All posts by Jerome Armstrong

Good Night MyDD

It brought me a lot of joy to blog here over the years; used to, long ago it ended, just lingering on in silence. That's really the way to go imo; not with a big bang. Like a beat, for example, I liked a Japhy Ryder over a Ray Smith, but this blogged 'lived' like Jack; so much promise only to be brought down by the terms of the deal. I have never understood the term of 'putting it out of its misery.' Let it choose its own time, no need to play god. So back to the internet rumbles this domain goes on its own time. No doubt, to some sort of domain snatching outfit to sell links to underwear and amazon links. So be it. Be happy, peaceful. Whatever political fire I had is gone, quenched. Like a live lived and gone. On to the next one. Again and again, until, the point is reached where just lingering, waiting, each day passes another, until the end. Such off topic thoughts. No desire to blog. No need for this place; the community gone, wind scattered. I'll close with a Wendell Berry passage I read at Kramersbooks on the one reason, the one of Barbara Lee, of Jeannette Rankin in history, the one of the vote against the so-called Patriot Act.

"If we surely knew that the man before us, single in the multitue, would wreck the plane that would wreck the tower, whose fall would wreck a multitude of living souls, who would not kill him? If we knew for certain tha the one man in the cell would, if tortured, tell the truth and save a multitide, who would not turture him?"

One closing, William Stafford, will do:

"For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give --yes or no, or maybe-- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep."


A blowout of historical proportion

I hope. Only fitting, that Hillary Clinton is going to win with a victory for the record books. Or, rather, that Donald Trump is going to lose one that is in the record books.

This is my last political post on MyDD; last political prediction. Just a handful of posts this year, it started out where I thought it would. In NH, with Trump winning, the election was over. It did not matter that Clinton lost NH, only that Trump won, as his path to the nomination was secure and so was Clinton's in beating him easily.

Start looking at Presidential elections where there is not an incumbent President running for re-election, and the final numbers. These are typically the elections without major 3rd Party candidates, as two competing visions take the near-majority of the voters. It looks like Trump will do worse than any candidate in an open election in a long long time.

First, Trump's loss, in the modern era without the above qualification. He'll enter the group of elite losers.

We have to go back further. Mondale in '84 with 40 percent; Carter in '80 with 41 percent; McGovern with 38 percent in '72; Goldwatr in '64 with 38 percent. That's the group Trump belongs with, at least without qualification. His brand will be associated with the biggest political losers of his generation; by far, and without question.

But with the qualification that it is an open election, it really opens up the view to just how monumental the loss by Trump will be. These elections without an incumbent, '08, '00, '88, '68, '60. All pretty close. YOu might say Dukakis in '88 is not close, as Mike only won 11 states and DC, but he got 46% of the vote. Trump will not come close to that total. Dukakis will rank above Trump. We have to keep going.

The loser in the open '52 race, Stevenson; he got 44% and won 9 states. Trump will win a few more states, but probably not reach 44 percent. I think we keep going back. All the way o 1928, when Hoover beat Al Smith, the latter who got 41% and won 8 states. That's where this is headed, Trump at 41 percent.

Clinton 51%
Trump 41%
Johnson 6%
Stein 1%
Other 1%

Clinton is also going to win a few unexpected states. I'd say among Utah, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Clinton wins 2-3 of those states.

Gary Johnson had a real shot. If he had spent the last 4 fears boning up on policy, and not tried to come across as such a joker, he could have had a serious run. I hoped for more.

Personally, I like Hillary Clinton, and will gladly vote for her in this election. I wish her much luck, and wouldn't want to go through the hell she will endure the next 4 years. Adios amigos.


Trump's move to the alt-right base in a four-way vote

Trump cannot win a two-way contest against Clinton. That has been obvious since day one. Neither can he win a three-way race with the Libertarian Johnson included. However, if you add Jill Stein to the equation, everything changes. Trump probably knows this by now, given how involved his polling is with his decision-making. So how does he get a four-way race?

He's already tipped his hand on how: by including Johnson and Stein in the debates. He also circumvents the Presidential Debate Committee in the process (an added bonus of blowing up more things). The Trump campaign has no respect for the two-party system. They are just as inclined to blow that up as they did the Republican Party during the primary season.

Trump will announce that he is including Johnson and Stein in the debate, and Clinton is also invited. He won't ask, he will make it an invitation, and the media networks will jump at the chance to host the event on their station. Johnson and Stein will accept without question. What will Clinton do? Probably make the wrong move.

The right move would be from strength. Accept both third-party candidates to the Presidential debates, and tell Trump she'll debate him anytime, anywhere, one-on-one or with other candidates.

But possibly, out of fear of the unknown and bad advice, Clinton will avoid a response, hide behind the presidential debate commission as the debate arbitrar, and open up a lane for Trump.

Stein is not a great candidate. With wide publicity and deep public financing, she did horribly in a very blue state, while running for Governor in MA. Trump is a lousy debater, with no depth and a lack of composure. Johnson is not going to knife anyone and would ruin his brand if he tried. Clinton, by far and away, is the most able debater of the four, and would come away the winner each debate.

If you look at the calendar ahead, the debates stand out as the best shot for Trump to shake it up. But he also does poorer with fewer on the stage. With four, his lame one-liners don't have to be repeated as often. Trump has shifted to a base strategy, which has not chance to win a traditional D vs R matchup that fights over the center, but it opens up another way to win the election.

It's a very populist move, which has the chance of polarizing Clinton as the establishment candidate, and opening up a lane for Stein to move into taking away double-digits or more, of the Clinton PV total. Especially if Clinton declined, and let Trump be on the stage alone with Stein and Johnson. That would be a potential catastrophe for Clinton.

It's the only alternative I see open to Trump. There is not a silent majority on the sidelines rooting for Trump. It's just the opposite, with AV and RV polls showing him losing in an even larger landslide than LV polls. A strategy which tries to turn a two-party contest into a base vote by attacking Clinton non-stop will do nothing to increase his own numbers past the low to mid 40's.

However, a strategy which keeps Trump in the 40's, while taking 10% away from Clinton, moving it off the table, has potential. It's a wildcard with Johnson potentially taking away more votes from Trump too, but it's much less predictable than a Clinton vs Trump GE.

That's potentially what this Breitbart move is all about, with the alt-right narrative movers and rightwing pollsters officially coming on-board the Trump campaign. My prediction is that it's a set-up for their next move, of broadening the presidential choices. This move caters to and secures the base; the next move potentially splits up the opponents base. I am sure too, that Clinton's hold on the left base, which Sanders held, is tenuous at best.

The populism of the move also lets Trump gain the upper hand in the media narrative. The partisan Democrats reaction to this sort of 'throwing out the rulebook' is to accuse, deny, and assume an elitist position. I don't think Clinton has the political instinct to override those partisan elitists either, unless she's learned from the early '08 primary lessons of being on the wrong side of populism.

As I glance at this election sideways every once in a while on Facebook, I may be just pulling out a non-starter and giving to much credit to the Trump strategy. This decision-making move though, along with what I have read him say about the debates, looks like a clear read of a potential shakeup of the contest ahead.


Johnson is the October Surprise

I still have the feeling that Gary Johnson is going to become the October surprise. Ben Sasse never happened, which clears the way for Johnson and Weld to have a real shot. This is pretty amazing.

A great post on Red State describing what the state of the election is today.

And just to be clear, I have no role in the campaign. I worked for Johnson's '12 effort, setting up all of his tech and digital campaign, but bowed out once it got going. That was the end of the gig. I've nothing to do with politics, now, but I do care for the direction of the country, and electing Johnson would be incredible.

As I outlined a few months ago, all that has to occur is for the election to be moved into the House of Representatives, by neither Clinton or Trump netting the majority of electoral votes. Theoretically, it is possible (between two candidates) to have a 269-269 tie out of the 538 votes. It's also possible that Johnson/Weld win a few a state, or a few states, to keep the majority away from Clinton or Trump.

Utah, as RS blogs, is probably the best shot. In fact, Johnson may already be considered to be an election-day favorite in the state, if things go the way of the trend. But he probably needs at least another state or two, in a three-way race, to have this scenario pan out. They would most likely also be western states, speciifically mountain region. Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, fit more or less in that role.

Beyond that, it is really just a matter of how high Johnson is in the national vote before single states would go his way. If he's at 30% alot more, less so with being at 20% in the final vote.

The other way is that Johnson gets to 270 all by himself (what a world!). To do that seems quite a reach. He'd need to be at that 30% and take states like Texas and California. Option A is easier.

It is certainly plausible. In a nation which puts a Trump at 40 plus in the polls for vindification, they would just as likely put a Johnson in the Presidency. Why opt for the tragic with the comedic offers up.