Does the GOP Want to Win the Presidency in 2016?


Does the Republican Party actually want to win the presidency?  I think the answer is… not really. 

Or perhaps a better way to describe the situation today would be to say that the GOP wouldn’t mind if a Republican candidate were to win in 2016, but they recognize that there’s no chance of that happening, so they’re perfectly content winning the local elections that keep them in control of the House of Representatives.

Does that about sum it up? 

You can’t tell me that the GOP is actually trying to win the upcoming national election… not the primaries… I’m talking about the Presidential Election, because to believe otherwise you have to think the GOP is staffed with stupid people… and that just cannot be the case, can it?

If you’re trying to win a national election in this country, you don’t refer to Mexican immigrants like Donald Trump recently did.  You don’t come out with the idea of building a fence along our southern border as being one of the key campaign issues.

Donald Trump, according to recent reports, is about to call for higher taxes on the wealthy.  He also says he wants to go after the companies that reduce their tax burden by moving their headquarters overseas.  If next he voices support for Planned Parenthood, I think I’m going to give up trying to figure him out.

Dr. Ben Carson, who’s in first or second place, is mostly concerned with abortion and gay marriage… meaning that he’s against both.  He also wants to covertly spy on government workers in an effort to increase their productivity, he supports a five-year freeze on federal hiring to make government smaller, he thinks everyone should be able to buy a gun without a registration requirement, and as to the economy, he says we should just let the free market work.

Carly Fiorina is a classically unelectable Republican.  She’s a “proud conservative” who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, put more tax cuts in place to stimulate the economy, and allow assault weapons… because she says that the current ban on such weapons is “arbitrary.” 

Pretty much all Jeb Bush talks about is Florida, but when he strays to other issues you want to scream… no, no… go back to talking Florida.   He wants businesses to be free to discriminate against gays.  In 1994, he said that LGBT protections are tantamount to elevating sodomy.  He doesn’t like our “welfare culture,” as he calls it, he’ll cancel Obamacare and any deal Obama makes with Iran, and he wants more federal funds to go to religious groups.


I’m not going to go through all 18+ Republican candidates right now, suffice it to say that the examples above are representative of the whole in one way or another.  As a group, they are all against abortion and same-sex marriage, they’re all pro-second amendment, and they all keep repeating the same mantra we heard during the Reagan years about cutting taxes being the only way to create economic growth.  Oh yeah, and they all absolutely detest Obama and Obamacare.

As to what any of them plans to do to help the middle class economy in this country, I’m not really sure, except that tax cut thing again.  There’s lots of God talk that goes on around them, and they all want to assert themselves as being “true conservatives” above all else.

I don’t even know what “conservative” means in this country anymore.  We used to have “fiscal conservatives,” but I don’t think anyone believes that there are politicians who won’t spend like drunken sailors once in office anymore, no matter what they say to get elected.

Even so, they preach about magically balancing the federal budget while increasing defense spending, and most if not all support the absolutely awful-for-everyone-but-Wall-Streeters idea of privatizing Social Security.  None of them seem terribly sure that climate change is even a real issue, in fact, I think they all would put a pipeline right through Yellowstone National Park if they could get away with it. 

As a group they clearly can only campaign by preaching the party line to the Republican choir… it’s the only way to get into, much less through the Republican primaries.  And they all hate Hillary, even though I can’t seem to get my arms around exactly why that’s the case.

You see, I suspect that they don’t actually hate Hillary.  They have to know that she’s favored to win in 2016 by an enormous margin, and I think they’re all okay with that outcome… as long as the Republicans hold onto the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate stays deadlocked, both of which are as likely as Hillary winning the White House next year.

In fact, I’m thinking that maybe the GOP would prefer it come out that way than any other.  That way, they can continue to keep any legislative progress to an absolute minimum, while blaming the Democrats for everything that happens both at home and around the world.  It’s kind of a perfect place to be, if you think about it.  Why anyone would want the president’s chair these days, I cannot imagine.

After another eight years of legislative deadlock and this country will be in so much pain that it will elect anyone from anywhere.  And you can see just how unhappy the populace is by listening to The Donald and hearing the cheers from his supporters.  They don’t know or even care whether Trump could or should be president, but he sounds almost as mad as they are at the way things are today, so what the heck?

I think since he left the hit television series, Trump supporters mostly want him to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and fire people on television.


Funny or not so funny… 

I remember listening to President Obama during the correspondent’s dinner a few months back.  He told a joke about his aides asking him if he has a bucket list of things he’d like to do before leaving office in 18 months.  He said that he replied, “No, but I do have something that rhymes with bucket list.”

Everyone laughed… me included.  It seemed funny and honest, at least for a minute or two.  Then it started to sink in for me and I realized that was a horrible thing to say.  I mean, if the President of the United States is ready to say screw it to even trying to get anything done over the next 18 months, well… what are the rest of us supposed to think?  Should we all just throw in the towel and wait for the next pres? 

Maybe Congress should have been sent home and we just go on leaderless with the status quo until the next president is on the job.  Look, if we’re not going to accomplish anything or even try, why are we paying them all to be there?

If the Republicans actually wanted to win the national election, wouldn’t you advise them to appeal to a wider audience than so-called “conservatives,” those on the religious right, and the Tea Party cabal?  Shouldn’t they all be rushing to the podium to talk about how they’d create millions of jobs, increase worker take-home pay, lower taxes for working people and make sure health care costs less and is available to more Americans than ever before in the years ahead?

Shouldn’t someone be talking about reigning in the too big to fail crowd, reducing the burden of paying for college, and fixing the housing rescue programs that have been plagued by problems from day one?  And instead of worrying about sounding like tough guys on a school yard, shouldn’t someone be talking about how they plan to drive towards peace in the Middle East?

I don’t know, and I’m certainly no expert on what it takes to win the Republican primary, but it occurs to me that campaigning based on being devoutly Christian and therefore opposing gay marriage and abortion isn’t going to cut it when you’re looking for eight million or so votes from those in the swing states… which is of course what it will all comes down to next November.


I think the GOP knows all of this stuff I’m saying and they just don’t care.  They know their candidate will lose the general election, but as long as they hold onto control of congress, who cares.  They figure… and they may well be right… that being elected captain of the country’s ship isn’t the best place to be in the years ahead.

The day President Obama took office in 2009, he was told by his top advisers that the Republicans would be united in opposing what ever he was in favor of… no matter what it was.  And that’s what they’ve done for eight straight years.  I’m quite sure that had Obama backed a bill to provide cream for coffee, those on the right side of the aisle would have chanted in unison, “NO… I say vote no on cream for coffee!”

They opposed the Affordable Car Act, even though it was the product of a conservative think tank and the same plan Mitt Romney advocated successfully as the Governor of Massachusetts.  The GOP didn’t want a single payer system, but even when they managed to kill that part of the health care reform bill, they continued to oppose the plan so vehemently that one might have thought it was surely going to kill women and children en masse.

The Republicans also did everything possible to derail or defang the financial reform legislation known today as Dodd Frank.  They came out on the side of Wall Street banks right after those same bankers almost bankrupted the planet and had to be bailed out by taxpayers in an unprecedented way, all in large part because of diminished regulations.  And they continually harped on the Obama Administration for the lackluster economy, even as unemployment fell and the stock market soared.

Does any of it make any sense whatsoever?  Not to me… and not to most people, I’m quite sure.  That’s why on a stage of nearly 20 Republican candidates for president, the two in the lead by far are Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson. 

Think about that… on a stage for the most part jam packed with professional politicians, most supporters support the two guys with absolutely no political experience at all.  One says to vote for him because he’s rich and knows how to cut deals.  The other is running by reminding us that you have to be smart to be a doctor, and that there are (a few) black pro-life Republicans.

Will either one win?  No.

If you don’t believe me, just search Google for “betting on US presidential election 2016,” and see what comes up.  What you’ll find are sites from companies operating outside the country, because it’s illegal to bet on who’s going to be president here in the U.S.  But, on any of the sites that allow betting on the race, many of which are in London, you’ll find the odds listed for the various candidates. 

If the smart money knows anything, and it always does, then Hillary will win in a landslide.  The odds, in case you want to bet on Hillary today, are 6/4.

Just so you understand, in gambling, the odds represent the ratio between the amounts staked by the parties to a wager.  They’re a reflection of the chance or probability of a certain outcome in an event.  Every outcome has a chance of taking place, however remote that chance might be.  The odds are simply an interpretation of those chances.  Professional bookmakers form odds to reflect those chances, and they don’t do so lightly because their livelihoods depend on them being right a lot more often than not. 

Short odds versus long…

Long odds indicates that a given selection has a low probability of winning.  However, it’s also when, if you win, you can expect to receive a large return on your investment.  For example, if you bet on a horse at 50/1 and you win, you’ll take home $50 for every dollar you wagered.  Those are called “long odds.”

Short odds are the opposite.  Short odds occur when a given selection has a high probability of winning.  Betting on a horse at 6/4 would be considered short odds, because you’d have to put up $4 to receive only $6 if you win the bet.

So, the available odds of 6/4 when betting on Hillary Clinton to win the presidency in 2016 are considered “short odds.” You have to put up $4 to receive only $6 if you win, but that’s because the odds that she’ll win next year are relatively high.  In fact, when you compare the odds of Hillary winning the election to the rest of the candidates, the way things stand today, she’s a lock to win.

As of today, according to, which compiles odds from multiple betting sites, if you want to bet on Trump to win next November, the odds are 76/5.  So, you can put up $500 right now and if you’re right and The Donald wins the election, you’ll receive $7600.

  • The odds that Jeb Bush will win are a little bit better.  You can bet on Jeb at 32/5. 
  • Or there’s Carly Fiorina at 84/5. 
  • Marco Rubio at 42/5. 
  • Or, you can take Dr. Ben Carson at 31/1…
  • Chris Christie at 37/1…
  • Or, if you really want to go long there’s Mike Huckabee at 79/1…
  • John Kasich at 51/1…
  • Ted Cruz at 75/1…
  • And Rand Paul at 161/1… or Bobby Jindal at 151/1. 
  • Lastly, from the GOP, there’s Lindsey Graham at 284/1, followed by either Rick Perry or Sarah Palin who are both 949/1 ultra-long shots.

(Mitt Romney’s also available at 246/1, but he isn’t even running, at least not yet.  Still… put $1,000 on Mitt to win today, come up right next November at take home roughly a quarter of a million in cold, hard cash.)

It’s not just the Republicans that are facing long odds this time around.  Bernie Sanders is 73/5… Joe Biden is 34/5… and for whatever reason Elizabeth Warren is on the board at 113/1, which are the same odds offered should you want to bet on Al Gore in 2016.

So, not only am I not the only person who is sure that Hillary will win in 2016, but it’s more like most everyone also knows the same thing… unless she gets caught on camera having sex with a White House intern under her desk between now and election day, she should already be trying on suits in which to serve as our Commander-in-Chief.

It’s fun to pretend…

Of course, the media isn’t going to come out and say any of this stuff about the upcoming presidential race in this country.  As a democracy, we have to pretend that there’s actually a need to hold a presidential election, and everyone seems more than willing to go along with the ruse, so why not? 

After all, there’s a lot of money to go out and raise, even for the losers, and who doesn’t want their own specially outfitted Boeing 737 campaign plane, if only for a while.

The GOP knows all of this, and they certainly know it much better than I do, but it seems obvious that they don’t care as long as they get to raise a lot of money for the party, hold onto the House majority, and can’t be held responsible for what happens over the next four or eight years.

The Democrats know it too, as do most pundits, I would certainly think.  It’s not like my checking the odds for each candidate required more than Google and some sort of computer.   Actually, your phone would probably handle it, no problem.

Still, it’s amazing how many people seem not to know what’s going on as far as this next presidential race is concerned.  I mean, do you remember last time around?  Remember all the Republicans who appeared genuinely surprised that Romney lost, even though he didn’t just lose… he lost by miles and miles. 

Romney never had a chance in 2012, it was not close race… and I was shocked to see the number of Republicans voters who were shocked at the outcome.   The only thing that I can assume is that they all spent their year listening only to commentators from Fox News, a television channel where the Republicans candidates are always winning the day… and the Democrats are always in real trouble… even when neither is even remotely the case.


Okay, so fine… maybe it is both fun and profitable to pretend there’s an actual race going on for president, and who knows… maybe the playing field will change dramatically, like if God forbid Hillary’s plane crashes or Donald Trump learns to stop referring to Mexicans coming into the country as a group made up of rapists and drug dealers.

Either could happen, I suppose.  But even though I’m not a bookmaker, I’d feel pretty safe calling either event a long shot.

Oh, and don’t assume that I am pleased with today’s political realities, because I’m not.  I’m also not a registered anything either.  Although I did vote for Barack Obama in 2008, I didn’t even vote for president in 2012 simply because I didn’t care who won… or even if anyone won.  As far as I was concerned we could have left the position open for the last four years while we shopped around for a candidate for 2016.

No, I’ve voted for both Democrats and Republicans for president during my voting lifetime.  Of course, that was before the GOP made their deal with those on the religious right and in many ways abandoned being the pro-business party in order to become the party of family values, which I soon learned is a euphemism for being against gays and legal abortion.

Today, I don’t register mostly because generally speaking I cannot tell the difference between one party and the other, and neither is terribly appealing, if for slightly different reasons.  And the fact is that as a nation, we’ve essentially accomplished nothing over the last four years, but that’s not just Obama’s fault, that’s also because we have a Republican controlled congress that would rather eat dirt for dinner than support or participate in anything for which the current administration might get even partial credit.

It’s like, Obama campaigned on being someone who would reach across the aisle and create bi-partisan consensus, so that’s the one thing the Republicans could not let him do.  So, next it’ll be Hillary’s chance to make her mark, and my guess would be that we’re only in for more of the same, and by that I mean a whole lot of nothing from a government so deadlocked and deeply divided along party lines that, like lines that are parallel, never the two shall meet.  Not even for coffee.

If you want to pretend that there’s an actual contest going on, however, that’s fine by me.  But, don’t act surprised when Hillary wins, along with 94 percent of the incumbents that we all cannot stand when asked by pollsters.  It’s not the politicians fault… it’s us that make the whole farce possible, remember?

Don’t hate the players, hate the game.  Or, hate the players too, what do I care?  Nothing will change until we the people change it, and the smart money says that we’re in no danger of anything like that happening this time around.

Now, it’s back to the funny pages…


Mandelman out.

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