Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Category: 2016 U.S. Presidential election Page 2 of 4

Things That Go Tweet In The Night

Donald Trump’s stock is slipping. His 3 a.m. tweets are like Nixon talking to the White House paintings. When I first heard about his Insomnia, I thought it must be a daughter from a prior marriage. Alas, now is the Autumn of the Megalomaniac, and it’s feeling like an early Winter. However, Trump refuses to give up although “even if he doesn’t win” has crept into the campaign chatter. For a final assault on his opponent, Trump has threatened to play the adultery card. Whose — his?

Donald Trump peddled himself at one-time as the playboy billionaire. From a guest appearance in a soft-core erotic film to his days of loitering with Hef at the Playboy mansion, from producing Miss Universe pageants to surrounding himself with beautiful women, Trump’s persona is based in part on his lothario image.

Why then would he decide to go after Clinton for siding with husband former President Bill for his infidelities, including most pointedly Monica Lewinsky? The argument against Clinton is multi-faceted. The left criticizes her for attacking the women for preying upon her husband, rather than denouncing him as a philanderer and predator. The right attacks her for defending him because his affair took place while he was President and in the White House. The Stand By Your Man crowd called her stupid for staying, just as the Stay At Home crowd had condemned her for saying in 1992 that she wasn’t the kind of woman to bake cookies.

As a calculating politician, she might have stayed in the marriage until after her election as Senator. In the middle of her first term, with Hillary in Washington and Bill in Westchester, a press release announcing the decision to part and a private separation agreement would have been the best way to walk. But she didn’t do it. Rumors of Bill prowling the estates of Chappaqua did not provoke her to leave. Bill’s expurgated telling of their story at this year’s nominating convention made only passing reference to the bumps along their road. Although the Clinton team has wisely minimized Bill’s role in the campaign, they and Chelsea remain a tight family unit. Someday, the story of the Clinton marriage will be told but that will be after they have receded into history. For now, they are the nation’s most prominent power couple (condolences to Brangelina) in an unconventional marriage.

Trump has nothing to gain by going after the Clinton marriage. It won’t hurt Clinton; actually will probably push more fence-sitters in her direction. Mainly, Trump needs what he does not have: a convincing reason for putting him in the charge of the American government. He hasn’t come up with anything yet, but I will continue to check the tweets over my morning cup of joe.



Punchlines From the First Presidential Debate

The air has finally gone out of the buffoon. At last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton landed a series of stinging punches when Trump lied, producing a grunted “Wrong,” from him. But Clinton wasn’t wrong. The jabs stung, and that Barbaric Yawp was Trump expelling air like an antelope felled on the South African grasslands.


Clinton invited the audience to follow in real-time fact-checking at home, anticipating Trump’s dishonesty. It has been a mainstay of his campaign. He was trapped. Either he had to renounce a year’s worth of lies or go with what got him this far.


“Yawp!” he grunted, when confronted by 1973 consent decrees against his company for discriminatory housing practices.

“Yawp!” he brayed, about his 2002 remark to Howard Stern in support of the Iraq invasion.

“Yawp!” he bellowed when confronted by the refusal to give up his birther claim for five years after Obama authorized the release of definitive proof of his American birth.

“Yawp!” he howled when Clinton confronted Trump with his spurious claim that climate change is a hoax hatched by the Chinese.

Toward the end of the evening, Trump dodged a question about Clinton not looking Presidential. The lioness moved in on her prey.


“And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name… “

“Where did you find this? Where did you find this?”

“Her name is Alicia Machado…”

“Where did you find this?”

“And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet… (“Where did you find this?”)… she’s going to vote this November!”

“Yawp! Yawp! Yawp! Yawp!”


Clinton landed a Haymaker, and Trump went down like a bag of rocks.
Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe from Venezuela, is now 36 years-old, living in L.A., and carries the scars of Trump’s sadistic treatment of the teenager. She gave an interview to the New York Times this spring. The Times kept it quiet, although the Clinton camp obviously found out.

Clinton gave Trump a September Surprise, pulling out this disgusting story that captures his misogynistic side perfectly. Trump had nothing new to say. He may not have an October Surprise to spring because the GOP has chased down every nasty tidbit about Hillary and disgorged it already.

Maybe the media has not been so passive after all. They may have gathered information and held it back to be used in September and October. By this time, Trump has shot his wad, and he has nothing left.

And that one, my friends, is called the Rope-a-Dope.

Trump 1600: Plan to Dismantle the White House


Trump 1600 – Artist’s Rendering

The Plan

It’s either brilliant or the height of arrogance. Six weeks ahead of the election, the Trump Organization has submitted a building plan to the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development to repurpose the White House. Eric Trump has taken the lead on project code-named Trump 1600, which is part of the overall the Trump Office Administration Development (TOAD). The plans call for the ground floor to stay “commercial.” The upper floors will be left intact, and they will raise the roof. A 25-story penthouse tower will soar above the existing residence, with views of Virginia, Maryland, and the “Historic District Skyline.” The northern wall of the tower will boast enormous bay windows to echo the famous portico. Eric Trump indicated that he “knows a guy” and has been promised that the plan review will go ahead so that “we are shovel-ready on day one.”

Cease and Desist

The National Park Service has taken immediate steps to halt review of the plan. It’s filed for a cease and desist order against the D.C.H.C.D. However, the Superior Court denied the motion, ruling that the Park Service had no standing for any development above the top of the White House.

“The owner of air rights over the said dwelling, be it publicly or privately owned, is vested with an interest superior to that of any other party, including the federal government,” said Superior Court Judge Bertha Denier in a brief opinion. “This is especially the case when the holder of those rights has submitted plans that are terrific and will make the location the biggest and most spectacular Presidential Resort in the world. It will be huge,” the court concluded.

Judge Denier refused to comment on her ruling. It is reported that she declined to stay review pending appeal, as she was en route to Mar-a-Lago for her reelection fund-raiser.

 Compounding Interest

At the same time, Trump Organization lawyers have filed for eminent domain of Lafayette Park and Blair House. They also have filed an unsolicited sealed bid to buy the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for private development. The proposed name is the Trump District District. It will offer a high-rise of sixty-four floors of “the world’s most amazing condominiums, overlooking the Trump Marquis de Lafayette Golf Club, consisting of a clubhouse and the most challenging three-hole course in the Western Hemisphere.”  A draft prospectus certifies that the bunkers will be “100% American sand.”

The present West Wing would become a museum dedicated to the memory of the Presidency with the Oval Office becoming a virtual reality exhibition. Customers will experience the feeling of being President by playing one on TV.

The Rest of the Plan


The proposed Florida White House

If elected, Trump would keep one of the penthouses available for his occasional visits. Trump will open his primary office in Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence, with the rest of the West Wing operation in a nearby strip mall leased from a Trump donor. The rest of the executive branch will work out of an existing government building a few minutes by air from the putative Florida White House. Rather than bring in private contractors, the Trumps will use a government labor force to convert the existing prison at Guantanamo Bay into a warren of executive offices with overflow for rental. Acres that have been neglected for decades would be put out to bid for beach front development under a 99-year lease. The plan includes an elaborate common area provisionally named the Bertha Denier Clubhouse.


Site of the new Executive Branch

Universal Backlash

Almost everyone in the country is outraged by at least some part of TOAD. In addition to the Park Service  lawsuit, the A.C.L.U. plans to file to stop the loss of Lafayette Park as a site for assembly and protest. The National Heritage Conservancy has fast-tracked recognition of the White House as a landmark of historic significance. Many groups have joined in a mass filing with the D.C. Zoning Commission to limit the redevelopment of the White House to five stories. This would make TOAD unprofitable.

The proposed relocation of the Presidential headquarters has drawn international scorn as well. Trump is the first private citizen to be censured by the United Nations General Assembly. Al Qaeda and ISIS have threatened reprisals if a Trump-led U.S. follows through on the plan to recast the Cuban prison as a government enclave and pleasure palace. Eric Trump uncharacteristically tried to appease those enraged by his plan.


Happy Government Laborers

“All workers will get first-class meals and comfortable lodgings as long as the project lasts. Their efforts will be recognized,” said Eric Trump.  Then he held up the sign to be affixed to each building: “This House Was Built by Enemy Combatants.”


Coin Toss: The First Presidential Debate


The Sacagawea $1.00 Coin


The NFL and the Commission For Presidential Debates jointly announced today that an NFL team of the referees slated to officiate Monday Night Football instead will oversee the first Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate.  Lester Holt, the Debate moderator originally named, will work the Falcons-Saints game.  The switch supposedly was made for Holt’s personal safety. The two events air at the same time

This extraordinary change actually may have been triggered by doubts following Matt Lauer’s sniveling performance last week at the Commander-in-Chief Forum, anonymous sources say, and because the NFL crew is better prepared to prevent cheap shots.


Referees Conferring

False Starts

 The topics announced are America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. However, the candidates will ask themselves  questions, which they need not answer. The format has been divided into halves, each consisting of two quarters, with each candidate having two time-outs and two challenges per half. Choice of the north or south podium will remain a game-time decision based on the coin toss. The Clinton Team will attempt a triangulation formation.

Trump’s Roster

Mr. Trump’s team pushed for the unprecedented use of substitute debaters.  The CPD rejected the proposal, insisting that the public should hear from the people who will  be responsible for setting policy. Thereupon, Mr. Trump resubmitted his proposal with a list of names, assuring CPD that the public would.  The CPD criticized this tactic and was particularly  distressed that one of his proposed  substitutions requires a Russian interpreter.  Mr. Trump’s new request for a life-line was under review as this story went to press. Roger Ailes, who has prepped Trump for the debate, planned to attend the Hofstra event.  Unfortunately, he will not be in attendance.   The terms of his recently settled sexual discrimination case require him to be least 2,000 feet away from the school.


Pre-Debate Maneuvers

The Clinton team believes that the use of the officiating crew is more likely to keep the questions  and answers on topic it has challenged the all-male composition. The Trump team has publicly stated of the switch that the game is rigged. Trump offspring have been deployed to check if any of the refs have favorite charities in need of a boost.

Nevertheless, both camps have approved the challenge system. For the first time in the history of the Debates, slow-motion replays will be available. The stoppage of play opened up ad opportunities sought by the candidates, who nevertheless lost out to the Canadian Tourist Board, the high bidder.


Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Board

The Trump campaign made a last-ditch effort to postpone the debate until 2017, to coincide the groundbreaking of the site of Trump Hall and Lounge, which is to house a center that will provide sanctuary to female models  from former Warsaw Pact nations. Hofstra, the hosting institution, was dumbstruck, the first and possibly the last time, it hears of this generous gift.

Spin Control

The new format permits each team its own play-by-play announcers. The teams will  not have to wait until the end of the contest to spin the result. They can roll it out as the candidates are speaking. This will put the Trump campaign at a distinct advantage, as Kellyanne Conway, the rapid-fire Trump campaign manager, seems to answer questions before they are asked.

Mr. Trump has said that he will not depart much from his Playbook of the last year.  Notably, his team has said that he might refine his immigration policy to include Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Easter Islanders, in addition to Mexicans.  He does seem intent on pursuing his ban of Muslims and will extend it to Muslim-types, by which he means all non-Caucasian people.

Team Clinton

Preparation on the Clinton team has been rigorous.   They are gearing to their candidate’s strength, focusing on misdirection and hidden ball plays.  Bill Clinton, one of his era’s greatest debaters, will  confer on matters of strategy and tone but  is expected to spend the bulk of this time auditioning cheerleaders. Clinton’s preparation has been physical as well as mental.  She has approached her task with dedication, especially the walking-back drills designed for defensive play on questions regarding Whitewater, the Rose law firm, Vince Foster, Troopergate, Travelgate, Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, the entire female population of Chappaqua, the Iraq War, Benghazi, Goldman Sachs, the 2008 Campaign, Muhammad Yunus, the  Deplorables, and the Clinton Foundation.  The team has set aside ten minutes for issues about the future.


Clinton’s inner circle has scored a coup by hiring Trump ghost writer Tony Schwartz to coach Special Teams.  He has recruited many former Trump girlfriends and wives,  except for those still on the Trump payroll.

Rules Committee

Most NFL rules will be suspended during the debate. For example, Trump successfully petitioned to suspend Unlawful Use of Hands. Clinton meanwhile was able to invalidate the False Start rule, giving her the ability to switch positions during the course of her answer.   Naturally, Taunting and Unsportsmanlike Conduct rules will not be in effect.

Uh Oh, He Used the H (Hitler) Word!

When it comes to mass murder, Hitler runs a distant third. He trails Stalin by about 10 million and Mao by about 70 million. image I don’t mean to say that Adolph was a poser but frankly he was out of their league. Mao and Stalin were long-lasting tyrants, holding unquestioned, terrifying political power for five decades. The Third Reich of a thousand years lasted but twelve. Still, Hitler was unique as these monsters go. imageHe committed an incredible number of murders in those twelve years. They’re not Hall of Fame stats but he sure had a meteoric career.

Now, here comes Trump, 70 years old. No private army, no loyalty from the military, no secret police. Nothing like an SS. How can the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, a very sharp guy, compare him to the Führer?

It’s possible that Trump followers could egg a few federal buildings after he’s shut down their agencies– why not? But it’s not even close to setting fire to the Reichstag, the German Parliament. He’s not about to lock up Jews, Blacks and Mexicans. Ok, maybe a few Mexicans. And Muslims probably shouldn’t back-order anything just now. Trump talks guns and doesn’t even wear a uniform. Mao, Joe and Adolph always dressed to kill. How can you take the guy seriously?

The press is always building people up just to shoot them down. The next Dylan, the next Mantle, the next Adolph. It will be the same with Trump. “Believe me!” He won’t even chart as high as Pol Pot or Idi Aminimage


What’s got Richard Cohen’s hair on fire is the lies. “Trump lies, then he lies about the lies!” That wasn’t Hitler. It was really more Goebbels. Goebbels was all about the Big Lie: if you say something outrageous long and loud enough it starts to seem true. Trump tried it with the Birther thing. Trump made the hats and shirts, but it never took off. People just weren’t buying it. I’ve seen the facsimile Kenyan birth certificates stacked up at the Dollar Store. His licensees must have taken a real beating on that one.

Besides, since when is lying a sin? The Eighth Commandment doesn’t say anything about lying exactly. It says not to bear false witness,  lying under oath, which means don’t swear to it. Big difference. Ask any lawyer.

There’s always going to be a few people who believe him. After all, he’s a billionaire (maybe). He must be right about something! Trump is pretty good at separating fools from their money and maybe from their votes too. That doesn’t make him Hitler. It might make him P.T. Barnum.

P. T. Barnum, circus producer, stands next to a table on which Charles Stratton, a dwarf who came to be known as Tom Thumb, stands. Barnum hired Stratton at the age of five and Stratton became the first major attraction the circus owner promoted. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

P. T. Barnum, circus producer, and Tom Thumb



Here’s That The Ring of Fire You Told Me About

The political class holds the view that every successful candidate must go through a Ring of Fire, a test that can sink a campaign. The successful candidate will withstand the Ring of Fire. The candidate must confront a negative and neutralize it or turn it positive.

Clinton’s Struggle

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton has endured many trying moments in her campaign but has held on to a lead, now dwindling, from the day she declared. The lead withstood the Benghazi Inquisition, the Goldman Bounty, The Global Path to Power, the Email Enigma and even the Escape from Pneumonia. Can she surmount the final and ultimate hurdle: The Flight of the Millennials?
Over the past week, Clinton’s slipping numbers have not been Trump’s increase, but they have been his gain. There is evidence to support the view that, although Clinton beats Trump head to head among Millennials, her support drops substantially in a four-way race that includes Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee.

Election 2000 Redux?

Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy siphoned off enough votes from Al Gore to turn a comfortable margin in Florida into a deficit of 537 and a calamitous recount. We learned about hanging chads and butterfly ballots, a wrongly announced time for poll closing by the five major media outlets, vote scrubbing – the wrongful removal of non-felons from the Florida voting rolls, vote pairing – a vote trade that is meant to altecarviller electoral college results, combativeness during the recount and finally the Supreme Court hijacking the recount process from Florida. The only election result that counted was 5-4, the court split in Bush v. Gore. But Nader’s participation made it possible.

Doing the Math

At this point, the “I’m With Her” team has lost its swagger and is grappling with the departure of Millennial support.millennialscollage Voters that abandon Clinton for Johnson or Stein are taking their votes off the board because only Clinton and Trump are competitive. The smaller total favors Trump. Those departing voters effectively are throwing their votes toward Trump.

Here then is Hillary Clinton’s Ring of Fire, the ultimate challenge to her bid to become President, the first female to hold the office. The challenge folds in the earlier crises that have come to represent a penchant for secrecy, deviousness and legalistic parsing of words. In one sense, she cannot meet the ultimate test without shutting down a lot of the other ones. In another sense, she must make her case to the young constituency directly and convincingly.
People don’t use logic in voting. They vote on emotion, personal attachment to a candidate or, in this year’s pageant, detachment from one or both. The logic is there for Clinton to make her case to the Millennials. She will need to deliver it with sincerity and passion, concern for the lives of our children and our children’s children. When she delivers her message, she ought to be thinking about her daughter Chelsea, who is a Millennial. She should speak to Chelsea or her friends find out how she’s letting them down and move quickly to persuade them – through acts, not words – that she can be trusted to carry out an agenda that holds promise for them. This is her Ring of Fire, the ultimate test of her candidacy. Hillary has always been a top student. Let’s see if she can ace the final.

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Release of Trump Prostate Exam Result Delayed

On the advice of his attorney, accountant and urologist, Donald Trump will not release the results of his prostate examination. Dr. Seymour Hair performed the examination in June 2016, shortly before the Republican National Convention. He confirmed that he performed the exam and was paid for his services. He has no knowledge of an issue with regard to the EOB. When Dr. Hair was asked about the exam result, he would only say, “What a hole!”

Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway responded to a barrage of questions as to why Trump has reversed his promise to release this report.

“Mr. Trump never promised to release this record, but he will once the Explanation of Benefits review of the insurance claim has been fully reviewed and addressed. Mr. Trump’s health insurer reportedly issued a four-page statement as to payment for the digital examination.”

Conway could not say when the EOB results would be available or if he had gotten his reimbursement.  Conway said that Trump would release his prostate results when Hillary Clinton releases hers.

The insurance carrier, Trump Blue Cross, could not be reached for comment.

When It Comes to Health, The Cure Is Worse Than The Illness


People have made too big a deal about Hillary Clinton’s health. If so, it’s because the candidate has done that by her own handling of the weekend health scare. On Sunday, Clinton did a half-gainer into her SUV after swooning at the 9/11 Remembrance. It was captured on video, and it looked like she was unable to stand up. True to form, her campaign was spinning the story about her health before the car doors closed. “It’s the flu.” “No, it’s dehydration.” “She’s fine.” “Her doctor told her to stay home.” The health reports wiggled and waggled while the candidate was driven to her daughter’s apartment nearby. After a brief recuperation, she came out for an unassisted walk, as if to say, “false alarm.”


Hillary has been open about her health history, disclosing medical information earlier in the campaign. Yet her management has been criticized for failing to disclose immediately after the incident that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia. At first her staff reported dehydration as the cause. Maybe it was, but maybe she was more vulnerable due to pneumonia. The view here is that it would have been better to announce the bug last Friday and then emerge briefly on Sunday.

Voters have a real concern about a President’s health, unlike much of the junk a candidate gets lambasted for. When the issue affects Hillary, she takes a second beating for “lack of candor.” She concealed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday. Of course, not every tick is newsworthy. If so, she might have found a less perilous way to observe Sunday’s long and solemn event. The follow-up stroll was absurd once the diagnosis was revealed.

Long in the Teeth

Clinton and Trump are the two oldest people to run for President. The winner will probably not run for reelection in 2020. They are at an age when medical issues happen. It’s a legitimate concern for voters. The readiness of running mates takes on a greater importance because of the ages of the candidates. Sixty is not the new forty. Maybe it’s the new fifty-two. Both of these folks are geezers. Trump handed out a one-page ghostwritten statement signed by his one-time gastroenterologist. Clinton disclosed her medical history but was coy about her current, albeit temporary, condition.

“No Big Deal” is The Big Deal

To explain her reason for not disclosing the pneumonia, Clinton said that it was “no big deal.” But it turned into a big deal precisely because it had been concealed. She could have announced having a bug, made a brief appearance and departed while she was still upright. It could have been handled better, which is the criticism even her friends and allies level at her. David Axelrod, a master campaign strategist, tweeted, “Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”

Spoiler? Green and Libertarian Candidates Won’t Go Away



A friend and I had an animated discusson last night about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, for President. My friend is furious, fearing that Johnson will become a spoiler, keeping Hillary Clinton from winning.  Johnson (NM) and William Weld (MA), two former Republican governors, comprise the Libertarian slate, the stronger of the two alternative tickets.

“Did you hear Johnson the other day? He didn’t know what Aleppo (Syria’s largest city and a focal point of the war)  is. He didn’t say where– he said what,”  possibly confusing Aleppo with a similarly-named Spotted Panther or someone suffering from Hansen’s Disease.  Johnson “took responsibility” for the blunder, as if there was anyone else at fault for his ignorance.

Old Wounds

“I’m still angry about Nader,” said my friend. Nader is Ralph Nader, the pioneering consumer advocate whose Green Party run in 2000 most likely cost Al Gore a clear victory in Florida and thus the election.  Nader admits pulling away a net of 12,000 Florida votes from Gore. This would have changed the result.  Nader disingenuously points to the Supreme Court’s infamous decision, which stopped the Florida recount, thus throwing the election to Bush. But if Nader had not run, Gore would have been a clear winner, and no recount would have taken place. Even those who see few meaningful differences between the parties must admit that the 21st Century would have been different with Gore in the White House.

My friend and I agreed also that 2016 is not the right time to launch an attack on the two-party system, given Trump’s patent unfitness for office. Yet, the question remains: If you believe that America’s two-party system is failing, will there ever be a better time?

The Flawed System

The system is corrupt, ineffective and inefficient.  Congress especially is a quagmire, with office holders spending almost 20% of their time raising money for  …reëlection. No wonder so little gets done.  There are some dedicated, hard-working lawmakers in spite of the system, not because of it. Assuming the lawmakers to be well-intentioned, they do not have time to do the people’s work or they do so at the risk of raising money to support reëlection.

Both major party candidates are disapproved by more than half of people questioned.  Each party’s primary had a forceful populist movement. Trump’s campaign defeated 16 opponents in seizing the nomination. Bernie Sanders did not fare as well, running an enthusiastic second.  Sanders threw his support to front-runner Hillary Clinton and got some props at the convention.  Sanders has not been a significant force in the Clinton campaign so far.  Not  all of his supporters have embraced her candidacy, and she has not forcefully pushed Sanders’ agenda.

If Not Now, When?

There is a fertile field for a third-party candidate, who can pick up Sanders’ progressive followers or the disenfranchised Republican establishment.  Jill Stein has not broken out of the pack. Sanders himself has maintained his position that electing Clinton is the only goal this year.  On the right, Independent Evan McCullin  has barely broken the water’s surface. Nominally an alternative to Trump, McMullin is effectively stuck at the kid’s table, left to debate whether he, unlike Johnson, is a serious candidate.

My friend may be right: there is no political will for a third-party candidate, or for a coalition of parties common to non-American democracies.  The two-party system may be America’s single most resistant viral strain. The gravitational pull is so strong that politicians like Sanders, the late Arlen Specter or – gasp! – Ronald Reagan, are more likely to change parties than to embark on a new movement. Trump found it easier to become a viper in the Republican nest than to build one of his own–and he’s in construction!

Changing Partners

In today’s New York Times, columnist David Brooks suggests that the parties are ripe for realignment, with the Sanders following finding common ground with the Trump Republicans, and moderate Republicans finding a home with the Democratic establishment.  This would be a convenient resetting, but for the serious racial and social differences, which Brooks does not consider. He mentions that African-Americans were Republicans prior to the FDR realignment.  He fails to mention  that the abolitionists were called radical Republicans or that southern Democrats were segregationists until 1968. That was  when they left the party en masse  as a rebuke to Lyndon Johnson for his Great Society.

“Bullshit!” I imagine my friend saying. “There are fundamental differences in how the two parties view the role of government.”  At the moment, it’s true.  Historically, those differences were not as extreme or rigid as they are now.  I’m relatively certain that the growing role of non-white people in elections accounts for this change. If America was truly a post-racial society, the pols could go back to a more flexible notion of bipartisanship and a coherent government.

The instability of each party makes third-party candidacies attractive, even necessary, although they are viable only as disrupters of the status quo and not as players in the system.  They are external expressions of the internal party realignments taking place. [ninja_form id=1]

I concluded that either my friend does not see the need for fundamental change in America or believes that the green grass must grow from the ground up, not from the top down.

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Texas Two-Step: DFW Morning News Endorses Clinton

Texas View of U.S.Texas is the hub of American Conservatism, and Dallas-Ft. Worth is its epicenter. Today the Dallas-Ft. Worth Morning News endorsed Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, for President. The endorsement comes one day after the News announced that it could not endorse Donald Trump, the Republican nominee.

Man Bites Dog

Clinton is the first Democrat to get the Morning News endorsement since the 1930’s!   However, the board determined that Clinton was the only “serious” candidate.The editorial board does not love the former Secretary of State but does respect her. Naturally, the endorsement comes with reservations.

“In Clinton’s eight years in the U.S. Senate, she displayed reach and influence in foreign affairs. Though conservatives like to paint her as nakedly partisan, on Capitol Hill she gained respect from Republicans for working across the aisle: Two-thirds of her bills had GOP co-sponsors and included common ground with some of Congress’ most conservative lawmakers.”

No Trump Bid

Trump was rejected as “hostile to conservatism He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control..”

Trump’s dismissal one day earlier sounded the alarm that the GOP candidate was a Republican in Name Only.

“We have no interest in a Republican nominee for whom all principles are negotiable, nor in a Republican Party that is willing to trade away principle for pursuit of electoral victory.

“Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”

Morning News’ Message

Why the Texas Two-Step? The Morning News published two separate pieces to send a clear signal to its constituents. It denounced Trump as unworthy politically because he does not espouse traditional Republican or conservative values and lacks the integrity to stand by principled positions. Don’t vote for Trump, it cautioned.  But otherwise, Vote Republican!

It endorsed Clinton, because the nation needs a capable, serious person to occupy the Oval Office. Conservatives were encouraged to vote for Clinton for her ability to execute the job, not for her policies.

The unstated message, which is sure to follow, is that Republican/Conservative down-ballot candidates will be endorsed and should have their readers’ support. Furthermore, a vote for Clinton should not be read as a sign of reconciliation over policy differences.

A New Day Dawning?

The most encouraging part of the endorsement can be read as an undertaking to set aside personal attacks toward Clinton and instead to address the nation’s business on the merits.

We reject the politics of personal destruction. Clinton has made mistakes and displayed bad judgment, but her errors are plainly in a different universe than her opponent’s.

If Clinton prevails, which seems more likely with Dallas’ endorsement, the first test of a new cooperative spirit will take place before she takes office.  The Senate Republicans can create political good will and do the right thing for its constituents by confirming Merrick Garland, even if they hold their majority in the Senate.

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