Friday, September 30, 2016

The #NeverTrump Republican Argument Against Evan McMullin

I haven't paid a lot of attention to Evan McMullin's presidential campaign other than one early column on his likely motivations. But this morning's Erick Erickson column is a bit of a challenge that I think should be answered. The column concerns USA Today's condemnation of Trump but non-endorsement of Clinton. Erickson closes his opinion of that piece out with:

It'd be nice if they highlight Evan McMullin. He is a sound alternative.

In what universe is McMullin "a sound alternative" to any of the top three (by polling) candidates for president?

Apart from a year as a Goldman Sachs investment banker, McMullin appears to have spent his entire adult "working" life on one government teat or another. First the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Then the CIA. Then Congress (as an advisor/policy director to House Republicans). Almost no private sector experience, zero electoral political experience, and so far as it's possible to tell (I'm allowing for the opacity of CIA employment here), zero executive experience.

He's also only on the ballot in 12 states representing a maximum potential 84 electoral votes. He's a write-in candidate in 18 states, bringing his maximum potential up to a winning 317 electoral votes (that's per Wikipedia as accessed this morning -- I suspect Richard Winger of Ballot Access News might offer different, more accurate, numbers). He's neither on the ballot, nor a write-in option, in two of the three largest states (he's a write-in in Texas, but totally absent as an option in California and Florida).

I don't support Gary Johnson, but if I was a #NeverTrump Republican, it wouldn't even be a close call between Johnson, McMullin and Trump when it comes to traditional "qualifications" to head up the DC gang. Johnson became a multimillionaire in the private sector (construction) then won two terms as a Republican governor. He's also on the ballot in 50 states and DC.

McMullin's not "a sound alternative," he's a punchline.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Choice Not a Leppo

On the one hand, it's not likely the state of Florida will count a write-in vote for Darryl W. Perry (it's too late for him to register and appoint electors here).

On the other hand, it's a vote I can cast without guilt. So I may just cast it's anyway, as if I was a libertarian voter in one of the 17 states where he's all formal and stuff.

Speaking of Trump ...

... that last post was a digression from where I intended to go. I clicked through to the account of Trump's visit to the Versailles Restaurant in Miami from a different Miami New Times piece -- a piece about Trump having apparently illegally (versus US embargo laws) done business in Cuba.

Thing was, I was prepared to find something likable about Trump. The US embargo of Cuba has been instrumental in keeping the Castro brothers and the Communist Party in power for half a century. I'm not sure if every violation of the embargo law is heroic per se, but it's definitely not something I'd hold against Trump or anyone else. Bringing about the beginning of the end of that tyrannical idiocy is one of the few things I've applauded US president Barack Obama for.

Unfortunately, even if it's true that Trump violated the embargo himself, according to the New Times story he "has said he would reverse all of Obama's decisions to relax the embargo and would refuse to lessen any sanctions on the island nation until Castro released political prisoners and restored some civil rights."

So he may be a hypocrite (the other possibility is that, as with so many other things, there's no real way to know what he actually intends because he reverses himself every three minutes or so on most issues).

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