Why There Is A Trump

Other than white fear and anxiety—which I have written about many times—there are two other reasons we have a Trump.

One I found in an L. A. Times article (“News coverage of campaign greatly aided Trump and hurt Clinton, study finds“), which confirmed what anyone who has consumed the news since last June already knew. But it’s nice to have an objective study confirm what may only be personal bias. The lede:

News coverage of the early months of the presidential campaign strongly boosted Donald Trump’s bid and put Hillary Clinton at a disadvantage, according to a new study from Harvard that is likely to add to the heavy volume of complaints that the media aided Trump’s rise.

There’s that.

Then there’s this, which I found on The Hill:

Carl Bernstein: Trump speech ‘abhorrent’ but ‘effective’

Bernstein, unfortunately, is a CNN commentator. The old Watergate-breaking journalist was critiquing the godawful speech Trump gave today on banning Muslims and protecting those newly-lovable gay people that Republicans didn’t use to love until it became politically expedient to love them. Those same newly-lovable gay people that Democrats like Obama and Clinton are failing to protect because those two America-haters allow every gay-hating terrorist in the world to walk into the United States without so much as a howdy. The speech was, as Bernstein said, quite “abhorrent.” But here’s what else Bernstein said about it:

His speech will appeal to independents, even some Democrats and certainly Republicans because Hillary Clinton, Obama and the Democrats are very late to acknowledge by name that there is a real threat of Islamic terrorism in this country and all over the world and they have been very reluctant to use the word Islamic terror and it’s coming back to haunt them. The impression Trump gave today, with some effectiveness, despite his almost neo-fascist rhetoric, is that the Democrats have not done that.

That is so dumb, on so many levels, I can hardly draw a breath.

First, I don’t know one single Democrat who would find that speech appealing. If there are Democrats out there who do find neo-fascism appealing, guess what? They ain’t really Democrats.

bernsteinSecond, Clinton, Obama, and the Democrats are not “very late to acknowledge by name that there is a real threat of Islamic terrorism in this country and all over the world.” There are plenty of dead terrorists out there to refute that very ignorant claim. Just ask Osama bin Laden, the next time you’re snorkeling for seashells.

Third, what about the reluctance “to use the word [sic] Islamic terror”? Bernstein knows, or should know, why there is reluctance to use the word in the way that right-wingers want Democrats to use it. Responsible elected officials, as opposed to Republican elected officials, have to be careful not to alienate the very people who can help stop terrorists from terrorizing. Bernstein said it’s “coming back to haunt” Democrats. Oh, yeah? Where’s the proof of that? Obama was reelected, even though the right made the same attacks on him back in 2012. He’s also fairly popular right now. Does Bernstein think non-Republican people are so dumb that they think just by uttering “Islamic terrorism” all the terrorists out there will turn into Mr. Rogers?  I can pretty much guarantee anyone that ISIS thugs don’t really give a damn whether Hillary Clinton decided to use the term “Islamic terrorism” today. All they care about, besides killing other Muslims, is not having an American drone as a breakfast guest.

Fourth, Bernstein said Trump’s speech used “almost neo-fascist rhetoric.” No. It wasn’t almost neo-fascist. It was the real deal. At least as real as fascism gets in American politics. Bernstein also said that despite the close-to-fascist rhetoric, Trump’s speech was effective. Again, what evidence is there for that? Trump is a known liar and everyone not already hypnotized by authoritarian bombast has ten thousand good reasons not to believe anything he says about Obama, Clinton, or the size of his bratwurst. The only way anyone outside the Trump cult would give any credence to such a neo-fascist speech, which was full of non-facts, is if people like Carl Bernstein gave them reason to.

And that is exactly what he did. Bernstein should have called the speech what it was and not given anyone the impression that Trump is anything other than a dangerous authoritarian, who at times today acted like a lunatic. He should have said that Trump is quite openly telling us how he will change the country for the worse and how he will dramatically expand the powers of the executive branch beyond anything conservatives have imagined Obama doing. Instead, Bernstein practiced the kind of journalism we are too used to seeing since Trump slinked into our politics. The kind of journalism that has placed America dangerously close to electing a neo-fascist.

Ugly

Thanks to Media Matters, we now know that the maker of the assault weapon—forget the distinction some people try to make; the damn thing is an assault weapon as the Orlando massacre proved—used by the gay-hating killer is a corporate donor to the NRA, as well as “the sponsor” of a propaganda series the NRA produces called “Defending Our America.”

Sig Sauer manufacturers the killing and maiming machine that was sold, quite legally, by a gun store owner in St. Lucie, Florida. That gun dealer is a former NYPD cop, Ed Henson, who appeared on television today, as he tried to answer questions about the tran$action. After it was over, MSNBC’s Brian Williams was fairly effusive in his praise for Henson, the owner who profited from—I repeat: profited from—selling an assault weapon to the gay-hating killer—and, no, it doesn’t matter to me that Henson didn’t know he was a gay-hating killer. What matters is that Henson legally profits from selling guns and ammo designed to do what was done in Orlando.

Oh. One more thing. According to the Daily News, Ed Henson is a pathetic, Obama-hating freak. Noting that he frequently posts on Facebook “rants critical of black lives matters protesters and President Obama,” the paper shared one of his Greatest Hits from November:

He should be handcuffed, removed from Office and charged with Treason and then publicly executed! How can the American People and military stand by and do nothing while this piece of s–t puts everyone of us in danger.

That’s just another way of saying what Trump suggested this morning about Obama’s American loyalty, or lack of it. These are very ugly people. And America is getting uglier with every tweet and every speech Trump gives.

His Name Is Trump

It’s really very, very serious now. No more Drumpf for me. His name is Donald Trump. And he is a very unstable man who is propagating and inspiring a very dangerous and destabilizing kind of hate and bigotry in the country. Even if he doesn’t win the presidency, the hate and bigotry he is both promoting and, in some vulnerable minds, legitimating will remain.

This morning, after doubling down on his ridiculous and unconstitutional and frightening ban on Muslims entering the country, Trump suggested that the President of the United States is in fellowship with ISIS. I don’t give a damn how he might spin his comments later on. He is implying that President Obama is a traitor to his country:

We are led by a man who is either not tough, not smart, or he has something else in mind. And the something else in mind, people can’t believe it.

He also called on the president to resign because he “disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam.'” For some reason, and I don’t quite understand why it is, that phrase has become central to the right-wing attack against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (although she used it today). Even people like Sam Harris—who on this issue sounds more like a right-wing radio jock than a thoughtful philosopher—are obsessed with using certain terms when speaking about the fight against jihadism. It’s as if all Obama has to do is speak the sacred phrase three times and the incantation will turn all the jihadists into Quakers.

In any case, Trump’s Obamaphobia is legendary among his cultish following, folks who already know that Obama is a traitor. They don’t have to be told. But they like to be told and they love Trump for telling them. It’s church-camp reinforcement of their hatred for and fear of the president.

One such hater—and I could pick any number of them—is a man named David Horowitz. He is one of the nastiest reactionaries in the country. I used to pay a lot of attention to him when I was a conservative, just to show you how nuts I was. Horowitz, who used to be a left-wing extremist, is now one of the best examples of how Obamaphobia warps a willing mind. And Horowitz has figured out a way to make some very dirty money off his hatred for Obama and for Democrats and for liberals. That is what his inaptly named “Freedom Center” is all about. Allow me to share just a few of the things Horowitz has said on Twitter since Orlando:

So, there’s all of that. But perhaps the most disturbing thing Horowitz did was link to an article on a website called Gotnews, which was founded by right-winging “journalist” Charles C. Johnson. The article represents an early attempt to smear the entire family of the Orlando killer. But the writer, who happens to be Charles C. Johnson, goes beyond smearing the family. He said,

It’s long past time to hold the families responsible.

Terrorism never occurs in a vacuum.

Donald Trump is right! It’s time to take out the families of terrorist supporters.

That’s the kind of dangerous—and completely un-American—thinking Trump inspires.

The great filmmaker, Ken Burns, gave the commencement address at Stanford this year. It is worth your time to listen to the entire speech. But pay special attention to what he said about Trump:

As a student of history, I recognize this type. He emerges everywhere and in all eras. We see nurtured in his campaign an incipient proto-fascism, a nativist anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, a disrespect for the judiciary, the prospect of womenlosing authority over their own bodieken burns at stanfords, African-Americans again asked to go to the back of the line, voter suppression gleefully promoted, jingoistic saber-rattling, a total lack of historical awareness, a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers, always making “the other” wrong.

These are all virulent strains that have at times infected us in the past. But they now loom in front of us again — all happening at once. We know from our history books that these are the diseases of ancient and now fallen empires. The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice, of trust, so much a part of American life, is eroding fast, spurred along and amplified by an amoral internet that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before the truth can get started.

We no longer have the luxury of neutrality or “balance,” or even of bemused disdain.

No more bemused disdain for me. We are living in dangerous and decisive times. Ken Burns said, “We must remain committed to the kindness and community that are the hallmarks of civilization,” and he added that we must “reject the troubling, unfiltered Tourette’s of [Trump’s] tribalism.”

Indeed. We should. But what if we don’t? What will become of us if Trump is elected? Perhaps a better question is, what will become of us if he isn’t?

 

How Would A Narcissist Respond To A Mass Shooting?

At 5:07 this morning, Drumpf tweeted about the breaking news in Orlando:

drumpf tweet on orlando

As might be expected, all the news channels were on the story and with every passing minute it was becoming clear that what happened in Orlando early Sunday morning was horrific beyond words. Except Drumpf found him some words at 6:39am:

drumpf tweet after orlando

Draw your own conclusion.

Liz Can Do More Than Castrate Drumpfs

There is no doubt that Elizabeth Warren has turned Drumpf into The Orange Eunuch.

Like a crazed squirrel, he can look into every nook and cranny of Drumpf Tower, search all over Manhattan, even take a peek into Chris Christie’s lunch box. But Drumpf still won’t find his nuts. The senator from Massachusetts has not-so-surgically removed them right in front of the world and is about to take them across this country as a—excuse me—”testament” to what a strong woman can do to a “thin-skinned, racist bully” and a “loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud.”

But as her appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show last night proved, she is more than a eunuch-maker. She is a powerful voice for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party’s values.

After telling St. Rachel that Democrats, winding down a hard-fought primary, “need to start thinking about all of this together” and focusing on the differences between Democrats and Republicans, she said this:

WARREN: But, you know, I want to add another part to this because I think it really matters here. And I like our talking back and forth but I want to get this on the table and get it on the table early. Hillary Clinton won. And she won because she’s a fighter, she’s out there, she’s tough. And I think this is what we need.

Look at who she is. For 25 years, she’s been taking the incomings, right? The right wing has thrown everything they possibly can at her. And what does she do? A lot of people would just hang up their spurs. They’d say, “You know, I’ve had enough of this.” And she doesn’t. What she’s done is she gets back up and she gets back in the warren endorsing clinton.jpgfight.

As a Democrat, one of the things that frustrates me the most is there are a lot of times we just don’t get in the fight. We ask “pretty please” if we can have things, or we make the argument for why it is the best thing to do, and then wait patiently for the other side to agree to come along. We negotiate. We start our opening position by negotiating. You know, and I get that. I get the reason that you should be willing to negotiate sometimes. But you also ought to be willing to throw a punch.

And there are a lot of things that people say about Hillary Clinton. But nobody says that she doesn’t know how to throw a punch.

MADDOW: As somebody — I agree with you, both on the perseverance and on the fighter characterization of Hillary Clinton. I think that’s the most important way to understand her political power, her willingness to never give up. We have gone 240 years in this country without a woman ever being nominated for president, let alone elected one.

WARREN: Yes.

MADDOW: Her aggression and her stance as a fighter in politics, does that make her more palatable to a country who apparently has a real problem with this concept, or less? Does that make it harder for her?

WARREN: You know, to me, this isn’t about “palatable” anymore. This is about what we need to survive. This is about whether or not we are going to have a country that just works for the Donald Trumps of the world, that just works for a handful of the largest corporations of the world, or a country that really is building an economic future for all of us.

And yes, I think having a fighter in the lead, a female fighter in the lead, is exactly what this country needs.

Later she talked about something that all Democrats believe—not just Bernie supporters—and because of her credentials, she could talk about it with all credibility:

WARREN: There are so many more people on our side. And I’m not just talking Democrats here. You talk about those core issues, about Social Security, about college, about raising the minimum wage, about reining in Wall Street. You look at those core issues and somewhere between 60 percent and 75 percent of all of America, that’s Democrats, Republicans, independents, libertarians, vegetarians. They sign up and say,“Yes, I’m for that.”

So, the question is then, Rachel — why hasn’t that happened? Why hasn’t it happened?

The answer is because Washington, this place where we are right now. It is the bubble. It’s the bubble that’s created by the money. It is the bubble that is created by the contributions, by the lobbyists, by every part of this tight little circle. Our only chance to break out of that is that we got to say, against your concentrated money and power, “We’re going to put up our voices and our votes and we’re going to be here. We’re going to be here in these elections. And we’re going to make sure that the people who run for office and get elected are the ones who are going to work for the American people.”

That’s what this is all about.

Amen. And amen.

O Finally Weighs In: “The Values That Unite Us As Democrats”

“Not About One Person”

This campaign season has featured a lot of attacks on the establishment. And last night, on the Democratic side, the establishment won. And the establishment never looked better.

As Sarah Palin proved so long ago, as Donald Drumpf proves every time he opens his mouth, our national politics ought not be put into the hands of the inexperienced, of the ignorant, of the crass. And as Hillary Clinton proved last night, we now have a national presidential nominee who is experienced, knowledgeable, and gifted. Her speech was fantastic, even if you ignore the history-making nature of it.

But who could ignore the history? She couldn’t:

Tonight’s victory is not about one person.

It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. In our country, it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls in 1848, where a small but determined group of women and men came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights, and they set it forth in something called, “The Declaration of Sentiments,” and it was first time in human history that that kind of declaration occurred. So we all owe so much to those who came before, and tonight belongs to all of you.

Before her speech, Mrs. Clinton tweeted out the following:

hillary tweet and little girl.jpg

That tweet was especially poignant for me. I have a granddaughter. This was her reaction last night in Arizona:

livvy and hillary

That’s what last night meant. That smile. That excitement. That future.

If you didn’t see the entire speech, I posted it below. Try to watch it through the eyes of little girls everywhere:

Racist Remarks Just A Bump In The GOP Road

Here is the way HuffPo headlined Speaker Paul Ryan’s criticism of Drumpf’s racist remarks about a federal judge:

huffpo header on ryan.jpg

Here is part of what Ryan said:

Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

“Absolutely unacceptable.” Drumpf hasn’t “disavowed” his racist comment—and never will. Why should he? Ryan and other Republicans are still voting for Drumpf and supporting him as his party’s nominee whether Drumpf disavows his comment or triples down on it (he’s already doubled-down). Thus, “absolutely” doesn’t mean absolutely. And “unacceptable” doesn’t’ mean, uh, unacceptable. Thus, HuffPo got the headline wrong. It should have been:

huffpo header on ryan

“It Showed Me His Soul”

Pro-Clinton super-PAC, Priorities USA, released a fairly damning video yesterday. As with many of Drumpf’s worst moments this campaign season, his mocking of a New York Times reporter—who happens to have a congenital muscular disorder—in November of last year gave us insight into Drumpf’s psyche, a clue as to what kind of person he is when given a taste of real political power and when he is offended by criticism. Watch:

Racism Is Wrong, Except When It Helps

CNN this morning featured some segments on Drumpf’s racist attack on the now famous “Mexican” federal district judge, Gonzalo Curiel. Judge Curiel, of course, was born in East Chicago, Indiana. But as everyone knows, Indiana has been invaded by Mexicans. And those Mexicans who aren’t out raping and killing people are out to get Drumpf in a federal courtroom. Yes. Everyone knows that.

But CNN’s attempts this morning to highlight Drumpf’s attacks on the judge were a little incomplete. Sure, it’s necessary to call attention to such racism. And, yes, it is appropriate cnn and mexican commentsto question whether the racist attacks will hurt the Republican Party, both now and in the future, with Latinos. But CNN seemed to think that such offensive behavior by Drumpf was only about politics and offended only Latinos. In one segment, CNN had a panel of four “ordinary” citizens on to discuss the remarks. All four were billed as “Hispanic voters.” Fine. But what about the rest of us? And shouldn’t this be about more than politics?

You don’t have to be Latino or Hispanic to be shocked by how casually and how frequently the Republican nominee for president makes his racist and racially-charged remarks. Neither do you have to be African-American to be upset about Drumpf’s attempt to strip the “American” out of African-American, when it comes to President Obama. And you don’t have to be a fan of Allah to find repulsive Drumpf’s ban on Muslims entering the country—or find repulsive his latest suggestion that a Muslim judge might not treat him “fairly” because of his advocacy of such a ridiculously un-American ban.

All Americans, of all colors and persuasions, should be offended and outraged over what Drumpf has done and continues to do. And it shouldn’t just be because of the politics of the racism we are seeing.

Last Thursday CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Mitch McConnell if he worries that Drumpf “may do to Latino voters what Barry Goldwater did to African-American voters?” To which McConnell replied: “I do.” He then went on to say what a mistake it was for Drumpf to attack Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico. Well, okay. But isn’t it just plain wrong to say Mexicans who have migrated here are mostly criminals? And isn’t it just plain wrong that a sitting federal judge, an American born and raised, gets tarred as a “Mexican,” as if being a Mexican was a bad thing to be? Aren’t those things wrong in themselves, regardless of the politics involved?

Obviously they should be seen as wrong. Regardless. But too often they are not. Too often they are seen through a partisan lens. McConnell told NBC’s Chuck Todd,

America is changing. When Ronald Reagan was elected, 84% of the electorate was white. This November, 70% will be. It’s a big mistake for our party to write off Latino Americans. And they’re an important part of the country and soon to be the largest minority group in the country. And I am concerned about that.

Good for Mitch. He’s concerned about the politics of it all. “It’s a big mistake,” he said. A big political mistake. But if the politics were in his favor, would he be so concerned? Would he still call out Drumpf?

gingrich on drumpfWhen the faux billionaire was bouncing around television and loudly questioning Obama’s birthplace and loyalty to the country, I didn’t see Mitch McConnell denouncing him on CNN or anywhere else. Or Paul Ryan. Or Newt Gingrich, who was on Fox “News” yesterday calling Drumpf’s attacks on the judge “inexcusable,” but who just said in March of this year that President Obama was “the first anti-American president.” The same Gingrich who said Obama was “the food stamp president.” The same Gingrich who said of Obama,

What if he is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together in the best and most accurate, predictive model for his behavior [sic].

Did Mitch McConnell or any prominent Republican take a time out and tell Gingrich, and others on the right, to knock it off? Nah. Why? Because Republicans have pretty much written off African-Americans, as McConnell seemed to concede last week. So, thinly and not-so-thinly disguised racial attacks on our first black president are acceptable because they play so well with the anxious and angry white base of the Republican Party. Those racial attacks were seen as good politics.

Now, though, it appears that Drumpf’s racist attack on a real living American with Hispanic heritage—as opposed to his vicious but mostly abstract racist attacks on nameless “illegals”—are unacceptable and “inexcusable” because Republicans can’t afford to write off yet another minority group, one that may contribute to a shellacking of the party in November. Now the racial attacks are seen as bad politics.

Just once, just bleeping once, I’d like to see a Republican honcho go on television and look into the camera and say the following:

Forget the politics of this, my fellow Americans. What Donald Drumpf said about an American judge is abhorrent. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t be tolerated by me or by you or by any American. The same with Drumpf’s past remarks about Mexicans and Muslims and, yes, his attacks on the legitimacy of our first African-American president. It’s wrong. Drumpf’s wrong. And Drumpf’s wrong for America.

The day that, or something like that, happens will be the first day of a long journey back to moral and political sanity for the national Republican Party. That day may come on November 9th. Let’s hope it does.

A Mostly Untold Story

As Drumpf spends his face time on TV racially attacking a federal judge appointed by Barack Obama, we get almost no information about the larger problem with the judicial nomination process. From Democratic Underground:

Header and subheader of the Daily Beast article on which the above graphic is based:

It’s Not Just Merrick Garland: Republicans Are Blocking So Many Nominees It’s Caused a Judicial Emergency

The judicial confirmation rate under the Republican-controlled Senate is less than half of what it was when Democrats held power under George W. Bush. There are so few judges that it’s hurting the country.

Finally, an important paragraph from the article showing how conservatives in the Senate still think our first African-American president is only three-fifths of a man:

And it’s not just judges. The Congressional Research Service found that President Obama has had the fewest presidential nominees confirmed in decades: 198, compared with 345 for George W. Bush, and 268 for Bill Clinton.

These days you rarely hear a word about Republican obstructionism, which is not just limited to the confirmation process of presidential nominees. Our economic progress has also been retarded by Republicans in Congress. All of which has done great damage to people’s perception of their governmental institutions. But what we often get from journalists is documentation of the dangerous cynicism sweeping the country without a proper exploration of its cause. And what we get from that journalistic failure is a Drumpf.

Drumpf Roast

There wasn’t much left of Drumpf when she was finished.

I was stunned by Hillary Clinton’s amazing “foreign policy” speech on Thursday, a speech ihairn which she not only told the truth about Drumpf, but a speech in which she proved to wobbly Democrats that she not only can take on Drumpf, but she knows how to do it with intelligence, sophistication, and with the appropriate amount of mockery of him and his “policies.”

If you haven’t seen the speech, you should. But you should also read it. Reading, at least for me, makes a different impression on the mind. For the record, I present an extensive look at what I consider her best moments:

Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.

He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.

This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.

We cannot put the security of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump’s hands. We cannot let him roll the dice with America.

She talked about Drumpf saying countries like Saudi Arabia ought to have nuclear weapons, about his threat to “abandon our allies in NATO,” and about his willingness to default on the nation’s debt. She noted that he would order our military to commit “war crimes” by using torture, and by murdering civilians “who are related to suspected terrorists.” She mentioned that he has said he doesn’t need to listen to any expert because he has “a very good brain.”

She reminded us that Drumpf believes “climate change is a hoax” and that POWs “aren’t heroes” and that he “praises dictators” and “picks fights with our friends.” Mocking him, she wanted us to remember that he thinks “running the Miss Universe pageant in Russia” is “foreign policy experience.” And a blistering critique of the central theme of his campaign came next:

And to top it off, he believes America is weak. An embarrassment. He called our military a disaster. He said we are – and I quote – a “third-world country.” And he’s been saying things like that for decades.

Those are the words my friends of someone who doesn’t understand America or the world.

She goes on to mention how he would increase our national debt to the tune of $30 trillion over twenty years, if his proposals were acted upon. She insisted it was “no small thing” how he has insulted a friendly neighbor, Mexico, by calling “Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers.” She asked why he would want to make Mexico our enemy. And also,

it’s no small thing when he suggests that America should withdraw our military support for Japan, encourage them to get nuclear weapons, and said this about a war between Japan and North Korea – and I quote – “If they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself, folks.”

I wonder if he even realizes he’s talking about nuclear war.

She blistered him and mocked him again for saying we should not have made the nuclear deal with Iran:

Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. Ask him. It’ll become very clear, very quickly.

There’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf-course deal.

But it doesn’t work like that in world affairs. Just like being interviewed on the same episode of “60 Minutes” as Putin was, is not the same thing as actually dealing with Putin.

So the stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table – bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets – I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.

But those tools won’t do the trick. Rather than solving global crises, he would create new ones.

He has no sense of what it takes to deal with multiple countries with competing interests and reaching a solution that everyone can get behind. In fact, he is downright contemptuous of that work. And that means he’s much more likely to end up leading us into conflict.

In a discussion about Drumpf wanting “to start a trade war with China,” she refers to him by his first name: “Donald doesn’t see the complexity.” Combine his willingness to start a trade war “with his comments about defaulting on our debt,” she says, “and it’s not hard to see how a Trump presidency could lead to a global economic crisis.” And then continuing to use his first name, she questioned, very carefully, his state of mind:

And I have to say, I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America. He praised China for the Tiananmen Square massacre; he said it showed strength. He said, “You’ve got to give Kim Jong Un credit” for taking over North Korea – something he did by murdering everyone he saw as a threat, including his own uncle, which Donald described gleefully, like he was recapping an action movie. And he said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A.

Now, I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.

That was a nice move. One of her best moments. Anytime you can weave psychiatry in with a narrative about Donald you are winning. But she wasn’t finished. She hammered him for the dumb and inconsistent things he has said about ISIS, from letting them “run wild” to attacking them with our nukes to getting into “a ground war” with them. “These are all distinct possibilities with Donald Trump in charge,” she said. And by “demonizing Muslims,” she continued, by trying to ban them from our country, he is giving ISIS “a huge propaganda victory.” She them thumped him again:

A Trump Presidency would embolden ISIS. We cannot take that risk.

This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.

She got down to some of that reality:

Trump says over and over again, “The world is laughing at us.” He’s been saying this for decades, he didn’t just start this year. He bought full-page ads in newspapers across the country back in 1987, when Ronald Reagan was President, saying that America lacked a backbone and the world was – you guessed it – laughing at us. He was wrong then, and he’s wrong now – and you’ve got to wonder why somebody who fundamentally has so little confidence in America, and has felt that way for at least 30 years, wants to be our President.

The truth is, there’s not a country in the world that can rival us. It’s not just that we have the greatest military, or that our economy is larger, more durable, more entrepreneurial than any in the world. It’s also that Americans work harder, dream bigger – and we never, ever stop trying to make our country and world a better place.

It remains to be seen if a majority of Americans really believe in that vision of America. If they elect Drumpf, that would strongly suggest they don’t. If Drumpf gets shellacked, there is still hope they do. Time will tell.

And now we come to the end of her speech,  which I will quote in full. It represents how wrong people have been about Hillary Clinton’s ability as a campaigner, and how wrong they have been about her vision for the country. This entire speech, including the following, was her moment to prove to the doubters, those who haven’t yet made up their minds about her, that she, despite all her flaws and her past mistakes, is ready to assume and manage the awesome power of the American presidency, the awesome power of the United States:

So it really matters that Donald Trump says things that go against our deepest-held values. It matters when he says he’ll order our military to murder the families of suspected terrorists. During the raid to kill bin Laden, when every second counted, our SEALs took the time to move the women and children in the compound to safety. Donald Trump may not get it, but that’s what honor looks like.

And it also matters when he makes fun of disabled people, calls women pigs, proposes banning an entire religion from our country, or plays coy with white supremacists. America stands up to countries that treat women like animals, or people of different races, religions or ethnicities as less human.

What happens to the moral example we set – for the world and for our own children – if our President engages in bigotry?

And by the way, Mr. Trump – every time you insult American Muslims or Mexican immigrants, remember that plenty of Muslims and immigrants serve and fight in our armed forces.

Donald Trump, Donald Trump could learn something from them.

That brings me to the final point I want to make today – the temperament it takes to be Commander-in-Chief.

Every President faces hard choices every day, with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives. That’s the job.

A revolution threatens to topple a government in a key region, an adversary reaches out for the first time in years – what do you do?

Making the right call takes a cool head and respect for the facts. It takes a willingness to listen to other people’s points of view with a truly open mind. It also takes humility – knowing you don’t know everything – because if you’re convinced you’re always right, you’ll never ask yourself the hard questions.

I remember being in the Situation Room with President Obama, debating the potential Bin Laden operation. The President’s advisors were divided. The intelligence was compelling but far from definitive. The risks of failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for our battle against al Qaeda and our relationship with Pakistan. Most of all, the lives of those brave SEALs and helicopter pilots hung in the balance.

It was a decision only the President could make. And when he did, it was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.

Now imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal. Do we want him making those calls – someone thin-skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?

I have a lot of faith that the American people will make the right decision. This is a country with a deep reservoir of common sense and national pride. We’re all counting on that.

Because making Donald Trump our commander-in-chief would be a historic mistake. It would undo so much of the work that Republicans and Democrats alike have done over many decades to make America stronger and more secure. It would set back our standing in the world more than anything in recent memory. And it would fuel an ugly narrative about who we are – that we’re fearful, not confident; that we want to let others determine our future for us, instead of shaping our own destiny.

That’s not the America I know and love.

So yes, we have a lot of work to do to keep our country secure. And we need to do better by American families and American workers – and we will. But don’t let anyone tell you that America isn’t great. Donald Trump’s got America all wrong. We are a big-hearted, fair-minded country.

There is no challenge we can’t meet, no goal we can’t achieve when we each do our part and come together as one nation. Every lesson from our history teaches us that we are stronger together. We remember that every Memorial Day. This election is a choice between two very different visions of America. One that’s angry, afraid, and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline. The other is hopeful, generous, and confident in the knowledge that America is great – just like we always have been.

Let’s resolve that we can be greater still. That is what I believe in my heart.

I went to 112 countries as your Secretary of State. And I never lost my sense of pride at seeing our blue-and-white plane lit up on some far-off runway, with “The United States of America” emblazoned on the side. That plane – those words – our country represents something special, not just to us, to the world. It represents freedom and hope and opportunity.

I love this country and I know you do too. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve America and I’m going to do everything I can to protect our nation, and make sure we don’t lose sight of how strong we really are.

Thank you all very much.

If Your Neighbor Has A Tank In His Driveway, He’s Probably Voting For Drumpf

Donald Drumpf may be a fraud in nearly every respect, but there is one thing the man with tiny hands delivers on: stirring up hate.

Whether it is attracting white supremacists or whether it is attracting Ted Nugent types or whether it is attracting the kind of folks who attend events called the “Continental Congress of 2009,” Drumpf nearly always provides what such strange folks are looking for.

articles of freedom.jpgThat last reference to a so-called Continental Congress—a real gathering of earnest conspiracists who, after “ten solid days” of, uh, deliberation, managed to produce a weird and scary document that no one, except a few gun-crazed wingnuts, ever heard of—comes from a new story at Mother Jones (“Trump Delegate Says Current US Leaders May Need to Be “Killed“) featuring a man named David Riden. Riden is a Drumpf-approved delegate to the Republican National Convention, who also happens to be a supporter of something called the “Patriot Movement,” which the story defines as “a loose-knit array of right-wing militias, nativists, and so-called ‘sovereign citizen’ groups.” Yikes.

Oh, and Riden is “a retired nuclear engineer,” which goes to show that intelligence is a destination, not a journey. Or something like that.

In any case, the retired nuclear engineer told Mother Jones the following:

…the people have the right to assemble, bear arms, go to Washington, DC, or wherever necessary, and go into military battle against the government and replace those in government with individuals that will uphold the Constitution. The Constitution should remain, but the people that are abusing it should be, the polite word is, eliminated. The harsh word is killed. And they’re killed by American citizens with weapons. And if people have tanks, assault weapons, if they have bombs—they need to have the weaponry necessary to be able to overthrow the federal government.

I don’t know about you, but if my neighbor pulls a tank up in his driveway, I’m moving to Canada. They don’t sell tanks to civilians there, do they? I hope not. Canada seems like such a nice place these days.

Anyway, Drumpf-delegate Riden says he told the Drumpf campaign that he was who he was, that is, a screwball. And they said something like, “Perfect! Come to Cleveland with your tanks and bombs!” Well, the story actually says “he explicitly disclosed” to the campaign his involvement with the Continental Congress of 2009 and that it was “among the subjects he wanted to discuss with the media during the Republican National Convention.” This would be a good time to mention that Mother Jones noted, “The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.” Why should they? There’s nothing unusual about Riden. Other than he fanatically supports the fanatical idea that it’s okay for folks like him to kill government officials he doesn’t think are good constitutionalists. That’s not that odd, is it?

On top of everything else, Riden is not hesitant to defend his birtherism (come on, you just knew he was a birther), like Drumpf has been lately.  The former nuclear engineer told MoJo:

I am 100 percent convinced that [Obama] was not born in Hawaii.

That is the kind of precision one would expect from an engineer. It’s only a guess, but I think Mr. Riden got his degree in nuclear engineering from Drumpf University. And whatever he paid for it, it was worth every penny.

A Glimmer Of Hope For The GOP? Nah, Not So Much

It happened in Delta County, Colorado. Was it a fluke? Was it a misstep by party officials? Did they not get the memo that shame is dead and gone because Donald Drumpf killed it and is hiding the remains in his cantaloupe-colored comb-over?

Delta County’s population is around 30,000 folks, mostly white folks. Uh, mostly white Republican folks—Obama only received 29% of the vote in 2012. You get the idea. But there was something positive that came out of Delta County on Sunday. Let’s start, though, with the negative:

ScreenHunter_4820 May. 30 16.40Republicans in Delta County, Colorado are seemingly scrambling after a racist photo likening President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee was posted on a top official’s Facebook page.

The photo briefly appeared on a Facebook page belonging to Linda Sorenson, who chairs the county Republican Central Committee, and was captured by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

The image was taken from the Ronald Reagan film Bedtime for Bonzo, and shows Reagan bottle-feeding the titular chimpanzee, with a caption saying, “I’ll be damned … Reagan used to babysit Obama.”

We’ve all seen this stuff so many times it doesn’t surprise anymore. Such is how, in the age of The Scary Negro, Republicans make themselves feel better. But what surprised me a little bit was what happened after the Grand Junction newspaper confronted some local GOP officials with the fact that their leader, Linda Sorenson, admitted to a progressive blogger the following about her Facebook post:

I really don’t care if people are offended by it. Un-friend me. Stop looking at me on Facebook.

That is the Drumpf response, right? I mean that’s what the GOP has come to these days. Don’t back down when you’re caught doing or saying something offensive. Own it. Hell, double down on it. But the reaction of two other local party officials was more traditional. According to the newspaper, the vice chairman of the party said,

This whole thing is a hoax. Someone got into the Facebook somehow. It was hacked and somebody got into it, definitely.

The treasurer for the party said,

That whole thing is bogus. Somebody hacked Linda Sorenson’s Facebook page, and posted that out there. We believe it has something to do with Media Matters. They’ve been harassing her the last few weeks.

Now, that is the old GOP right there. Don’t own it. Don’t admit to it. Just say it was the liberal media’s fault. And in that more traditional way of handling things like this we have at least a teensy-weensy slice of hope that Drumpf hasn’t quite finished off the idea of shame in the Republican Party after all. The Grand Junction paper reported that it had asked the local vice chairman why someone would want to hack Ms. Sorenson’s Facebook page. He said,

I have no idea…Just to damage the Republican Party, no doubt. … Just to make us look bad.

You see that? This man is worried that the party will “look bad.” How refreshing is that, after months and months of Drumpf? A Republican Party official is actually out there worried about the image of the Republican Party! Who knew?

A few months ago, Ezra Klein fretted over Drumpf’s “complete lack of shame.” Klein wrote:

It’s easy to underestimate how important shame is in American politics. But shame is our most powerful restraint on politicians who would find success through demagoguery. Most people feel shame when they’re exposed as liars, when they’re seen as uninformed, when their behavior is thought cruel, when respected figures in their party condemn their actions, when experts dismiss their proposals, when they are mocked and booed and protested.

Trump doesn’t. He has the reality television star’s ability to operate entirely without shame, and that permits him to operate entirely without restraint. It is the single scariest facet of his personality. It is the one that allows him to go where others won’t, to say what others can’t, to do what others wouldn’t.

Yes. Drumpf is shameless. He is crass. He is unpredictable. He is ignorant. He’s a bigot’s bigot. But his party’s leadership, at least most of them, have embraced his shamelessness and crassness. And the party itself is coming to terms with his unpredictability and his ignorance and his bigotry.

Marco Rubio is the latest enabler. After Drumpf humiliated him in the primary by way of nasty insults, and after Rubio called Drumpf a “con artist” and a “lunatic,” Little Marco recently said he would be “honored” to speak for Drumpf at the convention. Honored. He actually said the word honored. Oh. My.

But once upon a time there was a different Rubio. One who said of Drumpf and the effect he was having on the country:

This is a man who in rallies has told his supporters to basically beat up the people in the crowd and he’ll pay their legal fees. Someone who’s encouraged people in the audience to rough up anybody who says something he doesn’t like… This is what a culture and society looks like when everybody says whatever the heck they want. When everybody goes around saying I’m just gonna speak my mind. If I’m angry, it gives me the right to say or do anything I want.

Well, there are other people who are angry too, and if they speak out and say whatever they want, the result is it all breaks down. It’s called chaos. It’s called anarchy. And that’s what we’re careening towards in our political process… And you wonder whether we’re headed in a different direction today, where we’re no longer capable of having differences of opinion but in fact now protests become a license to take violence, to take on your opponents physically.

Forget about the election for a moment, there’s a broader issue in our political culture in this country, and this is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of anger and bitterness and frustration, and I think we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves: Are we contributing to this?

That was a damned good question. And Rubio has answered it for himself. He has every intention of contributing to “this.” He is willingly contributing to it. He is “honored” to contribute to it. Talk about shamelessness.

Marco Rubio, as well as other Republicans who have stained themselves orange, makes those party officials in Delta County, Colorado—those who actually want to distance themselves from a racist Facebook post because it makes the party “look bad”—appear quaint, makes them look out of step with the new GOP.

Sadly, though, it’s a good bet that those white party officials in Delta County will, like most of the locals they represent, run to the polls in November and vote for Drumpf. Why? Because people like Marco Rubio, John McCain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, and, yes, Paul Ryan, are in the process of telling them it’s okay to do so, telling them that conscientious Republicans no longer have to be conscientious.

They no longer have to be ashamed of shamelessness.

Zika, Climate Change, And The Utter Difference Between Ds and Rs

Bernie Sanders once said that “in reality,” there is only “one party—the party of the ruling class.” You sort of get the idea, by the way he has campaigned and is still campaigning, that he hasn’t changed his mind all that much. I know some of his followers agree with the idea that the “establishment” in both parties is part of one bigger establishment that is out to get us all. Just check out the comment section of any article on Bernie or on Hillary Clinton, if you don’t believe me.

In any case, all Democrats and most Bernie supporters know better. There is a hell of a lot of difference between the two parties. And nothing, on this Memorial Day weekend, demonstrates that more than the following two headlines from today’s news:

two headlines

On just those two issues—one a short-term crisis and the other a long-term one—you can see how dangerous it is to ignore, or to understate, the stark differences between what the Republican Party is, and is becoming, and what the Democratic Party has been for some time now: an institution that, although flawed, has its head—a general trust in science—as well as its heart—people ought not to suffer unnecessarily—in the right place.

Meanwhile.

It’s a character issue. That’s all I keep hearing, on cable news channels and elsewhere, regarding Hillary Clinton’s email controversy. CNN and MSNBC (forget Fox) and other outlets are fixated on the idea that the State Department’s Inspector General report—called “scathing” I don’t know how many times by I don’t know how many people on TV—reveals a deep flaw in her character. It reveals how untrustworthy she is. How dishonest she is.

Meanwhile, with all this hysterical journalistic handwringing going on—handwringing about an issue that doesn’t amount to a damned thing—there stands Drumpf, six feet two and weighing in with about 250 pounds of bad character. Every inch of him, every last cell in his body, is infected with character flaws, most of which he embraces without shame.

It’s like this: A policeman is making his rounds through the neighborhood and notices that a crazed man with a large gas can is pouring gasoline all over a big and beautiful house, a house filled with lots of residents. The cop also notices that the man with the can, who is working furiously, has a BIC in his tiny little hand, ready to burn the thing to the ground. But then the officer notices that a woman is trying to get his attention, trying to get him to do something about the man with the gas can. But the man in blue, instead of pursuing the crazed man with the BIC in is tiny hand, decides that the woman, who has served her neighbors well but has a bad reputation among cops, is disturbing the peace with her rather loud request to do something about the man who is about to burn down the house. So, you guessed it, the cop charges the woman with disturbing the peace and takes the time to write her a ticket and to lecture her about her annoying behavior. Then he goes back to the station and tells his pals how he sure showed that woman a thing or two.

Meanwhile, the man with the can and the tiny hands is still working. Furiously.

 

Science Explains Drumpf

Don’t know if you’ve seen the Vox video below, but you should. You also should check out Amanda Taub’s, “The rise of American authoritarianism,” in which she notes that a couple of political scientists—Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler—had “essentially predicted Trump’s rise back in 2009.” How? Taub explains:

That year, Hetherington and Weiler published a book about the effects of authoritarianism on American politics. Through a series of experiments and careful data analysis, they had come to a surprising conclusion: Much of the polarization dividing American politics was fueled not just by gerrymandering or money in politics or the other oft-cited variables, but by an unnoticed but surprisingly large electoral group — authoritarians.

Their book concluded that the GOP, by positioning itself as the party of traditional values and law and order, had unknowingly attracted what would turn out to be a vast and previously bipartisan population of Americans with authoritarian tendencies.

This trend had been accelerated in recent years by demographic and economic changes such as immigration, which “activated” authoritarian tendencies, leading many Americans to seek out a strongman leader who would preserve a status quo they feel is under threat and impose order on a world they perceive as increasingly alien.

These Americans with authoritarian views, they found, were sorting into the GOP, driving polarization. But they were also creating a divide within the party, at first latent, between traditional Republican voters and this group whose views were simultaneously less orthodox and, often, more extreme.

Over time, Hetherington and Weiler had predicted, that sorting would become more and more pronounced. And so it was all but inevitable that, eventually, authoritarians would gain enough power within the GOP to make themselves heard.

At the time, even Hetherington and Weiler did not realize the explosive implications: that their theory, when followed to its natural conclusion, predicted a looming and dramatic transformation of American politics. But looking back now, the ramifications of their research seem disturbingly clear.

Disturbingly clear, indeed. We know that the authoritarians now control the Republican Party. That fight is over and the surrendering is going on as I write. But it remains to be seen if they will control the entire country. It’s possible they will—and Bernie Sanders is out there flirting with that possibility right now by aiding and abetting Drumpf—but until the time comes to find out, at least we should understand what is happening to our country:

Closer To Home: What’s Happening In Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas

MISSOURI

Democrats in the Missouri legislature, the one or two left there, were successful in stopping an anti-gay measure (oh, excuse me, the “religious freedom” thing), with the help of a few courageous (courage is relative around here) Republicans. Same thing on the anti-union bill (oh, excuse me again, the “paycheck protection” thing). But, no doubt, both of those bills will be back next year and there may not be a Democratic governor to veto them.

Republicans, meanwhile, passed a budget that defunds Planned Parenthood. They passed a law that allows folks to carry concealed weapons. To go along with that gem, they also expanded our self-defense laws, which will now allow you to kill someone in a public place if he orHillary Clinton 2016 Blue Campaign Button (2.25" Round) she is sporting a Hillary for President button. Okay. It’s not quite that bad. But it’s close. All you need do to legally kill someone is believe a “reasonable” threat is present. For some folks around here where I live, a reasonable threat might be a Clinton presidency.

Meanwhile, our right-wing legislators managed not to do anything significant regarding their phony pet project this year: legislative ethics. Oh, they passed a six-month waiting period for legislators who want to become lobbyists after they’re done legislatin’, meaning that instead of instantly going from lawmaker to moneymaker, they’ll have to wait a little longer now. But there are—still—no limits on campaign contributions in Missouri. The rich can give as much as they want to our representatives. As much as they want, with no questions asked. And if any questions are asked, no one has to answer them. Lobbyists can also—still—shower lawmakers with gifts. Heck, a modest proposal to limit the gifts to forty bucks a day for food and drink and tickets to sporting events couldn’t get passed. Cardinal Nation lives on!

In any case, enough of the depressing stuff going on in Missouri. Here’s a little of what’s happening in the states nearest to Hooterville Joplin:

OKLAHOMA

Deciding that the state of Texas didn’t go far enough by enacting gross restrictions on reproductive rights (a case the Supreme’s will consider soon), anti-choice fascists in the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill that would, essentially, outlaw abortion in that state. CNN reported:

According to the language of the bill, anyone who is found to have performed an abortion — except in instances to save the life of the mother — will be found guilty of a felony and can receive up to three years in prison.

Welcome to Drumpf’s world, ladies. Good luck.

ARKANSAS

The United States, according to experts, has the largest hoosegow population in the world, with more than 2.3 million in federal or state prisons. And, effectively, we have the highest incarceration rate. These alarming statistics have even alarmed a few Republicans in Congress, who have sort of tried to get with Democrats to do something about it by reforming our criminal “justice” system.

But not Arkansas’ Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton says the problem isn’t that we have too many folks in jail—we don’t have enough. We need more. Missing the point entirely, he said at a conservative group-think tank:

Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem.

Later on he helped us understand him in, uh, context:

I saw this in Baghdad. We’ve seen it again in Afghanistan. Security has to come first, whether you’re in a war zone or whether you’re in the United States of America.

Well, he has a point. What’s the difference, in the age of Drumpf, between a “war zone” and “America”?

KANSAS

In my old home state, the dive continues. Without sufficient revenues, mostly due to cutting taxes on rich people, we get this headline from the Lawrence Journal-World:

Brownback signs Kansas budget and orders $97 million in allotment cuts, slashing KU funding

Slashing KU funding? Huh? OMG! Will that hurt my favorite basketball program, my beloved Jayhawks? Of course it won’t, but that reminds me:

Why Bill Self doesn’t pay Kansas taxes on about 90 percent of his earnings

I love me some Rock Chalk round ball. I even love me some Coach Self. But come on, peeps:

A report by public radio station KCUR noted that Self for years has had the bulk of his compensation paid into a limited liability company. Since 2012, that arrangement has become a tax perk, as Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature approved a new tax law that exempts Kansas income taxes on LLCs and other pass-through businesses. In total, about 334,000 Kansas business are receiving the tax break.

Get dis:

Self earns a base salary of $230,000 per year, according to a contract extension he and KU agreed upon in 2012.

In addition, Kansas Athletics pays Self’s LLC a minimum of $2.75 million per year for “professional services” rendered by the coach, according to the contract.

Sweet, ain’t it? Self has had his LLC since his coaching days at the University of Illinois in 2000. While I don’t understand the whole LLC thing, when it comes to college coaches and tax liability (I suspect, though, there is a rea$on for it), I do understand that Brownback has made it very easy on Self, when it comes to paying taxes on his compensation—the highest for any state employee in Kansas. The idea is, so goes the economic theory known as voodoo, to let Self keep his tax money and it will, like a cascade of kindness, magically fall down on everyone else in the form of jobs and increased revenue.

But what is falling down on folks in Kansas is pain, pain caused by the Brownbacks of this world:

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a budget bill into law Wednesday while at the same time ordering $97 million in allotment cuts, mostly through cuts to higher education and Medicaid funding.

Schools and poor folks. That’s who gets hit when Republicans hand out tax cuts to the rich. Always happens. That’s why, by the way, we have a crowd-drawing Bernie Sanders.

As noted in the headline previously, a large chunk—$10.7 million—of those “higher education” cuts will fall on KU itself. Maybe next fall, when the faithful students gather at Allen Fieldhouse to watch Kansas play, they can pass the hat to Bill Self and ask him to chip in a little. Who knows, he may have some spare change left over from all that job-creatin’ he’s surely doing with that extra money, right?

Speaking of passing the hat, if Republicans win this November, we will need lots of hats to pass around in order to help teachers, students, the sick, the poor, the working class, and other non-LLC owning folks survive the Browndrumpf's plan for womenbacking and Drumpfing of America.

And women will need lots of hangers.

And gays will need lots of closets.

And, of course, war-torn America will need lots of hoosegows.

America The Sick

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

—Katharine Lee Bates, America the Beautiful

No, this is not about Drumpf, although he, too, is evidence of a sick America. This is about another man, himself sort of a representative of the kind of people who have crowned a certified bigot as the leader of the Party of Lincoln.

George Zimmerman will finally get his big payday for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an African-American kid armed with nothing but candy and a drink, who was on his way home from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida. According to USA Today:

George Zimmerman said Wednesday the online auction has ended for the sale of the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin in 2012 and he was immediately notifying the winner.

“The winner.” Let that sink in.

I’ve got nothing much to say about this sad and sick moment in our nation’s history, except to note that Zimmerman wants his “Fellow Patriots” to know that he is still in good with the Almighty:

First and foremost, I would like to thank and give the glory to God for a successful auction that has raised funds for several worthy causes.

zimmermanIn the disturbed and disturbing mind of George Zimmerman, God may get the glory. But Americans, those who think it is okay to shoot unarmed kids, those who think it is okay to shoot unarmed kids and then profit from it, deserve the shame.

America the beautiful? Not today.

More Bernie Buts

My fellow Democrats. Get used to it. Stop kidding yourselves. There will always be a “but” with Bernie. He’s not one of us.

He likes the Democratic Party, but. He likes Obama, but. He will support Hillary Clinton, but. He condemns the nastiness in Nevada, but.

It is clear that Bernie is not in this thing to be president anymore. He’s not in this to win the nomination—for him to continue to say he is amounts to defrauding his donors—and at this point he isn’t in it to defeat Drumpf. He’s in it because he first wants to destroy the Democratic Party as it now is and then become the leader of a revamped party, a party created in his image. That’s it. That’s what he’s doing.

Last night in California, at another big rally, he attacked Democratic leaders. The crowd booed those leaders. Bernie’s okay with that. He doesn’t care. Just like, at first, he didn’t much care that some of his supporters went wild in Nevada, that some of them threatened the chairwoman—a volunteer—of the state Democratic Party. He eventually put out a statement condemning what happened, but it came with a patented Bernie-but.

Last night, after all that had happened in Nevada over the weekend, where his supporters were furious at the “establishment,” Bernie sent out this tweet:

bernie tweet

Yes, Democrats are Bernie’s enemy. He’s running against Democrats. He literally loathes the party. So, why would we expect him to enthusiastically embrace it after this is all over? The most we will get from him, after Hillary Clinton wins the nomination and after he conducts a nasty fight at the convention over the party platform, will be a lukewarm endorsement of her—largely on the grounds that a Drumpf is unacceptable. That will be it.

It’s sad, but that is what it is.

Will Bernie Folks Listen To Van Jones And Noam Chomsky?

CNN contributor Van Jones, you may remember, once worked for President Obama as his Special Advisor for Green Jobs, or as some liked to call it, the “green jobs czar.” You also may remember that Glenn Beck repeatedly attacked him after his appointment in 2009, essentially suggesting he was, like Obama, a left-wing terrorist who hated white people. Other conservatives attacked him, too, including Republican members of Congress. Those ol’ boys were mostly offended because Jones, just before Obama appointed him, attended a lecture at Berkeley, in which he was asked why Democrats couldn’t get that famous stimulus packaged passed in 2009 even though they had 58 votes in the Senate:

QUESTIONER: …how were they, Republicans, able to push things through when they had less than 60 senators, but somehow we cant?

JONES: Well the answer to that is, they’re assholes.

QUESTIONER: I was afraid that was the answer.

JONES: As a technical, political kind of term. And Barack Obama is not an asshole. Now, I will say this: I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity.

As you can imagine, since this was pre-Drumpf, everyone on the right was outraged that the Scary Negro’s appointee, himself an even scarier Negro, called lily-white legislators “assholes,” even though it was true and even though he did so before the Scary Negro appointed him. Here’s a screen grab from Fox “News”:

I want to particularly call out one Republican congressman who went after Jones. His name is Mike Pence from Indiana, who is now the governor of that Drumpf-loving state. Back in 2009, Pence was very upset with Jones and demanded his resignation, saying, “His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.” Yes. Pence said that. He said that extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in government or in public debate. None. Nope. No place.

Except when they do.

Less than a month ago, while meekly endorsing Ted Cruz, Pence said,

I particularly want to commend Donald Trump, who I think has given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with a lack of progress in Washington, D.C.”

Hmm. Things have changed a bit since 2009. Not long after Pence made that statement about Drumpf giving “voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans,” Cruz got shellacked in Indiana’s GOP primary. Shortly after that, Pence endorsed the extremist views and coarse rhetoric approach:

I’m fully supportive of our presumptive nominee, and I do think Donald Trump will do well in the State of Indiana. I’m going to campaign hard for the Republican nominee because Indiana needs a partner in the White House.

He meant, of course, that Indiana needs a partner in the White’s House, even if that partner is really, truly a profane extremist. Apparently, Pence, like other Republicans in bed with Drumpf, don’t mind white folks doin’ all that fussin’ and cussin’; they just don’t like uppity Negroes doin’ it. Ain’t acceptable.

In any case, Van Jones resigned in September of 2009, after it became clear President Obama wasn’t in the mood for a fight. There were important things to get done and Jones was a distraction. That was too bad for the Obama administration but good for Jones. He has enjoyed a pretty good career since then, including a lot of face time on television, where he appears often, these days as a Bernie supporter.

But even though Jones is a Bernie man, he ain’t nuts. He isn’t about to let the Bern get the best of him or his country. I have never seen him badmouth Hillary in the way most Bernie people do when they get in front of a camera. He’s cool about it. That’s why he made a video for van jones videoMoveOn.org, an organization that also went all-in for Bernie, but apparently understands that things are getting out of hand with some Bernie folks. The video is a warning that Drumpf can win the general election if we, liberals and leftists and anyone else who doesn’t like Orange Man, don’t “work together” to make sure the profane extremist doesn’t make the White’s House his home.  (You can watch the video at https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmoveon%2Fvideos%2Fvb.7292655492%2F10153454110680493%2F%3Ftype%3D3&show_text=0&width=560  and then come back for a word from a leftist’s leftist, Noam Chomsky.)

The comment section accompanying the video is an interesting read. There are some real Hillary haters on there, folks who won’t vote for her no matter what. Even if it means a President Drumpf, they don’t care. They want a “clean conscience.” Which brings me to Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky is a real radical leftist. Over the years he has said some things I agree with and some things I think are ridiculous. No need to go into that here. What I want to do is post something he said to yet another leftist, Amy Goodman, on her fine program, Democracy Now! After raising the point that corporate forces are funding elections and writing legislation and that a “countervailing force” is necessary to defend “popular interests, needs and concerns,” Chomsky said this:

noam chomskyBut now, going back to who should you push the button for, well, my own—in the primaries, I would prefer Bernie Sanders. If Clinton is nominated and it comes to a choice between Clinton and Trump, in a swing state, a state where it’s going to matter which way you vote, I would vote against Trump, and by elementary arithmetic, that means you hold your nose and you vote Democrat. I don’t think there’s any other rational choice. Abstaining from voting or, say, voting for, say, a candidate you prefer, a minority candidate, just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump, which I think is a devastating prospect, for reasons I’ve already mentioned. So—but meanwhile, do the important things.

I have to admit that surprised me. We are, after all, talking about Noam Chomsky. But even though clearly he doesn’t like Hillary Clinton—heck, even Bernie isn’t quite radical enough for him—he still has enough sense to see that even radical leftists should not commit national suicide by voting for a third party candidate or not voting at all.

Now, I say this to all you earnest Bernie folks out there: If Noam Bleeping Chomsky can “push the button” for Hillary, you can too! We can’t afford to let the assholes win! “Do the important things.”

Don’t Miss The Forest For The Sleaze

Because I have watched MSNBC’s Morning Joe for so long now, I guess I have become sort of use to what has been happening. The show has, after all, become a platform for defending, advising, and promoting Drumpf, who is friends with or acquaintances of most of the regulars on the show. They just can’t bring themselves to admit the obvious about him.

Today was no different. Morning Joe’s opening segment at 7:00 am CST was all about that New York Times article (“Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private“) published over the weekend that documented some of Drumpf’s boorish encounters with women, claims of sexual harassment, as well as a few of the good things he has done in promoting women in his business. Morning Joe, though, was all about attacking the Times rather than criticizing Drumpf’s behavior. Panelist Donny Deutsch, who has admitted to being a Friend of Drumpf, even gave him a hint this morning on how to proceed: hit the whole Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton thang. It really was an embarrassment for MSNBC, although it won’t stop. Drumpf = ratings. And insulting Drumpf = boycott. Thus.

I just wanted to remind you of something critically important that may, now, get lost because one of the women in the Times report said her story was misused by the newspaper and that she “did not have a negative experience” with Drumpf. What may get lost has nothing to do with that Times article. Anyone paying attention knows that Drumpf’s problems with women have much more to do with what he has said since he has been a candidate than any revelation that he once had the hots for a model, whom he outfitted in a bikini so he could show off her assets to a group of Drumpf groupies at a Mar-a-Lago pool party, the same model who now says she was flattered by the whole episode.

So, before it gets lost in the storm of nonsense and ugliness that is the Drumpf campaign, before it gets lost in the ADHD-like television coverage of that nonsense and ugliness, let’s look at a weird story, published in The Washington Post on May 13, “Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself.” I know by now you know most of the details—Drumpf posing as publicists “John Miller” and “John Barron”—so I won’t go into them. Suffice it to say that the story, if it weren’t about Drumpf, would, like so many other things he has said and done, doom anyone else. It would disgrace any other presidential candidate, who would slink away with a shame-hung head. But this is Drumpf. His answer to it? Lie. He didn’t do it. The voice that everyone knows was his, on those phone calls to reporters, wasn’t his, he says. And his groupies, both professionals and amateurs, are behind him. If he says it wasn’t him, it wasn’t. Move on. No biggie. There are more important things to talk about.

Surprisingly, the journalists I have seen covering this issue on television, and those paid to be “analysts,” have it all wrong. They are focusing on the lie Drumpf told. They want him to come clean about that. Their coverage goes something like this: “If only Drumpf would simply admit he was ‘John Miller’ or ‘John Barron’ and confess to doing something dumb, a joke really, this would all go away and we’d move on to something else.” I heard CNN’s Chris Cuomo say something like that the other day.

Well, no. That isn’t the point.

We all know Drumpf is a liar. That has been established beyond doubt, just as it has been established beyond doubt that he was John Miller and John Barron (he has actually admitted as much before). So, any revelation that he is currently lying about the fact he was pretending to be his own publicist would not be surprising. It would just be an addition to what we already knew. What we don’t know is what it is that makes a prominent man do something so clumsy and crass. What is it in his brain that makes him want to do it in the first place, but then—most important to mewhat makes him think no one would catch him doing it? That’s what has been lost in all this. There is, truly, something wrong with his mind, with his thought process, with his ability to understand what is going on in other minds.

I’ve said before that since I’m not a medical doctor, I can’t diagnose Drumpf’s problems—although others have done so. We can all see that he acts and talks like a narcissist. We can see that he lies, when telling the truth would be a much easier path to follow. His lying appears to be pathological. We can all see that Tiny Hands is insecure, which also appears to be some kind of disease. All that is troubling enough. But think about it. This man called reporters, reporters who knew his voice, pretending to be someone else. Why couldn’t he figure out in advance that those reporters would know it was his voice? That he would be asked about it? That he would be asked to produce John Miller and John Barron at some point, since they allegedly worked for him? Huh? And why can’t he see that now?

Disturbing stuff. And it isn’t just limited to gossip magazines or tabloids. It has real-world implications. Consider Drumpf’s embrace of Vladimir Putin. In that sorry case, did some kind of pathological disorder get the best of Drumpf? Remember that Putin, a murderous authoriatarian, said the GOP candidate was “a very bright and talented man,” and an “absolute leader.” Rather than responding as any normal American would do, that is, by rejecting the endorsement of a trained and practiced Russian killer, Drump said,

When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia.

“It’s always good.” Always. If Charles Manson calls you brilliant from his prison cell, that’s good. If Kim Jong-un takes time out of his busy day in North Korea and calls you brilliant, that’s good, too. For a Drumpfed-up mind, there are no conditions under which receiving flattery is a negative.

When confronted with the charge that Putin has either ordered the killing of journalists in Russia or created a climate in which they could be essentially killed with impunity, Drumpf has responded in different ways. Once he said, “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing, too…” Another time,

Nobody has proven that he’s killed anyone. … He’s always denied it. It’s never been proven that he’s killed anybody. You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, at least in our country. It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.

Now, that comes from a man who, with exactly no evidence to back him up, has questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship and Christianity, who says he sent investigators, perhaps John Miller and John Barron, to Hawaii and “they cannot believe what they’re finding.” It comes from a man who, just last year as a presidential candidate, said of President Obama, “I don’t know if he loves America.” Who said, “I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque?”

Giving the benefit of the doubt to a horrific Russian despot who strategically strokes your ego, while trashing the credibility of your own president, is a symptom of some profound personal problem, as far as I’m concerned as an American. It demonstrates that Drumpf’s awareness of himself, that his perception of others, is twisted. It proves that he is unfit to be our commander-in-chief because his judgment about what may be happening in the minds of other people, whether they are reporters or world leaders, is so utterly and hopelessly flawed.

Drumpf’s petty attempt to pass himself off as publicists John Miller and John Barron—and expect that he could get away with it—just adds to the case that he is a very disturbed man. But it is also disturbing that much of the press, at least on television, isn’t that interested in the original disqualifying behavior, but only in getting Drumpf to admit to it so cable news can move on to the next act in this gloomy Gong Show. Perhaps the only thing that can save us all is if Drumpf comes out soon and lets us in on his little joke. And The Washington Post can write a new article, “Donald Trump masqueraded as presidential candidate to brag about himself.”

[Mural image by artist Mindaugas Bonanu]

 

The Devil On Drumpf

Every now and then, the Devil comes by the spacious offices of The Erstwhile Conservative for a short interview. He only had a few minutes, since this is his busy season, but I managed to get in some important questions. Here is the lightly edited interview:

TEC: Thanks for stopping by. I want to quickly ask you what I think is a fairly obvious question, but one I’ll ask anyway: What part have you played in the rise of Drumpf? I can see your fingerprints all over this.

TShutterstockHE DEVIL: Yeah, I know. It is kind of obvious, isn’t it? But that couldn’t be prevented, given what we were working with. Look, I don’t want to give away too much right now because there is still so much to be done, but I can’t help but brag a little bit. This is one of the most brilliant campaigns we have ever run—

TEC: One of the most?

THE DEVIL: Okay, dammit. You got me. It is the most brilliant campaign we have ever run. Okay? And I’m so damned proud of it I can’t barely hide it. 

TEC: How did you get this all started anyway?

THE DEVIL: Oh, this thing has been in the making for years now. It started out with that whole birther thing. Do you know how hard it was to get someone to take that bait? It was damned hard, let me tell you. But we found him! And when I first started getting reports from the field, from our demons assigned to the task, that Drumpf was biting on it, I couldn’t believe it. But I gave orders to keep after it and keep after him and see if there was something more there we could build on. And it turns out there was a lot there we could build on.

TEC: So, what was the next step, after he took the birther bait?

THE DEVIL: This is where it gets good. And this may surprise you. But it came to me one night in hell, as I was thinking—seething, really—about how miserably we have failed to get a majority of Americans to give into their cultural anxieties and put a real hate-generating reactionary in the Oval Office. We’ve been successful in Congress, but we need it all to do our devilish damage.

TEC: And, so, what came to you?

THE DEVIL: Political correctness! We simply had to do away with it. We had to get people to resent it, to will it away. 

TEC: Why?

THE DEVIL: Because by getting rid of political correctness that would allow people to act out their racism and sexism and other forms of anxiety and hatred without fear of retribution.

TEC: Without fear that someone would call them on it.

THE DEVIL: Exactly. If we could get rid of the idea that there are some things Americans shouldn’t say about each other, we could get our foot in the door. So, one of our most promising demons came up with the idea of planting in Drumpf’s head the notion that political correctness had to go. And like the birther stuff, he bit. He went for it. And from there, it was easy to get him to run for president, and the next thing you know, he’s starting out his campaign by talking about Mexican rapists. Brilliant!

TEC: But it didn’t stop there.

THE DEVIL: Of course not. Once the political correctness door got knocked down, no one was immune. Blacks, Muslims, women. Drumpf would say anything. We could literally get him to say anything. He puts up almost no resistance! Heck, just for fun one day, one of our demons told him to say that he could shoot someone on the street and he wouldn’t lose any voters. And he went out and said it! 

TEC: Yeah, I remember that.

THE DEVIL: But we’ve done other things just for the hell of it, just for laughs.

TEC: Like what?

THE DEVIL: We got the Drumpf campaign to put a white nationalist on the delegate ballot in California!

TEC: I heard that.

THE DEVIL: Who could have believed that a year ago? Or who could believe that we could get David Duke to whisper to his racist followers that Drumpf is really one of them? I get chills just thinking about how successful we’ve been with this thing. It’s massive. 

TEC: You mean yoooge.

THE DEVIL: Let’s be serious.

TEC: Okay, okay. What is it you like most about what has happened so far?

THE DEVIL: Without a doubt my favorite part of this effort has been taking those devil-hating evangelicals and turning them into Drumpfkins! They are always talking about how much they love God, the Enemy, and now they’re running to the polls voting for my guy! How sweet is that? Now, I don’t want to brag, but I’ve heard that even God himself is impressed by that feat! And, listen, take it from me, God’s not easy to impress.

TEC: I bet he isn’t. But I want to ask you about Bernie Sanders and how he fits into all this.

THE DEVIL: Well, I hesitate to talk about that too much right now because it’s a subtle operation and it is still ongoing. But just look at what we did last night in West Virginia. Our ground operation there was so good—our dsanders voters not voting for clintonemonic forces in that region are some of the best—that we got Bernie a victory—

TEC: But Bernie has won a lot of states—

THE DEVIL: Sure he has, but what happesanders voters voting for trumpned last night was remarkable. We got him a majority of voters, most of them saying they would never vote for Hillary! And, get this, we got a lot of those who voted for Bernie last night to say they wouldn’t vote for Bernie in November! Now, dammit, that’s a hell of an accomplishment, isn’t it?

TEC: Yeah, I suppose that’s pretty impressive. 

THE DEVIL: You’re damn right it is! But, hey, I have to go. There’s still a lot to do. We’ve got to stop all that damnable talk of a third party out there.

TEC: Okay, but before you head out, where do we go from here? What’s next with the Drumpf campaign?

THE DEVIL: Look, you know I can’t tell you what’s coming next, as much as I want to. Suffice it to say it will be the general election from hell. We intend to see one of our own sitting in the White’s House next January. That’s all I’m going to say about it right now because, dammit, we want this campaign of ours to remain unpredictable!

TEC: Oh, my. Well, thanks for stopping by. 

THE DEVIL: No problem…heck, okay, I can’t help myself. I’ll tell you something we’re working on right now with Drumpf. We’re trying to get Newt Gingrich on the ticket!

TEC: Wow. Are you serious? Newt bleeping Gingrich?

THE DEVIL: I have probably said too much. I gotta go.

[dark image: shutterstock; Drumpf evangelicals: Getty Images]

The Grand Orange Party

This Thursday Drumpf will meet with some of the GOP bigwigs in Congress, including the Speaker of the House, who hasn’t quite got both feet on the crazy train. Their hopes are that they will either find out Drumpf has just been pretending to be a fool on the campaign trail or that he is someone whom they can mold into a real conservative nutjob, as opposed to just a nutjob.

In any case, it’s hard to tell these days whether some conservatives are afraid Drumpf will lose in November or are afraid that he will win. Famous right-winger Bill Kristol, who has correctly pronounced Drumpf as unfit to be president, was on TV this morning all worried about the latest polling—the meat and potatoes of TV journalism these days—in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida that shows the race is really, really close. Drumpf might win! Who’da thunk it? Kristol is doing his best to get someone like Mittens to run as a third party candidate. Good luck with that, Bill. I’m rooting for ya.

Here’s the deal, though. As Kristol suggests, GOP leaders in Congress, along with governors and other politicians with clout, can “normalize” Drumpf. They can do so in several ways. They can fully embrace him and say good things about him. Or they can half embrace him and say he is a work in progress. Or they can sort of slink away without saying anything. No matter how it happens, if they don’t come out and tell the world that Drumpf is not presidential material, they will legitimate him, put their stamp of approval on him, and thereby signal to voters that it is okay to vote for him. But will they do that? Will they normalize someone so obviously unstable and unfit?

You’re damned right they will. There’s no doubt about it. And when they do, they won’t get a mulligan. No do-overs. They’ll have to live with him and what he says and does for the next six months. And, Allah forbid, if Drumpf does win in November, they will be responsible for the considerable damage he will do to the country, and quite possibly, the world.

As many people have remarked, if Paul Ryan and other Republican big shots in Congress and around the country do, explicitly or implicitly, welcome Drumpf into the comfy confines of the establishment, it will then become Drumpf’s party. The Grand Orange Party. He’ll own it and its leaders, and they all will go down in history either as colossal losers or as dangerous winners.

The truth is, though, that Drumpf isn’t just a Republican problem. Sure, he makes Republicans look bigoted and ridiculous and small. But to some extent he also makes the country look that way. None of us can get through this mess, even if Drumpf ultimately loses, without getting a little Orange Stink on us. That’s the way it is with a guy like Drumpf. You see him on TV, you listen to him talk for a couple of minutes, and you feel like you’ve been slimed with orange ordure. You want to run through a car wash. No, that’s not quite right. You want to slowly walk through the car wash to make sure not one drop of Drumpf has stuck to you.

Last December, Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, said about Drumpf, “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party.” Well, it is May now.  Republican voters have made him their choice to represent the party. On Thursday, Republican leaders, including Missouri’s Roy Blunt, will ratify that choice, either with sounds or with silence. Either way they will essentially embrace the race-baiter, the xenophobe, the bigot. They will authenticate an ignorant and ill-informed man, a man who is stuck in a strange adolescence, who is unstable and unpredictable and therefore unacceptably dangerous.

And the orange shitstorm that will follow Drumpf’s blessing will touch us all.

The Worst Thing That Could Happen To Hillary Just Happened

No, no, no. She didn’t get arrested by the FBI, for God’s sake. Stop worrying about that email stuff for a minute.

Look at this headline from USA Today this morning, the day after Tiny Hands became the GOP “presumptive” nominee:

Looking to November: Clinton leads Trump by double-digits in new poll

That poll was a CNN/ORC poll released yesterday. If you were listening to any news, especially on CNN and other cable news channels, you are well aware of that poll. CNN promoted it constantly and other outlets frequently mentioned it in connection with their coverage of Drumpf’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party. The poll shows Clinton with a 54-41 advantage, which seems like good news for Democrats.

It ain’t.

What will happen, inevitably, is that the race will tighten up, just like it did between Hillary and Bernie. That tends to be the way these races work. And when it does tighten up, CNN and other outlets will then herald Drumpf’s “dramatic” surge and Hillary’s “dramatic” decline. I promise you it will work that way, even if the numbers move just a little bit Drumpf’s way.

The truth is that the news business needs a big brawl to break out between the two candidates this summer and fall and they need a close race. They are looking for profits and there is no profit in a 54-41 race. Just this morning I heard CNN’s Alisyn Camerota (formerly of Fox) try to get Hillary’s top strategist and pollster, Joel Benenson, to tell us why Hillary refused to call Drumpf a racist yesterday, after she was asked about Elizabeth Warren’s truth-tweet about Tiny Hands:

warren tweet.jpg

For good reason Clinton didn’t take Anderson Cooper’s bait when he asked her, point-blank, whether she thought Drumpf was a racist. Smartly, she said she’d let voters decide that. And she did something else that was smart. After Cooper read that Warren tweet and asked Clinton if she agreed with it, she said,

I think Elizabeth Warren is really smart.

Then she chuckled, letting everyone know that she agrees with Warren but isn’t dumb enough to fall for the trick of outright saying Drumpf is a racist. Such an admission is exactly what Cooper was aiming for and he missed. Clinton is too disciplined to go there. She will let others do that for her because if she comes right out, at least at this point, and calls Short Fingers a racist, that’s all people would be talking about today. And it would only help him because it would make it about that one issue and the rest of his nonsense and ignorance and bigotry would fade away.

So, Democrats, get used to this sort of thing. And realize that Drumpf will rise in the polls, as time passes. And the media business will make a lot out of his rise and so will he. Just don’t panic. Keep telling your friends and neighbors and family members, those who are tempted to vote for Drumpf, that you will never speak to them again, if they vote for a man so utterly unfit for any elected office, much less the most powerful office in the world.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 706 other followers

%d bloggers like this: