I guess I should say something about the election. Everyone else has. So, in no particular order:
- Trump spoke FOR his people. Hillary spoke TO hers.
- If you read a transcript of the three debates, Hillary won them all. Watching them, Trump survived. He lived to fight another day. He let his people know he was competitive. He was in it to win it.
- Hillary’s finest moment in the debates was when she gave a little shimmy after taking some over the top incoming from Trump. It was her way of saying, “Isn’t that special!” It was endearing, even sexy. If she could have managed a little self-effacing humor now and then, it would have served her well. The best communicators have that talent … FDR, JFK, Reagan, GWB (“When Bill Buckley was at Yale, he wrote a book. When I went to Yale, I read a book.”), Obama (“Thanks, Obama ...” “How does it feel to be the last black President?”).
- Trump established an intimacy with his audiences, like the Men’s Wearhouse guy … “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” His events were “happenings”. Hillary’s events were tutorials.
- Hillary spoke the language of the Acela Corridor … Boston to Washington. She won the Corridor except the state Trump contested, Pennsylvania, which is often described as Philadelphia in the East, Pittsburgh in the West, and Alabama in the middle. Hillary won the Pittsburgh-Philly parts. Trump won the Alabama part bigly.
- Trump speaks a sort of Las Vegas – New York City – Country Boy schmooze. People in the heartland got it immediately. It’s conversation as recreation. Whether everything is “true” or not misses the point. How can you have a “happening” if everything has to be true? It’s about painting a picture, letting his people know they’re OK even though they have some thoughts and impulses that are not OK. Trump was telling his people he’s got ‘em too: “But watch me closely, and you’ll notice I’m a really nice guy … and when push comes to shove, we’re going to do the right thing … and did I tell you we’re doing beautifully with the Muslims, with blacks [with whom he did better than McCain or Romney], with the gays, with the poorly educated … what do you think, are we gonna win this thing or what … you’re gonna be so proud of your country … hey, bring that baby up here … what a beautiful baby … I love this baby … I hope he doesn’t throw up on my suit … what a baby … here, you take him … we’re going to build the wall too … don’t worry about it … it’s gonna be a beautiful wall.”
Hunter Thompson would have approved.
- So, you have a guy flying by the seat of his pants, having five happenings a day drawing standing room only crowds going up against an overstaffed lady running a cautious tutorial every third day before modest crowds and the happening guy wins and nobody saw it coming. Strange. At 2PM Election Day, I commented on another site that I gave Trump a 25% chance of winning. After he won, I realized I had been getting all my news from the gutless purveyors of the conventional wisdom on TV. Lesson learned: You want to know what’s going on in the country with working folks, go spend some time in truck stops. It’s amazing what you can hear by listening and what you can see by observing (thank you Yogi).
Hillary lost this election. FBI Director Jim Comey didn’t steal it from her.
As a young lawyer, Hillary served on the staff of the Watergate Committee investigating Nixon. From that experience, she had to know that nothing in Washington stays secret. Putting an email server in her residence to circumvent Freedom Of Information Act requests was off the charts dumb. By not coming completely clean immediately with humility and an unequivocal apology, she turned what should have been a one week story into a multi-month story and gave Trump a club to beat her with every day of the campaign.
Late in the campaign, Bill, the Rhodes Scholar, took it upon himself to join the Dumb Derby.
First, he trashed the Affordable Care Act, calling part of it “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard”. A little jealousy there, Bill? He must have thought he had First Gentleman sewed up and he wanted to put Obama in his place. There’s only one “Big Dog” in the Democratic party, right Bill? And, that be you … right, big guy?
Second, he decided to pay a surprise visit to Attorney General Loretta Lynch while the Justice Department was engaged in a criminal investigation of Hillary. As a result of Bill’s tete-a-tete with the Attorney General, who is the titular boss of the FBI Director, Lynch was effectively off the case. The appearance of undue influence was overwhelming. Plus, the whole episode reminded people of what they didn’t like about the Clinton way … not quite above board. Sleazy.
With the Attorney General neutered, FBI Director James Comey had far wider discretion on how to balance the competing interests of protecting the rights of a person under investigation and the public’s right to have information on the status of an investigation involving a major party candidate for President right before an election.
Jim Comey did his job as FBI Director. He balanced the interests of an individual under investigation with the public’s right to make an intelligent decision in an election. Hillary has nobody to blame but herself for creating the mess in the first place. Her campaign was one big prevent defense. As in football, sometimes the prevent defense prevents you from winning.
ADDENDUM: LONG KNIVES FOR BANNON
The long knives are out by all the (politically) correct people for Steve Bannon, former editor of Breitbart News. He was top dog of sorts in the Trump Campaign. Rachel Maddow and the Anti Defamation League are in a pout because Breitbart’s publication referred to Bill Krystal, neocon extraordinaire, as a “Renegade Jew”.
A renegade is someone who departs from a tradition or belief. A Jew is someone who subscribes to the teachings and/or cultural traditions of Judaism. The description, in Krystal’s case, may be incorrect. If so, he is fully capable of pointing that out. The phrase, however, is neutral unless one thinks there is something wrong with either word.
Let me play “suppose it was me”. I’m Catholic and pro-choice. I don’t like abortion, but I’m very opposed to criminalizing the procedure, which is the only way to enforce a ban.
If a conservative Catholic publication were to call me a Renegade Catholic, I’d say, “Spell my name right, put me on the front page above the fold … and by the way, send me a couple dozen copies.”
Another point, I believe the “Antisemitism” charge is often made on a flimsy basis. And, is made by those (sometimes Jews) who are carrying deep hatred themselves toward others.
I was in NYC for a few weeks in the summer. There was a story in the press about a Catholic Priest stealing from his Parish to pay a male prostitute. The New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a Jewish immigrant from Australia, ran three straight cover stories with pictures and “clever” captions like, “Sermon on the Mount.” Three straight, Rupert … c’mon! Full page, Rupert ... c'mon!
Would you have done the same thing to a Rabbi?
And Rupert, you remember the lead up to the Iraq War? You had “The French” depicted on the front page of your paper as weasels because they wouldn’t join our folly. You were not criticizing a particular government official, you were criticizing The French, as a people. Isn’t that what hatred and irrational bigotry is all about? And, Rupert, if you think “The French” lack honor, take another trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington and look at the wall listing the “Righteous Among The Nations” … you’ll see “The French” well represented.
And Rupert, bring Charles Krauthammer with you. Like you, he’s Jewish, and he’s on your FOX channel. During the build up to the Iraq War, Krauthammer couldn’t contain his contempt for “The French”. Not individual French people, mind you, but the French as a people. Isn’t that a pernicious prejudice equal to Antisemitism and deserving condemnation? And the term “cheese eating surrender monkeys” … I seem to remember Krauthammer using it in his column? And, Rupert, didn’t it originate on your FOX network?
And, when you and Krauthammer make the trip down to the Holocaust Museum, bring Alan Dershowitz with you. He can barely say the word France without dripping with contempt. Have a good look at the French names, some even Priests and Nuns, listed on the wall entitled, “Righteous Among The Nations”.
So, Rupert, be a mensch. Step up to the plate and tell the politically correct insufferables to back off. Many of them are not as pure as the driven snow themselves.
They'll listen if they hear it from you.
I will post again on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 or before if the news flow dictates.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.