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October 29, 2015



Although it is unlikely, "Trumpzilla versus the Hillarymonster" does have the right ring to it.

There is a movie in that.

Compared to the line-ups of the current field and previous elections, Chris Christy actually looks like a sane and reasonable GOP candidate. Who would have thought that that is even possible.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter

haha yeah and while I did keep Christie as a wild card, this performance will ignite his rise and he will be at least mid-fielder and may well be the alternative to Rubio splitting most of the moderate vote (which is somewhat more than half of the Republicans, the conservative side is the minority but a large one). And if we drop off the hopeless causes including Jeb and Kasich, then a race between Rubio and Christie can very well get Christie solidly into the game and a few more strong debates, maybe a Rubio stumble, and Christie could lead the race haha...

Meanwhile. The most likely pairing that I talked about in the Form Book, ie Cruz & Rubio in either pairing - has now become far more likely. After Jeb is out, Rubio can stop campaigning in Florida and focus his efforts to friendly states where he can win early primaries. So the sooner Jeb is out, from Rubio's point of view, the better for his chances. Christie should hope that Jeb stays on as long as possible to hold Rubio back while Christie takes Kasich's support and early states.

So Trump then. He NEEDS a fractured field. Jeb out is ok, but Trump now can't have everybody else quitting. He really needs Huckabee to continue at least till March 1, to draw votes away from Cruz. Else Cruz can get to plurality and ahead of Trump in many very conservative states. And Trump needs some moderates to remain, even if hopeless causes, but to draw away votes from Rubio, else in moderate states, Rubio can climb so far that Trump can't win in those. So ideally Trump would want only one of Jeb or Kasich to quit, and the other to grow stronger, while Rubio should not gain any votes (they should all go to Christie, for Trump's best chances). Fascinating times...

BTW I just saw the latest YouGov Economist survey (obviously before this debate) and gosh... utterly stunning level of delusion in the Republican voter base. 53% thought that Jeb could win in the general election and 60% thought Rubio could win it. Fair enough, those are not unreasonable views especially by Republicans. But Trump? 74% think he can win it (he is unelectable). And Carson? This is the unbelievable part. 76% of Republican voters thought that Dr Ben Carson could WIN in the general election. What level of mass hypnosis has Fox news achieved to get that level of utter denial of reality. It just makes me worry about the country, that this is POSSIBLE. What has gone wrong. (oh, and mind you, I would not think it a bad thing for Republicans to nominate Carson - that would help cure the Tea Party cancer faster than anything else, because his nomination means 50 state drubbing by Hillary and a filibuster-proof Senate and flipping the House. The Republicans would learn really fast that electability trumps consistency of the party values haha).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

To whoever is out there...

Wow, an interesting development. Carson's campaign manager wants now to use the new-found power Trump and Carson have about debates, to change the upcoming debates. They want to select the moderators, and to set the format, pick networks and apparently also, prevent attacks between candidates.

Now, first off, haha, wouldn't that be pretty darn self-serving for the guy who has just gotten to first place, to forbid attacks in debates.

But secondly, what would the effect be, if Republican debates become kissing-sessions where candidates just recite their campaign stump speeches and talking points and are not challenged either by moderators or rivals. Hahahahaha.... So Hillary has shown already that she can take 11 hours of grilling by 7 professional prosecutors who had months and literally 4 million dollars to develop massive interrogation traps in time slots of 10 minutes each. And she smiled through it all and took it in - and WON the day. She doesn't need any prep. She is a grand master in TV debating. Now, how about Dr Carson? Would he need grilling and debate experience? How about Trump? He has not managed to shine even once in the three debates. Even a 'college champion' debater like Ted Cruz took three TV debates to get to grips with this format and he is not anywhere near Hillary's league yet.

Now they want it to be cuddly cotton balls and pillows. And wet kisses by Jeb Bush no doubt. Yeah. If the Republican party has any sense, they will insist the schedule and moderators are exactly as decided and if Carson or Trump want to skip the next debate on Fox Business TV - their home network - feel free....

But I wonder how this plays out. I would not be surprised if they do get what they want, and the Republican debates become parallel press conferences with no questions of follow-up. And an obvious invitation to deliver the most outlandish lies imaginable if there is no accountability....

Just when you thought it cannot get more surreal :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)


"Just when you thought it cannot get more surreal :-)"

With the GOP and Trumpzilla, there is no limit.


It sounds like CNBC got an "F" for how they handled the debate. I didn't watch (Game 2 of the World Series and a dinner date got in the way), but it doesn't seem like I missed much from the commentary. Most of the "professional" pundits gave Rubio higher marks than you did, but they agreed on Christie. Fewer people watched last night. My guess is that given that Bush seemed to swing and miss, the Establishment will start to coalesce around Rubio.

So it may be Rubio vs. Cruz, assuming Trump and Carson eventually fade. Rubio is much more electable, and is a competent debater. Fiorina is probably running for VP at this point (I still say Rubio/Fiorina could be the ticket - it negates the "history" argument - first Latino president and first woman VP vs. first woman president). No one pays much attention to the VP debate, and Fiorina can probably be coached not to make unforced errors in that debate vs. whoever Hillary decides to nominate for VP.

Any guesses about VP choices for Hillary? I'd say Elizabeth Warren, but Hillary's already moved so far to the left that this probably has more risks than benefits. A lot of the "good" choices in swing states are running for Senate or Governor. Unlike Bill, she isn't going to campaign as a centrist. Like Obama and GW Bush, she will be campaigning for the base.


I don't think Rubio needs to attack Bush. If Bush is imploding, Rubio can just stand by and watch while staying above the fray. The real opponent is Hillary Clinton, and the more that Rubio focuses his message that he is the best candidate to take her on, then the better it is for him.

The Fox Business debate will be interesting. It will probably get lower ratings simply because it isn't as widely available as CNBC. Their nighttime hosts tend to be more libertarian than conservative. On paper that ought to appeal to Rand Paul, but he has faded. It could be a chance for Cruz to try to pivot more to the center (appealing to the libertarian wing on certain issues that have larger resonance).

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter and Catriona

Winter - yeah... no limit. Now what the GOP needs, is to find their candidate soon. They do not want this going all the way to June (hey, I am rhyming...). Get their final nominee quickly like around April or so. But for that to happen, they need to knock out the pretenders. And then, when the few strong candidates are left, there will have to be a final brawl (or series of them) anyway. The sooner that happens, the more time the party has for reconciliation and cum-bah-yah for the Convention. If they now suddenly make debates mutual admiration societies of no attacks, neither by rival candidates nor moderators (and no nasty follow-ups or 'fact checks') then that knock-out never comes and they drag this on forever. It is the debates that are the last hope of any dying campaign, so the little guys will hold out always till the next debate if they can... So if we want a brokered convention situation, haha, then a series of non-debates is perfect. It will bore the pants off the Republican voters though if its 8 more 'debates' with no clash.

Catriona - haha, yeah, I appreciate it that the World Series would come first (its baseball for non-American readers). For me, if it was Formula 1 race and nomination debate, and had to pick, I'd go with the race too. Or if its the world championships in ice hockey and Finland is playing haha..

As to the debate, the moderators really messed it up, very bad in terms of time management, candidates all speaking over each other and utterly random rules of when someone had to stop talking and who was able to crash into the discussion next. This by they way will set a very hard test to the next debate moderators, who will have to re-install tight time & speaking control right at the start of that next debate, or it will be another zoo.

For the topics and subjects, this was surprisingly devoid of personal attacks so they did spend most of their time on issues. And being the business network, CNBC did discuss things like taxation quite a lot with all candidates, quizzing them on their math problems etc. So on the economics side, I'd say it was quite a productive debate. For the theatrics, very little attacks but the famous one was between Jeb and Rubio that Bush started, but Rubio crushed that attack and all of Jeb's chances went with it. He almost wilted from then on. If you enjoy the fave red meat topic of attacking the media, then there were several really good ones of those, and Ted Cruz did that masterclass attack, that has been shown a lot on TV in reruns, where he briliantly listed each of his peers on the stage, how the moderators had posed a carricature attack question for each, why is Trump like a comic book, or can Carson do any math, or would Kasich please attack these two rivals on stage... brilliant attack and spontaneous and he did it without looking at his notes, so he had memorized the main bits. Very well executed, to two thunderous applauses about how rotten the media is, because they trivialize the debate like this.

That by the way, then resulted in Cruz using up all his time, so he wasn't able to answer a rather relevant question, was he against the budget compromise in Congress... Moderator: You used up your time...

Yeah, entertaining and actually pretty informative but I expected far more fireworks and I think they will be coming now in the next debate (unless that Carson campaign manager plot gets executed haha).

On the Christie vs Rubio evaluation. I do think I am on this point somewhat 'ahead of the curve' in the political thinking. Most political journalists would have their day job to rush after the daily scoop and haven't yet internalized the full 2016 election scenario, and the role of debates as the significant opportunity for the underdog ie Republican ticket, and that, combined with Hillary's strong showing, suggests increased relevance of debating skill in the Republican candidate. This will change. I am confident many pundits and experts on either side, will start to make the point, that the Republican nominee will need to be strong to take on Hillary in the eventual debates next year. When that revellation sinks in, then the obvious strenghts of Christie and Fiorina will be given far more weight, than what most pundits would think of now. So I may be over-weighting strictly the debate skill and agility and thinking-on-the-feet and use of humor etc, than just a good 'public speaking' performance. And obviously my debate coaching background would note these things instinctively, where many random pundits might not identify much difference between the night of Fiorina or Christie or Rubio or Huckabee or Cruz. To me they were very clear.

So yeah, no biggie, Rubio had a very good night too. I think the evolving view will go more to Christie in coming days, when some pundits and experts have had a night or two to think about it, talk with colleagues, and read other opinions, and be reminded of Hillary in context. Then that Christie performance will become very clear. He had great sessions at every question (plus inserted himself into several more). And he had a few highlight video moments. But yeah, its not worth watching on a recording haha, the debate was not that good. The first two debates were better.

Yeah Rubio vs Cruz is most likely the race by May. The others may be mathematically or at least statistically out of reach of the actual nomination (if Trump isn't running). And the most likely wrinkle to that pairing, is that Christie now builds on this debate, starts stealing Kasich and Jeb polling support, to get himself to a top candidate position and then starts to win states no later than March 1 and possbibly as soon as New Hampshire. Very easy to imagine a close to even three-way tie Cruz - Rubio - Christie (or 4-way if Trump is in it).

Rubio - Fiorina yes, I think you mentioned this pairing already before and it is certainly possible. If Marco could lock the nomination then he could pick her. If nobody gets the nomination outright, and if Rubio is ahead, then very likely the number 2 delegate count will be with Cruz. Very likely (and ie not Christie). In that case Rubio almost has to pick Cruz as VP. And Rubio is quite electable, but if he were to get to the nomination in this more conservative Republican party, Christie would be more electable in a general election. Still, yes Rubio-Fiorina ticket would be intesting and neutralize many of Hillary's advantages and offer good contrast. Oh, and Fiorina in this debate today, she was flawless, a bit wooden in technical details, but it was the same Fiorina we saw in the first two debates, except there was no real highlight moment this time, and the others stole the thunder (Rubio, Christie, Cruz). So there were no blunders in any way.

(will post this, I have more coming)

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Catriona (continuing)

On the VP choice for Hillary, there is no choice, it will be Julian Castro. Youth to her age, highly popular Hispanic, obviously man as she can't run on a two-woman ticket. The USA is not ready for that yet. Texan so will help push that hope of a Purple Texas. Ticks all the boxes, is quite charming and delivered a very strong keynote at the 2012 Convention. Spoken of as the Latino Obama. Obvious choice for Hillary whose twin brother endorsed her early and he just did a few days ago. She has already floated the idea that she'll consider him. Its a done deal. There is no other Hispanic male that she could consider, as Bill Richards grew that beard. You know that intergalactic standard rule of US politics. They don't quit running until they grow a beard. Did Romney grow a beard after 2012? No. He is still running and will try again in 2020. Did Al Gore grow a beard after 2000? Yes. He never ran again. Did Hillary grow a beard after 2008? No. We knew then she'd be running in 2016. :-)

Elizabeth Warren will run against Castro in 2024. She really wants it and the base want her. That however, should be the year Republicans finally take back the White House. I cannot imagine DEMs going past 16 years and Hillary's second term will be a scandal city. And no later than 2022 the Republicans will have the House back, so they'll be persecuting her administration with a slew of hearings so intense, that they will make this Benghazi day seem like a Mormon prayer meeting.

I like to throw in the guess that Michelle Obama will also run in that election for President (after one term either as Senator or Governor) but most likely she won't be running until a bit later, like 2028 after the DEMs lost in 2024..

On campaigning left vs centrist. Hillary is more liberal than Bill was or Obama is. But Hillary is no Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders clearly. She instinctively leans left of her party but is not at the edge. Now she has been tacking to the left, surprisingly much, but they seem to have under-estimated Bernie. Some of her liberal decisions came very late/recently - Keystone pipeline, TPP trade deal. I believe this is pandering to the left.

But remember she is FAR MORE the calculating power-hungry politician, than a partisan progressive liberal. So I disagree with you, I think she will take lessons very closely from Bill's run, and tack to the center for the general. Its far more important to Hillary to win the election and become the first President, than to satisfy all of her base. (and she has them 'by the balls' now. Joe Biden is out, Hillary is inevitable as their nominee, she can stop the pandering). She will do only as much of the pandering that the calculating team determine, and not more. Then there will come the flip-flopping to the middle. I am CERTAIN Hillary will move to the center, strongly, after she has locked in the nomination, and to deny space from the Republicans, who will still be in teh middle of their nomination fight. She wants to deny that political space from her rival. Here again, I am pretty sure she's going to be quite Machiavellian about that campaign too. Making some promises that she knows she won't try too hard to keep, once she is elected. Her eventual governing will be center-left, more left than Obama, but fiercely populist, on domestic policy, and very hawkish in foreign policy, and mostly free trade oriented in trade policy (ie in reality she is for the TPP and more such trade deals). Her Supreme Court nominees will be VERY liberal on selected social issues like women's issues and voting rights and discrimination.

And conservatives (like you) will look back at the Obama years as the 'nice Democratic years' and the Hillary years as the nightmare years. She will push for just about every populist idea that the Democrats usually cherish and ram them through. She will regain the Senate in 2016. She very likely won't win the House in 2016 but assuming she lives through the 8 years, she will get the House too very likely in her re-election of 2020. So for at least two years, she will have both the House and the Senate. That is when the worst nightmare happens. Obamacare is expanded to Hillarycare. Gun control. Minimum wage. Huge tax hikes to millionaires (becomes eventually to levels far less, like say 300,000 or 400,000 dollars of income). Rises to minimum wage which then will be index-linked to inflation. Raises to teachers. More jobs for teachers. More protection of labor unions. Some amnesty or relief for student loans. Cuts to military spending. Revoking Citizens United. Outlawing gerrymandering. Automatic voter registration. Mandatory early voting. Paid maternity leave. Carbon tax. More and more EPA regulations. Teeth to Financial regulation. Possibly break-up of big banks. And on and on and on. Its the total litany of everything Republicans hate. And yes, taxes will go up and defense spending goes down. And inspite of that, with both the House and Senate, the spending will balloon ridiculously and the budget deficits will become alarming.

So her actual GOVERNING will be left of center, more than Obama and Bill, more like Jimmy Carter or Johnson and Kennedy. But this nomination fight. The progressive liberal positions she takes - note how VERY cautious she has been, most calculating. She doesn't want to go any further there than she has to. She will start flip-flopping the moment her nomination is secured. She will campaign towards the center, absolutely yes, even more so, with the current rivals on the Republican side, and what all they've already said and done. She needs to flip the Senate and erode the Republican hold on the House. So she will go to the center. She will RUN to the center. But when she governs, she will govern more to the left than what she will run on. Remember, she is not known for having any firm values or principles (other than winning). She is in it to WIN it, not to be a pure progressive liberal that her base would love. Hillary knows that after Obama, whatever she does, will be BETTER to the base than what they've had for 8 years. They will love her more, simply because Obama was too centrist.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


If Hillary succeeds in abolishing gerrymandering and the other voter manipulations, that will decimate the GOP.

It might take a few years before they have regrouped.

A collapse of the GOP could even cause a split of the Democrats into a left and a right wing party that could push the GOP into an irrelevant Tea Party splinter.


@Tomi, Hillary's one chance at executive governing was when Bill outsourced his health care reform attempt to her in 1993. She bombed, in part because she proposed something even more radical than Obamacare (which itself passed only because of strong majorities in both houses). She may be a calculating politician, but she isn't particularly effective. You could simultaneously hate Bill Clinton, try to bring him down with a scandal, and cut a deal with him. Hillary doesn't have that ability. My guess is that if she wins, it will be like a third Obama term. As long as the GOP keeps the House in 2016, and potentially re-captures the Senate in 2018 after losing it in 2016 (which would be even more likely if Hillary wins since it would suggest higher numbers for Democrats overall), then we have 4 more years of gridlock. For all the talk about low Congressional approval numbers (Congress never has good approval numbers), after 12 years people would tire of Democrats, just as they did with Republicans in 1992 (and Reagan left Bush I with a lot more goodwill with the public in 1988 than Obama would to Hillary in 2016).

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Catriona

On Bush vs Rubio. Yeah, I agree with you on a general campaign basis, that if your rival is imploding, just stand aside and don't say anything. Stay above it. Yes. But not in the debates. Rubio could not know that Jeb will be paralized by Rubio's (mild) counterpunch. Jeb just got utterly deflated and disappeared. Rubio didn't know this would happen, and he certainly should not take it as a given, that Jeb would stay down. If Jeb was a real fighter, he would have gone right onto his second attack, and struck back at the immediate next question that is presented to Jeb. Rubio didn't know, couldn't know, that Jeb would just surrender.

So the smart move by Rubio would be now to hit Jeb again, and hit him hard (but with style and class, a well planned attack, with some softening joke and some set line). It was Jeb who 'started it' so nobody would even think badly of Rubio for then giving back, after he first had to take it. Instead, Rubio gave a promise that he won't stoop to attacking others on the stage. That is bad strategy to begin with, when the field is this broad and includes known bullies like Trump, Fiorina and Christie. Why take the position of being the 'dove' in this race, why not be the 'strong' candidate and show that you can throw punches not just take them. It doesn't mean Marco has to hit everybody all the time, or even hit Jeb several times, but he clearly pulled his punch(es) now, after that counterpunch to Jeb's attack. This will seem like weakness. Again, not a big blunder this time because he had that winning counterpunch (which may indeed actually knock Jeb out of the race). But Marco did not indicate the killer instinct that Hillary showed when she hit Bernie essentially out of the race. Hillary hit Bernie so hard, that Joe Biden dropped out of the race... There is the difference. And the Republican race (like any nomination) is a brutal last-person-standing 'deathmatch' (with somewhat less of the actual dying). It is not for nice guys. Rubio would have earned more appreciation of the Republicans - especially as a prospective Hillarykiller - if he did hit Jeb with some pre-planned but devastating hit. Like the crybaby stuff Jeb did over the weekend that he would have more cool things he could do than run for President. Can you imagine something like this 'And another thing, I really love meeting voters and talking to them. I can't imagine anything more cool that I could do with my time, than be with you and learn about what you want us to do. Some others (Rubio would turn and look at Bush right next to him) would have more cool (Rubio does finger quotes on 'more cool') things they'd rather be doing rather than be here.' Jeb will not have anything sensible to say about that sad episode, but if he were to try to defend it, he would probably invite a Trump attack about going home to mommy and daddy. Now, I am no political speechwriter, but you get the point. A well-prepared punchline where Jeb is the clear target. THAT is what Hillary would do. That is what Trump would do. That is what Christie or Fiorina would do. That is, in fact, what Jeb himself tried to do but it didn't land.

But outside of the debates, yes, if your rival is imploding, just step aside and let the media enjoy the spectacle. If you can, pretend to show sympathy...

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Winter and Catriona

First Catriona (Hillary governing) just quickly. I fully accept that what you said is a distinct possibility. We have not seen her in executive management capacity. Her first Hillarycare project was a disaster. (I bet she learned from it). The scenario you paint is certainly possible and yes, if she is seen as weak, incompetent then yeah, she can be out of office by 2020. And separately, if there is no economic downturn by 2016, she could have a recession at a bad time for her re-election. Separately, Iraq, Afgahistan, Syria etc will continue to be a mess (nobody can fix that mess) and she may be stuck in only bad choices on that, etc. And what will be the Putin gambit. Will she stand up to whatever Putin does, or can Putin play her like he is playing Obama? Hillary could be seen as a total failure foreign policy President too, especially with the Putin moves that will come to test her...

So yeah. Am not saying 2020 is impossible at all. If things go badly, and we have no idea of how effective or not she would be as President - then yes, she could be out of it. BUT... nobody else has ever had MORE experience of the actual job, as Hillary has via 8 years next to Bill, and then 4 years as the Secy of State for Obama. What I observe of her Campaign now in early for 2016, and contrast to 2008, Hillary has CLEARLY improved ie she has changed ie she has grown ie she has learned. I do think, she has exceptionally good vantage point of studying what works and what doesn't. And then clearly the type of intellect that is willing to overcome her OWN shortcomings and change (the most difficult type of change) and for an old lady, that is quite impressive. I do think she is particularly smart, sharp, clever, conniving, plotting, scheming but effective and I do expect she will be getting far more of her agenda through to legislation, than Obama was able to. But we will have to see. Your view is equally valid, and it will be interesting to see.

Winter, I'll answer you now next about gerrymandering and Tea Party

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen


On gerrymandering. First, this is obviously a standard ploy employed by both sides. A time-honored trick to gain an unfair advantage. But no party had ever done it as effectively, and as widely, as the Republicans did, by surprise, for the 2010 mid-terms and beyond. The results are devastating. Its an election advantage in Congressional elections of 7 points of an election result. So if the election was a 3 percent victory for Democrats in votes cast, the Republicans would have 4 percent more members of Congress! After the Democrats were caught without their pants in 2010, they have tried to reduce the effect in various ways but by traditional redistricting responses (to gerrymander against the gerrymander) and then obviously try to get a Democratic imbalance instead - that can't be done in large scale until 2020 when the next census of the US population is conducted (every 10 years). And that would be indvidual State legislations, Governorships etc to be won across all 50 states and the Republicans would fight back.

But.. There also are and have been court challenges. The Supreme Court just ruled this past season that an independent non-partisan redistricting commission is legal (haha, of course the Republicans were challenging that independent body and claim they should have the right to draw those voting districts...). So now, there is a kind of good, neutral remedy. The non-partisan redistricting commision. They will of course dismantle any districts where the election results are blatantly distorted and/or if the state-wide election result is clearly skewed. And the Democrats (in the short run) will not care if the new districts are honestly fair, or favoring Democrats, because generally, there are more Democratic voters than Republicans. So just if Democrats get a 'level playing field' it in effect is a modest advantage to the Democrats (Which is why the Republicans will hate this and fight it tooth and nail).

For the 2020 census, the Democrats now will not be surprised, and they can fight back. It will prevent the worsening of the situation, and should help reduce the level of gerrymandering but will not eliminate it. In many cases, the effect would not be felt until 2022. Before that, the Democrats are now running the independent board ploy, and try to get referendums to approve them in many states. Some will succeed, others will fail. BUT.

If Hillary has the Senate and a House majority (even the slightest majority, when Independents are included with the Democrats) - then they will make political gerrymandering boards illegal nationwide, and make non-partisan independent redistricting boards mandatory. And they will issue some simple rules by how any state must re-do their districts. This will yes, devastate the Republicans. Because the Democrats can only do this, if they ALREADY have the majority in the House. Then they remove the gerrymandering protections of the Republicans. If by that time the advantage is say 5% not 7%, it would mean an instant jump of 22 more seats to the Democrats in the next election...

But you are very correct in observing the underlying benefit to democracy itself. It would most of all hit the Tea Party extreme conservative end of the Republicans. It would almost eradicate the Tea Party. Because most Tea Party extreme conservatives come from 'safe' Republican districts where a Democrat cannot win (mostly because they are gerrymandered but some are just naturally very conservative). A district where a Democrat cannot win, means that the existing Republican member of Congress does not have to fear a challenge by a Democrat. But he or she HAS to fear a challenge by someone even more conservative, ie a 'challenge from the right'. Or as they call it, to be 'primaried'. This is how the Tea Party can purify the party. The gerrymandering is actually a major cause for the Tea Party cancer. It almost has to be removed, for the Tea Party to be neutralized.

This is, incidentially, why some moderate Republicans could actually support legislation to make gerrymandering illegal and work with the Democrats, even if Hillary doesn't have a majority in the House. Some Republicans will see it - just like how you just saw - that gosh, this would help eliminate the Tea Party. Then, it would need VERY careful (and secret) deal-making across the aisle. Likely this would have to be instituted very late in the election cycle and some Republicans who would vote for it, would be members who are going to retire anyway so not face a re-election....

If the Tea Party is neutered, and the district gerrymandering advantage removed, suddenly most Republicans would HAVE to embrace many sensible 'populist' centrist positions like minimum wage, tax increases for millionaires, gun control laws, green energy, paid maternity leave, support of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare etc etc etc. The political system would heal one of its huge illnesses right now. Then add to that campaign finance changes ie making Citizens United ruling illegal (not the Supreme Court ruling, I mean passing new legislation that removes the damage of unlimited campaign donations) and automatic voter registration, and we're looking at considerable voting advantages shifted to the Democrats. Which then gets us to Puerto Rico and the State of Columbia (DC). States get to vote in Presidential elections and States have Senators and members of Congress. If the Democrats are the nice party which 'gave' the full rights of being a State to Puerto Rico, they will mostly vote Democrat for decades to come. More systematic advantage to DEMs. Then DC (City of Washington DC) wants to be also a State. It is mostly black and votes 80% Democratic in every election. When Puerto Rico is made a new State, so too will DC (assuming Democrats are in control of Senate and House and Hillary is President). More systematic advantage for DEMs...

The hugely anti-democratic, xenophobic, homophobic, racists, sexist party that the Republicans have become, will be forced to evolve. With all those election-related changes, the current archaic 'rich old white man' party cannot continue. The new Republican party will return to its roots of liberty, of business friendliness, of strong security home and abroad, and of compassion and very importantly, of maximum political power ie MORE voting not less. By then the Democrats will be a borderline dictatorship with incredible over-reaches and abuses of power, so the balance of power will then shift.

The Tea Party is a cancer that will be removed from the Republicans in some way, sooner or later. They can never win the White House before it it gone. They cannot recover the Senate after they lose it now in 2016, until the Tea Party is gone. And once the House is lost, until the Tea Party is gone, they cannot return to hold the House either. But one very powerful thing the Democrats can do to reduce the power of the Tea Party is undoing gerrymandering.. That is coming in many ways.

And PS, the moment Hillary flips the Supreme Court from a conservative balance to liberal balance, they will rule on the next Gerrymandering case to make it instantly unconstitutional. But that change to the Supremes might not come until 6-7 years into her Presidency haha.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


I'm so confused ....

"...."the current archaic 'rich old white man' party cannot continue...."

Your referring to the Democrat Party, correct? You know, looking at the candidates of each party.


Welcome to the Democrat Plantation, as viewed by Independents.

I was amused that the establishment Republicans want Hillary to win. So, is Hillary a neo-con? Probably. But what is a "neo-con"?

The election will be decided by the macros, not the establishment.


Maybe last night was the point we crossed over to reality .........

Cutting Loose
Belmont Club

Only time will tell but any traditional analysis will fail outside the MSM


The MSM had a heart attack in 1993. (Mosaic browser released)

Last night the MSM and established suffered a grand mal seizure.

Wayne Borean

Let's forget about the debate for a minute, and just look at some basics:

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton is an opportunist
Bernie Saunders is a nice guy

The Republicans

Donald Trump is an ego run wild
Ben Carson is your goofy uncle
Ted Cruz is an extremist
Mike Huckabee is a fool
Chris Christie is a bully
Rand Paul is a lightweight
John Kasich is a nice guy
Marco Rubio is a nebish
Carly Fiorina is a failure

Note that this has nothing to do with the debate. I had planned on watching it, but my wife and daughter revolted, and stole the controller.

From a Canadian standpoint, the only two that are electable are Saunders and Kasich. The others would be roadkill.

Which is why I find the responses to Tomi's political posts so damned funny. The only places most of,the above could get elected are Uganda, Russia, or the United States.

The American political system needs a complete overhaul. The moronic idea that the states should control hoe FEDERAL elections are run could only make sense in a country designed by Rube Goldberg, a country designed to be ungovernable (like Russia and Uganda).

Did you know in some states your party can't get on the ballot unless it gained a certain percentage of the votes in the previous election? This undemocratic policy is designed to prevent the electorate from having choices. It keeps new parties off the ballot, which means if the traditional parties no longer satisfy the voter, they can't be replaced.

Ask Tomi what it is like in Finnland. Or look at Canada where we have five parties in Parliament. Or look at Germany...

The United States is not a democracy. Not now. Not ever.


@Wayne - "The United States is not a democracy. Not now. Not ever."

Correct. It is a Republic. Always has been, always will. Crafted by some very insightful people who experienced the totalitarianism of monarchy's and socialism.

State rights works fine, thank you.


"Crafted by some very insightful people who experienced the totalitarianism of monarchy's and socialism."

It is always amazing how badly informed the people in the USA are about history and how unwilling they are to look outside of their own home.

Socialism as a movement only existed after the start of the industrialization in the UK. Just like Capitalism is not Feudalism, Socialism is not whatever existed before the industrial revolution. Moreover, the "totalitarianism of socialism" is a purely 20th century phenomenon. There was no "Socialist" government before the Russian revolution.

Trying to link the writers of the US constitutions to any anti-socialist movement is even more idiotic than those fundamentalist zealots that try to argue the writers of the constitution intended the USA to be a Christian Theocracy.

The most humorous part of your comments is the fact that the one thing the writers of the constitution did write copiously about was the dangers of a two party system.

So, the very policies of the Republican party you, mpinco, are advocating are the things the founding fathers were most afraid of as the ultimate danger that could destroy the USA.

Yes, mpinco, your personally embody the thing the founding fathers feared most. And it is to protect the USA against you and your kind that they wrought the constitution.


@Winter - who said I was a Republican? You? I do see the Democrat Party for what it is. Still the party of division through the use of "multi-culturalism" as a tool. Whether they are the party of the KKK or Black Lives Matter. Really no difference. Same tools. Same outcome. Hispanics be warned. The plantation doors are being opened for you.

And let's be clear, the old socialism is not today's socialism. But today it is not Capitalism, more crony-socialism for power and the few. In the end, totalitarianism.

What's your thoughts on Establishment Republicans wanting Hillary to win? Is that really two-party?

Have we "evolved" to a virtual single party supported by the MSM? Or are we about to:

Cutting Loose
Belmont Club

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