Presidential Campaign Thoughts

March 4, 2016

Well, well, well! Or my, oh, my!!! (Think Stan Laurel, speaking to Oliver Hardy: “Well, here’s another mess you’ve gotten me into.”) Apologies in advance, for I know this is a “family” blog, but What the Fuck! I mean, we’re the fucking US of A, and it’s tumbling down all around us.

The Democratic Party nominating contest involves a serious debate about, more than anything, how we get from here to there. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to get there yesterday; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a “go it a little bit slower” approach. (Truth be told, Secretary Clinton is a very conservative person, if labels meant anything today, and for that matter so is President Barack Obama.)

Alas, on the D side issues and approaches may not really matter. The plain fact is that Bill and Hill are the modern D Party. Without Bill aka Bubba there is no President Barack Obama, there was no 1990s miracle, and we’d be much worse off than we are now. So, and with respect for the Bern and his movement, I think Secretary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee, and it will be evident that it was always going to be that way.

Do I worry about something awful happening with Secretary Clinton? I’d like to say no, but that’s not an honest answer. But I’m also dead on, balls accurate certain that she—or Senator Sanders, if the unexpected occurs—will be the only adult on my ballot on November 8. (By the way, I wrote this piece, mostly, before Thursday’s Detroit “My Dick is Big Enough” Republican debate.)

I read a terrific piece by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post, published on February 25. Title? Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein Monster. Now He’s Strong Enough to Destroy the Party. Takeaway paragraph?

So what to do now? The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.

Now, Robert Kagan is a really smart guy. He has degrees from Yale, Harvard, and American University. So what he says and does should matter. Right?

Wrong! Those degrees, front and center exemplify the issue I think the Republican Party faces: You have a well-educated group of elitists who are leading a party dominated by uneducated people whose lot in life is poor and not getting better.

The remaining R candidates have degrees from Princeton and Harvard (Senator Ted Cruz), The Ohio State University (Governor John Kasich), University of Florida and the University of Miami (Senator Marco Rubio), and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (Donald Trump). And what are they doing? Pandering! The best of the lot—Governor Kasich—sells voodoo economics, and it goes down, down, down from there.

Of course, Mr. Trump’s vulgarity—and Senator Rubio’s recent attempts to match up against the Donald—captivates and repulses many. But the candidates are all selling the same sorry set of “they don’t balance” economic answers, coupled with a sad brand of machismo. (Read Clash of Republican Con Artists by Paul Krugman in the March 4 issue of the New York Times for a more complete analysis.) So the choice really amounts to horrible v. embarrassingly horrible.

Mr. Trump has a seeming lock on these uneducated voters. The same crappy policies he peddles have not, however, drawn many voters to his opponents. They did not sell, either, when Mitt Romney and John McCain offered them up, and they both ran against a most improbable man for the times.

Conclusion? Bad policies won’t sell, unless they’re wrapped up in the skankiest package. So we’ll know, in about eight months, whether skank sells.


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