The Omnivore has returned--to resume political blogging.
. . .
We kick this off with the exciting question: "How is Bill Clinton like Ted Cruz?" The answer is--maybe--they both slept around! Bading-Bunng.
No, seriously, this piece takes a close look at what The National Enquirer is hinting at.
Is It True?We have, of course, no idea at this point--but in the "then why repeat it" bucket goes that The National Enquirer has a decent record when it comes to outing presidential hopefuls. They bagged Edwards, for instance. They got Gary Heart (remember him?). Basically (a) they know how to do this stuff and (b) they are, we could say, reluctant to get sued. These are big-time suing allegations so . . . on the balance The Omnivore believes there is something there.
But we have no real idea what yet.
So What If It Is?To The Omnivore it is fairly clear that Cruz's career has been marked by blind ambition. Every move he has made has aimed him at The White House at a high human-cost to everyone around him. Where he differs from other politicians in that regard is that Cruz doesn't even wear the veneer of civility. He's happy to torpedo his colleagues at any turn if it looks like it'll serve him.
That's his whole credo.
So did he sleep around on Heidi? With people who might have forwarded his political career? Sure--maybe? Possibly? Why would he draw the line there?
If it is, Cruz is probably badly damaged--but maybe not fatally. After all, Kasich is pretty much mathematically disbarred from winning the nomination. Cruz needs to stay in to even get to a contested convention. Donald Trump sure has slept around too. Yes: part of Cruz's appeal is that he's a hard-core holy-roller--but he's also the muck at the bottom of the barrel.
The bottom of the barrel--the actual bottom--is Donald Trump--so being the muck is an improvement.
The Omnivore thinks he might shake it off and apologize and drive on. And that's if they can prove anything. After all, Bill Clinton had his affair(s?). Hillary is still a viable candidate.
On the other hand, should Cruz get hit with this--and survive--it'll make a point that has been waiting in the wings, little spoken of, until the party hits the proverbial rock bottom. It's this: Was this line-up really the best we could do? Consider that the Democrats were mocked--mocked--for having such a light bench. Clinton? Sanders? Biden???
Party On Dudes
To the Republicans, a bench of 3 guys--all statesmen--however goofy--probably look pretty damn good right right now. Even the least popular (Hillary) holds a land-slide favorability edge over Trump.
So why DID this happen? After all, there were a bunch of people with real credentials. Chris Christie. Scott Walker. Hell: Rick Perry. Bobby Jindal--there was nothing actually wrong with him. So why did this happen? Who is responsible for Donald Trump?
The Omnivore is here to tell you. Mathematically.
Who Is Responsible For Trump?It's a question that many people have tried to answer--but few have a good handle on. That's because they are blinded by their preconceptions (it's Obama!) or their hatred (it's Teh Racists!). The answer is complex and we tend to shy away from multi-causal complexity.
Let's do it!
Who: The Tea Party Base Voters
% Responsible: 6%
Explanation: The Tea Party's role in Trump isn’t in electing him--no, it’s in lending its demographic to clearing the way with purity-tests almost no one could pass! To be sure, they weren’t the only factor--Scott Walker had his own problems. Jeb, though--and Chris Christie--would have been viable candidates without the purity tests. The legacy of the Tea Party, such as it is, is in the sinking of candidates that could have been reasonable.
% Responsible: 4%
Explanation: It has been noted that Trump’s voters, in some areas, are Democrats. Indeed, there are stories of voters changing their registration to vote Republican for Trump! Are Democrats to blame for Trump? Not much. The kind of Democrat who votes Trump hasn’t voted for a Democrat in years--maybe ever. A Democrat who voted for Obama either time isn’t a Trump voter today. Basically, these are Democrats who aren’t Republican because they can never forgive Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation.
Who: Social Justice Warriors
% Responsible: 6%
Explanation: Both Ben Carson and Donald Trump have rode their ratings on the back of disowning Political Correctness. The charge is that Social Justice Warriors--#BlackLivesMatter--and various cry-bullies on college campuses--are responsible for Trump. True? Not so much. Yes, social justice got the CTO of Mozilla fired--but if you are going to lead a company that relies on left-leaning millennials to use its products you’re asking for trouble. Yes, people on college campuses are asking for safe-spaces for their widdle egos--but in the real world? Those people get cannibalized. In the real world, the interaction with Social Justice is on TV. Cops aren’t really being gunned down in a state of anarchy. That’s the lie Fox News tells you. Same for The Knock Out Game. Social Justice Warriors are big in academia. They’re big on Tumblr. Neither of those places is a font of Trump boosterism. They contribute 6% for being a tasty scapegoat for darker emotional drivers.
Who: The Mainstream Media
% Responsible: 16%
Explanation: It may be time for Conservatives to admit that the Main-Stream Media isn’t a nefarious 5th column bent on destroying conservative ideas and is, instead, a ratings-driven automaton which just happens to be staffed with hapless left-wing journalism majors. The idea that The Media is propping up Trump to later destroy him is in the same garbage can with the idea that the GOP has some carefully plotted strategy to control, well, anything. Sure, it sounds good--but when you look at it, nothing holds up. The Media is doing everything it can to destroy Trump: they’re putting his awful statements on power rotation. It isn’t their fault that it’s making him stronger. On the other hand, since there is an audience for his brand of venom, putting on power rotation does . . . make him stronger. Their 16% is Trump’s massive un-paid media-edge over his more boring rivals.
Who: Republican Voters
% Responsible: 30%
Explanation: Look, if you’re going to start assigning blame for Trump, start with GOP voters. We’ve constantly heard they’re high-information, plugged in, educated patriotic Americans and the small fringe of racist idiots were, erm, a fluke. Whatever story you want to tell at this point, you have to admit that even if a large percentage of Republican Primary Voters aren’t vile racists, the accolades of vile racists don’t seem to concern them. Right? The idea that Trump is a creation of the media or whatever completely elides that facts that (a) his evil plan is saying what a huge percentage of the voter base really wants to hear and (b) what has been said on right-wing message board comment sections since at least 2007. If you have a theory of Trump-manufacture that accounts for those, let The Omnivore know. Otherwise it’s just the Supply-Side-Economics version of political fan-fiction.
Who: Conservative Entertainers
% Responsible: 27%
Explanation: If you do want to blame the media, you can blame the conservative media. They have legitimized Trump in ways no one else could. Firstly, they didn’t come down on him hard for his various heresies. After all, they don’t like John McCain either. They were against Romney before they were for him too. They are trusted with the soul of the Republican party and it turned out: all they cared about was profit. That’s a kinda Republican / Capitalist thing in and of itself, isn’t it? The GOP has had entirely too cozy a relationship with its parasitic media and now they’re paying for it. What’s that? John Oliver / Stewart are the same thing? Sure--make that argument. Just show the Omnivore your work--where is the Democratic Trump equivalent being legitimized by Oliver? Uh huh (here’s a hint: it’s not Sanders unless Sanders has started Tweeting insults about Hillary being a lesbian or something).
% Responsible: 3%
Explanation: The all-purpose ‘divisive’ boogeyman, Obama gets pretty high billing in the blame-game from conservative sources. Unless you count the dinner where Obama joked at Trump’s expense at setting The Donald off on a raging rampage of revenge, the fact is that Obama has almost nothing to do with Trump. Where he does, it’s in the opposites category. Obama was a cerebral moderate with some bad policies and some bad circumstances. The GOP demonized him beyond all measure. They created a negative-image of Obama in the mind-space of their constituents and Trump tromped in to fill it. 3%.
Who: Ted Cruz
% Responsible: 7%
Explanation: On the other hand, Obama wasn’t the candidate hugging Trump for several months hoping to pick up his voters. Obama didn’t raise his hand and say “I’ll support Donald Trump for president because, hey, he’s better than Hillary.” If Trump was that bad, wouldn’t a straight shooter like Ted Cruz say so? The answer is “no.” Cruz now says he didn’t take on Trump early on because he didn’t want to wind up road-kill. Okay--how’s he going to do with Putin? Hillary doesn’t look too scared either. Cruz, unlike the other candidates did more to legitimize Trump than anyone else on that stage. He even held a rally with him. The current string of endorsements trickling in can trace back to Cruz--who was, really, the first.
In this cycle.
Who: Mitt Romney
% Responsible: 1%
Explanation: Romney probably bears a little more juice than the 1%--but it’s symbolic, eh? Trump was never much of a Republican by nature--and this was pointed out in droves once he seemed to be for real. On the other hand, we had his pageantry with Romney to look at. When Trump stood on that stage with a squirmy-looking Mitt, it washed away his liberal apostasy. After all, if a severe conservative like Mitt was happy for his endorsement, who wouldn’t be? You didn’t see the head of Planned Parenthood on stage with Romney did you? Even a 1MM SuperPAC donation wouldn’t have made that happen. You are what you eat--and the GOP ‘ate’ Trump.