Dynasty 2016 Episode 2: Romney v. Trump

As you will recall, Episode 1 of "Dynasty 2016" featured Jeb Bush, the heir apparent of many of the RNC and donor class. He ran on amnesty, support for Common Core, and right of dynastic rule and promptly and utterly failed to persuade an angry base that he was worth their time or vote.

This week, Mitt Romney tried the same sort of right to rule gimmick and flopped when he took to the airwaves and condemned Trump -- without, it should be noted, endorsing any of the remaining candidates.

Once again my online friend “Ignatz Ratzkywatzky” more accurately and succinctly explained why this was so that has anyone else:

Let's see; Trump is surging among those who detest insiders and the elites. How do we end this surge?

I know, I know! Let's have the buttoned down, slicked back scion of a politically connected family who made hundreds of millions on Wall Street denounce him.

It's GOTTA work! 

As I draft this, I’ve no idea how today’s primaries will turn out. Jeff Dobbs, another Just One Minute typepad poster has done the research:

Big Whoop Saturday?

KS, KY, LA and ME.

Let's see... expectations.

Trump is expected to romp in KY and LA. Cruz has a serious shot in KS. And ME is way too unpredictable to predict -- but with LePage endorsing Trump, most give him the edge. The polling has been sparse in these states with not much to go on there. What little polling there is supports the expectations above -- but really can't reflect possible changes in momentum or other factors. True to his word, Rand Paul stayed out of the endorsement business.

Let's see… delegates.

Kansas is awarding 40 delegates, Kentucky 45, Louisiana 47 and Maine 23. A total of 195 delegates, 8% of all delegates to be awarded in the primary process. By comparison, there have been 703 delegates awarded so far -- 28% of the total. After today, 898 delegates will have been awarded, which will put us past 1/3 of the way to the finish line.

These are all proportional states.

In Kansas and Maine, candidates have to reach 10% of the vote to be awarded delegates.

In Louisiana, they have to reach 20%

In Kentucky, 5%.

There is no ceiling in any of the states by which a candidate could walk away with a winner take all haul of delegates.

In Kansas, Kentucky and Maine -- congressional district delegates are awarded based upon the same threshold (if you don't win 20% in a congressional district in Kansas, you don’t get any delegates in that district, even if you are >20% at the state level. In Louisiana, there is no threshold at the congressional district level.

Let's see... exit polls.

Nope. No exit polls for these states today. We will have to wait for actual election returns before the media can call races. Decision Desk should have a great chance to shine (assuming they have lined up the necessary volunteers in all these states).

What we do know from the primaries is that Trump remains a phenomenally successful campaigner.

Donald Trump is the preferred presidential candidate of moderate Republicans in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as very conservative ones in Georgia and Alabama. He's racked up enough support across the board and leveraged a splintered field to win the vast majority of early primary and caucus states.

Going back to 1960, well before all of the states regularly weighed in on the nomination, no Republican nominee has won the states of Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia and South Carolina. Much of that is because of the long-standing split between Northeastern Republicans and Southern ones.

[snip]

There's nothing necessarily significant about these eight states, beyond that they're the ones Trump won. Trump, too, has a loss, just like the 1980 nominee, Ronald Reagan. The reason it's worth noting, though, is simple:

All of these people ended up being the nominee.

While most pixel pushers are spending their time analyzing the debates -- who won, who lost, who lied, who misspoke, who was taller, had bigger hands, was most persuasive -- I think voters have caught on. The debates are pointless except to gin up revenue for the network sponsoring them and the moderators are happy to play lion to the gladiators for their self-promotion and the networks' cash registers. They are not apparently determinative of most people’s votes.

On the other hand, some shrewd commentators have predicted it’s all but over with Trump walking away with the delegates and have offered up their theories as to why.

Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal coined the phrase “low information elite” -- a turnabout on the notion of low information voters--to explain why she thinks the Republican party is shattering and that, I think, is as telling a characterization as any.

If trends continue -- and political trends tend to -- Mr. Trump will win or come very close to winning by the convention in July. If party forces succeed in finagling him out of the nomination his supporters will bolt, which will break the party. And it’s hard to see what kind of special sauce, what enduring loyalty would make them come back in the future.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Trump is given the crown in Cleveland, party political figures, operatives, loyalists, journalists and intellectuals, not to mention sophisticated suburbanites and, God knows, donors will themselves bolt. That is a smaller but not insignificant group. And again it’s hard to imagine the special sauce -- the shared interests, the basic worldview -- that would allow them to reconcile with Trump supporters down the road.

[snip]

Party leaders and thinkers should take note: It’s easier for a base to hire or develop a flashy new establishment than it is for an establishment to find itself a new base.

[snip]

The GOP elite is about to spend a lot of money and hire a lot of talent, quickly, to try to kill Trump off the next two weeks. There will be speeches, ads -- an onslaught. It will no doubt do Mr. Trump some damage, but not much.

It will prove to Trump supporters that what they think is true -- their guy is the only one who will stand up to the establishment, so naturally the establishment is trying to kill him. And Trump supporters don’t seem to have that many illusions about various aspects of his essential character. One of them told me he’s “a junkyard dog.” 

Professor Bainbridge agrees -- the people voting for Trump are revolting against the elites:

Ben Domenech captured this insight in a thoughtful column, which argues that:

The post-Cold War left-right politics of the nation have been breaking down in slow motion for two decades. They are now being replaced by a different type of inside-outside politics.

The Trump phenomenon is neither a disease nor a symptom – he is instead the beta-test of a cure that the American people are trying out. It won’t work. But this is where our politics are going: working and middle class Americans are reasserting themselves against a political and cultural establishment that has become completely discredited over time and due to their own actions. ...

In other words, Trump is the unprotected class' beta test for a cure for the revolt of the elites. And its [sic]about damned time. Which leads me to hope Domenech is right about his next point:

This is not a temporary adjustment. It is a new reality, as Codevilla writes today. “America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.

“This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate.”

Democrats and Republicans who still think that this is a phase – a fever they just need to wait out before a return to normalcy – are utterly delusional.

To the establishment, this breakdown looks like chaos. It looks like savagery. It looks like a man with a flamethrowing guitar playing death metal going a hundred miles an hour down Fury Road. But to the American people, it looks like democracy. Something new will replace the old order, and there are a host of smart, young leaders on all sides who must prove they have the capability to figure out how to create or retrofit institutions that can represent and channel this new energy.

I've been very lucky in life. I've made it into the outer fringes of the protected class. But I'm one generation out of the unprotected class and my heart is still with them. I share their values and, perhaps most important, their religious beliefs. The secularism and "progressive" values of the new elites have no appeal for me. So I get why Trump emerged.

As for the Democrats' own dynastic attempt -- it’s looking riskier and riskier for its having put all its ambitions on Hillary. Turnout for her rallies and for Democrat primaries is down and remains far smaller than Trump supporters show of support.

It’s likely, moreover, that the FBI will continue up the ladder questioning her aides -- whether or not before a grand jury the questioning is under oath with penalties of perjury and none of them can be sure what the other has revealed which might put them in jeopardy.

In a little-noticed story “Guccifer”, the Romanian who hacked Sidney Blumenthal’s email account and first informed us of Hillary’s private email accounts is on his way here, undoubtedly to face FBI questioning about the unsecured nature of her emails.

Romania's top court has approved a request by U.S. authorities to extradite a convicted hacker known as Guccifer, a source within Romania's DIICOT anti-organized crime and terrorism unit told Reuters on Friday.

"The court approved an 18-month temporary extradition to America for the hacker. This follows a request made by U.S. authorities," the source said.

A Romanian justice ministry spokeswoman said details of the extradition request had not yet been made public. 

The short term of the “temporary extradition” would suggest that he’s here to testify, not to be prosecuted, although he was indicted in 2014 on charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice.

And it’s hard to imagine that Hillary can avoid prosecution as evidence mounts of the seriousness of her breach of security:

Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton turned over to State, we now know that 2,093 were classified as “confidential” or “secret.” Another 22 were classified “top secret” -- and State withheld their contents from public release. Mrs. Clinton keeps claiming these were “retroactively” classified, but that’s been vigorously disputed by intelligence community members, who note that at least some of the top-secret emails refer to intelligence projects classified from the beginning.

The latest release provides fresh evidence that Mrs. Clinton knew her server held national secrets. In one email from April 2012, aide Jake Sullivan forwarded Mrs. Clinton a blog post from a jihadist group. Mrs. Clinton replied: “If not classified or otherwise inappropriate, can you send to the NY Times reporters who interviewed me today?”

The fact that Mrs. Clinton had to ask if this one was classified suggests she knew that people were sending sensitive information to her unsecure server. The new email dump also shows then-Sen. John Kerry sending Mrs. Clinton intelligence he’d obtained from top Pakistani generals.

From its inception -- for good reason -- Americans rejected rule by dynastic families, and it doesn’t look like we’ve changed our minds about that. Just as in the U.S., “70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, and a stunning 90% by the third,” political families lose their clout by the second and third generations.

As you will recall, Episode 1 of "Dynasty 2016" featured Jeb Bush, the heir apparent of many of the RNC and donor class. He ran on amnesty, support for Common Core, and right of dynastic rule and promptly and utterly failed to persuade an angry base that he was worth their time or vote.

This week, Mitt Romney tried the same sort of right to rule gimmick and flopped when he took to the airwaves and condemned Trump -- without, it should be noted, endorsing any of the remaining candidates.

Once again my online friend “Ignatz Ratzkywatzky” more accurately and succinctly explained why this was so that has anyone else:

Let's see; Trump is surging among those who detest insiders and the elites. How do we end this surge?

I know, I know! Let's have the buttoned down, slicked back scion of a politically connected family who made hundreds of millions on Wall Street denounce him.

It's GOTTA work! 

As I draft this, I’ve no idea how today’s primaries will turn out. Jeff Dobbs, another Just One Minute typepad poster has done the research:

Big Whoop Saturday?

KS, KY, LA and ME.

Let's see... expectations.

Trump is expected to romp in KY and LA. Cruz has a serious shot in KS. And ME is way too unpredictable to predict -- but with LePage endorsing Trump, most give him the edge. The polling has been sparse in these states with not much to go on there. What little polling there is supports the expectations above -- but really can't reflect possible changes in momentum or other factors. True to his word, Rand Paul stayed out of the endorsement business.

Let's see… delegates.

Kansas is awarding 40 delegates, Kentucky 45, Louisiana 47 and Maine 23. A total of 195 delegates, 8% of all delegates to be awarded in the primary process. By comparison, there have been 703 delegates awarded so far -- 28% of the total. After today, 898 delegates will have been awarded, which will put us past 1/3 of the way to the finish line.

These are all proportional states.

In Kansas and Maine, candidates have to reach 10% of the vote to be awarded delegates.

In Louisiana, they have to reach 20%

In Kentucky, 5%.

There is no ceiling in any of the states by which a candidate could walk away with a winner take all haul of delegates.

In Kansas, Kentucky and Maine -- congressional district delegates are awarded based upon the same threshold (if you don't win 20% in a congressional district in Kansas, you don’t get any delegates in that district, even if you are >20% at the state level. In Louisiana, there is no threshold at the congressional district level.

Let's see... exit polls.

Nope. No exit polls for these states today. We will have to wait for actual election returns before the media can call races. Decision Desk should have a great chance to shine (assuming they have lined up the necessary volunteers in all these states).

What we do know from the primaries is that Trump remains a phenomenally successful campaigner.

Donald Trump is the preferred presidential candidate of moderate Republicans in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as very conservative ones in Georgia and Alabama. He's racked up enough support across the board and leveraged a splintered field to win the vast majority of early primary and caucus states.

Going back to 1960, well before all of the states regularly weighed in on the nomination, no Republican nominee has won the states of Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia and South Carolina. Much of that is because of the long-standing split between Northeastern Republicans and Southern ones.

[snip]

There's nothing necessarily significant about these eight states, beyond that they're the ones Trump won. Trump, too, has a loss, just like the 1980 nominee, Ronald Reagan. The reason it's worth noting, though, is simple:

All of these people ended up being the nominee.

While most pixel pushers are spending their time analyzing the debates -- who won, who lost, who lied, who misspoke, who was taller, had bigger hands, was most persuasive -- I think voters have caught on. The debates are pointless except to gin up revenue for the network sponsoring them and the moderators are happy to play lion to the gladiators for their self-promotion and the networks' cash registers. They are not apparently determinative of most people’s votes.

On the other hand, some shrewd commentators have predicted it’s all but over with Trump walking away with the delegates and have offered up their theories as to why.

Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal coined the phrase “low information elite” -- a turnabout on the notion of low information voters--to explain why she thinks the Republican party is shattering and that, I think, is as telling a characterization as any.

If trends continue -- and political trends tend to -- Mr. Trump will win or come very close to winning by the convention in July. If party forces succeed in finagling him out of the nomination his supporters will bolt, which will break the party. And it’s hard to see what kind of special sauce, what enduring loyalty would make them come back in the future.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Trump is given the crown in Cleveland, party political figures, operatives, loyalists, journalists and intellectuals, not to mention sophisticated suburbanites and, God knows, donors will themselves bolt. That is a smaller but not insignificant group. And again it’s hard to imagine the special sauce -- the shared interests, the basic worldview -- that would allow them to reconcile with Trump supporters down the road.

[snip]

Party leaders and thinkers should take note: It’s easier for a base to hire or develop a flashy new establishment than it is for an establishment to find itself a new base.

[snip]

The GOP elite is about to spend a lot of money and hire a lot of talent, quickly, to try to kill Trump off the next two weeks. There will be speeches, ads -- an onslaught. It will no doubt do Mr. Trump some damage, but not much.

It will prove to Trump supporters that what they think is true -- their guy is the only one who will stand up to the establishment, so naturally the establishment is trying to kill him. And Trump supporters don’t seem to have that many illusions about various aspects of his essential character. One of them told me he’s “a junkyard dog.” 

Professor Bainbridge agrees -- the people voting for Trump are revolting against the elites:

Ben Domenech captured this insight in a thoughtful column, which argues that:

The post-Cold War left-right politics of the nation have been breaking down in slow motion for two decades. They are now being replaced by a different type of inside-outside politics.

The Trump phenomenon is neither a disease nor a symptom – he is instead the beta-test of a cure that the American people are trying out. It won’t work. But this is where our politics are going: working and middle class Americans are reasserting themselves against a political and cultural establishment that has become completely discredited over time and due to their own actions. ...

In other words, Trump is the unprotected class' beta test for a cure for the revolt of the elites. And its [sic]about damned time. Which leads me to hope Domenech is right about his next point:

This is not a temporary adjustment. It is a new reality, as Codevilla writes today. “America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.

“This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate.”

Democrats and Republicans who still think that this is a phase – a fever they just need to wait out before a return to normalcy – are utterly delusional.

To the establishment, this breakdown looks like chaos. It looks like savagery. It looks like a man with a flamethrowing guitar playing death metal going a hundred miles an hour down Fury Road. But to the American people, it looks like democracy. Something new will replace the old order, and there are a host of smart, young leaders on all sides who must prove they have the capability to figure out how to create or retrofit institutions that can represent and channel this new energy.

I've been very lucky in life. I've made it into the outer fringes of the protected class. But I'm one generation out of the unprotected class and my heart is still with them. I share their values and, perhaps most important, their religious beliefs. The secularism and "progressive" values of the new elites have no appeal for me. So I get why Trump emerged.

As for the Democrats' own dynastic attempt -- it’s looking riskier and riskier for its having put all its ambitions on Hillary. Turnout for her rallies and for Democrat primaries is down and remains far smaller than Trump supporters show of support.

It’s likely, moreover, that the FBI will continue up the ladder questioning her aides -- whether or not before a grand jury the questioning is under oath with penalties of perjury and none of them can be sure what the other has revealed which might put them in jeopardy.

In a little-noticed story “Guccifer”, the Romanian who hacked Sidney Blumenthal’s email account and first informed us of Hillary’s private email accounts is on his way here, undoubtedly to face FBI questioning about the unsecured nature of her emails.

Romania's top court has approved a request by U.S. authorities to extradite a convicted hacker known as Guccifer, a source within Romania's DIICOT anti-organized crime and terrorism unit told Reuters on Friday.

"The court approved an 18-month temporary extradition to America for the hacker. This follows a request made by U.S. authorities," the source said.

A Romanian justice ministry spokeswoman said details of the extradition request had not yet been made public. 

The short term of the “temporary extradition” would suggest that he’s here to testify, not to be prosecuted, although he was indicted in 2014 on charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice.

And it’s hard to imagine that Hillary can avoid prosecution as evidence mounts of the seriousness of her breach of security:

Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton turned over to State, we now know that 2,093 were classified as “confidential” or “secret.” Another 22 were classified “top secret” -- and State withheld their contents from public release. Mrs. Clinton keeps claiming these were “retroactively” classified, but that’s been vigorously disputed by intelligence community members, who note that at least some of the top-secret emails refer to intelligence projects classified from the beginning.

The latest release provides fresh evidence that Mrs. Clinton knew her server held national secrets. In one email from April 2012, aide Jake Sullivan forwarded Mrs. Clinton a blog post from a jihadist group. Mrs. Clinton replied: “If not classified or otherwise inappropriate, can you send to the NY Times reporters who interviewed me today?”

The fact that Mrs. Clinton had to ask if this one was classified suggests she knew that people were sending sensitive information to her unsecure server. The new email dump also shows then-Sen. John Kerry sending Mrs. Clinton intelligence he’d obtained from top Pakistani generals.

From its inception -- for good reason -- Americans rejected rule by dynastic families, and it doesn’t look like we’ve changed our minds about that. Just as in the U.S., “70% of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, and a stunning 90% by the third,” political families lose their clout by the second and third generations.