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Monday, May 30, 2016

Hillary's Army of Goliaths

In my upcoming book, I refer to the old media as an Army of Goliaths, a reference to Glenn Reynolds's "An Army of Davids" book, which is as relevant today as it was when it came out a decade ago. Goliath protected the Philistines. The modern Goliaths of the press corps protect the Philistines of Washington, which is why the press corps -- including the conservative commentariat -- are balls out in opposition to Trump.

(Balls out refers to a steam engine working at capacity. It has nothing to do with male genitalia.)

What the Goliaths in the press fail to apreciate is that their efforts to help Hillary actually hinder her. She is the Establishment Candidate in a year of revolution.

Consider this from a triple bylined story in the New York Times:
Mrs. Clinton is pressing ahead with a conventional campaign, echoing the 2012 themes used against the Republican nominee that year, Mitt Romney. But Mr. Trump is running a jarringly different crusade: accusing her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of rape; proposing that the country conduct brutal methods of torture; and suggesting that South Korea and Japan be permitted to develop nuclear arms. Prominent Democrats say a more provocative approach is needed.
Only in Washington do people think it is OK for a president to rape women, it is bad to kill terrorists, and it is gauche to allow South Korea and Japan to nuke up now that Kim Jong-Un has one.

The disconnect between the people and their government is difficult for the Washington press corps to comprehend. Part of it is the political class flatters their egos by telling them how smart they are. But after missing Trump's rise for 11 consecutive months, even a slow dog would catch on.

However, neither the press nor Hillary's vast staff -- 10 times larger than Trump's with far better credentials (his social media director is his former caddy) -- have figured it out.

Instead the Times report continued:
Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, said that the news coverage Mr. Trump is receiving is not helping him. She said that unlike Mr. Trump, who uses “nothing but his own mouth,” Mrs. Clinton has a campaign that employs many methods of communication, including videos, respected surrogates and bilingual outreach. “We hear from friends who think we should act more like Trump or criticize us for sometimes using traditional communications tactics,” she said. “But we don’t think that’s the answer.”
That paragraph reminded me that when Hernán Cortés showed up at Tenochtitlan with 600 musket-men and 15 cannon, the generals told Montezuma they'll be fine with their jaguar warrior with their wooden swords with volcanic glass blades because the jaguar warriors worked so well in the past.

Not everyone in Washington is clueless. From the story:
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is concerned that she lacks a comprehensive strategy to confront Mr. Trump, and has told Democrats that the Clinton campaign must bring on a senior staff member dedicated only to the Trump portfolio.
“As soon as she clinches the nomination, we need a high-level person in the campaign whose sole job is to respond to Trump, almost on an hourly basis,” said Mr. Schumer, who has begun conversations with Clinton officials about who could fill that role.
But it looks like the nothing-another-slogan-won't-fix crowd will prevail anyway. From the story:
During a conference call this month, high-profile female supporters pressed Mrs. Clinton’s advisers about her message — which has as a slogan “Breaking Down Barriers” — and whether it needs to shift for the general election. “The message will be broadening,” Karen Finney, a senior adviser, explained, according to a transcript of the call obtained by The New York Times. “But,” she added, leaving some participants perplexed, “breaking down barriers and unity will continue to be part of the theme because Hillary believes we need to come together as a country in many ways.”
So far she has used:
Ready For Hillary.
Stronger Together.
I’m with Her.
Make America Whole.
Love Trumps Hate.
Love and Kindness.
Break Down Barriers.
Build Ladders of Opportunity.
Working for Change, Working for You.
Ready for Change, Ready to Lead.
I may be missing a few, there are so many and my brain capacity is so small.

Stronger Together -- the onion teams up with the skunk.

But have no fear. Everything is under control, according to the New York Times:
For now, her aides appear to be throwing ideas against a wall to see what sticks, including trying out different monikers after the Democratic National Committee’s “Dangerous Donald” flopped. An internal favorite is “Poor Donald,” with its implication that Mr. Trump, famously defensive about his net worth, is not nearly as wealthy as he lets on.
Her advisers also say that a large percentage of voters have not yet paid attention to the details of the race and do not know about Mr. Trump’s business dealings or that he has refused to release his taxes.
“It wouldn’t be a general election without some early bed-wetting from Washington insiders,” said Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager. He noted that the campaign had attacked Mr. Trump over the tax returns and for his “demeaning millions of Americans.”
“Our campaign has already shown the resolve to take him on and put him on defense in ways his Republican challengers never could,” Mr. Mook added.
Good luck with personal attacks, Crooked Clinton. Low Energy Jeb tried. Little Rubio tried. Lyin' Cruz tried. But this time it will be different, right?

Trump's been running a general election campaign since he leaped into the race on June 16, 2015. Hillary has yet to start one. Well, one that works.


  1. What about the lawsuits against Trump University? Yahoo is making that its centerpiece of the moment.

    Any traction there, do you think?

  2. Don, your parenthetical second paragraph may indicate a way to put an end to the men-in-the-ladies'-room issue.

    1. Would you expand on that?

    2. Maybe Anon^2 was hinting that people should wear their "equipment" out where everyone can see it and be sure the right door is being used (i.e., pick one, Male, Female, or Democrat).

  3. That balls out reference solicited some pretty hairy imagery of Bill Kristol. I wonder if someone might be kind enough to Photoshop that and send it to him with a copy of this post.

  4. To extend the analogy, consider another difference between Goliath and David other than height.

    "And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders."


    "And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him."

    The Goliaths of the leftist media have so weighted themselves down with the armour of anti-free-speech, playing the race card, and "shut-up-ism", that they can barely move, and are trusting overmuch in the invulnerability of said armour. They are sitting ducks for a more agile opponent, able to trust in his own skills.

    That's why I think of what passes for the leftist Press these days as the "Maginot Media".

    1. Spot on, but let us not forget...we have God on our side. They don't...

    2. Yes. Use the OODA Loop, Donald, use the Loop.

    3. Excellent analogy. Trump is small and agile. Hillary a behemoth

  5. "Mrs. Clinton has a campaign that employs many methods of communication, including videos, respected surrogates and bilingual outreach." It's the "trusted surrogates" bit that makes me laugh, She may trust them, but who else will? Hillary lies, so her surrogates will, too.

    1. You can't polish a Clinton, but you CAN roll them in glitter.

  6. From the Wikipedia article on John Boyd's OODA loop. See if it matches Trump's campaign strategy:

    "The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible."

  7. Just saw one of the Love Trumps Hate stickers. I see Hill as the hater...of Truth, Justice, and The American Way. Truth, she avoids; justice, she surely do hope she avoids; The American Way, she just can't get her mind around it.

  8. Warren is the Attack Dog for Hillary. (almost type the "B" word instead of Dog - my bad). Donald has been pulling her teeth one by one though.

  9. Trump had a rally recently near where I live and work. It was the talk of my workplace. Only one guy from the group had the day off and could go to Billings. He texted pictures to us and described a carnival atmosphere with vendors selling Trump gear. The venue looked full 2 hours before the Donald showed up. The general election campaign should be a real hoot.