Indifference 2016 is about a lot of things, but for me, it has to do with the fact that dire warnings about a Clinton presidency ring false to me. One blogger ghoulishly brings up Flight 93 as a life (Trump) or death (Clinton) decision about America falling into a chasm of ruin.
Dude, we’re already there. The apocalypse happened in 2012, when the Republicans had a highly qualified candidate up against a moron who caused the Tea Party to come into existence just to slow him down. While somewhat effective in Congressional elections, that group failed to get Romney elected. Romney was proven right again and again after the fact, about Benghazi, about Russia and even about Obamacare.
There are two reasons why a Donald Trump win is a loss. First, Hillary is a horrible candidate. She’s unpleasant enough to begin with. She lost against Obama in 2008, she meets with people who donate to a foundation run by her family and she’s been fighting a battle about e-mail that has nothing to do with e-mail. IN a CNN debate in 2012, the moderator “corrected” Mitt Romney about the reasons behind the Benghazi attack when the White House story was bullshit and the e-mails only serve to prove that Clinton and Obama knew it was bullshit that night. That alone could have cost Romney the election.
In the case of Donald Trump, he won because the GOP decided to hoard political capital by not fighting Obama on health care, the debt or immigration in what could only be an attempt to rile up the base to vote for Republicans. Apparently, voters had it and voted for the most flamboyant outsider, sort of like what happened in 2012 except there were too many flamboyant figures. If he pulls off a win against Clinton somehow, it will be in spite of himself.
The GOP built a runoff pond and kept trying to shore it up as they crapped on their own base for decades. It finally exploded and the result is a river of raw sewage this election season. Unlike so many prognosticators who follow a failed prediction of the end with a new prediction, I stand by the fact that it’s been the end for years.
I didn’t start out as a Ted Cruz supporter. Cruz is a Senator and that makes him less of a fit as a president. Scott Walker had the resume, but he didn’t have a forceful personality. Donald Trump is all personality, something I don’t like. Cruz was better than that.
Cruz gave his endorsement of Donald Trump today, citing the legal obligation argued by the supporters of Trump, a man involved in 3400 lawsuits. Cruz also made the Hitler vs. Satan argument that Hillary is worse and then picked the less insane Trump proposals as strong conservative plans.
So, Trump Twitter (which is quickly becoming the closed site Gab) is cheering the news from a guy who they wanted to destroy two months ago. I guess Trump opponents are supposed to lament with the gnashing of teeth and all that. I think Cruz was in a similar situation to Sarah Palin. He wasn’t going anywhere politically and supporting Trump is the right decision.
It’s also pragmatic. If Trump can win, it will still be close. Cruz’s endorsement as the final push begins means that he sees Trump as malleable and trainable enough to be president, given the right advisers. Plus, whatever he can add to the vote (especially in Utah and other lagging red states) will add to his status in the party. He said to vote your conscience, and I believe his is clear.
However, I think Trump is a complete disaster and will kill what I want in the Republican Party. If he loses, Hillary will most likely win, but I can vote for Gary Johnson with a clear conscience. Obama and Trump both want to use big government to fix everything instead of letting nature or the free market take its course.
Over the last month, Trump was able to get close to victory. He is already falling behind Hillary Clinton again. I, like the majority of Republicans who did not vote for Trump in the primaries, will not lose him the election. I chose to be even-handed in my comments over the last month. In that time, Trump became a viable candidate. If he loses, nothing I do would change that. So now, I will heed the words of Ted Cruz at the convention. I will vote up and down the ballot for Republicans, but just not at the top.
In less than a week, either Donald Trump gets beclowned or Hillary Clinton looks like a clown. Oddly enough, the bar is lowered for both. Trump only has to stick to a script, but it will have to be in his head as help is not allowed in a debate. Whatever else Clinton has to do, most of it involves her engaging in normal conversation and staying vertical for two hours. Can she drink enough water while not having to leave for an emergency?
In the realm of binary choices, Clinton vs. Trump is kind of a doozy. Assuming you don’t like Donald Trump as a candidate and don’t want to vote for him, Trump supporters want you to vote against Hillary because she is worse. The majority of Republicans will likely do that. Given the numbers, half of Trump supporters would have chosen someone else for the nominee and are actually voting against Hillary.
While some people (let’s call them deplorables) either spin bad news about Trump or just don’t care, other potential Trump voters have to brace themselves or each bit of bad news. Lately, it’s been about the Trump foundation.
In this case, the Foundation is a non-profit that Donald Trump seeded with some money, but has mostly operated without any donations from him for many years. At the same time, when Trump or his companies have been required to make a donation in lieu of a court settlement, it was made with Trump Foundation money. In the cases where it was illegal, fines have been paid. Of course, this is why the government eventually fines punitively. People try to get away with shit so often and succeed that only a painful lesson will change behavior.
Now, the deplorable response is that either 1)the media made it up /left stuff out or 2)Trump is a smart businessman and found a way to make charity work for him. The deplorables are the lucky ones. Other potential Trump voters have to remind themselves that Hillary is the Devil and Trump is the alternative. So, when someone who’s voting for Trump complains about him, the deplorables should really leave them alone. Otherwise, they may go crazy and vote for Hillary.
Red State linked to this unlisted YouTube video featuring a series of testimonials for Donald Trump. Among them is radio personality and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
I guess the heartland is a state of mind, since Hannity lives in New York. Unfortunately, Hannity also works for Fox News. Fox has always argued that their evening programming is opinion instead of journalism. Of course, Hannity used to host his show with Alan Colmes in a format similar to CNN’s Crossfire.
Since Barack Obama was elected, Hannity has flown solo. And his opinion is that he will do whatever he can to support conservatism. That has led to him doing whatever he can to support Republican victories. Lately, it means he is gearing his power as a media figure to getting Donald Trump elected. Truly, he has done more as a single media figure to get someone elected than any one of the collection of Clinton sycophants.
However, it seems that Fox News has to dust off some broadcast standards. They have put their foot down that Hannity cannot do ads or testimonials for Trump, save for the incidental ones that occur on his program. If the Trump News Network takes off, there may be good reason for Sean Hannity to pilot that ship.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus essentially threatened Republican nominees who did not praise Donald Trump for beating them that they would be shut out of future GOP presidential nomination contests. This is literally everything that’s wrong with the GOP leadership and how Donald Trump became the nominee by default.
Except for Jeb Bush, the candidates uninterested in supporting Donald Trump were not wanted in the presidential race by the establishment in the first place. The RNC saw this as an election where Bush and Marco Rubio would run, Jeb would get the nomination and Marco would be his running mate. That would set up a legacy where Rubio could run for president in another 8 years.
Even though conservatives had many candidates like Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, the Republicans figured they had enough money and organization to stop them. Then Trump came along. In the ensuing free market election, Ted Cruz emerged as the only effective challenger. Cruz is who this is all about.
Priebus and the RNC has chosen to wed themselves to Trump because he is the only choice. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz decided that they don’t have much of a chance at the nomination in the future in a party where Trump becomes president. Frankly, if Trump loses, the GOP establishment won’t care about who didn’t endorse Trump and will refer to him as a mistake and a loser within weeks, like they did with John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Donald Trump isn’t a sign of what’s wrong with Republicans. He’s an indication of how feckless and unprincipled the establishment is.
I have to say, I’m kind of curious how ISIS will fare against a president who sees no reason not to nuke them.
While Gary Johnson’s polls numbers periodically surged, the final decision of the debate commission is that he will not be in the first debate. The candidate reached less than 9% in the average of polls used to make the decision. He needed 15%.
Unlike 1992, where Ross Perot’s weirdness added to a debate so staid that Al Gore’s exasperated sigh was the most famous instance, adding Johnson would only dilute the spectacle of the most corrupt politician going up against the most corrupt businessman. So that means I’m indifferent.
I know I won’t be watching.
The media’s fixation this
decade year month week day is Donald Trump’s odd flirtation with seeing Obama’s birth certificate. Like most other Trump missteps, this demand was designed to increase Trump’s profile as a badass. Pointing this out would be an effective media strategy to help their candidate, Hillary Clinton. However, they wanted more.
The plan was to either make Trump renounce his demands for an Obama birth certificate (which he got) or be labeled a conspiracy nut. The problem is that since Obama ended up publishing it, Trump essentially won the argument. In typical Donald Trump fashion, he would say “maybe” Obama was born in Kenya or “I don’t know” where he was born.
The fact is that it is ridiculous to make anyone pledge that Barack Obama was born in the United States. It is really only possible to say there is no clear evidence he was not born in the US. Could there be a cover-up? Sure, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I covered this 5 years ago in another post.
Seven and three quarters into this administration, Barack Obama could have been forged in the fires of Hades and it won’t have much of an impact. If the media is trying to make Trump look dumb and crazy, this is the wrong hole to dig. They have to figure out what GOP fence sitters don’t like about Trump and focus on that. Luckily, they live in America’s heartland and the media don’t know where that is.
The unfortunate reality in political campaigns is that the candidate who lies most effectively is the one who wins. The lies don’t have to be big. In fact, being vague or misdirecting people is a good way to not tell anyone anything while sounding like you did. George Bush Sr. promised no new taxes but got in trouble by redefining taxes. Bill Clinton promised to bridge the divide between the left and the right and was inadvertently forced into it when his first two years helped Democrats lose the Congress for the next six.
Obama used the total gibberish of “hope and change” to argue that his mere presence would make America different. His presence as a self-identified Black president (he’s actually mixed-race, the real fastest growing racial group in the country) was not a role model for Black communities. Obama simply used his race as part of a progressive theory that the economic underclass should be coddled for opposing the police and government trying to keep order.
This is where Donald Trump comes in. He is essentially Pat Buchanan from 1992, except that no one wanted to listen to Pat in 1992. The idea to make America “great” again is not about some throwback to the 1950’s, (which is a trope the left has been using since the premiere of Happy Days in the 1970’s) but a rejection of Obama-ism and most of Clintonism. Mitt Romney was right about everything 4 years ago, but Buchanan was right about the last 24 years.
Donald Trump has entered the bargaining stage of the campaign where getting shushed at Black churches and creating a new entitlement (almost every Republican president in the modern era has created one) are the way to shore up the groups needed to win the election. The reluctant Trump voters (I wouldn’t go as far as supporters) are worrying that they have entered the acceptance stage of a Trump presidency on the way to the death of conservatism.
Back to reality for a second. Conservatism in both parties went dormant almost a century ago. Calvin Coolidge was the last of the Republicans and Grover Cleveland was the last of the Democrats to really shrink government influence and money. The next incarnation was with Barry Goldwater who lost his election, then chose not to warm up to Ronald Reagan. What Reagan did was to redirect government toward military expansion and cutting what was a 70% top tax rate to 28%. It’s still only up to around 40% now. He also attempted comprehensive immigration reform and it failed. Sometimes you have to try something different.
The Trump opposition among Republicans is less about economic conservatism and more about the moral majority, interventionist conservatism that Trump appeals to the least. That group is also tiny these days. You can tell because Gary Johnson would be at 30% if it was about limited government. Reagan gave away free landline service and increased the deficit. IS a child care tax credit really a deal breaker?