this whole anti-Trump project:
“If you did that I think there’d be deep-seated resentment at a group of wealthy donors telling people what to do,” [longtime Republican donor Fred] Malek said in a recent interview.
That may be true, but is it really true that Trump voters dislike the power of big wealthy donors in elections, as if Trump isn't one of those himself?

But a suggestion worth considering:

Maybe the Our Principles PAC should ask for donations from small donors as well? In that way, you might even get voters crossing the aisle to help out. After all, Trump is not just a Republican problem, he's an American problem.

And by the way, speaking of Trump "funding his own campaign"? According to Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post, that's just another of his fabrications:
Trump keeps saying that unlike his rivals, he’s paying for his own presidential campaign, but that’s largely false. 
At the start of his campaign, he loaned his political operation $1.8 million. As of Oct. 1, he had given his campaign an additional $104,829.27 — but he had also received $3.9 million from donors, which accounted for the vast majority of the $5.8 million his campaign had taken in by then. His campaign website features a prominent “donate” button on its homepage. Trump has spent $5.4 million, and interestingly, about one-quarter of his spending has gone to Trump-owned entities (mainly his private jet company). 
In January, Trump launched an ad campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire, saying he planned to spend $2 million. He also claimed that his campaign was $35 million to $40 million below budget. Ultimately, all of his spending — and where the money came from — will have to be disclosed in campaign finance reports. The odds are his personal share of the spending will be less than 50 percent.
So yes, it turns out he does loan his campaign lots of money, but that only accounts for less than half of its funding. Also, why would you say you self-fund, at the same time putting, not just one, but actually two "donate" buttons on your website?

(And also by the way, although he may not actually be funding his own campaign, because he spends so much of the donations on his own companies -- such as paying himself to fly around in his own jet -- he could actually, at least theoretically, make a profit on running for office! Talk about being a wheeler-dealer!)

But why would he even brag that he's self-funded? Not that it really matters, but I would think Bernie's fundraising position is best of all the candidates -- he doesn't have a PAC like Hillary, and he's not some billionaire on a self-indulgent vanity-trip like Trump, but like NPR, he's funded by the small donations that come from a public that believes in him.

And slapping massive tariffs on goods from Mexico and China could dramatically increase prices for U.S. consumers and create destabilizing trade wars.
Not to mention that slapping massive tariffs on goods from Mexico, presumably to "pay for the wall", might cause even more massive unemployment in Mexico, driving many would-be workers down there back toward their northern border-- something, by the way, that they are not really doing under Obama.

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