Tag: Republican Primary (Page 2 of 4)

Why I will never vote for Trump #NeverTrump

My name is Marybeth Glenn, and I go by the handle @MBGlenn on Twitter, and I’m also the sarcastic mind behind the The Collision Blog. I was obsessed with writing and American history by the time I was 10, so political involvement naturally followed. I’m a small government conservative who refuses to be fed my opinions by the media talking heads, and I think this world would be a much better place if we all laughed a little more, researched a lot more, and stood by our principles – regardless of their popularity.

Which brings me to the reason for this post: I will never vote for Donald Trump.I have various reasons to oppose a Trump presidency, but first and foremost would be the preservation of conservative heritage. We are the movement that fought slavery, championed equal rights, and stood with minorities for civil rights. We are the movement of compassion, decency, and inclusion. I will not be an obsequious accomplice to the overhaul of every principle that gives this movement worth. Trump stands for anger, bitterness, and the disregard of minorities, women and ethical conservatism.

To stand by and allow his rise, or vote for such ideology out of desperation, would be to aid in ordering the assassination of our moral compass.

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Trump: Fraud case against me will drag on for years

At the Republican primary debate in Detroit, Donald Trump said that the fraud case against him will likely drag on for three years of so.

Questioned by moderator Megyn Kelly and attacked by opponent Marco Rubio, Trump said, “Let’s see what happens in court. This is a civil case. Very easy to have settled. Could have settled it now. Let’s see what happens at the end of a couple of years when this case is over, okay.”

Hit by further questioning from Rubio, who said Trump “refused to give them their money back,” Trump said, “I gave many people their money back.”

Then Trump continued: “We will see who is right at the end of a few years. … Let’s see what happens at the end of three years.”

There are less than five months until the Republican National Convention starts on July 18 and nine months until the 2016 general election. The final pretrial conference is scheduled for May 6.

Monday Reading List: The end of the Bush era

My take on Jeb Bush dropping out of the presidential primaries, published at China.org.cn:

Jeb Bush had it all. The son of a president and the grandson of a senator, Bush had former White House advisors and power brokers behind him. Loyal Republican Party fundraisers were a phone call away. And they were loyal: Bush raised US$150 million for his campaign, the most of any Republican candidate, and spent tens of millions of dollars on TV ads attacking his rivals.

But none of that was enough to stave off inevitable defeat. After placing fourth in South Caroli-na’s primary, 14 points behind Ted Cruz and a fraction of a point ahead of John Kasich, Jeb Bush dropped out of the presidential race.

It had been a long time coming. For months he was stuck at 4-5 percent in national polls, with no sign of forward progress. Now Marco Rubio and John Kasich, whose supporters had long been calling on Bush to leave the race, will compete for most of Bush’s support.

Jeb Bush was cursed. For all the good the Bush name did, it was also a heavy weight around his neck. “Jeb!”, who dropped the family name from his logo, was constantly hounded by questions and comparisons to his unpopular brother. It didn’t help that when asked about the Iraq War, he fiercely defended George W. By the end of the campaign in South Carolina, Jeb was desperate enough to invite Dubya to campaign on the same stage as him.

Trump repeating himself

Donald Trump made a few gaffes during the debate Thursday night, and at one point he started repeating himself when Marco Rubio asked him about his healthcare plan. He insisted, “I don’t repeat myself.” Bombs and Dollars presents the Trump repeating himself montage:

Donald Trump vs George Soros: Who is the bigger Democratic donor?

Donald Trump has defended his tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Democrats, while running in the Republican primary for president, by saying he’s a businessman and he was just donating to them to get them to give him government favors.

But were his donations really just pay-for-play? Were his donations in line with the courtesy cash other businessmen give politicians? Or were they more on scale with what megadonors who try to influence elections give?

To find out, Bombs and Dollars visited the Federal Election Commission’s information database (which includes everything from 1997 to 2016) and ran the numbers on Donald Trump–then compared them to an avowed Democrat and one of the biggest fundraisers in U.S. politics, investor George Soros.

What did we find out? Trump is on par–and even surpassing–Soros in terms of donating to many key Democrats.

For example, while Trump has given $7,400 to Sen. Harry Reid, who served as the Democrat’s leader since 2005 and the Senate Majority Leader from 2007-2015, while Soros has only donated $2,400 to Reid. Trump also gave $4,000 to the previous Democratic leader in Senate, Tom Daschle, also more than Soros.

democrats trump soros

Besides just giving over $70,000 to individual Democrats who voted for Obamacare and urged its passage, Trump also donated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Between 2004-08, when the Democrats shifted control of Senate by nine seats and took control of the Senate, Trump gave $67,500 to the DSCC.

Trump DSCC

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Bush drops out; I called it in May

After finishing fourth in South Carolina (results), 14 points behind Ted Cruz and just 0.2 points ahead of John Kasich, Jeb Bush has finally thrown in the towel.

This confirms what I said in May 2015:

It’s early in the campaign, so it is possible Bush will recalibrate and improve his performance, but, knowing what we know now, Jeb Bush isn’t likely to win the presidency.

Since leading the polls for the first half of 2015, Bush has struggled ever since Donald Trump entered the race on June 16, falling from 17 percent in the Real Clear Politics average on July 15, 2015 to 12 percent two months later and on a straight shot downhill until settling around 4-5 percent in December, despite having had well over $100 million injected into his super PAC.

Trump’s entrance into the race will be blamed by many for Bush’s loss, but the fact that Bush struggled so mightily in the face of Trump’s fire was really just the symptom of a bigger problem: Bush was never a skilled campaigner. It was something that was evident at least a month before Trump’s announcement (as my prediction suggests).

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What Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and the Republican Party’s anti-Trump movement have in common

The Economist (February 13th) reports Syrian dictator Bashir Assad’s forces are making a comeback. The Syrian army encircled Aleppo and took other cities to its northwest. If Assad ends up winning and reestablishing control over Syria, it will be because the opposition was divided.

It is a common problem in movements. Donald Trump leads the Republican primaries early on, despite over 50 percent of the electorate voting against him in each contest, because the Republicans haven’t united behind an opposition candidate. On the night of February 8, the streets of Mongkok, the most crowded neighborhood of Hong Kong, were ablaze with fires and bullet shots from the police rang out. Mongkok had been the site of some of the rowdiest protests during the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy movement, and in 2016 it was once again, as localists fought police, ostensibly in the name of unlicensed snack vendors the police tried to ticket.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has long suffered from fissures between various groups and parties about how best to achieve democracy—and what “democracy” should mean in practice. In its fractured political system, the 16 parties represented in the Legislative Council are basically divided in “pan-democratic” and “pro-Beijing” camps rather than being divided by left-right ideology. Thus radical socialist democrats partner with upper-middle class free-market democrats. In 2013, I attended a deliberation day with Left21, where labour organizers talked about organizing around workers’ grievances, a few weeks after observing traders in suits talk about the importance of rule of law for business.

When localists threw bricks and bottles at police on February 8, they raised a question that has and will continued to fracture the democracy movement. How much resistance and violence should they use?

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Does Cruz use anti-Semitic dog whistles?

Washington Post op-ed writer Dana Milbank accused Ted Cruz of using “anti-Semitic dog whistle[s],” such as his attack on “New York values.” Does he have a point?

A lot of the phrases about “New York,” “Wall Street,” and “bankers” could be anti-Semitic in certain contexts, but they are also absolutely part of ordinary political discourse. That is what makes them potential dog whistles, after all, but it is also hard to say Cruz had any anti-Semitic intent or meaning with such thin evidence.

Milbank has to have a little bit of “chutzpah,” shall I say, to make this argument:

At an event in New Hampshire, Cruz, the Republican Iowa caucuses winner, was asked about campaign money he and his wife borrowed from Goldman Sachs. Cruz, asserting that Trump had “upward of $480 million of loans from giant Wall Street banks,” said: “For him to make this attack, to use a New York term, it’s the height of chutzpah.” Cruz, pausing for laughter after the phrase “New York term,” exaggerated the guttural “ch” to more laughter and applause.

But “chutzpah,” of course, is not a “New York” term. It’s a Yiddish — a Jewish — one. And using “New York” as a euphemism for “Jewish” has long been an anti-Semitic dog whistle.

It wouldn’t be the first time Cruz has been accused of using anti-Semitic dog whistles. What about his claim to support an “America first” foreign policy–the same slogan of Charles Lindbergh and those who opposed involvement in World War II?

But in this particular case, most of what Cruz said can equally be attributed to responding to Donald Trump’s equally nasty attacks. Let’s break down the points one-by-one:

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Rand Paul’s lost opportunity

A libertarian writes about how Paul alienated libertarians.

Senator Rand Paul’s disappointing finish in the Iowa caucus has ended his campaign for the Republican Party presidential nomination. It didn’t have to end this way. Once hailed as “the most interesting man in politics” by Time magazine, Rand Paul entered the Republican presidential primary with the opportunity to fundamentally transform the GOP by bringing in Millennials, foreign policy non-interventionists, and social moderates. If there was an opportune moment for a libertarian Republican like Senator Paul to stand out from a crowded field of candidates, 2016 was it. Though he did assume a more libertarian message in the final weeks before the Iowa caucus, it was too little, too late. Rand sought to moderate his pro-liberty message to make it more malleable for traditional social conservatives and foreign policy hawks but led to alienating both mainstream conservative voters and his natural libertarian base. On the consequential issues of our time, foreign policy, immigration, civil liberties, free trade and criminal justice reform, Rand ultimately abandoned the principles that endeared him to libertarians across the country.

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Poll finds 1 point race, Trump hurt by missing debate

A poll released the morning of the Iowa caucuses by Emerson College Polling Society finds Donald Trump ahead of Ted Cruz by 1 point–27% to 26%–in the Republican contest and Marco Rubio in striking distance at 22%.

The poll gives Rubio his best showing yet, but it is in line with general momentum in recent polls. Opinion Savvy’s poll, which surveyed people between January 29-30, found Rubio and Cruz tied at 19% and Trump with 20%. Quinnipac (Jan. 25-31) found rubio at 17%. Overall, Rubio has gained 6 points in the Real Clear Politics average since January 23, to rise to an average of 16.9% in recent polls. Trump and Cruz have both seen their numbers fall in that timeframe.

Also notable: Emerson found Trump was hurt by pulling out of the Fox News debate right before Iowa. 39% of voters survey said they would be less likely to vote for Trump, compared to 14% who would be more likely, while it wouldn’t factor into 52% of people’s votes.

Hillary Clinton was found to be leading Sanders 50.6% to 42.6%, although, due to how the Iowa caucuses distribute delegates on the Democratic side, the number of delegates might look different. For one thing, Martin O’Malley supporters, who are 4.1% of the electorate in the poll, will have to support another candidate when O’Malley falls under the threshold.

Full poll results available as a PDF.

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