Maybe He Got Tired Of Winning

The Wall Street Journal explains why Trump lost the election. Bears repeating, the Wall Street Journal:

“Much of this erosion in support was based on dislike for Mr. Trump personally and the way he handled the Presidency. ‘While a majority of voters said they didn’t find either Presidential candidate honest or trustworthy, Biden held a double-digit advantage over POTUS,’ especially in the five states that flipped to Mr. Biden in 2020, says the Fabrizio analysis.

Mr. Trump was favored 6 to 1 or more among voters on the economy. But the coronavirus was the top voter issue in both groups of states, and Mr. Biden carried those voters 3 to 1. Mr. Trump’s eroded credibility and inability to maintain a consistent Covid message may have been decisive.

More startling is that Mr. Trump ‘suffered his greatest erosion with white voters, particularly white men in both state groups,’ according to the Fabrizio analysis. This offset his double digit gains with Hispanics while he performed about as well with blacks as he did in 2016. The former President also lost ground with nearly every age group in both sets of states, and he ‘suffered with white college educated voters across the board.’

We rehearse all this not to rub an open political wound. The point is to remember, as time passes and Mr. Trump blames everyone else for his defeat, that 2020 was a winnable race. Mr. Trump had many accomplishments to tout, and voters recognized them. But Mr. Biden’s consistent campaign message of a return to a calmer, more unifying politics resonated with millions of voters who had tired of the constant Trump turmoil.

Mr. Trump didn’t lose to Joe Biden. He lost to himself.”

In hindsight, he defers to the scientists, wears a mask, advocates for masks, he wins. Those of us who desperately wanted to send him packing have his ego to thank.

Weekend Required Reading

1. The US is building a bike trail that runs coast-to-coast across 12 states.*

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2. The pandemic is speeding up the mass disappearance of men from college. 

3. Europeans “get” station wagons in ways U.S. drivers do not. Could this begin to change that?

4. Trump Was the Swamp. Persuasively argued, but come on, no credit for pardoning Lil Wayne?

5. Biden Gave Trump’s Union Busters a Taste of Their Own Medicine. Elections have consequences.

6. Mina Kimes Eats All-22 Tape for Breakfast. Love me some Mina, but her brain and communication skills seem better suited to weightier subjects.

* thanks DDTM

Making History

Many people understate Trump’s accomplishments. He is the first president to lose the popular vote twice and to be impeached twice.

And one more thing, he received 74,222,593 votes. A lot, but not the 75 million nearly everyone is stating. In the interest of accuracy, can we stop rounding up? And for the record, Biden/Harris earned 81,281,502. Electoral college. . . 306 to 232.

Am I undercutting my own argument?

A Gerundocracy

I need Anna Rappe’s or DK Byrnes’s help on this one. It’s kinda embarrassing that Anna is Swedish, lives in Sweden, and for sure knows more about English language grammar than me. And no, she didn’t learn any of it in the 10th grade World History course I taught her at the International Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia back in the days of Mengistu.

More from today’s Twitterverse.

A.J. Bauer, “Biden, Blinken, Yellen — what is this, a gerundocracy?” Followed by Alison L. Gillespie, “This is geekiest grammar joke I have ever seen on Twitter and everyone thinks it’s about ageism.”

She’s right about me at least, I did have to read it twice before I realized it wasn’t ageist.

A gerontocracy is a state, society, or group governed by old people. A gerund is a verb that morphs into a noun when you add “ing”.

But all of Bauer’s examples end in “en”. If they ended in “ing” I’d muster a chuckle. Consequently, I’m left wondering what exactly is the joke.

Postscript: This just in! The Good Wife drops some knowledge. . . “I think it’s not the spelling that makes it a gerund in his case. It’s the sound when you say it- like ‘She was yellin’ loud enough for the neighbors to hear!'” 

What Does Trump Get Out of Contesting Biden’s Win?

The title of Steve Coll’s New Yorker piece.

“Typically, the best way to understand Trump’s actions is to ask what’s in it for him. Four more years in the White House would extend his immunity from New York prosecutors conducting active investigations into possible criminal activity, ease pressure from bank creditors, and further enrich his family businesses: a win-win-win. Assuming that the President fails to rig a second term, he is fashioning a story about how corrupt Democrats foiled his reëlection, which might galvanize followers and donors after he leaves office. According to the Post, the President told advisers last week, ‘I’m just going to run in 2024. I’m just going to run again.’ His campaign has formed a political-action committee, called Save America, which appears designed as a means for him to raise money to influence the Republican Party after his Presidency ends. The pac is eligible to receive funds now for Trump’s ‘election defense,’ but much of that money would likely be spent on other causes and candidates. Leave it to Trump to manufacture a constitutional crisis that also incorporates a fund-raising con.”

Plausible, but ultimately, just speculation. Why should anyone believe Coll has inside knowledge of Trump’s mindset? I suspect Trump’s mania is largely unexplainable. 

 

I’m Not A Political Consultant

But I could be. Imagine if Trump’s campaign was a bit more inclusive and I was hired to advise on messaging and strategy.

The incessant attacks on Biden’s character are a dead-end. A lot of Republicans fret about his probable policies, but they also know deep down, he’s a decent person. And human decency counts now more than ever. Instead, focus on real threats to American life by tweeting this out:

It’s grossly unfair that college professors have lifetime job security and an all-time great President has to reapply for his job after only four years.

Then just sit back and watch the “likes” and retweets.

And here’s how you blunt the criticism that the President hasn’t clearly communicated what he hopes to accomplish in a second term. Again, tweet this:

Authoritarianism. Just try it. What have you got to lose?

The first two-thirds of that would also make an excellent bumper sticker and pin.

Weeks ago, I also would’ve insisted on placing a voting box at every truck stop and boat ramp in Florida.

And lastly, that 400-person White House party planned for tonight, I’d trim that guest list by about 396 people.

He Apparently Earned A B.S. In B.S.

Not normally a fan of Friedmans, but this is very good. “Trump’s Motto: Your Money or Your Life“. Still in a post-Warren funk, maybe I’m not fully appreciating Byedon. My enthusiasm for his candidacy has been based on one overarching thing. He’s not Trump.

“Imagine that your child is sick with a disease and you decide to take her to 100 different doctors to get multiple opinions — and 99 doctors give you the same diagnosis and prescribed treatment and one tells you that there’s nothing to worry about, that your child’s disease will ‘disappear … like a miracle, it will disappear.’

What parents in their right minds would follow the advice of the doctor with the one-out-of-100 diagnosis?

This, alas, is no hypothetical. This, alas, is actually the most important question facing voters in choosing our next president. Are you ready to trust your own child’s and the country’s health to the guy who holds the one-out-of-100 view on both climate change and Covid-19? He being Dr. Donald Trump, founder of Trump University, where he apparently earned a B.S. in B.S.

It is stunning to me how many conservatives want to go with the doctor with the one-out-of-100 diagnosis, since doing so is anything but conservative.”