I was sick and decided to take an extended Labor Day vacation. I’ve also been very busy looking up hockey highlights to psyche myself up for the fact that there’s only 26 more days until the NHL season starts. But anyway, let’s get back to the grind with some headlines.
–Latest poll news: Quinnipiac University (H/T Ben Kamisar at The Hill) gives us an idea of where things stand in Iowa on the GOP side of things, and it’s not looking good for Scott Walker. Obviously it goes without saying that Trump leads the pack (27%) with Carson not far behind (21%). But what is truly surprising is that Scott Walker has fallen to the levels of Jindal, Graham, Perry and Santorum. Don’t forget that Scott Walker grew up in Iowa and lived there until he went to college. Furthermore, as I’ve already said on here many times, Walker was supposed to be the Republican Establishment’s olive branch to conservative voters who were obviously sour on Jeb Bush. It’s truly surprising how Trump has derailed so many candidates who were considered to be legitimate contenders.
–Who is Hugh Hewitt?: Because I know my readers (haha, it’s still funny to pretend I have readers) are unfamiliar with the conservative talk-radio crew, I wanted to link them to Slav Zatoka’s POLITICO profile on the conservative talk-radio host who will be co-moderating the next GOP debate on CNN next week. To be clear, Hugh Hewitt is a very smart man (Hewitt got his Bachelor’s at Harvard and his J.D. at University of Michigan) and I am confident he will do a good job with John King out there in Simi Valley, CA. In case you don’t remember, Hewitt made news last week by asking Donald Trump about his knowledge of our various Islamic terrorist adversaries. Trump not only did not know who Ayman al-Zawahiri is, but Trump indicated he doesn’t even care about the differences between Hamas and Hezbollah. Trump responded to the criticism by calling Hewitt a “third-rate radio announcer” and stated that the people in question would not be in the position they are now when Trump gets into office. Just for the record, if asking if you know who the leader of Al-Qaeda is is a “gotcha” question, then so are “what time is it?” or “how is the weather outside?”.
–Debate format for next week: Speaking of next week’s GOP debate, here is the format. The following candidates will be debating on the main stag during the 8 PM hour: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush,Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Chris Christie. The following candidates did not make the cut and will debate during the 6 PM hour: Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, George Pataki,Bobby Jindal, and Lindsay Graham. I am unaware at the moment if Hewitt and King will moderate both debates.
–GOP Civil War starting to manifest: Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast gives us the inside scoop on the current internecine war brewing within the establishment conservative magazine The National Review and Trump supporters. Throwing down the gauntlet is Jonah Goldberg (author of timeless classics such as “Liberal Fascism”), stating that “[i]f this is the conservative movement now… I guess you’re going to have to count me out.” Matt Ygelsias also covered the #NRORevolt movement at Vox, and boy is there a lot to comb through. You get the gist that there is a sizable section of the conservative movement that is deeply entrenched in White-identity politics. Some conservatives are getting frightened at the notion that the Republican Party will turn into a European right-of-center political party; wherein there is much less reticence towards “big government” and is much more focused on being hostile towards immigrants.
–Lefties saying nice things about Hillary?: The left flank of the Democratic Party may be promoting Bernie Sanders like there’s no tomorrow, but Justin Miller at The American Prospect notes that many progressives are lauding Clinton’s Campaign Finance Reform Plan. It’s a plan that revolves around three goals: overturning Citizens United, strengthening campaign disclosure laws, and endorsing public campaign financing. To be clear, Miller believes that this could just be Clinton’s way of entering panic mode, as there is (somewhat) strong evidence her lead is beginning to evaporate in Iowa. Still no word on where Clinton stands in South Carolina or Nevada, but it’s safe to say that it’s a little early to declare Sanders the frontrunner (although Sanders’ could get there if he starts showing strength in the later primaries).