Thoughts about the primary? No? Then we’ll move on…

I actually meant to write a little bit more about it over the last couple of days, but was busy. I had to take my Mom to the emergency room Friday, and she (and I) spent the night there and she didn’t get discharged until late Saturday afternoon. She’s better now, I’m happy to say.

So I got home pretty wiped out from the hospital, and might have commented on the vote last night, but my wife and I went to a performance of the South Carolina Philharmonic, which we thoroughly enjoyed — especially the Gershwin at the end.

So, if you followed the primary last night, we had more fun than you did. But to go ahead and say a few things:

  • The result was about as I expected. It was somewhat better than the polls I had seen, but about what I expected in the real world — 20 points. Nikki managed to counter some of the crazy, but not that much of it. She was more successful back in South Carolina when she embraced the crazy, in 2010. Back then we called it the Tea Party instead of MAGA, but it was just a different stage in the GOP’s descent into madness. Here’s that picture again of her standing proudly with Sarah Palin, to illustrate the point.
  • Should she drop out now? Of course not. That shouldn’t happen before the money from the Koch organization and others who wish to rescue conservatism from Trumpism runs out. No one but the Trump people want her to drop out — no sane people do — and the fact that her continuing to run frustrates Trump is probably enough reason for a lot of people to holler, “Go, Nikki!”
  • It’s interesting to read the many points of view cheering Nikki on. If you can get past the paywalls, I wish you’d check some of them out: From The Washington Post alone, George Will, Jim Geraughty, and Kathleen Parker.
  • Of course, she won’t win the nomination and she shouldn’t win the general election — the first because the overwhelming majority of Republicans have lost their minds, and the second is that she lacks the qualifications to be president.

I need to stop now because I have another time crunch on my hands. When I come back, I’ll probably write about something else.

32 thoughts on “Thoughts about the primary? No? Then we’ll move on…

      1. Doug Ross

        But, regardless of who is on the ballot, if there is the same option for extensive mail in ballots as in 2020, there is no reason to believe the results of any election. There were more fraudulent ballots mailed in than any number of alleged voters “suppressed”.

          1. Doug Ross

            Doesn’t matter which party wins… any state that allows mail in ballots will automatically be suspect in my view. Would Biden have one without them? The opportunity for fraud is far, far, higher than in-person voting. That combined with the fact that it takes days or weeks even to count the ballots in some places lessens the confidence in the security of the process.

            Let me be clear – it has never mattered to me who gets elected President. It has never affected my day-to-day existence as far back as I can remember. But if you want to eliminate the possibility of a repeat of 2020, it should start with eliminating mail in ballots.

    1. Doug Ross

      A significant percentage of that 40% was crossover Democrats who would never vote for Haley.

      Do people understand that we have an electoral college? There is zero chance Biden wins SC. Doesn’t matter who is on the ballot for Republicans. There are only 5-6 states that matter.. why don’t people get that? It’s truly mind boggling that some people don’t grasp how the electoral college works.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        You’re ignoring the positive effect that a good showing here would have had on her overall effort, regardless of whether she won a single delegate.

        But it’s a moot point. She didn’t make a good showing, although it wasn’t as bad as many expected….

  1. Barry

    The Jimmy Kimmel show interviewed Trump voters in South Carolina a day before the primary. He played it Friday night on his show.

    “We asked people who identified themselves as supporters of Donald Trump for their take on some of Joe Biden’s more controversial actions and quotes,” Kimmel said. “But what we didn’t tell them at first. Is that what we said wasn’t from Joe Biden. It was actually from Donald Trump.”

    A Kimmel staffer then asked a South Carolina voter, “What did you think when Joe Biden suggested that Covid could be cured by shining a bright light inside the body?”

    “It is very sad that Joe Biden is clearly a dementia patient,” the voter replied.

    Of course, it was Trump who infamously made that suggestion. When the voter was given that information, she immediately and drastically changed her tune about the validity of the comment.

    “It depends what that technology is,” the voter said. “That’s a broad spectrum, because, you know, you have MRI machines and CT machines and, infrared and different things. So it just depends the context of that.”

    Kimmel’s staffer then confronted another Trump fan about the following: There are accusations that Joe Biden cheated on his wife with a porn star after his son was born. And there’s actually a paper trail showing he paid the sex worker $130,000 to keep quiet about it.”

    It’s the reality of how incredibly screwed up human beings are when it comes to politics.

    “And he he was making, I think, less than $100,000 a year at that time?” The voter said, adding “Now, how does he do that?”

    When the voter was told that actually applied to Trump, he too pulled a 180.

    “My father had affairs too, and I still respect him,” the voter said.

    1. Doug Ross

      I wonder if I could find any dumb Biden voters on the streets of Columbia, New York, Chicago? I bet that would be pretty hilarious too.

      You oughta look up some of Jimmy Kimmel’s old bits – like blackface as Karl Malone, hosting young women in bikinis bouncing on trampolines on the Man Show, pretending to grope a woman in a way FAR worse than what got Al Franken cancelled… Kimmel used to be funny (same with Colbert) until they contracted Trump Derangement Syndrome… now their audience has shrunk as a result from an average of 2.2 million viewers in 2016 to 1.3 million now. Ad revenues for late night shows have dropped 50% since then. They just aren’t funny any more. As a comparison, Johnny Carson averaged 9 million viewers a night back when there were 100 million fewer Americans in 1992.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Man-on-the-street comedy can be funny, but it’s cruel.

        And it’s not even funny if you’ve ever been forced by circumstances to conduct such an exercise. I was, once, when I was a reporter on my college paper. It was horrible, and pointless.

        I don’t think I ever sent a reporter out to do that except once — when I did it because I KNEW how awful it would be, and I was making a point.

        That was during the Power Failure project, when I was making the point that it’s stupid to let the Legislature handle executive functions instead of the governor, because it eliminates political accountability. People usually have SOME notion who the governor is, but have no idea who their own legislators are, much less anything about the rest of the General Assembly.

        The poor reporter found NO ONE who could tell him who represented them in the State House. I seem to recall that he tried for days, but I’m not sure after all this time.

        Finally, by luck, I found a way for him to interview ONE such person. I saw a car driving up Assembly with a bumper sticker that said something like “Do you know who your legislators are?” I managed to identify the driver, and direct the reporter to her. He wrote his story about the complete failure of his on-the-street efforts, and wrote a sidebar about that one smart lady…

      2. Barry

        I am sure some of Biden voters that are young people and don’t know anything about the world would be pretty funny to interview.

        But Biden voters aren’t typically showing up in mass rallies like a cult to worship a politician like Trump supporters.

        Biden simply doesn’t attract the conspiracy nuts like Trump and the right wing does. That’s just reality.

        What’s funny about the Trump voters is they are almost older voters, and the conspiracy theories they come up with are so nutty-crazy. I also get a kick out of how they are so inconsistent in their views.

        If they were told Trump wanted to spend 100 trillion a year, they’d be all for it 100%. if they were told Trump wanted to sleep with Mike Pence, they’d support it. If they were told Trump wanted to shoot a random person on the street, they’d support it (Trump even said they would).

        Jimmy did the “man show” with Adam Carolla. Adam is quite popular with the right-wing now and shows up on Fox News from time to time.

        I’ve seen some of Jimmy’s old bits. Some were hilarious. Some were cringe-worthy. Some were clearly way over the line. Thankfully, Jimmy seems to know this now.

        the entire tv industry has changed. Late night talk shows (and no one else) can compete with ratings from 20-30 years ago. They aren’t held to that standard because it’s not possible today.

        Late night hosts that are around for a decade or more or making money for their bosses and Jimmy does that.

        1. Doug Ross

          I listen to the Adam Carolla podcast.. he’s not right wing. He’s common sense.. be calls out hypocrites and stupidity.

  2. Barry

    Doug will like this.

    Tulsi Gabbard came in 3rd in the VP straw poll at CPAC this weekend. She gave a speech from the stage (she’s a regular now) praising Donald Trump.

    CPAC was a stream of conspiracy theorists, and nut jobs again this year. Most all elected Republicans avoided it like the plague- so did Fox News and most right wing news outlets.

    FWIW- Matt Schlapp and his wife run the event. His wife worked for Trump. Matt is facing several lawsuits from men who have accused him of sexual assault. (Matt has been rumored to be gay for years, but of course that has nothing to do with assaulting other men). Matt was a long-time regular and bomb-thrower in Fox News but Fox dropped him when he was credibly accused of sexual assault.

    Most of the board members of what CPAC was 5-7 years ago have resigned.

    The weekend kicked off late last week with a right wing conspiracy promoter speaking from the stage and pledging to end Democracy. Most of the speakers over the weekend were conspiracy theory promoters.

    Jack Posobiec at CPAC: “Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely. We didn’t get all the way there on Jan. 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it.” Posobiec said, to cheers from the audience.

    Posobiec is the guy that helped push the pizza-gate conspiracy. That’s the one where the guy from North Carolina traveled and shot at the restaurant hitting the door, wall and a desk inside the restaurant. He spent almost 3 years in federal prison and paid almost $6,000 to the restaurant owner for repairs. Other people pled guilty to threatening the owners and the owner’s family. Michael Flynn, also promoted the conspiracy theory and still does occasionally.

  3. Doug Ross

    It’s amazing to see the lengths some people will go to in order to avoid the elephant in the room… Namely that Joe Biden can’t win in November regardless of who he is running against. Do you think Biden vs Haley gives Biden a better shot? In which swing states? That is all that matters. Will he beat her in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina? Can he beat her without leaving Washington and avoiding public appearances? Can he beat her in the debates?

    Be careful what you wish for… It’s pretty much a done deal at this point that Biden loses anyway but Haley would end the silly fascist, racist, misogynist blathering that Democrats have to employee rather than promoting Biden.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You’re not following the reasoning of people who vote for Haley over Trump.

      I’ll try to explain it again:

      This is the most important point: In our presidential elections, anyone — absolutely anyone, regardless of how horrible he may be — has about a 50 percent chance of being elected, no matter who that person’s opponent may be.

      That’s far too great a risk to take, with Donald Trump on the ballot. That’s why you want to make absolutely sure, beyohnd any doubt, that he is not on the November ballot. There’s too much at stake, for the nation and the world.

      Nikki, I believe — and I think lots of other people agree — has a BETTER chance of being elected in November than Trump does. Why? Because lots and lots of people worry about Joe’s age. Not as much as you go on about it, but to some extent. They don’t think much about qualifications. They think a younger person is by definition a better prospect than someone who is over 80. And they’d be right, if the two were equally qualified — I’d choose a 55-year-old Joe Biden, with something approaching his current experience, over an 81-year-old. Of course, they’re being offered nothing like that, but plenty of people don’t see that.

      Most rational people are not at all horrified at the idea of her winning, the way they are of Trump winning. Which is perfectly sensible of them.

      So it makes perfect sense to vote for her over Trump in the primary, and then turn and vote for Joe in November. Because if she DOES win the nomination (however unlikely that appears now), you’ve got something close to a no-lose proposition. (I say “something close to” because it’s not like a true no-lose situation, as we had in 2008 with McCain vs. Obama.) If Joe wins, great. If Nikki wins, not great — but not horrible.

      I’d have joined people in doing that, exept that I know her, and I know how little she knows, and I just couldn’t be a part of even a symbolic gesture toward making her president of the United States. But I was torn about it, because I know the most important thing in this election is to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. So there was no decision with which I’d have been entirely happy.

      But I understand and respect their thinking…

      1. Doug Ross

        “Because lots and lots of people worry about Joe’s age. Not as much as you go on about it, but to some extent.”

        At some point you’ll have to give up thinking my view on Biden’s age/capabilities is some random outlier. You’re in the outlier group (it’s very much skewed by age).

        Current polling is around 70-80% who think he is too old. This from just two weeks ago:

        “An overwhelming majority of Americans think President Joe Biden is too old to serve another term, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

        According to the poll, conducted using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel, 86% of Americans think Biden, 81, is too old to serve another term as president. That figure includes 59% of Americans who think both he and former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, are too old and 27% who think only Biden is too old.

        Sixty-two percent of Americans think Trump, who is 77, is too old to serve as president. There is a large difference in how partisans view their respective nominees — 73% of Democrats think Biden is too old to serve but only 35% of Republicans think Trump is too old to serve. Ninety-one percent of independents think Biden is too old to serve, and 71% say the same about Trump.”

  4. Ken

    Haley is finished. Koch has pulled the plug.

    While she can try to put a noble face on her continued run by saying she’s giving people a (sane) choice, she’s actually just borrowing a page from the Trump playbook, the one that says never surrender, never admit defeat.

    Besides, there’s ample evidence that she lacks good judgment:

    She declared she would support Trump even if he were convicted of a crime.

    More recently she said that, in a race between Trump and Biden, Trump is the better choice.

    So, there’s no nobility behind the facade. There’s just vanity, a core Trump trademark.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      If she lacks the money, she can’t continue. And the Koch outfit was a major portion of her funding. How much of it, I don’t know. But losing it is a major blow, because of the visibility of it (regardless of what proportion of her money it represents)…

  5. Ralph Hightower

    As Mark Powell pointed out over on FITSNews, Nikki is in love with herself. She uses “I” all the time.

    Nikki has two things in common with Trump.
    1) They both had extramarital affairs.
    2) They are in LOVE with themselves, using “I” anytime they get the chance.

    Now that the Koch Brothers (Americans For Prosperity PAC) have pulled out, Nikki needs a new Sugar Daddy.

  6. Doug Ross

    So much for the Koch money.. that’s over.

    From the BBC:
    “A libertarian conservative organisation founded by the billionaire Koch brothers will no longer spend on Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign.

    The decision by Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP) to pull the plug is another setback for Ms Haley as she seeks the Republican nomination.
    She lost her home state of South Carolina on Saturday to former President Donald Trump, his fourth successive victory in the primaries.
    But she has vowed to fight on.
    In an email to staff on Sunday, the AFP president and CEO said their backing would focus on key Senate and House races in November’s election rather than on Ms Haley.”

    There are 15 states in play on Super Tuesday. She will likely lose them all unless she can win a blue state with crossover voters (if that exists). It’s all over unless Trump is in jail in the next six months.. that’s not happening. The Georgia case will likely be delayed due to the prosecutor’s unethical behavior.

    Trump will likely announce Vivek as his running mate soon and that will give him a bounce and add votes.

    Use some logic here: is there any indication that Joe Biden will get the same or more votes than he got in 2020? Has he won over more independents? Hasc he inspired more young and black voters to get out and vote? I don’t see a single poll that looks good for Joe.

  7. Doug Ross

    If Trump is forced to drop out for whatever reason, the likely scenario will be that he will tell his delegates he has accumulated to vote for his running mate at the convention. What’s more likely: they flip to Haley or follow his orders?

    1. Barry

      I don’t think Trump has that much power if he’s out of it.

      Trump is a mafia don. When he’s out of the picture, I think most of his supporters will do their own thing.

      in 20 years, many of them will be trying to convince others they never supported him in the first place.

      1. Doug Ross

        Unless someone has the power to completely silence Trump, if he names a running mate soon, that person will be the odds on favorite for the nomination if Trump is forced out. You think Trump will just go quietly into the good night between now and the election? Haley has made it an all-or-nothing campaign where she cannot win back the Trump supporters.

  8. Doug Ross

    Eight months from now we’ll probably understand that the reason Donald Trump was elected to his second term was because Democrats couldn’t convince Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire when she was too old and ill and then had to stick with Joe Biden despite him being too old as well.

    The Supreme Court taking on the Trump immunity case means nothing will happen before the election… especially with the Georgia case being so tainted by the DA’s unethical behavior. Trump’s lawyers will figure out a way to pay his fines or find a way to get them overturned.

    Better start getting Joe prepped for the debates. They will be his only option to win.

  9. Doug Ross

    Supreme Court rules 9-0 that Trump can remain on the ballots for primaries… How are liberals going to blame Trump for stacking the court in a 9-0 decision?

    So, so much time and energy wasted on trying to stop Trump and every time it makes him look like he’s a martyr. Beat him straight up with policies and a good candidate.

  10. Pat

    “Three Theories for Why Trump’s Primary Results Are Not Matching Expectations, He has underperformed the polls in each of the first three contests., By Nate Cohn, Feb. 26, 2024, The New York Times”.
    The above article was behind a paywall, but the subject is interesting. Polls showed Trump winning but actual vote percentage didn’t measure up to the polls. It gives the impression there’s an unknown quantity floating around out there.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, there is. And the first thing to understand is that, ever since the average household stopped having a listed phone number at home, it’s been very difficult to conduct accurate polls.

      Polls are one thing, but the key is for EVERYONE to stop pretending as though they know what’s going to happen tomorrow. They don’t…


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