Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election Thoughts: 2016 Edition

Well, that was... unexpected to say the least. And while I'll happily indulge in a few choruses of "Ding dong the witch is dead" my heart isn't really in it. This victory was more Pyrrhic than most.

Republicans ran perhaps the least likable candidate possible from the available possibilities. That he turned out to be a brilliant brand manager, who's been managing his own brand for decades, and who knew how to stay relentlessly on his own message was probably the only that helped. Well, that and his opponent being the most unlikable option the Democrats could possibly have run.

Going back to at least the '90s, there's been a regular call from the conservative side to put a businessman, not a career politician in the White House. "He'll run the government like a business, fix the budget problems, and cut out the fat." is the usual rallying cry. Ross Perot, Steve Forbes, and Herman Cain all ran under that banner. Well, now we finally got our chance. Let's see how this works out.

In a way, I almost feel sorry for Hillary. She spent her life following the Establishment's playbook, playing a long game to power. She hitched her wagon to a rising star, and he took her all the way to the White House. Sure she had to overlook and actively cover up his various indiscretions, not all of which were consensual, but that's a small price to pay for power. She carpetbagged her way into a safe Senate seat for a few years of actual legislative experience, then, at her crowning run, got her shot stolen away from her by a young, charismatic man named Barack Obama. She spent the next eight years building her campaign network, ensuring that her people were in all the right places to ensure victory, and in the end, she still couldn't close the deal. Undone more by her own schemes than by anything her opposition did, she exits the stage like a true comic book villain.

Then there are the also rans. These idiots. In a year that featured the two least likable major candidates of the modern era, the Libertarians and Greens were handed a golden opportunity to field smart, viable candidates to help push their parties into relevance. They came up with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein instead. The Greens and Libertarians should have been able to pull at least 10-20% of the votes this year, but no. 5% it is, and continued, perpetual irrelevance.

A very special callout too, to Evan McMullin and his allies with the AndCampaign. Way to make both Libertarians and Greens look competent. With a platform of "Vote for me, hope this gets thrown to the House of Representatives" you never, ever had a shot, but hey, you came in second in Utah. I cannot believe the number of otherwise intelligent Center-Right people who fell for this piss-poor excuse for a plan, simply because they were on #NeverTrump. You could have at least voted for Johnson and made some small impact in having a relevant third party, but no.

So the Republicans have the presidency, and both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade. Anyone remember when Barack Obama took office with that? Calls for moderation and bipartisanship were answered with "We won." followed by ramming ObamaCare through.

So will anyone have learned anything from that, or from this election? Probably not, which is why we'll be talking about President-Elect Kim Kardashian twelve years from now.

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