Annoying press tripe in the GOP race

Illinois was an obvious Romney state.

Pre-primary articles were describing Illinois as a “must win” for Romney, an odd statement to make when he is the frontrunner and has more than twice as many delegates as the next person.

Post-primary articles were stating that the race is now virtually over.

Well, if Illinois is the one state that determines whether it is Romney or Santorium then the rest of the primary season would seem to be a big waste of time. 

In reality this is the press “jumping the shark” by attempting to create drama where there was none.

I hope the nominee is Romney, because there is always a chance that any nominee is going to be elected.

Reagan and Bush Jr. were befuddled halfwits and that was not an impediment to their nomination, election, and re-election as president.  Maybe it was the guy-next-door feel to them, men that you could imagine as your car mechanic or local Walmart greeter.

Bush senior at least had the intellectual stature to be president, although he had the character of unseasoned tofu and didn’t seem presidential in bearing.   He probably didn’t get re-elected because he was butting up against the “glass floor”, if your IQ is too high you won’t appeal to rural America.

The two of the last 5 nominees that had the most presidential presence, Bob Dole and John McCain, were the only ones that weren’t elected. 

So there is a danger of the more academic and analytical among us to read to much into things that appeal to us and forget that Joe Sixpack is who decides who gets to be president.  I wouldn’t trust Bush Jr. to boil water but he suited the necessary demographic groups just fine.

I’m glad Gingrich is in the race because that is preventing the Santorium problem from being worse than it is.  Conversely if Santorium pulled out that could be a problem because there could be a resurgence with Gingrich. 

Romney needs less than 50% of the remaining delegates to win outright, but it isn’t that much less than 50%.  Getting a plurality of delegates from a state can take him further from his goal if he doesn’t get a majority.

Santorium would need more than two thirds of the remaining delegates to win outright, and that isn’t going to happen in the absence of an epic scandal.

If the race is still going on in May, most of the states with primaries in that month are Gingrich and Santorium territory.

As a Democrat leaning person I like the idea of the eventual nominee losing his way to the nomination and limping in.

I see about 500 remaining delegates in states that are definitely wins for Romney.  Gingrich and Santorium don’t stand a chance of convincing most New Englanders and Californians that the earth is flat. California with 169 bound delegate is June 5.  Utah with 40 is the last primary. California is apparently “winner take all”.

There is a certain procedural unfairness that most of the states that will likely go to Romney are “winner take all”, whereas the states likely to go to the other candidates have mostly proportionate delegate allocation.  I’m surprised that there hasn’t been any uprising over this stacking of the deck. 

If it weren’t for that asymmetry Romney would have had great difficulty winning the delegate count outright.

The two big question marks are Texas and Pennsylvania.   Santorium was elected senator in Pennsylvania but was unceremoniously punted by a wide margin when he ran for re-election. 

Texas is run by a popular governor, Rick Perry, who endorsed Gingrich and would probably go next to Santorium if Gingrich pulled out.  If the anti-Romney people can cut through the air of inevitability to get people out to vote against Romney that late in the race and Perry holds his ground, that could be interesting.

If Romney can get skunked in both those states [and the other hostile states] then his opponents have a shot at having at least a couple of ballots at the convention.

So far the only state that Romney has won by a wide margin that was unexpected was Virginia, and that was because most of the other candidates were off the ballot for technical reasons.  He appears to have captured most of the territories such as Puerto Rico through a superior support organization.  

 

 

Why is George Zimmerman not in jail?

On February 26, George Zimmerman, a head of his neighbourhood watch and apparent lunatic from his frequent 911 calls, stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin, a black boy who was returning home from a convenience store who had committed no crime and was causing no disturbance.  It was a racially motivated hate crime.

His buddies at the Sanford police department decided to release him without charge although he was much larger than the boy and should have been able to overpower him if there was an issue, and had pursued him against the express directions of a 911 dispatcher.   The apparent reason why Mr. Zimmerman called 911 was because a black boy walking down the street was “suspicious”.

The 911 tapes reveal Martin’s cries for help being silenced by gunfire.

I am generally against the death penalty because there are so many cases where innocent people are convicted of murder on suspect evidence.

This is a case where there is no doubt and as it is a racially motivated execution by a person in a quasi-official position while he was acting in that capacity.  The strongest possible message must be sent.  The death penalty should only be taken off the table if he pleads to second degree murder or better.

Even if there is ultimately no conviction due to jury nullification (which will lead to riots), this is a case where the state has to take a firm hard line.

Mr. Zimmerman seeks to rely on a Florida self defence law that allows a person to stand their ground when attacked and use lethal force if necessary.  It is hard to see how that applies when he went after the victim.

If there is no charge and no trial or he is allowed to plead out to less than murder, we are going to see similar lunatics commit copycat killings in every state with a similar law.  The message would be, if you kill somebody and it is unwitnessed, however implausible the defence, you get a pass and don’t spend a day in jail.  Would-be vigilantes and racists everywhere will be watching this case.

I am not generically opposed to that type of self defence law as long as there are limits and possibly some conditions attached so that it isn’t a licence to kill.  First of all, an aggressor and most pursuers should not be allowed to use it.  Nine times out of ten the vector tells the whole story.  The initiator of contact is probably the initiator of the assault.  If person A pursues person B for no reason, most likely if there is a fight for no reason person A continued his pattern of acting unreasonably.

The old idea that a victim must show that he could not run away and had no other option is rarified academic nonsense invented by people that have never been in such a situation.  If an attacker has already closed with you, there are not going to be a lot of cases where fleeing is realistic.  Predatory attackers are not likely to attack where there is safe refuge nearby and turning one’s back on the person commits one to losing the fight.  With an unknown attacker, you don’t know what weapons or training the person has.   You don’t have time either for considered analysis.  So the broad objective behind the “stand your ground” laws is clearly correct.  If the attacker does not want to be harmed, he has a complete remedy by not attacking in the first place.

Martin should have had the benefit of that defence as was pointed out.  He was at least accosted and probably assaulted by a much larger and belligerent man.  He had done nothing wrong. 

Zimmerman was not even investigating a crime or possible crime.  He saw a black man walking down the sidewalk so he called 911.  He was so pumped that he did not stand down and wait for police as he was directed to do.  When his victim called out for help, instead of backing off, he shot him. 

If Zimmerman is at all computer literate I expect that investigators will find evidence online somewhere because a person with that much hate boiling inside would probably do a lot of venting and possibly indicate future ideas and plans in a sympathetic forum.  There was no obvious trigger the night of the incident.  He was already in a frenzy.  He brought a gun to a situation where he was just supposed to observe and report.  He was probably going to go after the first person that he deemed suspicious that night. 

Some people had to know Zimmerman was a loose cannon.  Time for those people to come forward.