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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Maybe the other candidates aren't that good

As The Donald laps the Republican field, commentators offer a variety of reasons for his popularity: He is a demagogue, a celebrity, an exploiter of anger, and supported by a bunch of nimrods.

Let's put the name-calling aside for a moment and look at the fact that this is not a very good field of candidates. Doctor Ben Carson is in third-place in the daily Reuters Poll. Think about that. He is a brain surgeon, true, but he has never run anything larger than a department in a hospital, and is woefully behind in foreign policy. He has shown an inability to articulate his beliefs in an effective manner in five debates now. His campaign is in a shambles. But he is in third place in the Reuters Poll.

Forget Donald Trump. What does it say about such seasoned and polished political veterans like Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie that they are being whacked by a neophyte in the polls?

Yes, I get that the voters are pissed with the Establishment. Yes, I get that Trump is sucking all the air out of the room. Yes, I get that it is a weird year. But what I do not get is how an inexperienced and poor candidate named Ben Carson is ahead of them. John Kasich scored so low that he did not even make the top 10 (beaten out by "wouldn't vote," who finished fifth).

Every single one Republican candidate has had a year to establish himself (or herself in the case of Carly Fiorina) as the front-runner. If at this point "wouldn't vote" is beating you, the time has come to cast your ego aside and pull the plug on your campaign because you ain't the next Reagan; you're Al Haig. There is nothing wrong with being Al Haig, a four-star general. You just ain't gonna be president.

This election is becoming a referendum on Donald Trump. He may not be a giant. He might not be even average height. But he stands tall in this field -- most of whom cannot beat Ben Carson.


  1. The John Who? candidates find it psychologically difficult to believe voters consider them part of the problem, not the solution.

  2. With any thing like this the explanation doesn't come down to just one deciding factor. The size of the initial group running hurt several good candidates who just couldn't make a case that clearly distinguished them from a few others in the race. Trump and Carson both benefited from being very different than the rest in a very crowded field. Walker, Perry, Jindal were good state governors with solid (even if not perfect) conservative credentials. All are gone because there were several others like them. The debate structure was done poorly. It should have been broken up into several smaller groups chosen at random. Polls over a year away from an election shouldn't eliminate serious candidates from the discussion so early in the process.

  3. I don't think it's that hard to understand: so many people in the middle class are tired of being lied to, and business as usual, that they're absolutely willing to try anything - anything - else. How can the Republicans sell anything? Every campaign promise they've made in the last 5 years has been an outright lie. And Ryan "giving away the shop" (Nancy Pelosi's words) was just one more dagger in our backs. And the democrats offer absolutely nothing other than more spending. Nothing.

  4. After all the years of being lied to by politicos, maybe we are just too sharp to be suckered.
    Donald ain't perfect, by far, by a funny, bluff sincerity is a striking change.

  5. IMHO Trump and even Dr. Carson offer the Republican base "hope and change" just as Obama did for the voters in 2008. If Trump wins the general election and is a mediocre President how could he be worse than Obama?

  6. I regretfully part company with you on Trump, Don. He is no conservative, and not too long ago was a major Clinton supporter.

    This seems to be one those years when a single issue (IMHO not even close to the most important issue) grabs the populist imagination and goes hog wild. Immigration has become the gorilla in the room, even though volume wise illegal immigration since the crash on 2006 is not nearly as big a problem as it was. Illegal Mexican immigration in particular is estimated in the last couple of years to be a net negative, with more Mexicans going back than coming. Central and South American illegal immigration is still a serious problem, but only because the Obama administration practices catch and release.

    We have SO many more serious problems it staggers my mind that the only thing anybody seems to give a damn about is cutting immigration, even the legal variety.

    It really is shame in my view that Trump got in the race. The GOP had one of the most varied and talented fields in decades, and Trump's carnival barker act has stolen the show. He has a real chance to win the nomination. I'll hold my nose and vote for him rather than stay home and sulk, but I think it's a sad day for the party and more importantly the country. If he get's the nod, I predict Hillary will beat him like a red-headed step-child.

    1. But we remain brothers, Dennis.

    2. We sure do.

    3. I live in California. In 1994, the citizens here passed Prop 187, which would keep illegals off the dole. It was overturned by a leftist judge.

      Twenty years later, California is overrun with Hispanics, its got huge poverty rates, the government is run by leftists, and they are so insane that they oppose new dams or desalination/RO (since they use CO2 producing energy) to deal with our water crisis. You say that there are other important issues. Well, when R's, as bad as they are, can't be elected, the important issues will be ignored in favor of leftist priorities.

      We are very close to having the nation be Californicated.

      FWIW, I support Cruz, but will vote for Trump.