I was talking to Mike Kupari about this yesterday, mostly being my usual optimistic self, and telling him don’t worry, the election wasn’t going to be Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders, so there was no reason to flee and build a compound in Costa Rica just yet. He suggested I write it up for the blog, so what the heck, here goes.
Note, these aren’t endorsements, they’re predictions. So you don’t need to yell at me for not backing your dude. Yes, I’m sure your Candidate X is super awesome, and I’m a stupid jerk face for not seeing it.
My prediction is that the republican nominee will be Ted Cruz. The democrat nominee will be Hillary Clinton. At this early point in the campaigns I got Dole, Bush, and Romney right. McCain surprised me, but I think I was just blinded by my dislike for him. I predicted Obama as soon as he got done with that first original DNC speech, and sadly got that one right. Though I was surprised how fast he usurped the Clinton machine.
Here is my reasoning. First, the democrat side is really easy to predict. You’ve got one batty old socialist and a slightly battier old socialist. Though I’ve been told that Hillary Clinton isn’t actually a socialist because the way she loves taking bribes is very capitalistic. Good point.
Bernie is nuts, but he’s honest. He skips right over all the typical democrat feel good, heart string tugging reasons why they think the government should control everything, and gets right to the government controlling everything. He is economically illiterate. Those Occupy Democrat memes going around Facebook where they are quoting Bernie fucking up some basic economic principle are literally painful. Every time you share one of those, an accountant dies.
The only reason Bernie is actually polling surprisingly decently is because many democrats sense just how lackluster Hillary is. However, Hillary is still going to get the nomination. Because as much as democrats like to think that they’re all about tolerance, there is something incredibly emasculating about watching your candidate get chased off the podium of his own rally. There’s a reason the Black Lives Matter protestors haven’t invaded Hillary’s space, because we all suspect she’d shriek “GUARDS! SEIZE THEM!” super villain style, and then have them devoured by her nanotech enhanced attack weasels.
Hillary may be a liar and a cheat, and she’d sell your children’s organs to Russian mobsters to make five bucks, but at least she’s not a total chicken shit. So, barring the highly unlikely event that Hillary gets arrested by the FBI for one of her multitude of scandals between now and the primaries, Hillary is it.
On the GOP side it gets really hard to predict just because there are a slew of candidates. Right now I see it going Cruz, with an outside chance of Rubio or Walker. Yes, I know that isn’t what the polls say right now, but this is how I see it playing out.
Trump is a stunt candidate. He’s sitting around twenty percent, lots of people are flipping out about it, and the media is loving that. But the rest of the GOP can’t stand him. As we head into the primaries we always do this thing, where somebody will pop up, the voters will say Oooooh New and Shiny, they’ll surge, and then once people have a chance to actually look at what they’ve really done, they come back down.
The thing everybody needs to remember is that every single election cycle we go through this period where the media tries to pick the eventual GOP candidate for us. Their criteria are A. Can the democrat eventually beat them? And B. If they do somehow win, will they not rock the boat too bad for democrats? McCain is the greatest example of that ever. This time around their obvious pick was Jeb Bush. For weeks it was Jeb, Jeb, Jeb. Only Jeb was dull and Trump makes great TV. If you look at early polling it almost always correlates with how much media attention the candidate is receiving. So, a candidate polling at 5% is usually getting 5% of the coverage, etc.
Trump comes along, he’s bombastic, unapologetic, and simply does not give a shit. The real lesson to be taken from Trump and Bernie is that many Americans are so damned tired of the establishment and the media that they’ll root for anybody, no matter how crazy they are, if they’ll just quit sucking up and actually stand for something.
But here is the problem with Trump, and it isn’t his personality or being willing to insult people (because if I’m judging these people on personality, I’d probably get along with him in person way better than most of the others, and the Rosie line made me do a spit take). It is because he’s been a Republican less time than Bernie has been a Democrat. When I’ve talked to the hard core Stormtrumpers they’ll say he’s great on the border! Okay, but what about his record on abortion, guns, crony capitalism, government intervention, eminent domain, and single payer healthcare? Suck, suck, suck… oh but on that one he evolved… This week.
For the people convinced that Trump is the Real Conservative in the race, and that the other 15 are all RINOs, put down the crack pipe. This is the same guy who a couple of years ago was outraged about violent videogames and saying how somebody needed to do something about them. Yeah, there’s a dude totally grounded in the Bill of Rights.
And before any fanatical Trump fan yells at me again about Megan Kelly was mean and how I just listen to FOX News, I cancelled cable like a year ago, so I don’t watch TV news unless I’m on it. Sheesh. The hard core Trump fans remind me a lot of the old hard core Ron Paul fans.
So with all the attention in the world, he’s leading at 20%, but that’ll die down as the novelty wears off. Most people aren’t single issue voters, and they’ve already put up with two terms from a malignant narcissist, why pick another? Trump will eventually drop out and use his celebrity to make even more money, much of which he’ll donate to democrats and democrat causes.
Then it gets really complicated.
Carly Fiorina did really well on the first debate, and then kicked Chris Matthews’s ass (see that thing above about people being hungry for anyone who will stand up to the media). I’ve got several friends who are hard core Fiorina supporters, but I have another friend who worked for her at HP who really found her business practices shady, but I’ve not had a chance to delve into that enough to comment.
A lot of people are thinking it would be a good match up because Fiorina is a woman and Hillary is a sort of woman shaped carbon based life form. And it could possibly derail Hillary’s main campaign platform of Vote For Me Or You’re a Misogynist Pig. Which will probably be similar to Obama’s Vote For Me or You’re Racist and Vote For Me or You’re Racist 2: Extra Racist.
However, according to the media we all know that Republican women aren’t real women. Just like Ben Carson, Tim Scott, Mia Love, Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, and Walter Williams aren’t actually black people either.
The strategic problem for Fiorina is that because she is a Republican woman, and she has done well, expect the media to go full Palin on her. If she does have any questionable business dealings, they’ll be huge headlines for weeks on end (unlike deleted emails, missing classified documents, and getting ambassadors killed, because what difference does it make?). She’s still a possibility, but if there is anything even vaguely shady or potentially shady, the media will use it as a club to discredit her. Nothing freaks out the media worse than female or minority republicans.
Once people get tired of the Trump show, that hunger for bucking the establishment and telling the media to bugger off will still be there. And this is why I think Ted Cruz will move into the lead. He’s been a pain in the establishment’s ass. The left wing media hates him. And you can usually tell who the media really fears by how much they try to ignore them, or talk about them, rather than to them (gee whiz, I can’t imagine where I came up with that theory!).
Cruz has an elected track record. He’s got actual conservative cred. He’s one of the Tea Party generation that’s been replacing the greying and thankfully dying off big government GOP. Is Cruz a fantastic candidate? Nope. His track record isn’t perfect and he looks a lot like a young Grandpa Munster. Once they can’t safely ignore him, expect the media to go after him extra hard. The thing Cruz has going for him on that front is that they’ve been trying for years, and they’ve already spilled every bit of dirty laundry they had to discredit him back during the government shut down fight.
The biggest hurdle Cruz has won’t be the DNC or their tame news media, it will be the McCains, Hatches, and Grahams of the GOP. Because they really want a Jeb or a Christie. (note, I didn’t put Lindsey Graham in that list of potential presidents, because nobody, and I’m including Lindsey Graham, think that Lindsey Graham can be president).
On Jeb Bush… Ain’t gonna happen. He was the media’s initial pick, and it was even more painfully obvious than when all the democrats showed up in our open primaries to “cross the aisle” to nominate McCain, and then promptly ditched him for Obama on election day. But Jeb’s got zilch. Actual conservatives don’t like him, the Tea Party hates him. On the issues, he’s mumble mumble amnesty and mumble mumble that’s not what Common Core was supposed to mumble. Seriously, do you know any actual voter who likes Jeb? Can you think of one? I can’t. Jeb has all the suck of the old, dying, big government GOP, so the conservative base will be even less enthusiastic for him than they were for Romney and McCain, with the added benefit that his last name is Bush, so automatically half the country hates him.
Chris Christie is beloved by the media because he’s loud, and the biggest big government big republican they can have lose to Hillary, and if Christie happened to somehow beat Hillary, then they’d only be stuck with a republican who was electable in New Jersey. Christie came to prominence because of that same phenomena that is floating Trump now—which I think will eventually give it to Cruz—in that he’s willing to be disagreeable. Sadly, he’ll buck the media, but he won’t buck the establishment because Christie is the establishment. By volume, he’s half the establishment. And I’m saying that as a 6’5” 300 pounder myself.
On the far side of Christie is Rand Paul. Now personally, I really like Rand. I think he’s actually got real convictions and he’s got guts. As hipsters where whining in one tweet about the horrible evil Tea Party, and their next tweet was lamenting how bad it was the government was reading their emails, a guy elected by the Tea Party was the one fighting to get the NSA to quit reading their mail.
If you had to name three elected officials in the GOP who have been the biggest pain in the establishment GOP’s collective ass over the last few years, it would be Paul, Cruz, and Mike Lee (that’s my senator! I don’t claim Hatch). Luckily, I think Lee is too antisocial to ever run for president, which is good, because I want him to eventually replace Mitch McConnell and his weird turtle face.
But between Rand and Cruz, Cruz is polling better now, and seems to be having a better run of it. Gut feeling, barring a really good showing, I think Rand is principled enough that he’ll drop out after the first couple of primaries to not split the Tea Party contingent, and the liberty minded republicans who are backing Rand will go to Cruz. That’ll be the jump. Of the other candidates, who else would they support? A regular Rand ally, or one of the bigger government types? That’s a no brainer and several percentage points.
That’s if the Tea Party side coalesces into one favorite. The establishment side is split too, so it’ll be interesting if they all get behind one person.
There are two others that I still see as strong possibilities, Rubio and Walker.
Scott Walker is an election winner and a union buster, two things that really appeal to the base. He had a pretty vanilla showing in the last debate. He’s squishy on some core issues, but the feeling I get is that for some reason he’s a relative unknown to most primary voters. Which again shows that who the media most fears, they ignore, until they can’t, then they lie. They did the lie/fear thing in Wisconsin, but at the national level it has mostly been ignore. So if Walker does something really interesting enough to sneak past the Trump circus sucking up all the coverage and oxygen in the room, he could still have a shot.
Rubio is an interesting one. If you’d asked me four years ago who I thought the GOP front runner would be today, he probably would have been my call. It seems like he’s got a lot of national electability, but his problem is that he straddles the line between big government establishment republican and small government conservatism way too much. Note, to all aspiring young politicians, if perpetual loser John McCain wants you to team up with him on a big controversial issue, RUN AWAY! The whole fishing boat, speeding tickets, NYT expose helped him more than anything else. It humanized him and made him relatable. But there are too many issues he has sucked on with the base, so I think he’s going to fall by the wayside.
If several of the candidates drop out and toss their support behind Rubio or Walker, it could very well go their way.
Cruz and Rubio are both Latinos. Some republicans seem to think that is like a magic bullet, and suddenly republicans are going to get the Latino vote. That’s stupid. Just stop. The concept of “Latino” as a demographic is horribly flawed and unrealistic to begin with. How in the hell can you expect to stick people whose ancestors originate from one whole continent, the bottom half of another continent, and the west end of a third continent, islands in every hemisphere, spread over like 30 countries, in America between one and ten generations, and expect them to be this homogenous voting block?
Though since Cruz and Rubio are both Cuban, I expect to see the media declare that Cubans aren’t real Latinos. Sort of like when the government declared that Portuguese are Latino, and I was all like MWA HA HA HAAAAA I’M OFFICIALLY A MINORITY and they were all like oh shit what have we done?
On the same note, some republicans seem to think that if we run Ben Carson, republicans will suddenly get the black vote. I like Ben Carson. I think he’s probably a really good man. I also think focusing on his race is an incredibly stupid philosophy, and one that the democrats will beat republicans at every time. Identity politics are stupid democrat games. Don’t be surprised when you play their game and lose. That’s because they make the rules and game is rigged. You want to win, convince people that you’re worth voting for.
The problem with Ben Carson is that he’s not a politician, and it shows. You’d think being a non-politician at a time when everybody hates politicians would be a winning proposition, but they still have to know how to play the game. Trump isn’t a politician either, but he is a consummate game player. Fiorina isn’t a politician, but judging by how she rolled Jabba the Matthews, she’s got game. As a brain surgeon Carson is probably the smartest guy on the stage, but he’s not a political animal. Hillary has 1/3 of Carson’s IQ and none of his humility, but my gut feeling is that she’d walk all over him in a debate. Then Carson had to go and suck on guns, which is a kiss of death issue with the base.
Kaish… I’m not even going to bother to look on Google to see if I spelled that right. I have no idea why he is there. Non-entity. He could be the best candidate ever, who is right on every single issue, but I wouldn’t know, and neither do any of the voters. Perry just can’t seem to shine. Lots of Texans seem to love him, but he’s got zero momentum. Jindal, same thing. Barring any sort of super brilliant coup maneuver, I don’t see these guys moving up.
Lindsey Graham… Holy shit, just shoot me now. If Lindsey Graham got elected president I’d volunteer for that one way trip to Mars, and if that was a no go, I’d build my own rocket. He’s everything wrong with John McCain and the GOP, only he’s not a war hero, and has a lisp.
Again, these are just my guesses. I could be totally wrong. I also predicted Romney was going to win in the electoral college (to be fair, he only lost by like 600k spread across four swing states, so it wasn’t like I totally blew it). But the democrat side is going to be Hillary, unless she is arrested and can’t make bail. Republican side, I figure Cruz, with an outside chance of Fiorina, Rubio, or Walker.
However you look at it, no matter who wins, we’re going to end up with somebody better suited for the job than Barack Obama. Sadly, I’m including Bernie Sanders in that equation, and that’s really saying something.