Monday, September 21, 2020

The Slogans are Replaced, by-the-bye...

 Man, watching the backing and filling on both sides explaining why they're flip-flopping on their positions from four years ago has been hilarious. The august adults elected to our nation's senior deliberative body are trotting out talking points that are little more than long-winded, polysyllabic versions of the ones familiar to parents of toddlers: "She started it!" and "Billy did it first!"

Ted Cruz's convoluted but consistent arguments on This Week showed that he got his money's worth out of that Harvard law degree. 

"If you look at history, if you actually look at what the precedent is, this has happened 29 times. Twenty-nine times there has been a vacancy in a presidential election year. Now, presidents have made nominations all 29 times. That's what presidents do. If there's a vacancy, they make a nomination. 

While it doesn't necessarily jibe with his or his party's statements from four years ago, he'd obviously done his homework before going on the show and had his answers prepared and ready.

Hillary on Meet the Press was visibly flailing and out of practice.

"Oh, it's absolutely broken, Chuck. And I was able to watch your previous interviews with Senators Klobuchar and Barrasso. And Senator Barrasso is, you know, doing an epic job trying to defend the indefensible. The system has been broken for quite a while. But clearly, the decision that Mitch McConnell made back in 2016 in the midst of that presidential election but at a much earlier time when Justice Scalia unexpectedly passed away is what should be the standard now. They talk about, "Well, you know, we had other standards before." Well, they made a new precedent. And that new precedent, which they all defended incredibly passionately, is to wait for the next president, whoever that is, to make the nomination. But as you clearly heard, that is not what they are intending. And it's another blow to our institutions. You know, what's happening in our country is incredibly dangerous. Our institutions are being basically undermined by the lust for power..."
And Hillary Clinton is absolutely a Subject Matter Expert on the lust for power. 

Unfortunately, while Chuck Todd absolutely loves politics, he's got zero killer instinct as an interviewer, so he didn't press the issue of the the Dem's 180° with the person most likely to give an entertaining answer.

The whole situation is so up in the air that anyone making confident predictions about any of it is pretty much guaranteed to be talking out their ass, but I can state one thing for sure: The Democratic Party's senators are right now rueing the day they voted for the "nuclear option". And all Americans should be, too. 

The day that we decided that a straight 51 senator party line vote was all it took to confirm a SCOTUS pick, we ensured that only nominees who appeal to party bases would be picked. 

Compounding the problem, Big Data is doing to electoral politics what Sabermetrics did to baseball. With the "swing voter" turning out to be a myth, the old "Primary to the base, General to the center" is collapsing, and elections are turning into a contest to see who can radicalize and enrage their base more, while discouraging the other side's base from even turning up.

This is just going to crank the divisiveness to eleven, while both sides' leaders are doing their best to discourage their loyalists from trusting the results of the election. Uncool.