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Trump will drop Strange like a hot anvil and become Moore’s best friend after today

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I believe I can predict this with a fair degree of confidence based on a couple of things.

First, that it appears, unless there’s a huge upset brewing (always a possibility) that Roy Moore will beat Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate runoff Tuesday.

Second, Steve Bannon is still fighting FOR Donald Trump, despite President Trump’s cement-booted political missteps. Bannon, and Trump’s base in Alabama, is more aligned with Moore than with Strange. Strange is the product of the corrupt administration that took down Robert Bentley.

Strange, who was the state attorney general investigating Bentley’s sex scandal, got the appointment in what could have been an apparent quid pro quo arrangement. Moore has made hay on the smell of scandal encompassing Strange’s appointment. That, plus the take-no-prisoners attitude that Roy Moore is legendary for in Alabama has made it very difficult to move voters, despite massive advertising from Mitch McConnell’s super PAC, and a personal appearance by President Trump.

This will not be the kind of rebuke of Trump that many (such as Allahpundit) think it might be. It will certainly test the waters of how much Trump can influence a race in a state he won handily. But the voters who will choose Moore still love Trump. They won’t hold it against Trump that he backed Strange, who was an early Trump supporter. They will simply expect Trump to honor their choice.

And he will. Expect a hug-fest between Trump and Moore after Moore wins Tuesday night. If Moore somehow loses, expect Trump to be gracious to him.

Also expect that Trump will thank Luther Strange for his support and his service, then drop him like a hot anvil. Strange is tied up in Jeff Sessions’ problems, in disgraced former Gov. Bentley’s scandal, and therefore off limits for any political appointment until those issues are resolved. I don’t think Trump could get Strange approved for a federal bench appointment given the potential conflict of interest issues. He’s simply a shade too shady for that.

This will be a victory for Moore, and Trump will make the best of it. There will be no rebuke of Trump versus Trumpism. The Trump party will go on, with another face in Alabama.

Whoa: Roy Moore 57, Luther Strange 41 in new Alabama GOP Senate poll – Allahpundit, Hot Air

https://hotair.com/archives/2017/09/25/whoa-roy-moore-57-luther-strange-41-new-alabama-gop-senate-poll/My guess was that Moore will win tomorrow night by eight points despite the fact that he’s led by more in various polls of the Alabama runoff. If Trafalgar’s right, the actual margin will be double that. It’ll be a blowout and an embarrassing rebuke to Trump, who not only couldn’t get his guy over the finish line after a rally in Huntsville but couldn’t get him within 15 points of victory. I can’t understand all the political eggheads claiming this past week that the Strange endorsement was some kind of win/win for Trump when really it was a lose/lose. Either he’d end up helping an establishmentarian defeat a populist, which would annoy his fans, or the populist would defeat his preferred candidate, humiliating POTUS.

Bentley’s notes show thinking behind Luther Strange’s appointment | AP, AL.com

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/09/bentleys_notes_show_thinking_b.htmlStrange’s appointment to fill Sen. Jeff Sessions’ seat came as Bentley faced an impeachment investigation by state lawmakers for the fallout of an alleged affair with a staffer. Strange had asked for a pause in the impeachment investigation so his office could do “related work.”

As Strange seeks election to a full Senate term, he has been dogged by criticisms for accepting the interim Senate appointment from a governor overshadowed by scandal.

Bentley’s handwritten notes from interviews with finalists for the Senate appointment show that he ranked finalists in several categories, including what he called the “trickle-down effect.” While he didn’t explain the term in his notes, which were turned over to the Alabama Department of Archives and History with other administration records, the phrases he jotted down suggest he was referring to whether a prospective appointment would open up a state office, which would then have to be filled.

Bentley gave Strange high rankings in every category, including the “trickle-down effect,” noting that he would get to appoint the next state attorney general.

 

 

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Opinions

Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

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Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

When news broke today that Ed and Brian Krassenstein from #Resistance fame had their Twitter accounts permanently banned, reactions from both sides were predictable. Those on the left pointed at the event and said, “see there’s no Twitter conspiracy against conservatives.” Meanwhile, conservatives’ reactions were mixed between thinking it was Twitter’s attempt to balance things out so they don’t get sued all the way up to rejoicing that the site may have finally learned its lesson.

None of this is true. According to Twitter, they were banned for using bots and paid engagement.

“The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”

While the brothers will go down in Twitter history as a rare example of prominent progressives getting banned, the reality is their removals from the site were economic. That’s rarely the case for conservatives who get banned for hateful speech or whatever the latest label is for telling people to “learn to code.” In fact, I don’t recall a single conservative getting banned for paid engagement or bot use. It happens, I’m sure, but as far as I can recall it hasn’t been the reason for any major political accounts to get the ax.

Either way, I oppose this and nearly all bannings that aren’t the result of spam, illegal activity like doxxing, spreading malware, or porn. If they want to stop bots and paid promotions, they should be catching these accounts and sending them stern messages. They can reduce their visibility. But if someone artificially inflates their engagement without using Twitter ads, they can and should be dealt with in ways that fall short of getting banned. Same holds true for most “hateful speech” that seems to unfairly target conservatives. Again, as long as the speech used is not breaking the law, it should be allowed.

Or, Twitter could simply establish that it’s a content site and not simply a platform. They would lose their protections, but at least they would be in line with the letter of the law. As it stands, they get platform protections while acting to police activities that are against the notion of free speech and therefore should not be allowed to continue getting platform protections.

Speech is free or it isn’t.

Comparing the Krassenstein’s permanent suspensions to any of the recent prominent conservative account suspensions is invalid. They weren’t banned for what they said. They were banned for bots and paid promotion. Conservatives are still being targeted.

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Entertainment and Sports

‘Star Trek: Picard’ looks like it’s going to be a social justice warrior’s take on the future

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Star Trek Picard looks like its going to be a social justice warriors take on the future

Gene Roddenberry had one rule for the Star Trek franchise. The future had to be a perfect utopia. In his vision, man had evolved to a point where it had no character flaws: no malice, no greed, no secrets. There wasn’t supposed to be a Section 31, the dark NSA-like secret group. War was to be avoided at all costs. Even conflicts between Starfleet personnel had to be manufactured to pass muster; someone had to be mind-controlled for there to be fight between officers.

After his death, it didn’t take long for his rule to get broken again and again.

Perhaps this was a good thing, at least from the perspective of a modern audience that prefers to see internal conflict over pure humans operating in an impure galaxy. After all, his vision may have launched the series, but the franchise hit its stride after his death. Or did it?

The Star Trek franchise has never been a true blockbuster, at least not in a world with Star Wars and the MCU. It has a strong following and its winning people over from generations who were born after Captain Jean Luc Picard’s The Next Generation wrapped up on television to start making movies. But its ability to stay relevant has relied heavily on shifting storylines and new perspectives that are a far cry from Roddenberry’s original ideas.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing, but the upcoming CBS show, Star Trek: Picard, threatens to not only take the franchise into unexplored territory but also fundamentally change the character many of us have grown to love. And if my hunch is right, they’re going to do it by turning arguably the most beloved character in the franchise (sorry Kirk and Spock) into a social justice warrior.

Hints of a different type of Picard story have been swirling around the show since its inception. Patrick Stewart said he wanted this 20-year-older version of the Picard to be very different from the warrior-explorer-diplomat that we’ve admired for decades. Considering the direction he and CBS have both gone in recent years, that gave me the feeling they were going to have a betrayed Picard get drawn back in to right wrongs and fight for the little guy, as any good social justice warrior should. Now that they’ve released a teaser, my hunch has only been reinforced.

I hope I like it. but I have a very nasty feeling that I won’t. I have a horrible sense that they’re going to ruin a great character and tear down Roddenberry’s legacy for the sake of being socially conscious and progressively preachy. We’ll see.

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Democrats

Pelosi’s endgame strategy: Impeach Trump during general election season

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Pelosis endgame strategy Impeach Trump during general election season

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been playing a balancing act for the past few months. On one hand, she has to stop her caucus from becoming too zealous about impeaching President Trump, fearing the same public backlash the GOP received in 1998 during impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. On the other hand, she needs to keep the specter of impeachment alive so she doesn’t start getting attacked by the radical Democratic base who want the President out immediately.

But lost in the mix is the speculation that Pelosi is fully prepared to impeach the President, just not yet. She wants to bring impeachment and all the mud that will be flung at the President as a result during the heart of general election season.

Evidence of this is all circumstantial but compelling. In a closed-door meeting with committee heads yesterday, she instructed her team to keep up the pressure through investigation after investigation. This would normally not be enough to appease impeachment hawks like Maxine Waters and others, but their clear support for the strategy is an indicator that they’ve been promised vindication at a better time than now. Otherwise, there’s enough support for impeachment among the base for them to continue beating the drum louder and possibly even call for Pelosi’s ouster.

It’s also conspicuous that lower members of the Democratic totem pole haven’t gone after Pelosi, including known antagonists like Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

Pelosi knows her time is short if things don’t go her way quickly. She was able to gather support from opposition within her caucus by promising to only serve as Speaker for two years. But she has no intention of stepping down if Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives through the 2020 election. Instead, she intends to build her credentials by strategically beating the President, not only on the political arena but in the 2020 election itself. No, she’s not running, but if she launches her impeachment hearings in a way that can earn her credit for the Democratic nominee to win, she will have solidified her seat as Speaker for as long as she wants to stay there.

It’s a huge gamble. Depending on how the impeachment proceedings go in the eyes of the public, she could do enough damage to help kick the President out of the Oval Office. On the other hand, she could seal her own fate if the President wins as a result of sympathy he’s able to garner from the political move of a well-timed impeachment proceeding. It has the potential to backfire spectacularly if the public sees it as a dirty trick, one that could even cost the Democrats control of the House.

But in reality she doesn’t have much to lose. If she impeaches now when it won’t affect the election or if she chooses not to impeach at all, there’s a very good chance she’ll be held to her word to step down as Speaker in 2021. If she delivers the White House to the Democrats, she’ll be locked in her Speaker seat indefinitely.

This should infuriate Democrats more than Republicans, especially the growing radical wing of the party. Their goal, as stated by the Justice Democrats, is to take over the party from within. But Pelosi’s moves are not only meant to harm Republicans but also increase the power over the Democratic Party held by the establishment.

We may be witnessing the swampiest tactics every put on display from Capitol Hill as Speaker Pelosi plots the takedown of a sitting President. Some say she’s impotent, but clearly she’s a viper with plenty of bite left.

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