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Friday Talking Factors — A Campaign Retrospective, Part 1

This column started approach again in 2007, and we definitely never anticipated to still be doing it 400 weeks later, however here we’re. Really, that is not even true, since it has been longer than four hundred weeks by the calendar (FTP will get pre-empted numerous occasions each year, comparable to when we run our year-finish awards columns).

We considered taking a look again on the previous 100 columns, but that proved to be too huge a process to tackle. So we limited it to solely the past 50 columns as an alternative, which neatly coincided with the start of the presidential race. However even this was too big for one column, as we found out when assembling it. So we break up it into two, since we really had nothing for subsequent Friday anyways. Handy, that.

What follows are probably the most notable talking points from June of 2015 by the tip of January of this 12 months (round State Of The Union time, roughly). A few of these we’ve included because they still work completely effectively (nothing has changed, in different words), some have been included for historic perspective (in case anybody’s forgotten about Ted Cruz twirling, as an illustration), and some have been just too humorous not to run again.

Since this job was exhausting sufficient, we saved quite a lot of time on formatting by copying the speaking point number (and title) verbatim from each earlier article. So the numbers under aren’t consecutive or something. To set off the old from the new, we have additionally modified all our present commentary from this week by making all of it italic. So, for this week and subsequent, let’s all take a stroll down reminiscence lane, to the speaking points of the 2016 presidential campaign season.

A Talking Level retrospective look at the 2016 marketing campaign (up to now)
A few of these we had to run once more solely because they’re still simply as true as ever. Our first talking level comes from [FTP 351] which ran in June of last year, and the only thing that wants changing is “ten months” to “two years.”

Congress does its job for two hours, then punts
That is just pathetic. There’s actually no different word for it.

“Ever marvel why President Obama feels the need to often act with out involving Congress The reply is that Congress is incapable of doing even a very powerful of its jobs. Ten months in the past — that’s ten months ago — Obama started a army marketing campaign towards the Islamic State. On the time, Republicans complained that Congress should have been consulted. Obama stated that he had the authority to act, however then sent over a proposal for a brand new ‘authorization for using navy power,’ in an effort to share the warmaking duty with Congress. This week — the primary time in ten months, thoughts you — the House lastly spent two hours debating the struggle. Then they gave up. Democrats had to use parliamentary process to even force the controversy, because the Republicans operating Congress haven’t achieved something on the warfare with the Islamic State. Nothing. One of the Democrats pushing the difficulty, Consultant Jim McGovern, didn’t mince his words, stating that Congress was, quote, guilty of ethical cowardice, unquote. I couldn’t agree more. They’re certainly shirking their constitutional duties — another phrase McGovern used — and every citizen ought to bear this in thoughts the following time Republicans complain that Obama is performing without their approval.”

There have been a lot of hilarious moments from the Republican presidential marketing campaign path, and everybody has their favorites, but this surely must be in the highest ten (on the very least). From [FTP 352] comes the excessive point of the Ted Cruz marketing campaign.

Twirling, always twirling
Ted Cruz, as famous earlier, put out a humorous video this week. It would be an act of downright political malpractice if no Republican running in opposition to him ever makes use of this in an assault ad. Context: Cruz is definitely quoting Kodos and Kang, the aliens from The Simpsons, from the “Treehouse of Horror” episode the place they throw the Clinton/Dole presidential election. Even so, the funniest half (and the reason other Republicans ought to really use the clip) is that Cruz actually does carry out a twirl, whereas reciting the quote:

“Forwards, not backwards! Upwards not downwards! And at all times twirling, twirling for freedom!”
Some of these we have included as a reminder that not everybody in the punditocracy was asleep at the switch. When Trump sewed up the GOP nomination, many pundits consoled themselves with “properly, nobody saw this coming,” which was full and utter moose poop. This is what we needed to say about things — on July 10, 2015 — in a Friday article we subtitled “Donald Trump, Frontrunner.” So at the very least a few of us had the ability to read polls accurately, even that way back. From [FTP 353], after the primary talking level bolstered our subtitle.

The face of the Republican Get together
This one hurts even worse.

“Donald Trump just isn’t just a frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination, he’s truly develop into the face of the Republican Celebration. Give it some thought — every time any Republican candidate gets interviewed, what’s one in all the primary questions asked ‘What do you think of what Trump stated ‘ To put this one other approach: Trump speaks, then all different Republicans react. By definition, Trump is talking for the social gathering now, and everyone else is simply taking part in catch-up. Institution Republicans can deny it till they’re bright crimson within the face, but it doesn’t change the fact that Donald Trump is now the most outstanding voice in their get together — Trump is indeed the face of the Republican Celebration.”

After which some we’ve simply included again because they’re so funny. From [FTP 355], here is an excellent instance of someone unclear on the idea.

Language, boy, it is powerful
There’s this factor known as “spell test”….

“Sooner or later after hurling McCarthy-type costs at a House hearing, attacking a witness over the actions of his brother and his father, Consultant Steve Russell issued a press launch calling the witness, quote: ‘anti-Sematic.” That’s S-E-M-A-T-I-C, which does not really seem within the dictionary I take advantage of. Perhaps Congressman Russell was having his personal downside being ‘anti-semantic’ [Pause for laughter] Okay, I apologize for that one….”

A recurring theme: the Republican Congress cannot get something done at all, interval. From [FTP 356], one other one that may just need the “5 complete years” up to date to “six whole years” to work perfectly right now.

Trust us, we’ll think of something
This is just turning into laughable.

“For over 5 years now, Republicans have been making an attempt to kill Obamacare. All of the Republican candidates for president agree that repealing Obamacare can be one in every of the first issues on their to-do record as president. They’ve had all this time, and they still have not got a single clue what to exchange it with, although. They’ve held the Home of Representatives for years now, and they’ve yet to even transfer a single alternative invoice out of committee, a lot less held a vote on it on the Home floor. There is completely nothing stopping them from doing so. And yet they have not. Their answer, for 5 complete years, has been the identical — it was the identical answer the Republican candidates gave on stage last night time. Trust us, they are saying, and right after we repeal every word of Obamacare, we’ll be certain to think of something to change it with.”

Another candidate for the top ten funniest 2016 marketing campaign moments. From [FTP 358], remember Deez Nuts

Deez Nuts for president!
We usually wrap these up with one amusing last speaking point. This week, we will do two as an alternative, simply because.

“Have you ever seen the recent polling A faux candidate named ‘Deez Nuts’ is polling at a surprisingly excessive level amongst voters. For some unfathomable purpose a number of state-degree polls included ‘Deez Nuts’ in a couple of of the questions they requested poll respondents about, and he is now getting nine percent in North Carolina, eight percent in Minnesota, and seven percent in Iowa! Because the candidate explains: ‘I’m a 15-12 months-previous who filled out a kind, had the marketing campaign catch on fireplace, and am now placing up one of the best third-occasion numbers since Ross Perot.’ Proper now his poll numbers are higher than a lot of the Republican field, in actual fact. In a yr when Donald Trump is the frontrunner, someway it seems entirely appropriate that ‘Deez Nuts’ ought to be approaching second place in the race, do not you assume “

One thing else we pointed out on the time, during the “glorious loyalty oath campaign” kerfluffle. From [FTP 360], we tried to warn them, we really did!

GOP is pledging loyalty to Trump
This really must be pointed out.

“The top of the Republican Nationwide Committee needed to travel to Trump Towers on bended knee to get Donald Trump to signal an unenforceable loyalty oath. What Reince Priebus and the rest of the Institution Republicans don’t realize, although, is that it’s more seemingly than not that the pledge is going to work out precisely the opposite from what they count on. If Trump wins the nomination — which, thus far, he’s the favourite to do — then all the opposite candidates could have pledged to assist Trump. No surprise Trump made Priebus crawl earlier than him — as a result of Trump may be the last word beneficiary of the whole stunt. He signed as a result of he would not believe he will even need to run a 3rd-celebration marketing campaign. He is planning on winning the Republican nomination.”

We’re making an attempt to make this retrospective a reasonable length (actually we’re!), but there are two speaking points from [FTP 361] which really deserve a spot here. The primary pointed out, in early September, that Trump was the clear favourite to win (again, word to pundits: these things ain’t rocket science, the details had been there when you cared to take a look at them). The second was, perhaps, the best takedown of Trump throughout all the campaign. It didn’t work for Jindal, in fact, but that does not make it any much less good.

Trump unstoppable
Trump faces off with Fiorina next week. Ought to be enjoyable for all!

“Can you really imagine what would happen if Donald Trump became president Faces he deemed not appropriate for television wouldn’t appear — we’d have only beautiful girls, as outlined by Trump. President Trump will save us all from ugliness ever showing on our marvel workout shirts screens again! Suppose it’s impossible Yet Donald Trump’s poll numbers continue to climb, no matter what comes out of his mouth. There is solely no ceiling but to his mounting assist throughout the party. He is now polling over 30 p.c, and my guess is that if he will get above 35 % and sustains it, he could well develop into unstoppable for the Republican nomination. It will certain make for an entertaining marketing campaign season, that is for sure! Cannot wait to see the debates subsequent week, when Fiorina takes him on in individual.”

Jindal gets off an excellent one
As promised, here is what Bobby Jindal needed to say about Trump’s religious information. This is perfect for any Democrat to use, simply preface with “…as Bobby Jindal mentioned about Trump:”

Donald Trump has never learn the Bible. The reason I know he has not learn the Bible is that he isn’t in the Bible.

Chalk this one up on the lengthy list of “apocalyptically-unhealthy things Republicans lie awake at evening worrying about, which never truly come to pass.” I imply, critically, we will invade Texas Why From [FTP 362], when yet one more GOP conspiracy idea was definitively proven completely unsuitable.

Still no occupation of Texas
Likely the last time we’ll be using this one. One wish to hope, at any fee.

“As Salon simply helpfully pointed out, the ‘Jade Helm 15’ military train just wrapped up, and Texas continues to be by some means not occupied by the American military. As an alternative of the wild-eyed expectation that troops could be ‘marching through your town, implementing Obamacare, pardoning undocumented employees and changing the Constitution with Sharia law,’ completely nothing occurred as a substitute. I’m still ready for Texas Governor Greg Abbott to admit he was ‘horribly wrong about the entire thing,’ but I am not precisely holding my breath.”

A political bombshell hit Washington when John Boehner was essentially compelled to resign. For a moment there, Republicans appeared to have the perfect replacement. Then he opened his mouth. From [FTP 364], that time when Kevin McCarthy messed up by admitting a big reality on camera.

That’s an awfully massive cat, Kevin
I am certain the Clinton marketing campaign will have some prime snark about this one.

“Kevin McCarthy, the man who will possible grow to be the subsequent speaker of the Home, simply let a reasonably massive cat out of the bag. He admitted on nationwide television that the whole Benghazi investigation was nothing more than a partisan pre-emptive attack on Hillary Clinton’s political prospects. He truly sounds proud of the fact that he is been wasting taxpayer cash on this witchhunt, even after six or seven other investigations discovered precisely nothing. Anybody with half a mind might see that this was the true reason behind launching yet another investigation — attacking Hillary’s polling numbers, as McCarthy simply boasted. But whereas everybody knew this was the case, Republicans have been never supposed to really come out and admit the truth in such blunt language. This wasn’t some fluffy little kitten McCarthy just let out of the bag — it was more like a saber-toothed tiger. If this is what we will expect from McCarthy, then I stay up for listening to him interviewed in the future, on all kinds of points.”

Generally humor was the one way to go. In October (obviously) the Home essentially had no one who needed to be speaker (after McCarthy self-immolated). From [FTP 365], one thing to scare Republicans with (contextual be aware: the Tea Partiers, in some unspecified time in the future, relabeled themselves the liberty Caucus).

A timely reference if ever there was one.

“I think that for Hallowe’en this yr, I will gown up as a Freedom Caucus member and go around to all the Home Republicans’ offices. I can not think about a scarier costume for them to see standing on their porch than that, personally. Boo! I’ve come to eat your brains! Everyone run!”

Two weeks later, that they had discovered a savior. From [FTP 367], when Paul Ryan quite reluctantly agreed to take Boehner’s job.

Paul Ryan, savior
You can virtually visualize the Republicans prostrating themselves while chanting: “We aren’t worthy!”

“Did Paul Ryan just get elected Pope I even heard some Republicans have been tweeting issues like ‘we have now white smoke’ when Ryan introduced he’d reluctantly take the job of speaker of the Home — so long as he did not have to work too arduous at it. Ryan is being hailed because the savior of the Home Republicans, but my guess is that this honeymoon is going to be fairly darn short. In truth, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if Ryan finally quits the job in frustration, identical to John Boehner did. Paul Ryan doesn’t really walk on water or anything — he is nonetheless got the job of governing probably the most ungovernable group of people in Washington. I mean, good luck to him and all, but I’m not precisely expecting miracles.”

Some of these, we have to admit, we use pretty much on a yearly basis, simply by updating the numbers. [FTP 368] has an ideal example of 1 of those, with probably the most jaw-dropping number yet.

Good work if you can get it
A favorite topic for ridicule, not less than on this column.

“I see the congressional schedules for next yr are out, and plainly the House will only be bothering to indicate up for work a paltry 111 days out of all of subsequent year. In 2011, they labored for 175 days. In 2015, they managed to work 132 days. Subsequent 12 months All the way down to 111 days. That is downright pathetic, of us. We’re paying these slackers to indicate up for work, on average, for under two days out of the week for all of next yr. Effectively, in the event that they solely need to work two days out of each five, how about we simply reduce their salaries by sixty % Seems solely honest to me.”

In the meantime, back within the presidential race, Trump stored outdoing himself on the outrageousness of his positions. From [FTP 369], Trump unveils his perfect plan to unravel inequality.

Wages are too high
This is likely one of the Democrats’ strongest points, and Donald Trump just gave them a present.

“When requested whether America ought to raise the minimal wage in the Republican debate, pretty much each candidate who responded stated they would depart the minimal wage where it’s. Aside from one. Donald Trump thinks, and that i quote, ‘wages are too excessive.’ Bought that The federal minimum wage is just too excessive, not too low. I would like to see, in the next debate, all of the Republican candidates requested whether or not they agree with Trump or not — and whether or not they’d lower the minimal wage. Perhaps they’re going to get in a bidding conflict to see how low a minimum wage they every would support.”

This idea was revived recently, complete with a sit-in and a filibuster to pressure votes. Some of us, nevertheless, have been pointing it out for quite a while. From November, in [FTP 370], we once more have two speaking factors. The first ought to sound familiar, and the second one was just so wildly idiotic that we feel the necessity to remind everyone it happened.

2,000 guns bought
That is the perfect instance to make use of.

“After 9/eleven, politicians were awfully quick to restrict Individuals’ civil liberties. The USA PATRIOT Act flew via Congress, as I recall. But the one civil liberty that Republicans refused to even deal with was the ownership of firearms. ‘Perhaps we should do one thing so terrorists who sneak into America cannot get guns,’ Democrats proposed, however the answer was a flat: ‘Nope, we’re not gonna do that,’ from the Republicans. Properly, prior to now ten years two thousand guns have been bought by individuals on the marvel workout shirts official authorities terrorist watch record. Doesn’t that concern Republicans even a tiny little bit Don’t you think this is a bigger danger than some three-12 months-previous Syrian who’s going to have to wait two or three years to become an official refugee This is what I mean about Republicans getting distracted from real, tangible, and downright dangerous loopholes in America’s laws — loopholes which have allowed hundreds of guns to get within the arms of suspected terrorists.”

Convert the heathens!
This one is simply the essence of stupidity, actually. Remember, too: he’s purported to be the sane Republican operating.

“Republican presidential candidate John Kasich — a supposed average — had his own brilliant concept for tips on how to win the hearts and minds of Center Eastern terrorists. He will create a brand new Department of Judeo-Christian Propaganda, and beam Judeo-Christian messages into the conflict zone. Boy! marvel workout shirts What a terrific thought! Let’s try to convert the heathens! I’m surprised somebody hasn’t provide you with such an excellent idea earlier than — to journey to the Holy Land and either convert or kill everyone there. You possibly can even provide you with a snappy title for the program, something alongside the strains of ‘The American Crusade’ — as a result of that’ll be the ticket to fixing the religious conflicts within the Middle East! And that is from the moderate Republican candidate, mind you.”

By December, some Republicans had began to absolutely freak out. This phenomenon has grown over time, however even back then some were sounding the alarm. From [FTP 371] comes recommendation from a strategy memo (full of talking points, in other words) from the folks whose political job it’s to get Republicans elected to the Senate. Be aware effectively that “by no means, ever” is strictly where we find ourselves now.

Never, ever
As mentioned, the primary four of these are from that Republican senatorial marketing campaign memo. This was the very first bullet point from the memo, and it paints a very grim image for Republicans.

Trump is a Misguided Missile. Let’s face facts. Trump says what’s on his thoughts and that’s a problem. Our candidates must spend full time defending him or condemning him if that continues. And, that’s a spot we never, ever wish to be.

Trump’s worldwide image was no higher that it was here at house. From [FTP 372] comes this gem. Maybe she’s obtained an anti-Trump spell to recommend Expellitrumpus!

And, finally, the best putdown of the week.

“Donald Trump is not too common in Nice Britain these days, it appears. Not solely is there a petition (with lots of of 1000’s of signatures on it) for Parliament to ban him from the nation as a hatemonger, he is also being broadly in comparison with Voldemort. Which introduced the following response from J. K. Rowling: ‘How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere close to as dangerous.’ It did not stop the jokes about Trump’s hair being certainly one of his horcruxes, although.”

By January, you’d have thought that the pundits would have realized that Donald Trump was the clear favourite to win, seeing as how he’d led within the polls for six solid months. You’d be mistaken, though. In [FTP 373] we famous in the introduction that two columnists (one left, one proper) both rightly identified their very own logical error (the “Underpants Gnome Concept”), however then went right forward and doubled-down on that error by explaining that Phase 2 merely had to occur — it was inevitable!

Lefty Ezra Klein of Vox responded with a column of his personal. Which is where the Underpants Gnomes are available. For those who are nonetheless wondering what the heck Underpants Gnomes are, we refer you to a synopsis of the “Gnomes” episode of South Park, or to a short video of their notorious business plan. Underpants Gnomes, you see, sneak around at evening stealing youngsters’s underpants, as a part of a grand get-rich-fast scheme. Here is their marketing strategy, in all its glory:

Phase 1: Acquire underpants
Part 2:

Section 3: Profit
Which is how Klein admits precisely what is lacking in the typical Washington “Trump should lose” wisdom:

It is the Underpants Gnomes principle of Trump’s loss. Step 1: Trump leads the polls for month after month. Step 2: Step 3: He loses! Even in the event you assume that’s probably, it sounds a bit ridiculous whenever you say it aloud.

Even though Klein admitted how ridiculous it was, he caught to his guns and stated that because Howard Dean misplaced, Trump would most assuredly also lose. No, actually! Later on, in the speaking points, got here a couple of more objects to add to that “has never occurred” checklist.

Doom and gloom that never occurred
I’m positive President Obama will probably be mentioning this in his upcoming State Of The Union deal with, however perhaps not in such a snarky approach.

“When President Obama ran for re-election, Republicans predicted a heavy dose of doom-and-gloom for America. Trying back on a few of these predictions exhibits how little consideration must be paid to conservatives’ dire warnings, after all. Gasoline was alleged to be over six bucks a gallon by now. Unemployment was purported to be caught at eight %. Obamacare was presupposed to have entered a dying spiral. As a substitute, have a look around you. Fuel is cheap, the economic system is adding 300,000 jobs per month. Obama has averaged extra jobs added to the financial system per yr than George W. Bush and his father mixed, actually. Unemployment is at five percent — a full point lower than Mitt Romney promised by the end of his first term, thoughts you — and over 11 million people have signed up for Obamacare already this 12 months. The reality is loads brighter than Republican predictions — keep that in thoughts as you listen to them campaign this 12 months, folks.”

We observed that we by no means properly gave credit score for where we came up with our last merchandise this week, so we would like to rectify this now. We got the pun from the guide title of a set of Wizard Of Id cartoons revealed in the 1970s. Being a kingdom, the title was truly “The Peasants Are Revolting!” Mea culpa, Johnny Hart and Brant Parker. We updated this in [FTP 375], for today’s political scene, as increasingly more Republicans began to revolt in opposition to their probably nominee.

Conservatives are revolting
And at last, we end exactly where we started.

“Boy, it’s robust to keep observe of the revolts going on in the Republican Occasion as of late. Donald Trump is main a revolt in opposition to the institution Republicans. The Nationwide Overview is leading a counterrevolt in opposition to Trump. The institution Republicans are literally waving an enormous white flag and at the moment are revolting towards the Nationwide Assessment and sucking up to Trump. Ted Cruz is leading a revolt in opposition to just about every other Republican in existence, who are quite prepared to badmouth Cruz in return. The get together’s voters are main a revolt in opposition to the large cash donors. Pretty much wherever you look within the Republican Social gathering, issues are downright revolting.”

That’s it for this week! See you next Friday (identical bat time, similar bat channel) for half 2 of our look back.

Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant Full archives of FTP columns: All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank

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