He’s a spoiler for Trump

In case you were wondering what Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign is really all about—well, you can stop wondering. In a remarkable new video, Rita Palma, who claims she’s the New York state director for the Kennedy campaign (the Kennedy campaign claims otherwise), recently said lots of quiet parts out loud, essentially claiming that the best reason for voting for the Kool-Aid-besotted Kids’ Table Kennedy is to elect Donald Trump. Because that’s what every disaffected Democrat should want, right?

As February’s pro-Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Super Bowl ad showed, the candidate’s boosters are counting on poaching low-information Democratic voters who are nostalgic for the halcyon days of Camelot. And polio, of course. Can’t forget polio. Indeed, if you compile a list of our greatest Democratic presidents, you’ll notice one was a Kennedy and another became disabled because there was no polio vaccine yet. Those were the days, right? And now we can have the best of both worlds!

So fire up the RCA, light up an unfiltered Pall Mall, pop open a family-sized bag of asbestos, and lie back on your spankin’-new La-Z-Boy for the world premiere of “Gunsmoke.” We’re gonna make the Democratic Party great again—by hobbling an incumbent, anti-preventable-disease, actual Democrat who presides over an economy that’s currently the envy of the world.



RITA PALMA: “So there’s no Biden voters in the house, right? No. Okay, good. [Laughter] Things, I guess, will change over time because you do have to only pick one candidate at the end of the day. But the Kennedy voter and the Trump voter … our mutual enemy is Biden. Since Biden is counting on us, with Bobby in the mix, my thought is for the Republicans … See, Bobby right now, he’s pulling from both sides. Right now he’s actually pulling a little bit more from Biden, which explains why the DNC is kind of ganging up on him. They have a special committee to go after independent candidates. When they say independent candidates, like nonaffiliated candidates, they really mean Bobby, because Bobby’s the only third party [candidate] that anybody’s taking seriously.

“So they developed a committee just to go after him and to get him off of the ballot in any way that they can. Especially, it seems as though they’re going after the battleground states more than the deep-blue states. Bobby’s moving the blues on his own. If the Republicans accepted the fact that New York, Maryland, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, most of the Northeast is going to go blue, why wouldn’t we put our vote to Bobby and at least get rid of Biden and get those 28 electoral votes in New York … give those 28 electoral votes to Bobby rather than to Biden, thereby reducing Biden’s 270? And we all know how that works, right? 270 wins the election. If nobody gets to 270, then Congress picks the president. So who are they going to pick, who are they going to pick if it’s a Republican Congress? They’ll pick Trump. So we’re rid of Biden either way. Does everybody follow that? Okay.”

Yeah, we follow that. Except for the part where you want a guy who doesn’t believe in democracy to be the president of the United States. That one’s kind of a head-scratcher. 

Or maybe not, given Palma’s history. According to Politico, Palma voted for Trump twice, and she seems even more eager to get him over the hump this cycle.

“I’m going to vote for Bobby, however, if I wake up on Nov. 6 and Trump wins, I’m not going to be overly upset,” she continued in a video of the presentation seen by POLITICO. “But if Biden wins, we’re all going to be terribly upset.”

Palma, who is a local anti-vaccine mandate activist, believes convincing Republicans to tactically vote for Kennedy, who is running as an independent, is “a good strategy” and could force a contingent election in November.

So to clarify, here’s what this vax-hating MAGA ghoul is on about. Kennedy is on the ballot in Utah, and only Utah as of this writing (he’d presumably collected enough signatures to get on the ballot in Nevada, too, but he fucked up the procedure). But Palma is trying to get him on New York’s ballot, and her plan is to be enough of a spoiler in a few key blue states to prevent Biden from reaching 270 electoral votes—the threshold for winning the presidency.

And if no one reaches 270—because, say, New York swings to Kennedy instead of staying in Biden’s column—the election will be thrown to the House of Representatives. But it wouldn’t be a straight up-and-down vote of House members. Instead, each state’s delegation would get a vote—in this scenario, California’s 39 million residents would have the same say as Wyoming’s 581,000—and if that happens, Trump could easily be elected, even if he loses both the popular and electoral votes.

In case that sounds familiar, it’s the same strategy the No Shame No Labels Party briefly eyed before Joe Lieberman popped his clogs and was heartily welcomed into heaven by all the Americans who preceded him because the ACA had no public option. 

The idea that Kennedy might pull away enough traditionally Democratic votes from Biden to win New York is all kinds of absurd. But he certainly could make trouble in swing states, where his name recognition could sway a decisive number of low- and no-information voters.

That’s a threat the Democratic Party is currently taking deadly seriously. And though Palma’s New York strategy seems doomed from the outset, her open hostility toward Biden makes it abundantly clear that RFK Jr.’s campaign has no qualms about acting as a pro-Trump spoiler.

NBC News:

There are brand new super PACs — plural — devoted to crushing third-party candidates. Democratic National Committee mobile billboards troll Kennedy at events. And party donors are funding legal efforts to try to keep him off the ballot.


Democrats have grown increasingly alarmed by Kennedy’s strength in polls, especially since he named Silicon Valley philanthropist Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. Not only could she fund the cash-strapped campaign, but her selection and the way the campaign introduced her signaled that Kennedy is positioning himself more on the left in the 2024 campaign.

Shanahan, who until recently was a sizable Democratic donor, announced on stage that she was leaving the Democratic Party and invited others to join her.

But wait! Because Kennedy is so unapologetically pro-pestilence, he might also appeal to MAGA-sympathetic voters who’d prefer a president who can spread disease by wielding his powerful veto pen rather than just sharing his prison shower sandals. So a threatened Trumpworld has been lining up to bash him as well.

The Bulwark:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s beliefs and campaign-trail rhetoric have so much appeal to MAGA voters that Donald Trump and his top political supporters are starting to take steps to ensure that the Democrat-turned-independent presidential candidate doesn’t stray too far into the Republican’s lane.


“A year ago, everyone thought Kennedy was a good thing. Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea now,” said one Republican who has advised Trump. This adviser compared Kennedy to democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom RFK Jr. has said he admires. “The challenge today with Kennedy is he is appealing to the ‘go-fuck-the-world’ voter, which is a portion of the Trump coalition. And that’s the challenge. The Kennedy base of support is still closer to a Bernie-type voter, but Trump won some of them in 2016.”


“For more than two years, Kennedy was on more conservative media than any of the Republicans who ran for president, so he’s partly a monster of our own making,” said one adviser in Trump’s orbit. “But the same conservative media apparatus that built him up is starting to tear him down. It’s easy. He’s a liberal.”

Of course, while the “go-fuck-the-world” vote has presumably increased since Trump’s clammy corpus disgorged onto the political scene nearly nine years ago, it’s still a minority of the electorate. And so it’s up to us to push RFK Jr. into that little Trumpian corner of the world where he naturally fits. Because his own family’s Least Favorite Kennedy™ is nothing like a real Democrat these days. He’s just a gormless goober who can’t decide from one moment to the next what he and his campaign stand for.

He backpedals more than Trump from a Latinx process server, and the recent Palma debacle is no exception. In what’s becoming a clear and consistent pattern, the campaign quickly walked back Palma’s statement, essentially consigning her from New York state director to coffee girl status.

“Rita Palma is a ballot access consultant responsible for scheduling volunteer shifts for our upcoming signature collection drive in the Empire State. She is not involved in electoral strategy, nationally or in New York,” RFK Jr. campaign spokesperson Stefanie Spear said in response to the Palma video.

“This was not a campaign event,” Spear continued. “Palma was speaking as a private citizen and her statements in no way reflect the strategy of the Kennedy campaign, which is to win the White House with votes from former Trump and Biden supporters alike.”

Okay, sure. RFK Jr. isn’t running to help Trump. He really thinks he’ll win! And he knows this may be his last chance before the bulk of his supporters die of smallpox. But even someone as benighted as Kennedy surely knows he may also be greasing the skids for the coming Thousand-Year Trumpian Reich.

But hey, as long as true-blue Democrat Joe Biden doesn’t win, that’s all that really matters, right?

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link.

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