You would think that a society that has spent the past ten years wringing its communal hands over how to deal with school yard bullies and their consequences would recognize one in the man-child Donald Trump, and have a clue of how to deal with him. Obviously not.
Most interesting is the self-inflicted dilemma of the Repugnantlan Party; those stalwart wearers of flag lapel pins, supporters of our troops and police, champions of right to life until born, true believers that they have a monopoly on patriotism, self-appointed protectors of the constitution that they are systematically raping in the name of God, country and free enterprise….They stand trembling in the shadow of Trump. Ironically, the shadow is less than the man, but the Repugnantlans are less still in their collective incapacity to confront this breathing amalgam of narcissism, arrogance, deceit and rank ignorance, and say to themselves and the society that they presume to lead “This man does not represent our values, and we will not lend our Party’s label to his twisted and destructive enterprise.” Or something to that effect. But that apparently demands more courage than they can collectively muster.
Nor were the alternatives all that attractive. A party that has embraced a thinly disguised agenda of bigotry, religious zealotry, misogyny and elitism under the brand Conservatism, and thus done severe damage to the meaning of that term; that same party has looked desperately in its wings among the kooks and Hucksters, and mini-narcissists in waiting, for an alternative to the Enfant Terrible, to no apparent avail. Short Form: they’re screwed.
The question before the Repugnantlans is: Do we face a firestorm at the convention in the effort to save the party? Or do we face a firestorm at the voting booths and watch the party be bludgeoned into dust, at the possible tangible loss of Congressional majority.
Given the level of courage and integrity currently in evidence in the party leadership, it is conceivable that they would rather suffer the risk of defeat in the less frightening confrontation and anonymity of the voting booth, than to risk the physical, in-your-face, mano-a-mano confrontation that is promised by Thugs for Trump at the convention.
And as disturbing as all this is in what it says about the state of Party leadership, what is even more disturbing is that there is a constituency that is big enough to give Trump this power. The question is: is this a constituency of mini-bullies supporting a master bully in their greatest fantasy of power, or as some observers suggest, are Trump’s followers mostly very angry people who see Trump not so much as their leader, but their hammer to render a failing system to the dustbin of history. A similar speculation has been rendered of Bernie Sanders, who is beginning to sound more like Trump in his prognostications for the coming Democratic Convention.
Then there’s the Demo-crass. They have a different kind of fear, or should. They face the risk that fewer people will turn out for Ms Inevitability, a.k.a ‘Hillary Don’t-Cry-For-Me-Argentina Rodham-Clinton’, than the die-hard crazies who will turn out for Trump. On paper, she should have this thing licked. She’s got ‘credential’s. She’s engineered the back room of the Convention. She’s got an enviable Rolodex ( because, as she acknowledged in the prvate computer server grillings, she’s not particularly tech savvy) and the financial backing. What she lacks is credibility. Not necessarily an insurmountable problem for a politician. But she has such an incredible knack for shooting herself in the foot, that it’s totally reasonable for the average person to wonder if she can be trusted with nukes.
In one of her rare moments of candor, she acknowledged after the Florida primary that she is ‘not a natural politician’, like her husband or Obama. So why is she running for the position of Politician in Chief? Is it because she’s a superb, wonky tactician like her husband? Uh-huh! When the press were battering her phalanx of flacks, she carefully sequestered behind her security wall. When an attack was needed, she sent out Bill. When credibility was needed, she grasped for Barack’s coat-tails, and when that was inconvenient as in the case of the Pacific Trade agreement, she let go. She claims to fight for the underdog, but what has she ever won for the underdog of substance? Health care, voting rights, better treatment of women anywhere in the world? She claims experience, but where is the wisdom? Health care? Libya? the Russian Reset? Syria? Is her wisdom and pragmatism possibly hidden in that gold-plated speech she gave to Goldman Sachs which remains more closely guarded than her official emails as Secretary of State. Could it be that if that text ever saw the light of day, it would reveal her to be as shallow and vacuous as the Mitt-ster?
Hillary is nothing but an avatar of women’s and minorities aspirations, but without the substance and quite possibly the will to deliver more than pious platitudes. A candidate whose image quite likely has to be re-invented every two weeks by her army of ‘advisor’s who are still groping for a credible product, isn’t much of a vehicle for progress. An individual who has struggled against as improbable opponent as Bernie Sanders, in spite of all the advantages she amassed for her presumed coronation, must be profoundly lacking in substance. A person, whose chief praise in recent weeks is that she has broken many barriers, but always seems to do it the hard way, is not a strong credential for endorsement. I can’t really picture myself pitching my wares to a prospective employer with the line:’I git it done, but always the hard way’. Endurance is fine, but competence would be better. She is the Demo-crass equivalent of Jeb Bush. They could make an awesome fusion ticket of irrelevance and incompetence.
On any rigorous assessment of substance, Hillary is an empty suit. Indeed, the Empress has no clothes.
Hillary’s only claim to viability as a candidate is that, next to Trump, she looks at least sufferable, and may almost pass for presidential. But even that may not be enough to save her if the terminal boredom or revulsion of so many independents and many in her own party is enough to deny her the critical margin for victory.
And then there’s the wild card: The Republican Convention is July 18 to 21. The Democratic Convention is July 25 to 28. What if the Repugnantlan Party finally found the testicular fortitude to deny Trump the nomination on merits (or lack thereof), and installed Romney as the plug-and-play answer? A contest between two equally brittle avatars. But on surface, it is conceivable that Romney, an executive in private and public enterprise, could appear to have more chops than Ms Inevitability.
The Demo-crass High Command would have to assess very quickly which old horse has the better chance. The Demo-crass will be in the same convention dilemma as the Repugnantlans of reconsidering the ‘presumptive’ nominee, but the Repugs will have gained first mover advantage, which Mitt, the consummate capitalist, knows is critical. Could the Hillary Horde pivot quickly to a new opponent and a new strategy? Not likely, if two presidential campaigns are compelling evidence. Could the Democratic Party? Probably not a prayer.
Can Elizabeth Warren save the ticket? She would likely carry the ticket. But if I were her, I’d be extremely wary of signing on to the HIll ‘n Bill show.