Me: Frank Lynch. These are my daily rants, mostly political. For something less spontaneous, I maintain The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page (over 1,800 Johnson quotes), perhaps your best online resource for insight into his thinking.
DISCLOSURE: I work for Abt SRBI. We do polling, public policy research, surveys, etc. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.
first: frankplynch at gmail dot com; now delete the 'a' in my name
Bio: Born 1957, raised in Florida, moved to New York area in 1982; now live in Brooklyn. Married, with one daughter. I work in marketing research for Abt SRBI. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.
As I type, Chris Matthews is going on about the implications of Donald Trump and him being number two nationally and in Iowa among Republicans.
"Number Two" is not a weighted figure like baseball MVP voting, where your first choice gets 5 points from you, your second choice gets 4 points, and so on. "Number Two" only means that you are the candidate who gets the second highest number of first choice votes. As other candidates drop out, their supporters will gravitate to other candidates, and Trump may or may not get his "fair share" of the left-overs. You can make some predictions: in 2008 Dodd and Biden were splitting the vote of a specific segment of voters and when Dodd dropped out I'm guessing some of them went to Biden. (This candidate switching speculation is an even greater wildcard in a very crowded field.)
That's the dynamic. It would be great if a polling company asked people who their second and third choices would be, but I don't know if anyone is. (I am not in my company's polling division, my clients are in transportation.)
From a data standpoint there are some cool things you can do with information like that, but I'm not going into that.
Suffice to say that Trump being number two could well be a fragile, transitory situation.
The difference in visions between Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo regarding what NYC should be was readily apparent early on. De Blasio wanted to fund pre-K by taxing the rich; he had a different view of how much sway charter schools should be given. Heck, de Blasio even had trouble getting permission from Albany on reducing speed limits in residential areas and around schools to 25 MPH. Andrew Cuomo never seemed to care about the people of NYC; perhaps he regretted becoming governor via AG instead of getting his mayoral jollies out of his system first.
When Cuomo was pursuing reelection and de Blasio endorsed him over Zephyr Teachout -- in the midst of Cuomo showing no genuine interest in rooting out corruption, and after having been lethargic over a Democratic majority in the Albany legislature -- it was pretty much seen as de Blasio playing the odds and feeling NYC would hurt if he pissed Cuomo off. (IIRC Teachout kind of acknowledged that in a Daily Show interview after her primary loss, although her words were not specifically about Bill de Blasio. Seeing as how Teachout registered record-high votes as a primary challenger to an incumbent, it's natural to wonder what might have happened had de Blasio endorsed her instead of Cuomo.)
The disagreements go on constantly and are impossible to avoid, and last week (I think) an "unnamed" person high in Cuomo's administration (rumored to be Cuomo himself) laid a flaming pile of dog defile at de Blasio's doorstep. (The alliteration was not planned.)
If this is the kind of comity you achieve after endorsing Cuomo, what could you expect of you hadn't? This is pretty much close to zero as it is. New York was short-changed by Cuomo's first term (in which he'd promised to root out corruption), and we continue to be. De Blasio was defrauded by Cuomo. It's really too bad he didn't take the bold step of endorsing Teachout.
We had so many hopes for his Presidency, all that change-y stuff. Right now it's abundantly clear that his second term is proof of a presidency in free fall. It's really too bad America didn't opt for Romney in '12; but America didn't and now we have a country in the doldrums, and nothing positive is happening. We really blew it by not electing Romney: with the Republicans in the majority in both legislative chambers. just THINK abut how much we could get accomplished if a Republican was in the White House.
No preamble or long discussion necessary about the SCOTUS finding on Obamacare, you already know all that. But here are some of the ways it benefits the GOP.
All those prior attempts to "repeal" Obamacare can be used as evidence that they tried, they really did, but you can't impeach the SCOTUS and it's out of their hands.
They no longer have to do the hard thinking of coming up with an alternative to ease the loss of insurance subsidies which Obamacare offered.
They never said what their transition plan would be, so it was never put under serious scrutiny. ("First, assuming the can is open...")
Hell, they no longer have to try to pretend to come up with a program with features which were immensely popular (preexisting conditions, etc.)
They can STILL talk about the onset of Communism and raise money off it, and use the composition of the SCOTUS as an argument in every Presidential election.
I actually think this decision works well for them as well as the nation as a whole. However, there's that little thing about the precious few days in the House's recent legislative calendar (geared far more to fund raising than governing) and how many of them were spent on one fruitless repeal effort after another. It was silly as it happened, and it's even sillier now. The Don Quixote tilting at windmills allusion actually is wrong (he imagined he was fighting giants, not stupidly applying himself to futile challenges). As much as I love to use well-known literary references to reframe a discussion, I can't think of one which captures the misbehavior of the Republicans over something so fundamentally good as helping people keep healthy. It didn't matter if it was a government program; it was an arms-crossed approach to everything Obama -- the design mirrored ideas put forth by Republicans. And the pettiness is even more clear if you consider the responses of the RWNJs to the healthy initiatives of
the FLOTUS. Nanny state!!