Friday, March 18, 2016

John Kasich: The Trojan Horse's Stalking Horse?

by JASmius

Remember how it was speculated not too long ago that Trump might be privately sounding out the Ohio governor about being his running mate?  Given how the one-time House Budget Committee Chairman trounced even the millionaire slumlord in the critical swing-Buckeye State, it'd be a great get for the latter.  Well, Kasich has since demurred on that gig, and I realize that his "favorite son" primary win has doubtless deluded him into thinking that he might still have a path to the nomination, but there sure still seems to be something going on between the two of them, given the likely outcome of stunts like this one:

John Kasich announces a Utah swing, well timed to deny Cruz the 50% threshold to get all the State's delegates.

It isn't that Utah has an avalanche of delegates - forty, for the record - so Ted Cruz being held under that fifty percent threshold isn't going to cripple him, just as his taking all of Utah's delegates isn't going to vault him to the nomination.  But it's very symptomatic of just how Trump would want the remaining primary contests played.  As I discussed the other day, it is very likely that neither Trump nor Cruz arrive in Cleveland with the magic number of 1,237.  Trump would very much like to reach that magic number before Cleveland to head off any "robbery" attempts (that, contra the Director, will never happen), and keeping the anti-Trump opposition as divided as possible - even at two, down from the sixteen of last summer - is the most effective way of doing so.

I wonder what Trump has promised Kasich for screwing Cruz?  Treasury or Commerce segretario?  Has to be something sufficiently lucrative to make it worth the John Huntsman of 2016's while.  What other explanation for this could there be?  Kasich can't win the nomination and he never could.  If he was a loyal Republican alarmed at Trump's hostile takeover, he'd have joined Marco Rubio in quitting the race (arguably a long time ago).  Even if winning his home State infused him with delusional confidence, he could target on which States (i.e. "blue" ones) to focus, in the hopes of holding down Trump's totals there while Cruz ran off victories in the remaining "red" States.  Not a particularly hopeful strategy given what happened in the "SEC primary," but it would have been better than nothing.

Ditto Kasich bailing on the now-canceled next GOP debate next Monday:

A Twitter buddy reminded me last night that Kasich’s decision to pass on the Fox News debate on Monday night because Trump wouldn’t be there is inexplicable if he’s actually trying to win. Even without Trump in the room, he and Cruz could share a big platform for two hours, politely disagreeing with each other as needed and spending most of their time lambasting Trump for his various policy and political offenses. There’s no way to explain why a badly trailing candidate fresh off a big win who’s otherwise been an afterthought in the race would deny himself a stage — unless he’s not really trying to win. If Kasich is already planning to sell out to Trump then skipping the debate is logical. Just as competing in Utah and trying to hold Cruz under 50% by splitting the anti-Trump vote is logical. [emphasis added]

Instead, as I wrote of him nine months ago when he announced his dubious candidacy, "Kasich wants to flip off conservatives with even more fingers and gusto than [John] Weaver."  And Trump has given him a bigger opportunity to do that than of which the Ohioan ever dreamed.

Thus, like Eve was tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, have a depressingly growing number of Republicans been corrupted into committing political and ideological suicide.  Although for John Kasich it really isn't much of a stretch.

Here's another example of the political suicide to come....:

I would rather not vote than vote for either one of [Hillary or Trump],” one woman told CBS News contributor and Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who led the group at the Orlando Public Library. “And it pains me to say that, because I feel it’s my right as a member of this democratic [sic] society to be able to vote. But given those two candidates, I can’t vote for either one of them.”

“Why none of the above?” Luntz asked.

“I just think that none of the – either party doesn’t deserve my vote. They’re not giving me what I feel we need as a country,” another woman explained. “So why give the support to someone who’s not gonna do what I need them to do for me and my family?”

“I don’t believe Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton really care about the American people. I don’t trust either of them. I don’t think they are presidential,” one man said. [emphasis added]

.....and another....:

[These voters are] part of what you might call [Mrs.] Clinton’s coalition of the unwilling. They are the independent and moderate Republican women who don’t like [Mrs.] Clinton – some even despise her – but are so repulsed by Trump that they are already preparing to vote for the Democrat they anticipate will be on the ballot in November if that’s what it takes to keep him out of office. Either that, or sit out the election altogether. This loose coalition is large and growing. More Republican women view Trump more negatively than positively, according to Gallup. And in a hypothetical matchup with [Mrs.] Clinton, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found this month that Trump loses the women’s vote by twenty-one points. [emphases added]

....and another....:

A new Reuters poll shows that fully 50% of American women hold a "very unfavorable" view of Trump, up ten points since the fall. The survey predicts that [Mrs.] Clinton would beat Trump among women by fourteen points, while Trump would narrowly carry men. That math portends a decisive loss. [emphases added]

....and another....:

Opposition to Trump nearly unites the rising generation. In a hypothetical [Hillary] v. Trump contest in November, voters under thirty-five would choose [Mrs.] Clinton by a crushing 52%-19%, a preference that crosses demographic lines. Among whites, she'd be backed by nearly 2-1, 45%-26%. Among Hispanics, by more than 4-1, 61%-14%. Among Asian Americans, by 5-1, 60%-11%. Among African Americans, by 13-1, 67%-5%. ...Nearly one in four Republicans would defect to the Democrats if the GOP nominated Trump against [Mrs.] Clinton. Just 7% of Democrats would defect to the GOP. [emphases added]

Just as a reference point, Mitt Romney won twice Trump's projected share of the youth vote four years ago, and carried a seven-point majority of white millennials....and still lost.  Why did he lose?  Because too many so-called conservatives stayed home because they didn't consider Mitt sufficiently "pure"-strain conservative for their "refined" tastes, and Obama got another four years to wreck the country.

And as a "Let's start thinking about tomorrow" point to ponder, if Trump will be driving millennials out of the GOP in droves - i.e. people who will be voting for decades to come, or until elections in this country are formally canceled, whichever comes first - isn't that pretty much....committing political suicide?

But I digress.


One of the most bizarre of all of Trump’s claims is his claim that “the Hispanics love me,” despite his statement that most Mexican immigrants are bad people, his calls for mass-deportation of [thirty] million [illegal alien]s, and his campaign to build a wall along the border. In fact, a new Gallup poll shows that only 12% of U.S. Hispanics have a favorable opinion of Trump, while 77% have an unfavorable view of him. By comparison, 59% of Hispanics have a favorable view of Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton. Exit polls in Florida’s Republican primary, which Trump won by a landslide, show that Trump won across the State largely thanks to white Anglo-Saxon voters. But Trump lost in heavily-Hispanic Miami, where the winner was Senator Marco Rubio. Hispanics made up only 17% of Florida’s Republican voters in Tuesday’s primaries. Of that Statewide percentage, 52% of the vote went for Rubio and only 27% for Trump, exit polls show. [emphases added]

That last part about Trump trying to mobilize the white male vote segues to this reality check:

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56% of white voters and won a landslide victory of forty-four States. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59% of whites and lost with twenty-four States. But it’s a frequent talking point that white voter enthusiasm was higher for Reagan and turnout down for Romney. Not so. In 1980, 59% of whites voted and in 2012, 64% of whites voted....The simple truth is that there simply aren’t enough white voters in the America of 2016 to win a national election without also getting a substantial share of the non-white vote. Romney won 17% of the non-white vote. Depending on white voter turnout, a Republican needs between 25% and 35% of the non-white vote to win.

Remember Trump's favorable number among Hispanics?  12%.  And among blacks?  As low as 4%.

The overwhelming fact about American general elections right now is that white male voters just aren’t as powerful as they used to be. In 1980, when the electorate looked very different than it does today, Ronald Reagan cruised to an easy victory by winning 63% of white males, according to exit polls. In 1988, George H.W. Bush took 63% of that group in his rout of Michael Dukakis. By 2004, however, winning 62% of white men barely got George W. Bush past John Kerry in a squeaker. And eight years later, Romney won 62% of white men — and lost to Barack Obama by 3.5 million votes. So what happened? Between Reagan and Romney, the white male share of the total vote had dropped from 45% to 35%. The two biggest factors: From Reagan to Romney, Hispanics’ share of the national vote soared from 2% to 10%; and women, post-feminism, jumped from casting 49% of all ballots to 53%. Winning the same percentage of white men got the party less and less. And those changes have continued. It will get the GOP even less this year. [emphases added]

As "columnist to the world" Mark Steyn is fond of saying in a somewhat different context, "demographics is destiny".  I bow to nobody in my detestation of racial and gender bean-counting, but facts are facts.  Trump is pissing away (and in the faces) of women, millennials, and Hispanics away from the Republican Party as if....that were his avowed mission.  He's not building the GOP, he's reducing it to an old, angry, white version of La Raza or #BlackLivesMatter, at least demographically - and, frankly, I thought there was already an "Aryan Nations" organization.  Or, in other words, precisely what the Left has for years smeared the GOP as being all along.

Oops, I almost forgot to mention the looming "Independents" disaster:

And don't forget that the GOP frontrunner is anathema to independents, a group upon which Republicans rely to win national elections, given Democrats' registration advantage. Romney beat Obama with this group in 2012 by five points, which wasn't nearly enough. Trump's approval rating among independents is twenty-seven points underwater. [emphasis added]

Here is a Dr. Smoov exchange I've modified to fit this subject matter:

ME: Trumplicans, why the [BLEEP] are you nominating Donald Trump?

TRUMPLICANS: He'll shake things up, JASmius

ME: Not in the way you think.  He'll destroy our party.  You're betraying all of your former fellow conservatives.  I want answers!

TRUMPLICANS: Well, it kinda goes like this, JASmius: The GOP "establishment" is full of "progressives," right?

ME: No.

TRUMPLICANS: And over the past four years, Republicans in Congress have sold out to Barack Obama again and again and again, right?

ME: Negative.

TRUMPLICANS: So Trump is just what the Republican Party needs.

ME: Explain.

TRUMPLICANS: He'll bring new voters into the GOP and attract women and minorities in droves and absolutely annihilate Hillary Clinton in November!

ME: That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard!  Vector Sigma, no wonder they call ours the Stupid Party.

Remember this fine, upstanding piece of human debris....?

....and what she she said:

Donald Trump, Jr., tweeted that the woman, later identified as Birgitt Peterson, runs a website supporting Sanders. However, she later told the New York Times she believes the Republican Party needs to be broken up and Trump “is the one to do it.” [emphasis added]

I don't know about your dictionaries, but the one that existed when I acquired my massive vocabulary defined this sort of thing as "sabotage".

Right, Governor Kasich?

UPDATE: Up, another flying Kasich middle finger flies in response to Mitt Romney's #NeverTrump endorsement of Ted Cruz this afternoon:

Good to know Ted Cruz is the establishment, K-Street backed candidate.

....says the biggest f'ing establishment, K-Street RINO walking the planet today.

If you didn't know the fix was in before, that ought to clinch it for you like projectile vomiting clinches "that queasy feeling".

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