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August 02, 2016

Bounce Back: Several Polls Giving Hillary Back Her Pre-Comey Lead

Dispiriting.

Reuters has Hillary back up by 8.

The NBC News tracking poll also shows Hillary regaining a big lead-- 8 points again.

The RCP average has her back out in the lead, with almost ever poll -- including Rasmussen -- putting her ahead.

The one poll where Trump remains ahead is, oddly enough, the LA Times tracking poll, which has Trump ahead by 2-- but you'll see from the trendlines that looks like a temporary situation.

What the hell is going on?

The only thing I can think of is the Feiler Faster Thesis that Mickey Kaus used to talk about all the time. The idea is that society, for some reasons, is reacting more quickly and convulsively to new information... but it's also forgetting/un-reacting to that information at a quicker pace too.

So, what I would think would be a big deal -- that Hillary lied and committed crimes -- did give her a knock. But then, two weeks later, the public has completely forgotten about it.

I guess this partly explains how Trump is even still (occasionally) in this race. Sure, he manages to offend broad swathes of the public with a regularity that would impress German engineers.

But then, two weeks later, the public has almost entirely forgotten why they had such a sour taste in their mouth beforehand.

There is some upside for Trump -- if the public can completely forget Hillary is an unindicted but declared felon who put American national security secrets into the hands of the Russians, Chinese, and Islamist enemies of the US in a couple of weeks, then the public could likewise forget whatever "It's a little chilly in here so let me set myself on fire for a little warmth" statement Trump has #ShockedTheBourgeoisie with this week.

Assuming that, at some point, he can stop making them.

But can he?

I can imagine a scenario where he's out in front of Hillary by 4 points a week before the election -- and then, due to his massive deficiency in impulse control, he makes some pointlessly inflammatory comment that loses the election for him by three points.

And yet, had he just made this statement two weeks earlier, he might have won. (Or, even better -- had he not made it all.)

I think the whole Kzir Kahn thing is more bullshit handwringing by puritans and prudes on both sides of the aisle -- I don't, for example, believe in this bullshit that certain people have Privilege and Status and therefore Absolute Moral Authority.

I don't believe minorities have that, and I don't believe even Gold Star families have that. Or veterans.

Never have. Didn't believe it ten years ago when Saint Cindy began giving her Sermons on the Funeral Mound, don't believe it now.

If you enter the public fray -- and if you insult a presidential candidate -- then you're fair game to be insulted back.

The guy's son was killed twelve years ago. If Trump loses, and then, in 2020, they trot this guy out to insult the new conservative challenger to Hillary Clinton -- is he absolutely protected from insult then, too?

Exactly how long does his Force Field Against All Public Criticism last, even while he himself is hurling Trumpian insults at people he thinks aren't giving Islam enough respect?

Something tells me that if Rubio is on the receiving end of his insults in 2020, Khan's Bubble of Complete Immunity to Counter-Insult will have expired.

Meanwhile, Pat Smith's son died just four years ago -- and she hasn't had five minutes of this Force Field Against Criticism.

Hillary Clinton called her -- and the other Benghazi victim family members who were in attendance, and all heard her say "We'll get this filmmaker" -- a liar on national tv.

Not a peep from the media on that.

And while conservatives did kick up a fuss about it, no one heard that, and it did not reach out into the wider public at all, because conservatives have no voice in the wider media; we merely have a ghetto where we shout to each other from our windows on each side of the street.

I think there's a bit of false consistency going on here on the part of conservatives who say "If I defended Smith, I must also defend Khan."

Did anyone in the media jump on your defense of Smith? Did they retransmit it? Did the media make a week long hair-on-fire hysteria about it?

No?

No, right?

In that case, your consistency was fine as far as your personal morality goes, but as far as your effect on the greater public dialogue, it meant nothing at all.

Let's say that some conservatives were just as effusive in defending Patricia Smith as this Khan guy.

So, total net effect of their consistency, as measured by reach/influence on the public:

5 units of pro-Smith defense
5 units of pro-Khan defense

Looks fair, right? Now let's add in the liberal contribution to the national debate -- again measured in arbitrary unit-free units of reach and influence.

0 units of pro-Smith defense
25,000 units of pro-Khan defense

Now let's add them all together, for both conservative and liberal defenses of Gold Star parents:

5 units of pro-Smith defense
25,005 units of pro-Khan defense

Conservatives' own inputs may be equal as to both, but their contribution to the national debate is so close to zero we can safely call it zero.

And outputs ought to matter as well -- shouldn't they?

Or do we judge everything by our persona intentions?

Conservatives believe in personal honor, and good for them for doing so. There really can be no public honor without a strong tendency towards personal honor on the part of the bulk of the citizenry.

But they should also occasionally look not just at their own behavior, but the behavior of the media at large.

Conservatives may be showing their "constistency" in defending both Smith and Khan -- but the ones arguing that Smith should also have a Force Field of Defense have failed entirely of convincing their liberal colleagues of this.

They haven't even made a dent.

So I'm not really sure why I am obligated to show consistency that my liberal counterparts feel no compulsion whatsoever about showing.

What I'm believing is that I should treat my liberal counterparts with the exact level of fairness, honesty, and respect with which they treat me -- and that if I show any level of fairness, honesty, and respect to them greater than what they show me, I'm not more moral or virtuous.

What I am is a damn fool and a sucker who is encouraging his own debasement.

As they say in psychiatric circles: If you're permitting your own abuse to continue, at some point, you stop being a victim, and start being a volunteer.

Khan insulted Trump. The fact that his son died twelve years ago does not grant him, in my mind, some kind of personal Grievance Privilege.

If you enter the arena, you're in the arena.

This whole idea of Special People Having Special Privileges is a leftist, progressive thing which we have aped to our dishonor and detriment by creating our own protected groups.

No, I don't think veterans should be disparaged generally, and I would object if such an honorable group were generally disparaged.

But veterans weren't being generally disparaged here - just one. And actually, no veterans at all are even involved. The father of a veteran is being insulted, after that father insulted Trump.

"You have sacrificed nothing, nothing" -- "here is the Constitution -- have you ever read it?"

Anyone going to claim those are not insults?

Sorry, I don't get it.

This is Cindy Sheehan, Subcontinental Version, and now we have our own saps giddily dancing to the tune set by the left.

So a True Conservative -- of which I am emphatically not one, I've decided, if True Conservatism is now nothing more than urban haut bourgeoisie social codes and hair-on-fire overreactions to alleged social "sins" -- will have to explain to me exactly which people they will agree with Maureen Dowd have Absolute Moral Authority on and are utterly shielded from any backtalk and counter-insult.

Silly me, I thought we were equals.

But no, the True Con position is now that some are more equal than others.

That said, sure, Trump's statement was stupid, because no statement which requires a re-examination of First Principles and constant denunciation of socially-transmitted moral panic is worth it.

And frankly, no one who has a lot of their self-value invested in the idea that As a Moral Person, I Must Overreact To Someone Putting Down Some Muslim Guy is going to be persuaded by counter-argument to the contrary.

So yes, it's counterproductive, and that's why it's bad -- because people are dumb and get excited over tiny thing, to keep them from having to stress out or think too hard about the big things.

For a larger and larger fraction of the American public, ginned-up twitter outrage is the only physical exercise or cardio they get.

And people that are actually smart and went to Wharton and know all the Best Words ought to know that: The true American pastime, the real American sport, is now moral grandstanding and shouting at people for their sins.

But no, it's not bad in and of itself.

But the Urban Haute Bourgeoisie thinks it is, and they entirely control our media (on both sides of the aisle), so, effectively, for all practical purposes, it is in fact a "bad thing."

A Brief History of the Existence and Non-Existence of Absolute Moral Authority:

2004, when Saint Cindy reveals herself to us: Exists

2009-2011, when all combat deaths are now the responsibility of War Leader Barack Obama: Does not exist (and Cindy Sheehan continues speaking out against the war, but the media is suddenly not interested in reporting on her speeches and publicity stunts)

2012-2015: when four are killed in Benghazi, and the families of the dead start speaking out: Definitely super-duper does not exist

2016, when Democrats need it to exist again: exists

Is it only me, or is anyone else getting a little sick of playing Calvinball?

Is it only me, or is anyone else beginning to feel like a chump and an asshole for participating in his own debasement and thereby affirming/validating his Second Class Citizen status?

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better:




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posted by Ace at 06:34 PM

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