Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Tag: Donald Trump (Page 1 of 3)

Will Orange Be the New Orange?

 

According to latest filings in the Michael Cohen case, the Southern District of New York prosecutors have determined that the evidence shows that the man who would be FEPOTUS directed Cohen to pay hush money to cover up one of his affairs to keep it from the voting public. That’s a felony. Although he deserves to be prosecuted,  it’s not clear that he should be prosecuted.  Sometimes the best way to deal with a bum is just to give him the Bum’s Rush.

If there’s evidence that Trump directed Cohen to gag Stormy Daniels and the Enquirer to pay off Karen McDougal, to keep it from the voters, then it’s a strong case. It’s not beyond him to have done it, although for his supporters it wasn’t necessary. His voters had already crossed that Rubicon. They would stick by him if he shot someone, especially a Democrat. They had steeled themselves against Trump’s womanizing. Surely, his people wouldn’t have cared if he bonked a porn star about ten years earlier.

It’s possible that the Toxic Revenger was trying to keep it from the kids. They are the only ones with blinders as to his character defects. As for Melania, if I am reading her fashion tips correctly, she doesn’t care.

The Southern District prosecutors might not have a slam-dunk case against him for election fraud.   They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to defraud voters, not just to deceive his family.  What’s more, any prosecution would have to wait until he leaves office, which, unless we’re lucky, probably won’t happen before 2020.

There’s lots of time remaining for him to do additional stupid things and further run the country into the ground like it was the Trump Taj Mahal. It would be great if he quit or if there were votes to remove him. Yet, it might not be a good idea to prosecute him once he’s gone.   If no one is going to prosecute him, indicting him is just waving the red cape in front of this Bull Artist without having the hidden sword to finish him off.

Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, and it most likely cost him the bicentennial election of 1976. Ford thought that it was more important for the country to move on.  A case against Nixon would have lasted years and would have reignited a partisan battle. If somehow, Nixon was acquitted by a jury unwilling to send a former president to jail, then his forced resignation would become a cause celebre. We would still be litigating how badly Nixon had been treated when the Democrats forced him out of office – unconstitutionally.  Donald Trump would now be standing on the ruins of Nixon’s battlements.

FEPOTUS has screwed us all as thoroughly as he has his other victims. Think about the 2016 election like it was a massive Trump U. matriculation. There is no hell hot enough for a scoundrel like him. Punishing him comes with a heavy price, though. In 2020 we can run him and his bag of snakes out for good. We wouldn’t be well-served by continuing the battle. Besides, his base might really put their torches and pitchforks to use.

The Kegger Plays His Trump Card

Yesterday’s meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee predictably satisfied the expectations of political junkies, #metoo activists and garden-variety voyeurs. The crowd also experienced the rare surprise of the cool and collected Brett Kavanaugh putting on his angry Trump face for the galleries and the folks at home. Trump’s Justice in utero wasn’t going to go out without a Trumpian rant.

Kegger spent several days in White House captivity, mastering the Trump playbook. He roared about the Democrats’ chicanery, lamented that his days of teaching and coaching girls’ sports may be over, and raged that the coveted prize, a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court was being pulled out of his hands. He didn’t use the words “rigged” or “witch hunt,” and he wept and cursed his fate. Otherwise, it was unvarnished Trump-speak. Trump’s hand was up the Kegger’s back, moving his lips and waving his arms.

The Republican senators had hired Rachel Mitchell, an able and experienced sex crimes prosecutor from Arizona, to question accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in their stead. Mitchell took each majority members’ five-minute segment in the Ford questioning, and she was scheduled to do the same with the Kegger. However, chairman Grassley and his bloc, fortified by the nominee’s new-found belligerence, decided to take back the microphone.

First up, Lindsey Graham (R-NC) lay the groundwork for the rest of the afternoon. Turning away from the judge, he fixed his pole axe on his Democratic colleagues.

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy!”

His target was his friend, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who bore the brunt of accusations that she held back Ford’s accusation until after Kavanaugh’s first hearing finished.
At long last, the combatants dismissed Ford and Kavanaugh, the proxies for the war between the statesmen. The Repubs were in high dudgeon over the Dems’ treatment of Kavanaugh, and the Dems were tacitly taking their revenge for their rivals’ dismissal of Merrick Garland in 2016 – and for a bagful of other indignities and slights.

The public got to see what kind of shit show we’ve enabled in the halls of government. Blame everybody — we’ve demanded winner-take-all politics, and now we have it. The Democrats led by former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) set this in motion by eliminating the filibuster in connection with judicial appointments below the Supreme Court level This reduced the vote to a simple majority. When Mitch McConnell (R-TN) extended the rule to Supreme Court confirmation, the nuclear option, the stage was set for extreme appointees who did not require bipartisan support.

In 2016 Merrick Garland was put forward by Barack Obama, a centrist judge who previously had garnered the approval of both parties. He did this to dare the Republican house to gamble on the outcome of the presidential election.  McConnell, in complete control of the Senate, refused even to consider his nomination, rolling the dice that, if Clinton had won, he could always activate Garland’s nomination. With Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in the Senate, McConnell has been rolling sevens, judicially speaking. The Democrats, outmaneuvered, lament lifting the filibuster in the first place.

Dick Durbin (D-IL) had predicted in January that ending the filibuster would be the “end of the Senate,” as we know it. Yesterday, he lamented that his prediction had come true.

“It’s interesting, a Republican senator this morning in the gym raised the same question with me. And I said, ‘I think we’re learning our lesson here.’ That eliminating the filibuster on the Supreme Court at least, and maybe the other federal positions, has really created a much more political process. It is better for us to move toward with something that is bipartisan and try to find more moderate people to serve on our federal judiciary.”

Good luck with that. It’s a great aspiration but no one in this Senate presently will lead the institution out of its quagmire. So much needs to be unwound to return to lower-case d democracy in our politics. The Senate and House must reclaim their preeminent places in our government, and the imperial presidency, begun long before Trump, must be contained. These changes require the Supreme Court to recognize congressional primacy, and Brett Kavanaugh won’t let that happen — unless his puppeteer loses the White House.

Real News: The Times Had a Duty to Publish the Rosenstein Story

Some progressives have expressed outrage at the New York Times for publishing its reporting on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s statements at a 2017 DOJ-FBI meeting held immediately following FEPOTUS’S firing of James Comey.  Their argument is that the Times should have held the story back because its potential damage to Rosenstein and by extension to the Mueller investigation, which he directs.

Sourcing the Story

Based on interviews of the reporters conducted by Michael Barbaro, also of the New York Times, the article was a well-sourced piece that resulted from their attempt to document the official reaction to Comey’s firing. The reporters can’t be faulted for their practice, and the Times can’t be accused of publishing a story that its detractors could label, “fake news.” 

Post-Publication Confirmation

The follow-on from the publication has confirmed that Rosenstein did mention the idea of recording meetings with Trump, and he also mentioned raising the application of the 25th Amendment with a couple of cabinet-level officials. Rosenstein has signaled his intent to step down. Presently, he is scheduled to meet Trump at the White House on Thursday. 

National Security Justification

The progressive view is that the Times potentially jeopardized the Mueller probe by printing the story. If Rosenstein departs, he will no longer block Republican attempts to end the special prosecutor’s work, which these progressives consider a matter of national security. There’s precedent for news media holding back stories when such concerns may be adversely affected.  There is also precedent, and law, to support publication even if national security interests are implicated.  The publication of the Pentagon Papers most readily comes to mind.

Mueller’s probe touches on issues of national security.  Within the framework of the investigation, many subjects concerning our security have been publicly reported.  A case can be made that almost all the investigation could be deemed classified.  

In the Service of Democracy

The investigation itself is vital, but not as a matter of national security. It is vital as a matter of democracy; undertaken to prosecute anyone who conspired to undermine our 2016 elections.  Mueller’s investigation is not forward-looking, as the Congressional investigations should be. It is to cite and prosecute past criminal conduct.

The Times has a duty to report stories which address the democratic process. When the Deputy Attorney General and FBI Director are considering the need to conduct surveillance on the president or to assess his constitutional fitness to serve, that’s news and of vital national interest.  

Maverick: The Legend of John McCain

  John McCain is the most unusual political character of our time, President company excluded. He has been a conscientious conservative, a rank-and-file Republican, an across-the-aisle kind of bipartisan, and a zombie presidential candidate. McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, withstanding five horrendous years in captivity. He is a genuine hero and an American legend.   This week, after receiving the awful news that he has a fatal brain tumor, he boarded a plane and returned to Washington, D.C., to play assassin to the Republicans’ calamitous effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act. McCain again played the hero in preventing his beloved Senate from shooting itself in the head.  

 McCain is one of the few big-name politicians who keeps things interesting by keeping us on our toes. His willingness to buck party leadership earned him the nickname, “Maverick,” a sobriquet he embraced.  His political story will be an interesting one to tell. Unquestionably, he is a hawk and a fiscal conservative. He also believes in  tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.  Nevertheless, he caucuses with many politicians who do not.  One of his signature moments occurred in the late days of his unsuccessful 2008 Presidential campaign.  When an ignoramus called Obama an Arab during a town hall event, McCain quickly reclaimed the microphone and extolled his opponent’s decency.  Yet this is the same man who put an obviously unqualified Sarah Palin on his ticket – one long, lingering look from the Bering Strait and  a single heartbeat from the Presidency.  McCain is the person responsible for letting loose the hounds of nativist amateurism on Presidential politics.

After losing the 2008 race and despite his civility toward Candidate Obama, McCain became a constant critic of the President.  In 2012, McCain won a tough race for a sixth term in the Senate, He made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a prominent plank in his platform.

McCain is the son of a soldiering family, one of whose members fought alongside George Washington.   An Annapolis graduate, he served as a navy pilot in Vietnam.  After his plane was shot down, he was a long-term guest at the Hanoi Hilton, As a high value POW, he had a chance to be released, but he wouldn’t trade on the status  of his Admiral father. He refused preferential treatment.  After five years of physical and mental torture, solitary confinement and abuse that eventually broke him, he was released in 1973. This is the man belittled by Candidate Trump, who prefers his heroes not to be captured.  

McCain held his water, though.  He would never have been a Trump supporter in any normal time but the 2016  election was anything but normal. He threw his support beyond the military school brat who kicked dirt on his reputation, while the only thing to capture the Hypocrite-in-Chief was an Access Hollywood microphone.  

Two weeks ago, McCain flew home to Arizona to have eye surgery, during which it was discovered that he has an inoperable brain tumor, the same type of cancer that killed Ted Kennedy.  The Senate faced the threshold vote on its healthcare bill, a bill so bad it was kept out of sight for as long as possible.  With two certain GOP defections (Collins, Murkowski), an absence by McCain would have doomed the opening gambit, called a motion to proceed.  Earlier this week, McCain returned to the Capitol, struggling physically but resolute to attend the roll call.  McCain joined his party’s vote, ensuring that debate on a bill would take place.  However, Majority Leader McConnell struggled to find common ground between his party’s conservative and alt-right factions.  Two proposals failed to garner enough votes.  On Thursday night, he called for a vote on the so-called skinny repeal, a rollback of Obamacare so marginal that it was only a placeholder to get into a conference with the House over its own odious bill.

When called to vote on the skinny repeal – no replacement, McCain voted no.  He remained consistent with his position that the law was insufficient because it failed to repeal and replace.  But the no vote gave the Maverick the added pleasure of driving  a retaliatory ice pick into the neck of the future ex-president. Trump’s plan to repeal healthcare died with McCain’s vote. He trumped the President at his own game of political theater. To say the President was enraged doesn’t begin to tell the story. The White House Chief of Staff was found the following day floating in the Potomac.

 McCain issued a statement explaining his position.

While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.

McCain hasn’t talked about whether he drew any personal satisfaction from defeating one of the cornerstones of the Trump agenda.  But he exhibited the kind of grit that his hosts at the Hanoi Hilton would recognize.

The Bully’s Pulpit

Bully

On Wednesday, June 28, at 9 a.m., Future Ex-President Donald Trump was watching TV when he should have paid attention to – take your pick: the environment, jobs, health care, Putin and the upcoming  G20 summit, the Middle East, North Korea, to name a few top-shelf issues. Instead, he washed down his breakfast with a cup of Morning Joe. Feeling ill, then he disgorged it via Twitter.

I heard poorly rated ‪@Morning_Joe‬ speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika [Brzezinski ], along with Psycho Joe [Scarborough] came..to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

Media outlets, the political establishment and women and men of all ages have responded with outrage, disappointment and, of course, resignation. They’ve scolded Trump but there are no consequences. In fact, the public’ s impotent rage emboldens him.  Trump won’t or can’t change his bullying behavior. Why should he? It’s worked for him so far. His perception is that Mika and Joe should be kissing the tip of his long, red necktie after all he has done for them. Instead of fawning, they are critical. Worse than disrespectful, they are disloyal. There is no greater crime in Trump Nation. Just ask James Comey.

A billionaire, even a pseudo-billionaire, answers to no one. He can buy loyalty or he can coerce it. A billionaire as President, this one at any rate, is not a public servant. He serves himself, not the citizenry. He approaches his office as he approached his business empire, Trump 24/7, surviving on instinct, impulse and intimidation.  Not only is Trump unrepentant; he remains indignant. He sent forth his new de facto spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to pistol-whip an infuriated press corps.

I don’t think you can expect someone to be personally attacked day after day, minute by minute, and sit back…When the president gets hit, he’s going to hit back harder.

Her message is that Trump was elected because he is a fighter. He answers to no one. He is a victim, and he will visit retribution on those who seek to question anything he says or does. When asked if she would point to her misogynistic boss as a role model for her children, Sanders sidestepped the question, citing only the Almighty as worthy of emulation.

Mika has urged her colleagues at MSNBC to treat the contretemps as a news story – search engine optimization to be sure. Let’s take her up on it. Morning Joe tripped over itself during the campaign to deliver airtime to candidate Trump, prospering from the ratings spike that came with it. They weren’t alone. Many political/news shows fed at the trough. Trump capitalized on the feeding frenzy, getting free coverage while his Republican opponents remained invisible.

After the election, the media took a big hit for helping elect this case of arrested development. As for Trump, the tiny gloves were off.  He complicated matters by spurning his newsy chums, people like Mika and Joe, whose backs served as stepping stones for his way to Washington. He attacked the industry, trivializing  their reports as fake news and countering their stories with his own version – what he calls alternative facts, formerly known as lies.

The conventional wisdom is that his tweets are part of a distraction and deflection strategy, drawing attention away from the crippled Healthcare Un-Initiative. That’s probably true, but Trump’s renewed personal attacks – low IQ, psycho, bleeding from a bad face-lift – are disgusting in a way that sickens his erstwhile allies.

In a model of understatement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone and civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn’t help to do that.” Of course, it is vital to maintain a civil tone while stripping 20 million or so citizens of healthcare –  a kiss before dying.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not comment on the brouhaha. He tweeted about his Stealthcare bill but otherwise was hiding under his desk.

My suggestion is that we move on now that our collective outrage has been vented. There are existential issues before us, and we’re well-advised to pay attention to those we may influence, instead of continuing to wring our hands futilely over our national embarrassment.

©  2017 Revolted Colonies ™

 

Beltway Media, Are You Listening?

Despite all the self-flagellation over  missing the story of the 2016 Presidential election, the pundits of the Beltway still don’t seem to get it.  Last night, the President gave a speech to – or past – a joint session of Congress.  Past, because it was not really intended for the members.  He spoke of American greatness and American destiny, which have been forfeited by the Obama administration.  Trump, in effect, gave an update of his stump speech. Then, former Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear, followed with the Democratic response, from a diner in Lexington, Ky. Surrounded by a few customers presumably or hostages, perhaps,   Beshear, elderly, dressed in a cardigan, a Mr. Rogers for the People, peered at the camera with his pale blue eyes and grandfatherly smile, telling the President and the audience that, in spite of the Presidential breast-beating, in the first month of the new administration, nothing has been done to help working families.  

The pundits pounded away on both Trump and Beshear. Trump brought nothing new, no detail.  Apart from a Justice Department task force on violence, which is not targeting hate crimes, he proposed no steps to curb the racial and anti-Semitic violence he finally condemned.   The rest of the speech was aspirational, laying out his agenda and asking for a bipartisan Congress to act on it.  “Act on what?” cried the pundits, who pointed out that Trump peppered his statement with 51 misstatements of fact during a 60-minute speech.  

Beshear, they complained, was a dumb choice; a Bobby Jindal moment for the Democrats, who should have pushed forward one of their young Turks: Christopher Murphy, one of the Castro brothers, even Chuck Schumer for crying out loud!  Beshear is a slow, old tub, when what they need is a turbo-charged speedboat.

As Archie Bunker would have said, “Wrong again, Maude!”  Beshear and Trump were both speaking over the heads of the pundits and politicians, going straight to the heart of mid-America.  Beshear won’t be running for President, but he was there to remind folks that Democrats also live in the heartland, and they are watching out for their neighbors and fellow worshippers.  Before rolling out Democrat 2018, they are trying to claw back some of what they lost in 2016.  Beshear was there to say that the Democrats care, just like a friendly Grampa, not like that Wall Street-loving plutocrat in the White House.

The Beltway media need to get out a little more and talk to somebody besides each other.  The two parties know where control of power lies, and they are reaching out to connect to Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.  The pundits are fact-checking when they should be minding the storm-cellar.

Bring Your Daughter to Work

Presidents are parents too.  In addition to his duty of attacking the media and the judiciary, insulting America’s allies and threatening its adversaries, the current officeholder is the latest daddy to defend the honor of his daughter. Yesterday, he took to the cybersphere after Ivanka’s fashion line was dropped by Nordstrom, the prominent national retailer.

Give ’em Hell, Harry!

Le Grand Orange follows in the tradition of Harry Truman. First Daughter Margaret Truman received generally negative reviews of her professional singing engagements. Washington Post reviewer Paul Hume wrote in 1950 that Margaret Truman was “extremely attractive on the stage… [but] cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. And still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish.”

Papa Harry, rising to the defense of his daughter, wrote to Mr. Hume. “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

 

 

A Matter of National Security

From his personal account, the President pro tem tweeted, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by ‪@Nordstrom‬. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” A few minutes later, the blast was retweeted from his official government account, sparking a debate about over ethical violations.

The tweet hit the internet at about twenty minutes into a national security briefing. It would seem that his concern for protecting America from radical Islamic terrorism competes for time with his daughter’s fashion accessories line, a business she had supposedly dropped.

The Rack Fights Back

A Nordstrom spokesman responded by stating that the decision to drop the Ivanka line reflected poor sales, nothing more. Its publicly traded shares wobbled just after the Presidential tweet. By the end of the trading day, the stock had risen 4%.

Many shoppers, mostly those associated with the  #grabyourwallet boycott, have attacked retailers carrying Trump lines. Many other tweeters attacked Nordstrom and backed the President and his daughter. They pledged to boycott the retail giant for yielding to the pressure of liberal shoppers.

The Trump clan views the White House as the world’s greatest branding opportunity. So far, Donald, Daughter Ivanka, First Lady Melania and Son Eric have experienced recoil from the Law of Unintended Consequences. Much to Daddy Donald’s chagrin, there is no judge to blame.

Hoosier Daddy? Carrier Will Keep Half of Jobs Slated to End

CarrierLater today, P/E Trump and Carrier will announce that 50% of the 2,000 jobs set to be outsourced to Mexico will be retained. There are no details available yet, but there appears to be a defense-budget stick used on United Technologies, the corporate parent, and some Hoosier carrots, delivered by Indiana. VP/E Pence remains the Governor. Kudos to Trump for saving these jobs.  

There are special factors at play here: the defense contract tie-in, Pence’s ties to the state, and the fact that keeping the jobs will mean only $.02 on Carrier’s profits of $6.50, less than half of 1%. In other words, the Carrier “deal” is a one-off. 

The jobs saved are high-paying, with hourly rates in excess of $20.00. Even with high-paying labor costs, Carrier shares are earning $6.50. Carrier is profitable without moving any of the jobs. 

 So why the impetus to move?  Wall Street earnings, competition, the lack of effective collective bargaining.  All but forgotten is the fact that disappearing jobs mean disappearing consumers. But that is beyond the horizon of the next quarterly earnings forecast. No need for this manufacturer to think about it. 

 

 

 

The Unmaking Of The Celebrity Apprentice

A politician must have either the hide of a rhinoceros or, if you are an apprentice, you have to grow one. The movement to stop Trump is working in part because  of his thin-skinned, instinctual reaction to the attack on his character. He’s shown his vulnerability to personal attacks in what for him is a predictable way: threatening to sue the media outlets reporting the accusations and countering with similar charges against his opponent or rather against her husband. He’s also responded in some unconventional and unpredictable ways, such as threatening to jail his opponent if he wins the election. Trump can’t contain his rage. He’s taken the bait by focusing exclusively on these attacks and in how the world is out to get him.

Tit-f0r-Tit

He’s legitimizing the accusations by striking back the way he has.  Responding to a female accuser by saying that she was, in effect, not attractive enough for him to grope, is a spectacularly wrong answer. He’s also drawn from the “what not to do” section of the political playbook by threatening to bring down his Party, his political opponents and the nation. Some of his supporters are empowered by Trump’s anger and turned on by his brand of insult politics. Most would stop short of dismantling the country or setting themselves on fire, which is why his fair-weather supporters have deserted him. 

No Country for an Old Apprentice

Being President is hard.  

apprentice

Four Tough White Guys

It’s harder than running for President. The skill set is different, one more reason the Never Ending Campaign is staggeringly wrong for the country. Until recently, Trump was having fun playing Candidate. Lately, the high has worn off. Faced with the far less desirable possibility of being President, Trump should be relieved that he has no hope of winning. His scorched earth strategy ensures his defeat, at the same time laying the groundwork for the rumored Trump cable network. 

Donald, Ignore the Squirrel!

adhdIf Trump wants to win the election instead of the headlines, he needs to get back to the business of politics and away from the politics of personal destruction. If we change the rules with NATO, will the NATO allies draw a tight circle, excluding the U.S. and its trade? Same question for the Pacific Rim. Can the U.S. thrive without reaching the world market of greatest potential? What in the Middle East are we fighting for and why? I’m not satisfied with any stance he’s taken. Yet it would be better if he got back on the subjects.

A Dish Best Served Cold

No one is in a hurry to get Trump back on substance, least of all his opponent. The media are having a field day, even better than when he shamed the Gold Star mother.  This time it’s Trump vs. the media, mano-a-mano, as they say in Trump’s locker room of the mind.  They have their own scores to settle with him.  David MacCraw, VP and Assistant General Counsel for the New York Times, issued a blistering reply to Trump’s Demand for Retraction (letter by Marc E. Kasowitz,Esq.).   

Take Him to the River

Despite Hillary Clinton’s statements to the contrary, she is in no rush to bring the campaign back to core issues, not as long as Trump is flailing like  a landed walleye thrashing in the bilge.  

Only three more weeks, then Trump can be returned to his natural habitat. 

© 2016 The Revolted Colonies

Things That Go Tweet In The Night

image
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.

 

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