How to mistreat women and get away with it
Politics becomes entertaining again.
First, the Donald wants us to think he has more credibility than his accusers. You can only smile when a politician lies and takes your gullibility for granted. They think you’re the sucker, but it’s the other way around. The politician looks the fool.
Trump and his people call his victims’ accusations ‘vicious claims’ and ‘false smears’. In 2005 he brags about his behavior, on Sunday he calls it inconsequential locker room talk, today it’s all a vicious smear! Perhaps he wants us to think Billy Bush was his father confessor, or perhaps he wanted to smear himself when he boasted about his perversion. If he was bragging, he should be happy to have confirmation of his exploits from victims who know exactly how he operates. Then again, you might brag about sexual assault to your buddies, but who needs PR troubles from people who have already rejected you?
We felt comfortable excusing Bill Clinton’s infidelities, assaults, and semen-laced lechery with unfortunate women he encountered, because he had some indefinable quality that made those who liked him go easy. Now the same media blind people who overlooked all of that in the 1990s find themselves so indignant over similar behavior in someone they don’t like. Whether it’s Cosby, Clinton, or Trump, I guess the media message is that if women want to be heard, rather than dismissed as liars, they better not be assaulted by someone who’s likable.
Once again on the theme: do not vote for either major party candidate
Democrats have a lot to say about Republicans now, but what will they say when Trump wins? “We blew it”? The more Democrats line up with mainstream media, the more they set themselves up for a loss.
Obama and his allies already lost majorities in the House and Senate over the Affordable Care Act. Do they think voters have forgotten about that travesty of legislation? Now Obama’s opponents have a superstar celebrity to run against a candidate so weak that even Obama doesn’t like her. Yet they appear to think they have the election locked up.
If or when Clinton loses on November 8, the shock for the party will take longer to wear off than for Romney and the Republicans in 2012. Clinton will lose not because so many people want to vote for Trump, but because so few people can bring themselves to vote for Clinton.
I don’t usually predict election outcomes, and I shouldn’t in this case. No one wants to be proven wrong, and making a prediction opens you to that problem. Moreover, Clinton has advantages in the electoral college, and Trump is definitely an underdog when you look at the so-called path to 270. Mostly I want to emphasize that Democrats do themselves no good to align themselves with mainstream media in condemnation of Trump. It just strengthens anti-Hillary sentiment.
Second, you know if you read my other posts that I do not favor Donald. I am one of many who will not vote for either candidate.
Donald Trump: Manhattan’s version of Huey Long?
The comparison with Il Duce still seems to have more get up and go.
The third corner
You may get the leadership you deserve, but for the rest of us, do we deserve the leadership we get?
“In this corner, Donald Trump, a true gentleman. Send your daughter to one of his beauty pageants, and he’ll make her a star.”
“In this corner, Hillary Clinton, a lady with class. Never saw a war she didn’t like. Send your son to fight in one of her conflicts, and she’ll honor his flag draped coffin when he comes back.”
The rest of us gnash our teeth in the third corner, where we watch in dismay as we elect one of America’s finest.
A chicken in every pot
Here are a couple of comments on Jamelle Bouie’s latest column in Slate.
First, he concludes:
“American democracy needs two healthy parties, at least, to survive and to thrive. Sunday showed we have just one.”
I would not say the Democratic party is in such great shape, either. It’s just better off at the moment than the Republican party.
Bouie gives Trump his due for his threat to jail Clinton if elected. He says Trump would topple our democracy. Yet Trump is a symptom of our nation’s troubles, not their cause. Our democracy is already toppled. Democrats and Republicans have both had a hand in the destruction. Trump’s behavior holds up a mirror to changes that have already happened, or that are underway in the present. Bouie is correct that Trump’s election would accelerate them.
We have two famous cases of political prosecution, or threatened political prosecution, in the last fifty years. First is the impeachment of Bill Clinton. That was a contest between the president and his political enemies from beginning to end. His enemies wanted to remove him from office. They had to settle for having him disbarred. The people who brought impeachment proceedings against Clinton showed no respect for our democracy, either.
The second famous prosecution did not happen. Many people in the country wanted to prosecute Richard Nixon after he resigned his office in 1974. You can say that man made a lot of mistakes, and that his mistakes grew from defects of character, but his wrongdoing did not exceed that of his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson. He became vulnerable to prosecution only because he conceded the contest to his opponents, who forced him from office.
The sobering thing about this instance is the vituperation Gerald Ford underwent for pardoning Nixon. Critics said he made a deal with Nixon before Nixon resigned, but they produced no evidence for such an agreement. They said that Ford hijacked justice, and that Nixon belonged in jail. In other words, Nixon’s enemies wanted to hound him, just as Trump threatens to hound Clinton. When Ford headed off their intentions, Nixon’s enemies turned their anger on him. People say Ford lost the election in 1976 because of the pardon.
So high stakes political battles are not new to our democracy. What’s new for Trump vs. Clinton is to threaten your opponent with prosecution a month before the election. We have had a lot of rough campaigns in our history, but I don’t know of a campaign promise quite like that one. A chicken in every pot sounds a little more friendly.
By threatening to jail his opponent, Donald Trump promised to rip up the foundations of liberal democracy.