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What Is This ‘QAnon’ Thing They’re Talking About?

Monday, February 15th, 2021

Recent focus on the deranged views voiced by U.S. Rep Marjorie Taylor (Marge) Greene has elevated “QAnon” to a household word.

Attempting to understand precisely what “QAnon” is, however, represents a slippery and elusive task, because this shadowy, nut-case umbrella term has no universally accepted description.

The best nuts and bolts description, in a grueling Calbuzz internets investigation, comes from the global crowd source scholars of Wikipedia, who write in part:

QAnon[a] (/ˌkjuːəˈnɒn/) is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory[1] alleging that a secret cabal of Satan-worshippingcannibalistic[2][3][4] pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotted against former U.S. president Donald Trump while he was in office.[5] According to U.S. prosecutors, QAnon is commonly called a cult.[6]  

the conspiracy theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by “Q” (or “QAnon”), who was presumably an American individual;[22] it is now more likely that “Q” has become a group of people acting under the same name.[23][24] 

stylometric analysis of Q posts claims to have uncovered that at least two people wrote as “Q” in different periods.[25][26] Q claimed to be a high-level government official with Q clearance, who has access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States.[27] 

Fair enough, but that’s a lot to process, and yet barely scratches the surface in terms of the wakadoodle ideas that QAnon adherents believe to be true. Consider just one of those ideas – known as, um, “Frazzledrip” — as outlined by Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times:

The lurid fantasy of Frazzledrip refers to an imaginary video said to show Hillary Clinton and her former aide, Huma Abedin, assaulting and disfiguring a young girl and drinking her blood. It holds that several cops saw the video and Clinton had them killed.

Because: of course.

Digging deeper. Here are several other descriptions that a variety of credible writers have employed in bids to wresle the nature, scope and meaning of QAnon to the ground:

— At its heart, QAnon is a wide-ranging, completely unfounded theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media:  QAnon: What is it and where did it come from? – BBC News — Mike Wendling

— Named after “Q,” who posts anonymously on the online bulletin board 4chan, QAnon alleges that President Donald Trump and military officials are working to expose a “deep state” pedophile ring with links to Hollywood, the media and the Democratic Party: QAnon: The alternative religion that’s coming to your church (religionnews.com) — Katelyn Beaty

— baseless belief an anonymous person called Q was revealing secrets about a child trafficking ring orchestrated by Democrats and global elites: (“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon conspiracy promoter, rose with support from key Republicans,  The Washington Post — Michael Kranish, Reis Thebault and Sephanie McCrummen

— a wild conspiracy theory that alleges a massive global pedophile cabal: (“ Tucker Carlson stands up for QAnon supporters,”  The Washington Post — Aaron Blake

— QAnon is the umbrella term for a set of internet conspiracy theories that allege, falsely, that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles:” What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? “- The New York Times (nytimes.com) — Kevin Roose

Key, but mostly unspoken, point: QAnon is not an organization, like the Republican Party, the John Birch Society, Students for Democratic Society, the Catholic Church or the Black Panther Party, or others which the MSM has described at various times as “extremist.”

Rather, it’s an uncertain, inconstant and shifting collection of conspiracy theories: One doesn’t “belong” to QAnon. There’s no sign-up sheet, list of members, leadership structure or regular meetings.

Saying someone associates with QAnon is like saying someone associates with pantheism:  the belief that reality is identical with divinity,[1] or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, immanent god.[2].

Delusion goes mainstream. To be sure, there always have been tinfoil-hat and survivalist weirdos who believe Elvis is still alive, the Moon landing was faked or that the Holocaust never happened. But inevitably they were fringe people, widely regarded as delusional, out-of-the-mainstream wackos to whom nobody paid much attention.

Now, however, significant portions of the Republican Party have defended and spread ideas common among QAnon theorists – like the belief that the Clintons and George Soros killed JFK or that the Sandy Hill School shootings were a “false flag” operation by anti-Second Amendment haters.

Or as Marge Greene – who holds a seat in the United States House of Representatives (and let that sink in) –famously retweeted, that Jewish space lasers set off the wildfires in California. Because: of course

In short, delusion has gone mainstream, the culmination of the “Death of Truth” trend in politics and culture of which we are among the first to write more than a decade ago.

Of course, the Delusionist in Chief, Donald Trump, played a pivotal role in spreading ideas like this and others, including denial of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election or that Hydroxychloroquine prevents Coronavirus.

When the Commander in Chief, the Leader of the Free World – the elected president of the United States – holds, spreads and spins an entire alternative reality, the effect is like aggressive cancer consuming the country.

The bottom line change. For decades, crazy thinking, virulent racism, corrosive xenophobia and crushing misogynism all were part of the American political landscape. But all the flying monkeys, biting insects and snarling monsters were tamped down and stuffed into a box by mainstream politics, media and social decency.

Then along came Donald Trump, who not only unlocked forever our American Pandora’s Box, but who endorsed, cheered and promoted virtually every one of the most dangerous and disgusting creatures and ideas that common sense had marginalized.

Now Qanon has become the unified theory of all the false and slanderous conspiracy stories. Which – at least for the moment –– is being debunked, repudiated and de-legitimatized under the Biden-Harris administration.

That crazy uncle has been sent back to the basement. Whether or not he stays there is an open question.

Dissecting Dueling IGS & PPIC Polls on Prince Gavin

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

A few months ago, when the Coronavirus pandemic was just getting real, a majority of Californians thought Gov. Gavin Newsom was doing a good job of managing the crisis.

Not so much anymore.

Today, only 31% of California voters give Newsom good or excellent marks for handling the “coronavirus pandemic” in a survey by Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, compared to 43% who give him poor or very poor marks.

And in the poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, registered voters are split almost equally with 49% approving and 46% disapproving Newsom’s handling of the “coronavirus outbreak.”

Which is why Newsom’s overall approval rating has dipped to 46% among registered voters in the IGS Poll and 50% among RVs in the survey from PPIC.

Much has been made of the difference between the findings of the two polls in part because IGS gave results for registered voters (46%) while PPIC focused on results from likely voters (52%).

But if you compare apples to apples – registered voters – the two polls are only about 4 percentage points apart on Newsom’s overall performance.

Bottom line, voters are not particularly happy with Newsom these days and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic/outbreak is the main reason. (Also: rank partisanship abides).  

What it means for recall

All of which suggests the drive to recall Newsom is likely to get on the ballot because Republicans hate his guts.

However, Prince Gavin is likely to survive a recall because Republican partisans represent only a small portion of California voters.

Our old friend George Skelton at the LA Times, along with Ben Christopher at CalMatters and Jeremy White at Politico have already done some fine reporting and commentary on Newsom’s standing in the polls and his chances in a recall election. They rely somewhat on analyses from Mark DiCamillo and Co. at IGS and Mark Baldassare at PPIC.

IGS said, in part:

Fueling the decline is the public’s much more negative assessment of the way Newsom and state government are handling the pandemic. T

he latest poll finds fewer than one in three Californians (31%) rating Newsom as doing an excellent or good job in handling the pandemic overall,down from 49% last September.

Also, just 22% offer a positive rating of the job he and state government are doing in overseeing the distribution of the coronavirus vaccines to the public.

In addition, only about half (47%) have a great deal or some trust in the way the governor and state government are setting the rules when issuing stay-at-home orders or setting  guidelines for business to follow to slow the spread of the virus, with majorities describing them as inconsistent (62%), confusing (60%) and ineffective (53%).

While PPIC said:

Assuming there will be a governor’s recall election in 2021, the political wildcard is the status of COVID-19 in California.

In the January PPIC Survey, about half of likely voters say that COVID-19 is the most important issue for the governor and legislature to work on in 2021.

Currently, Governor Newsom has mixed reviews for his handling of this issue (50% approve, 47% disapprove). And less than three in ten give the state government an excellent or good rating for its handling of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In contrast, seven in ten approve of the way that the pandemic is being handled by Joe Biden in his early days of presidential leadership.

Deep in the weeds

So, what are the key differences between these two surveys, much deconstructed and dissected in political circles this week, both produced by very fine pollsters?

(For what it’s worth, the dispositive 538 pollster ratings show that PPIC has about the same high rating as the now defunct Field Poll had, but enjoys a much better rating than Berkeley.)

PPIC uses live interviews and random digit dialing, which gives every telephone exchange (land line and cell phone) an equal chance of being surveyed, and they use an established method to get someone from the household on the phone.

This is classic polling methodology, developed over decades to ensure that a random sample of the population is surveyed.

But it has become increasingly more difficult (and expensive) to get people to take phone surveys.

PPIC’s response rate in its latest survey was about 5% for landline calls and 3% for cellphones (although for those in the sample who had participated in a prior survey it was higher – 44% for land lines and 25% for cells).

In addition, pollsters determine who is and who is not a registered voter (or a likely voter) by asking questions that respondents may or may not answer truthfully like:

Are you registered to vote? What party are you registered in? How much are you following the news? Do you plan to vote the next election?

Every pollster has their own combination of questions to try to make sure they distinguish who is and who is not a voter, but it’s as much art as it is science.

In addition, some people are so suspicious of authorities, institutions and researchers they won’t ever participate in a survey, even when the call is from the Public Policy Institute of California and not some “partisan” or egghead caller like, say, the University of California Berkeley.

IGS, on the other hand, can’t afford the huge cost of live surveys (for the most part) and so has turned to online polling, with sophisticated abilities to target and engage voters in the actual voter file from the California Secretary of State.

But they have to invite about 190,000 voters to participate to get a sample of 10,000 voters. And they can only invite voters who have listed an email address, which is now about half the registered voters.

So, their effective response rate is also about 5%, and it’s a pre-screened group of people who have listed an email address and will go to the trouble of filling out the survey online.

They have the same problem that live calling has of Trumpistas, who don’t want to participate at all so their views can’t even be given weight to represent their share of the population.

Moreover, online surveys can’t claim to represent a random sample of voters because not every voter has an equal chance of being surveyed.

So, they have to construct a representative sample based on sophisticated use of variables like age, gender, location, education, etc.

What this method does know for sure is that they’re dealing with actual voters and even how often they have voted, all of which is in the voter file.

There are many more issues that confront pollsters using either method. Needless to say, polling has become a hugely difficult endeavor which the most recent presidential campaign revealed starkly.

But this much we know for certain: Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing voters who no longer thinks he’s the bee’s knees.

And the only way he can guarantee survival in office is to make people believe that California is doing a better job of containing the coronavirus, distributing vaccine, opening schools and businesses and slowing the death toll.

Why 2020 Was Annus Horribilis for California

Monday, January 11th, 2021

For our farewell to 2020, Calbuzz was cleverly waiting for the results of the Georgia Senate races, in order to be able to more accurately discuss how 2021 would be shaping up – Democratic control of the U.S. Senate obviously would make things very different than divided government.

But our best laid plans were upended when a riotous mob, incited by President Trump, attempted a coup last Wednesday, overrunning the U.S. Capitol, defiling the building, killing a cop, causing the death of four other people, hunting for the Congressional leadership and assaulting the very principle of democracy.

And, oh yeah, erecting a gallows on the Capitol grounds.

Whether the Narcissist In Chief will be punished for the Trump Putsch (Coup Klux Klan?) In the meantime, a few reflections about how all this impacts Californians.

Sherman meets Rev. Warnock. Georgia, driven by the votes from descendants of slaves, has saved the Union, 160 years almost to the date after seceding from the United States and joining the Confederate War of Independence.

Not since Ohio-born William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta on Sep. 2, 1864 and began his merciless March, to the Sea, has the Peach State played such a pivotal role in American history – this time by electing two Democratic senators who will shift the balance of power in Washington.

Instead of a hobbled government, Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be able to form the cabinet, appoint the judges and shape the policies they want.

This is especially welcome news in California where Biden and Harris won a five-million-vote, 63-34% victory over Donald Trump but which also has suffered 2.51 million cases of Covid and 27,461 deaths with a Governor who was slow to make testing easily available — and who crippled his credibility when it was revealed he had dined sans-masque at the tony French Laundry with some of California’s most notorious cash-sucking lobbyists.

At least one of us previously described this  as “a delicious, easily-digested soupcon of journalism that simultaneously summarizes, synthesizes and sticks a sharp needle into a politician’s puffed-up pomposity, releasing noxious gases of rank hypocrisy and reeking self-regard.”

How broken is state government? In the early days of the pandemic,  Newsom won praise for his swift and firm attention to the Covid crisis (except for the failure to rapidly make testing available), but as the disease now rampages throughout California and the death toll steadily mounts, he has ceded moral authority and political influence with an endless series of tortuous, bewildering and half-baked orders to businesses and local governments, which verge on self-parody, not to mention his own self-entitled behavior.

A couple of our very smart colleagues just today published a searing look at the problems Prince Gavin faces in Politico titled “It’s all fallen apart.”

Not only have public health officials lost control of the virus, but state administrators have bungled the distribution of unemployment and federal relief programs, leaving tens of thousands of out-of-work Californians entangled in bureaucracy even as imprisoned felons successfully scam millions, raising concerns about how efficiently the vaccine will be distributed in the state.

Who decides when kids go back to school? As a political matter, Newsom’s most urgent problem is finding a pathway for California’s six million public school students to return to classrooms, amid growing pressures from disheartened and exasperated parents throughout the state.

He has set forth a $2 billion plan of incentives for K-2 students to return in February, but the California Teachers Union is demanding stringent standards for school re-openings, setting up a potential clash between the preeminent special interest in Sacramento, and the Capitol’s dominant Democrats, who are usually on the same side.

Will Gavin join the Gray Davis Club? Widespread death, economic disruption and government disarray has fueled a Republican-led bid to qualify by March a 2021 ballot measure to recall Newsom. The recall started as a fringe effort, but recently has gained momentum, money and establishment GOP backing, and seasoned political voices are warning Newsom to take the statewide campaign seriously, or risk the fate of recalled Gov. Gray Davis in 2003.

A second term? Despite our decades of experiencing Newsom as a political Narcissus, we have held out hope that with the right people on his team, the former San Francisco mayor could to perform well as governor. Instead he has given former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, whom many Republicans view as the party’s best chance of ever winning a statewide office again, an opening to tweet:

His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t. He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t. He can dine on a $350 meal at one California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t. Can you believe this? I can’t.

Of course, Prince Gavin is fortunate to have no one like Arnold Schwarzenegger lurking in the wings. And while one former San Diego mayor – Pete Wilson — did make it as governor, that was a different era in terms of partisan division. Our take:  Faulconer has only run in non-partisan municipal elections. If he runs for governor, he’ll have a big red ‘R’ branded on his forehead. And today, statewide, that’s fatal.

Can new hands right the ship? Stung by all this, Newsom made a couple of moves in early December to right the ship: he installed our old friend Dee Dee Myers as his top business adviser and he laid down a policy aimed at separating his political advisers from lobbying.

Myers has been in the middle of sone serious shit storms from Dianne Feinstein to Michael Dukakis and Frank Jordan to Bill Clinton, and she has always seemed to be one offering a smart, transparent, competent way forward.

Moreover, as the Sacramento Bee reported:

The governor’s office issued a statement from [friend of Calbuzz] Ann Ravel, former chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission, applauding the governor’s new policy, calling it “groundbreaking for California.”

“Not only does it go beyond what’s legally required, it meets the spirit of upholding public trust, which is vital to our Democracy,” Ravel said.

Dan Schnur, a longtime political operative and government ethics expert, [and friend of Calbuzz] said the policy is both the right thing to do and the political savvy thing to do, given Newsom’s recent gaffes.

“It’s always a good thing when an elected official moves so strongly to eliminate potential conflicts of interests,” Schnur said. “But it’s also a very savvy damage control maneuver for a governor who’s taken more than his share of ethics hits over the past few weeks.”

Looking forward, we hold out hope that Prince Gavin will shake off his self-entitlement and pay attention to some of the very smart people who are eager to help him lead California.

Feinstein Losing Her Grip? Yes, we long ago noted that Feinstein is older than the Golden Gate Bridge. But we also have seen her as far more capable, experienced and competent than those who have arisen to challenge her.

Now, however, Lady DiFi has — with her doddering, forgetfulness and lack of connection to the here-and-now — begun to lose the confidence of her own Senate colleagues and apparently, some of her close staff.

As documented by the great (and, in this case, gentle)  Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, 

…many others familiar with Feinstein’s situation describe her as seriously struggling, and say it has been evident for several years. Speaking on background, and with respect for her accomplished career, they say her short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have. They describe Feinstein as forgetting what she has said and getting upset when she can’t keep up.

Since at least half of us (we name no names) has actually chronicled the life of the Empress of Pacific Heights and we have a view of Feinstein that goes back decades.

Those who know her best say DiFi remains quite capable, but her memory lapses apparently are real and her lifelong commitment to compromise and civility is way out of fashion amid today’s unrelenting political warfare, raising speculation about Feinstein finishing her term, which doesn’t end until 2024.

As we head into the new year, we suggest that Dianne that she step down from any leadership positions in the Senate and concentrate on smaller, do-able projects, like helping California recover from four years of Donald Trump on environmental, health, immigration, economic and social problems.

Use her final few years and considerable seniority for the benefit of her home state and leave the partisan fights to those better suited to mount the tip of the spear.

Xavier to Capitol: I’m baaack. We’ve been impressed with Becerra since long before he was installed as California Attorney General.

He’s the real deal when it comes from working his way out of obscurity on the strengths of his intellect, skill and instincts. We’ve always regarded him as a potential governor and figured the perch of AG was just about ideal as a launching pad for a statewide race for the top job.

But with his background in Congress fighting for affordable health care and his more recent lawsuits against Trump, on issues ranging from immigration to pandemic policy, he was also seen by Joe Biden as a tremendous asset for the new administration.

At first blush, we were surprised to see him accept the spot of Secretary of Health and Human Services, which has historically been kind of a lesser, cubby-hole of a cabinet position.

But in the Age of Coronavirus, no cabinet position is going to be more important or high-profile in the next couple of years than the Secretary of HHS which, under Biden, appears to be the cabinet’s coordinator for pandemic policy.

After Becerra. Losing Becerra to Washington will open up a hugely important statewide post that Newsom will have to fill on a temporary basis.

We don’t expect it because there is no love lost between the Newsom and Jerry Brown camps, but former Gov. Brown, also a former AG, would make a terrific temporary appointee, leaving the seat open in 2022 for whoever wants to break into that career stream – someone who would defend immigrant rights, choice of abortion, coastal protection and environmental policy and other interests vital of California.

This has the advantage of putting someone in the top legal post who will spend absolutely zero percent of his or her time trying to build a political apparatus for future re-election to the post but will be fully concentrated on the issues that California confronts in the courts.

And in those cases where California must join or lead other states in helping share national policy, Brown would step in with an instant mountain of respect from other AGs around the country.

Senator Alex -Meh. To the surprise of no one – and to the disappointment of Black leaders who wanted an African American appointed – Gov. Newsom named his longtime ally, friend and fellow Ace Smith client Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the seat in the U.S. Senate that is vacated by Kamala Harris’s election as vice president.

As the fist Latino from California ever to serve in the Senate and as an able and intelligent politician, we expect Padilla will represent California with distinction. He may not be the single best available choice for the job, but Newsom was smart to name a Latino leader with statewide bona fides and credibility.

Newsom then promptly nominated Assemblymember Shirley Weber to the Secretary of State post, a gesture to Black leaders who lobbied hard for another African-American to succeed Harris.

Mr. Speaker Kevin McCarthy? Joe Biden thumped Trump in California, but the 2020 election overall was good news for state Republicans, as voters backed conservative policies in conflicts over a host of ballot measures on taxes, affirmative action and criminal justice reforms, while the GOP reclaimed four of seven suburban House seats in the state which they’d lost in 2018.

Although newly re-elected as House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi now holds only a tiny majority in the House. Before the Insurrection, pro-Trump Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield aggressively was  positioning his caucus with an eye to 2022 and the congressional mid-terms, when the president’s party historically loses seats.

It will be intriguing to watch to see if McCarthy tries to soften his four years of bully boy fealty to Trump with his sudden, new-found desire for “healing.” Cough, cough.

Bottom line: The poison and violence Trump and his minions already have injected into the nation’s culture by refusing to accept the legitimacy of Biden’s election, however, will likely fester and putrefy our politics for generations.

Trump’s Re-elect Strategy: Fear BLM More than Covid

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

trumpspeech (2)Now we know Donald Trump’s strategy for re-election: use pure, un-distilled racism to overcome Joe Biden’s multi-national coalition. It’s George Wallace on steroids.

“Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists and agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens,” Trump said in his final speech to the Republican National Convention. “And this election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life or allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.”

It’s the suburbs versus the inner city, homeowners versus vandals, white versus black.

Early in the RNC convention, Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a pro-Trump student organization, described Trump as “the bodyguard of Western Civilization.” This was the single most succinct distillation of the racist message of the convention – that Trump is the only thing standing between God-fearing, white, suburban Americans and the dark-skinned, anarchist, rapist plunderers who seek to overrun your peaceful neighborhoods, rape your daughters and burn your houses to the ground.

In the face of a pandemic that threatens the lives of every family, urban and suburban — an actual attack that Trump has utterly failed to defend against — Trump and the RNC are trying to get white voters to believe that the real threat comes from Black Lives Matters and the dark-skinned hordes who threaten your neighborhood, your family and your home.

Look away, as the Dixie anthem urges, from the 180,000+ deaths that I have allowed because of my incompetence, Trump argued. Focus, instead, on the “drug overdoses, depression, alcohol addiction, suicides, heart attacks, economic devastation, job loss” created by Biden and the “vandals, arsonists, anarchists, looters and rioters” he supports.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because Biden, Bernie and Black Lives Matters are coming to get you.

Trump has no interest in or ability to expand his vote beyond the coalition that in 2016 captured the traditional Republican states and barely squeaked out an electoral college victory by winning Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

This time, his goal is to maintain those states and keep Wisconsin. That would give him a two-vote victory in the electoral college. So, using Kenosha to scare voters in Milwaukee – and suppress the black vote there – is all that matters to him.

Why Trump’s Convention Will Be Purely Negative

Monday, August 24th, 2020

buchananIn 1992, at the GOP national convention, Patrick Buchanan declared, “There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as was the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.”

It was a bone-chilling call to fascism. If you were in the hall in Houston, your hair stood on end. It was a terrifying vision and it backfired: by November, Bill Clinton and Al Gore had won that war. And the rabid forces Buchanan had set loose went into hibernation for 24 years as “regular” Republican and Democratic administrations governed in Washington.

Then came Donald Trump in 2016, who — tapping into those racist, misogynist, xenophobic and authoritarian impulses that had been tamped down all those years — eeked out a win in the Electoral College by the narrowest of margins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, setting loose the screeching, flying monkeys, snarling beasts and poisonous insects that had been stashed away in America’s Pandora’s Box.

Principled conservatives — those who believe in freedom, personal responsibility, free markets, protection of American interests and government by compromise and negotiation – have fled the Republican Party, leaving it hollowed out of ideas and dedicated only to the adoration and preservation of its leader. That is who will rally tonight and throughout the week.

Donald Trump will speak all four nights but not as president. Joe Biden stole that platform from him last week with a remarkable presidential address at the DNC, in which he flipped the narrative, turning himself into the incumbent and Trump into the challenger.

Trump – although he has been in the White House for three-and-a-half years – has been reduced to gripe, grievance and whinge while Biden is laying out purpose, program and possibilities. Trump’s party has literally abandoned is platform, replacing it with a manifesto for the pitchfork brigade that seeks only to crush the liberals, infuriate the news media and exult the loose-screw conspiracies of Qanon.

Trump has proved he will not or – as the malignant narcissist that he is – cannot expand his base of voters. All that is left as a strategy is to reduce the overall vote and the Biden-Harris vote in hopes of turning his 40-45% base into a majority in the Electoral College. Trump cannot add; he can only subtract.

philjerryPat Buchanan’s culture war is upon us but this time without the deep-seeded principles that guided Buchanan himself. This time is it just a bloody pitched battle between decency and indecency.

For a full-fledged discussion by your Calbuzzers looking forward to the GOP convention, click here.