Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Ted & Donald & Bernie & Hillary & Very Cranky Me

Sheer laziness aside, one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging much lately has to do with the recent slew of primaries. There are just too many of them. And there are too many news reports about them. Simply glancing at the news is exhausting.

I prefer the days when  “too many” referred not to primaries, but to the list of Republican presidential wannabes. 

...the biggest boor to run for the White House since America was founded.

And now look what we’re left with. On the Republican side it’s Trump or Cruz. Either should be easy for the Democratic nominee to beat. If not, Hillary’s going to have some explaining to do. I’ll get to her a bit further on, but first this about the leading Republican candidates.

On the one hand, we have the biggest boor to run for the White House since America was founded. Some make comparisons between Trump and Andrew Jackson, also a populist. But that comparison is fallacious. 

Jackson was born poor, not with a silver spoon in his mouth. Unlike Trump, who sat out Vietnam because he managed to find a doctor who found a bone spur somewhere, Jackson was a war hero. And Jackson served in the U.S. Senate while Trump served as Grand High Poobah of the Miss Something-Or-Other beauty contest.

...after three minutes of listening to Cruz I feel the need to take a shower.

On the other Republican hand we have Ted Cruz, who just may be the most oleaginous personality to appear in American politics since most people gave up vying to catch greased pigs. I have no personal experience with the man, but I take the Republican law makers whom he disgusts and repulses at their word.

I don’t know what it is — perhaps it’s  his self-righteous lectures, or his self-satisfied smirk, or his faux choirboy look, or his willingness to smear his opponents and New York with equal impunity, or the disgusting causes he backs — but after three minutes of listening to Cruz I feel the need to take a shower.

Bernie Sanders? I love him. I still support him, at least in spirit. I agree with the New York Times assessment that his candidacy has been a gift to Democrats, forcing us to raise our ambitions for America’s future.

Alas, Bernie is most probably a lost cause. And that brings us to Hillary.

A friend recently described Hillary as “not really a Democrat; she’s a moderate Republican.” She certainly is, or perhaps even a bit to the right of moderate Republicans in the context of the 1950s, when Republican Dwight David Eisenhower ’s campaign platform included this:
We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.
As I keep reminding people, I’m a 1960s middle-of-the-road Democrat whose political opinions have not changed one iota, but who now finds that his centerist 1960 opinions mark him as a flaming left wing radical. 

That said, one thought of what just one arm of government — the Supreme Court — could become if any Republican gains the White House is enough to make me hold my nose and make sure I vote for Hillary in the general elections.

 I ... cringe at the thought that some Republican operative has a copy of one of [Hillary's] speeches and will release it after her nomination is set in stone

But I must admit to a nervous twinge. And that relates to Ms. Clinton’s refusal to release the content of her speeches before the likes of Goldman Sachs. Somewhere in the back of my mind lurks the thought that the speeches do contain something that would incriminate her, not as a felon, but as a willing and perhaps even eager maidservant of Wall Street interests.

And I further cringe at the thought that some Republican operative has a copy of one of those speeches and will release it after her nomination is set in stone — thereby turning vast sectors of the electorate against her and throwing the election back into the arms of the Republican Party.

If she has hidden her speeches because they incriminate her and nullify her connection to the American working folks that she says she wants to represent, she had better beware. Once the content of those speeches get out, there may be mobs with torches and pitchforks at her door in Chappaqua, ready to drive a wooden stake through her heart at a crossroads before she ever gets to Washington. 

And if the content of those speeches are part of the reason she doesn’t get to the White House, I’m coming to Chappaqua with my own torch and pitchfork.

1 comment:

Tom Benjamin said...

Forget the speeches. There is nothing incriminating in them. Releasing them would be embarrassing to her, but far from incriminating. It is embarrassing because it would be clear that the Clintons cashed in on their fame when they left the White House.

She gave pretty much the same speech before every audience. She said a few nice things about her host, but mostly it is amusing anecdotes about her experiences, drinks, photos and rubber chicken.

Goldman Sachs is willing to pay an outrageous amount to get her so that top salesmen can bring top clients to a dinner to rub elbows with Hillary. The whole point of these things is so that the next day, some rich guy can tell his friends, "I had drinks with Hillary Clinton the other day and I told her..." He also gets a picture he can hang in his office. It is about feeding the egos of rich people and letting them pretend they are important.

Some of the organizations paid Hillary and then sold expensive tickets and made a profit on the deal. That's the way the lecture circuit works. A Bobby Knight might get $50,000. Condi Rice $100,000. Colin Powell $150,000. The more famous, the more money. Nobody cares what the speaker actually says.

Sanders has not been famous enough to sell himself this way. But he is a hypocrite. I'm betting that after this campaign, Bernie puts his name on the lecture circuit and vacuums up some Tubmans himself.