Some American readers, observing the wide range of telly shows I've been doing in Australia, have written to ask why I'm not on US TV more. Well, the short answer is I never get asked. The phone never stops not ringing. I make no complaint about that: I'm a foreigner and I have no ambitions in American media. But Ann Coulter has a very funny column on some of the chaps who do get asked:
If you tuned into ABC'S "This Week" the morning after Trump's tremendous victory in South Carolina, you'd find George Stephanopoulos promising analysis from a "powerhouse roundtable," by which I assume he was referring to the table itself.
I confess that when I occasionally see some of these bluechip Sunday morning shows it boggles the mind what ABC, CBS and NBC are willing to pay for. In the final debate before the New Hampshire primary, George Stephanopoulos' "powerhouse roundtable" included Cokie Roberts, who offered the stunning insight that as she saw it after Tuesday night a lot of the focus would be moving away from New Hampshire toward South Carolina.
That at least had the merit of being accurate. It's when they stray away from statements of the incontrovertible that it all goes to hell:
[Stephanopoulos] then turned to the sort of clueless morons who have gotten everything wrong for the past seven months so they could tell viewers "what's next"...
Miss Coulter has great sport with two such expert "Republican strategists" (Sara Fagen and Alex Costellanos) as they shuttle back and forth between "Meet The Press", "This Week", Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer:
July 26th 2015: "At the end of the day, (Trump) is not going to be the Republican nominee."
August 7th 2015: "The fire that is Donald Trump is now contained. It's not going anywhere."
And it gets better from there...
I've spent the last fortnight in a country where on illegal immigration everyone electorally viable is a hard-ass. That's to say, there's a bipartisan consensus that anyone attempting to enter the country without authorization should be warehoused in a detention camp â€“ not in Australia but offshore, either on Nauru, a pile of guano that fancies itself a nation-state, or on Manos Island, which belongs to Papua New Guinea. It's the equivalent of Trump imprisoning Mexicans in a camp in the Dominican Republic. After years in detention, the migrants are generally either returned whence they came or resettled in a third country. Whatever squeamishness the Aussie Labor Party might feel about this is subject to the compelling political arithmetic that the voters are overwhelmingly at ease with it.
In America, by contrast, there is a cozy bipartisan consensus between the Democrat Party and the Donor Party that untrammeled mass unskilled immigration now and forever is a good thing. The Dems get voters, the Donors get cheap labor. The Dems have the better deal, but over on the GOP side the Stupid Party is too stupid to realize that suicide in slow motion leads to the same place as one swift sure slice from Isis.
So it was obvious that the moment someone proposed to rupture this corrupt and squalid arrangement that there would be takers for it â€“ particularly among America's downwardly mobile lower middle class who, as a price for supporting the Donor Party, are supposed to put up with stagnant wages and diminished economic opportunity as a permanent feature of life. The only question is precisely how big a constituency there'd be for such a message: In Iowa it took an enormous investment of time and money by Ted Cruz to hold Trump down to 24 per cent. In New Hampshire it took Kasich, Bush and Christie moving in to the state for the best part of a year to hold Trump down to 35 per cent. In response the "experts" anointed Marco Rubio, fresh from his stunning third place in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire, the real favorite in the race.
We're now advancing into states where there's been perfunctory campaigning â€“ no gladhanding in diners and school gyms. First up was Nevada, where Trump got 46 per cent â€“ or as much as Cruz and Rubio combined. Outside the home states of Cruz, Rubio and Kasich, the polling suggests similar outcomes in most of the March contests.
I have no selfish interest in any of the above. Quite the opposite: personally speaking, Trump screwed me over with a Tweet essentially intervening on Michael E Mann's side of my interminable lawsuit â€“ which means that when the lethargic buggers of the DC Superior Court finally get around to jury selection the sitting President of the United States will have expressed the view that Mann deserves to put me out of business. So thanks for nothing.
So those Cruz and Rubio fans who accuse me of taking Trump's shilling have got it exactly backwards: He's made it a wee bit more likely that I'll be out of pocket a sum in the high seven figures.
But an analyst is supposed to analyze reality. You can count on one hand the number of Republican voters who give a tinker's cuss about my case. The number who feel betrayed by the Donor Party for at least the entirety of the present century is huge. And, unlike all the codswallop about "comprehensive immigration reform", this time round there's a candidate speaking their lingo. As I said to someone on the radio Down Under this week, the "experts" have assured us there's no need to worry about Trump because he has a low ceiling. But the only opposition to him is two blokes whose ceilings through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada have been crawl spaces in the low twenties.
Millions and millions of Americans have heard promises of "a new American century" from shallow consultant-managed pretty-boys and unctuous slickers a gazillion times before, and they write it off as code for more of the same remorseless descent ever deeper into the abyss. Then someone came along with a message that aligned with the reality of their lives: "The American Dream is dead." It's not "Morning in America" because, thanks to the betrayal of the Donor Party, that'll no longer play.
All this was perfectly obvious to some of us six months ago. But not if you watch George Stephanopoulos' "powerhouse roundtable"...