The Spectacle Blog

Rand Paul’s Bubble Popped

By on 2.3.16 | 2:01PM

Almost two years ago our Jed Babbin asked regarding Ron Paul: "The GOP nominee?" His answer: "Fat chance." And it wasn’t only on foreign policy grounds. In the presidential sweepstakes, libertarianism at its finest has its limitations. Jed's explanation is worth revisiting, now that Paul has withdrawn from presidential contention. Read it here.

Trump Accuses Cruz of Fraud in Iowa; Demands Rematch

By on 2.3.16 | 12:51PM

Less than 36 hours after congratulating Ted Cruz in his victory in the Iowa GOP Caucuses, Donald Trump is accusing Cruz of fraud and demanding a rematch.

Trump tweeted, "Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa. He stole it."

Honestly, I am surprised it took Trump this long to go after Cruz. Once again, Trump loves Cruz and now he loves him not.

If I were Donald Trump (and, believe me, I am grateful I am not, but if I were) I would concentrate on winning New Hampshire rather than re-litigating Iowa. He can't afford to choke in back to back states.

The only person Donald Trump has to blame for his defeat in Iowa is Donald Trump. If he wasn't so scared of Megyn Kelly he wouldn't find himself in this mess.

Of course, even if Trump had won Iowa he would find some other outlet for his fake outrage. This is what demagogues do.

We've had seven plus years of demagoguery. Why do we want more?

Trudeau’s Omission of Jews From His Holocaust Statement Are Part of a Disturbing Pattern

By on 2.3.16 | 11:55AM

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued the following statement in commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day:

On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust. We honour those who survived atrocities at the hands of the Nazi regime, and welcome their courageous stories of hope and perseverance.

The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened.

As we pause to educate ourselves and our families on the bitter lessons of the Holocaust, we also strengthen our resolve to work with domestic and international partners to continue defending human rights and condemning intolerance.

Do you notice what doesn't appear in the statement?

There is no reference to Jews despite the fact that they were the primary target of Hitler's final solution which would ultimately claim six million in all.

Those Six Coin Tosses Gave Hillary Her Luckiest Day Since She Made $100,000 in The Futures Market

By on 2.3.16 | 10:58AM

To paraphrase Rod Stewart, "Some gals have all the luck."

As you probably know by now, Hillary Clinton won six precincts in the Iowa Democrat Caucus by coin tosses.

It was the luckiest day Hillary had since she turned $1,000 into nearly $100,000 in the futures market when Bill Clinton first ran for Governor of Arkansas.

It's now being reported that there were other coin tosses which Bernie won.

That's all well and good, but as long as Democrats are deciding the outcome of presidential caucuses by way of a coin toss Democrats have no right to complain about Republican voter ID laws.

Rand Paul Exits 2016 GOP Race, But Could He Run as a Libertarian?

By on 2.3.16 | 10:17AM

Rand Paul was the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring back in April.

Nearly 10 months after launching his campaign, Paul announced that he was putting it to an end. The announcement comes to an end today less than 48 hours after finishing fifth in Iowa with 4.5% of the vote. The latest poll in New Hampshire had Paul with 2% support in the Granite state.

In a time when concerns about Iran, ISIS and Islamic supremacism are of foremost concern to Republican voters, Paul's non-interventionist, if not isolationist tendencies put him way out in left field. Throw in the fact that Paul has no money, has a high unfavorability rating and is facing a strong Democrat challenger in his Kentucky Senate re-election bid, his viability as a Republican presidential candidate was simply non-existent.

Trump Feels Unappreciated by Voters, Tweets That It’s ‘Not Worth It’

By on 2.2.16 | 4:30PM

Donald Trump is having a tough day and it's showing.

None of those things are completely true. Donald Trump has been loaning his own money to his campaign on the promise of recouping his losses from donor cash. So he's only sort of self-financing. Donald Trump is certainly credited with bringing out new caucus-goers, but we can't be 100% sure they were there to vote for Donald or against him, especially when you consider that most of the new caucus-goers made up their minds in the last week. As for whether he was a long-shot, well, that wasn't what he said weeks ago. And his ground game was awful because he failed to set any traditional spending priorities, not because he didn't spend the money.

Ted Cruz Apologizes for Ben Carson Dropout Rumor

By on 2.2.16 | 3:22PM

Okay, I'll clarify that by saying that Ted Cruz sort of apologized for something they might have sort of done. 

According to CNN, the Ted Cruz campaign has issued an apology to the network after Ben Carson's high-level staffers complained that the Cruz campaign disseminated a CNN report that Carson intended to return to Florida after Iowa, rather than head to New Hampshire. According to the Carson campaign, Cruz's team spread the story deliberately, sowing discontent among Carson's caucus supporters and, somehow, building support for Cruz in the interim. 

Dr. Ben Carson and his campaign accused Sen. Ted Cruz's team of foul play on Monday night, alleging that his supporters had convinced caucus-goers he was out of the race.

Sen. Tim Scott Endorses Marco Rubio

By on 2.2.16 | 12:23PM

Marco Rubio has a lot of work to do if he intends to repeat last night's spectacular performance in Iowa. He's running behind in New Hampshire, where voters are split between the "Don't Tread on Me" stylings of Trump and Cruz, and the "compassionate conservatism" of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, who see New Hampshire as a "must win" if they intend to say in the game (both got miserable 1% ratings last night with Bush earning a single delegate for his trouble and Christie coming in just below Mike Huckabee, who performed so badly he dropped out). 

Part of that work will obtaining solid endorsements, and this morning, Rubio secured a major one in South Carolina, picking up the good word of Senator Tim Scott.

Sen. Marco Rubio scored a key endorsement on Tuesday as South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave the Republican presidential hopeful his backing.

In a video posted to Rubio's Youtube page, Scott said the Republican party has "one shot" to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 and "that shot is Marco Rubio."

Five Things You Need to Know About the Iowa Caucus

By on 2.2.16 | 11:56AM

Last night was the most exciting night in Iowa since the invention of the ethanol mandate. Ted Cruz pulled ahead in the early hours and pulled out a substantial win over Donald Trump, with Marco Rubio running a close third, only about 2,500 points behind Donald Trump. Ben Carson rounded out the top four with a decent showing (10%), and both Martin O'Malley and Mike Huckabee dropped out by night's end (both of them should probably have dropped out a month ago).

This morning, the Iowa hangover is evident. The media is gloating over Donald Trump's fallibility. Ted Cruz is probably still giving his victory speech. And the Democrats are still wondering exactly who won their caucus, as the difference between the two candidates is hovering around .2%. 

So, now, what's next? Well, here are a few things you need to know about the Iowa Caucuses.

Hillary & Bernie in a Virtual Tie in Iowa UPDATE

By on 2.1.16 | 11:41PM

With 95% of the ballots in, it appears that Hillary Clinton has held off the challenge of Bernie Sanders in Iowa. Hillary leads Bernie 50% to 49% (with 1% to the now departed Martin O'Malley) and has been awarded 667 delegates to 656 for Sanders.

In mid-December, Hillary had a 9 point lead over Bernie. But this lead evaporated and made this race too close to call. Had she lost tonight it would have reminded voters that she lost Iowa not only to Barack Obama, but to John Edwards in 2008. 

Assuming that Hillary holds the lead, in a few days no one will remember that she won by the tighest of margins. They will only remember that she won.

Still, Bernie Sanders is expected to win in New Hampshire. But what really counts is the South. If Bernie can make it razor thin on her political turf then she's got trouble. Of course, she might have more trouble had Bernie not taken her damn e-mails off the table. 

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