Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Donald Trump wins



     Donald Trump is going to be elected president on Nov. 8.
     At least I think he will. I'm not the flippin' Delphic oracle. But that seems to be the direction we're heading, and Monday night's debate only reinforced that belief. Hillary Clinton was vastly superior, yet it was a draw, I am certain, in the minds of Americans. Each candidate spoke to his or her audience, which had only scorn for the other. 
   And then there's Richard Nixon. 
     I pulled down Elizabeth Drew's book on Nixon, part of Times Books'' series of brief biographies, The American Presidents.
     And I happened upon this sentence: "Nixon had transformed the party of Abraham Lincoln into the party that welcomed racists and despisers of big government, setting in motion a Republican conservative ascendancy."
    Sound familiar? 
    Yes, the past is not prologue, necessarily. 
    But it is a hint.
    All those commentators decrying — correctly — how Trump is the worst candidate in modern history are missing the point. Yes, Trump is terrible. But Nixon was pretty bad too. He had been a congressman and a senator and Eisenhower's neglected vice president (is there any other kind?) for eight years.
     But he was also seen as uniquely unqualified, a House Un-American Activities Committee's henchman, there for the jobs too unpleasant for Joe McCarthy to handle himself. During the 1960 campaign a Herblock cartoon had shown Nixon emerging from a sewer while someone in a gleeful welcoming committee shouted, "Here He Comes Now!" 
     His opponent, Hubert Humphrey was enormously qualified. Also vice-president, but with none of the drawbacks and personal deficiencies of Nixon. Humphrey was the mainstream politician from Central Casting.
    Sound familiar?
    Just. Like. Hillary. Clinton.
    As with Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Democratic Party passion had been drained by more dynamic opponents: Eugene McCarthy, whose candidacy fizzled, and Robert F. Kennedy, who would have probably taken the nomination had he not been assassinated.  
    Nixon was law and order. Humphrey was violence in the streets. There was a third party candidate attractive those disgusted with both. 
    When the smoke cleared, Nixon just barely won: 43.4 percent of the vote, to Humphrey's 42.7 percent, with George Wallace earning 13.5 percent of the vote.
     So if — when — Trump wins, we can't be surprised. It has happened before. 
     And the truth is, Nixon wasn't so bad, as presidents go. Which leaves hope for Trump. As a man who constantly shifts position, who makes vows today and abandons them tomorrow, denying he ever made them in the first place, he could be among the great Democratic president ever. We just don't know, and to be honest, I doubt it. More like one of the great disasters. Either way, I have a feeling we're going to find out.

22 comments:

  1. I was highly disappointed that Hillary never called him out on his constant bullying of her. Her repeatedly interrupted her to an extent that I thought was ridiculous.
    Near the end, Trump said he had things he could say about her but wasn't going to. That was obviously a reference to Bill Clinton's cheating on her. Why he would ever want to bring that up, since he cheated on his first wife Ivana with Marla Maple, who became his second wife & then he dumped Maples. But that was after he told a NYC newspaper, that Marla "Was the best sex I ever had".
    What I read over the weekend was that if he had brought that up, he would've lost much of his Republican women's support, which is already low as it is now!
    But even some commenters writing on Fox News think Hillary won & Trump lost!

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  2. At least Nixon had some experience in government, not that he was great. Trump is just a blowhard.

    His comments last night should have cost him the vote of any woman with a brain, Mexican and Afr. Americans.

    I agree, Clark, Hillary should have said more on that, as should have the host Holt. Trump even interrupted the host.

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  3. If I had a dollar for every time Trump bellowed "Sean Hannity"...did I miss something, is that the new "Benghazi"?

    Lester Holt was very mean to Trump last night. He asked Trump very mean questions. So what if Trump said that Hillary didn't look presidential - other than him, who looks presidential?

    If I was Donald I'd skip the next two debates because the mean people are going to ask more mean questions.

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    1. I don't care what he told Hannity & how many times he told Hannity he was against the war, because that's not what he told Howard Stern earlier..
      In the interview with Howard Stern, which took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.
      “Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

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    2. Precisely what Rudy Giuliana recommended - skip the debates unless the moderator forbears fact checking.

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    3. Giuliani is an asshat and must be aiming for some appointment, same with the crook Christie.

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  4. Nixon looks like a saint compared to Trump.

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  5. As far as I can tell, Hannity must have been promised some job if Dump wins. His head is so far up Trump's ass, it's a disgrace even for Faux news. Either that or he's providing him some sexual service.
    Only Trump could have turned me into a Hillary fan.

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    1. I would agree except Ted Cruz would have done it for me as well.

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    2. I gained half an ounce of respect for Cruz, only when he didn't capitulate to Trump at first, but unfort. he just did.

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    3. Remember that Cruz and some others are more conservative than Donny and could have been worse.

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  6. Glad I didn't watch the debate -- it would have been agony for me. I'm sure people who've put their money on Trump are reluctant to admit that they goofed, but come voting time, I believe (I have to believe) that many of his followers will vote for someone else, perhaps not Hillary, but surely not the mendacious Mussolini-like buffoon Trump is intent on portraying. Stubborn yes, stupid no.

    john

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  7. Just reading the words -- "Donald Trump Wins" -- written in actual print, by our esteemed blog host, is creeping me out. Surely this is just a cautionary headline meant to scare us into getting the votes out for HRC, and not his actual proclamation of what will happen..... or maybe I'm just in denial....we can't really put this man in the White House, can we?

    SandyK

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    1. We must all remember Neil's prediction about the cell phone fad. He too has made mistakes before.

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  8. Oh please. Trump did a total faceplant. He acknowledged paying no income taxes (which he tried to deny just after the debate). He denied ever calling climate change a hoax (despite having tweeted that very phrase). He asserted that he had been against the Iraq war from the beginning (despite having been recorded to the contrary). He doubled down on his disgusting slurs against a beauty contestant. No one who wasn't already 100% on his side could possibly have thought he did anything other than lose big.

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    1. And you're expecting the people who have supported him up to now to notice? Oh please yourself. The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, today, said that Illinois now may be in play for Trump.

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    2. The people who already support him are unlikely to bail, but there are a ton of "undecided" voters to be persuaded. And if they can induce registered Democrats to show up at the polls there are more of them.

      The chairman of the Illinois party is hardly an unimpeachable source. And he seems to have a good deal of trouble corralling his Republican cats in a State where neither the Governor nor the GOP senator are on board.

      Tom Evans

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  9. I used to think our blog host was some type of unrealistic, worry wart, when he said well over a year ago that Trump had a chance of winning. Now I'm eating humble pie. Let's hope Hillary prevails somehow because indeed nothing he can say or do, seems to turn off his followers. Would Bernie or Elizabeth Warren have been able to be stronger against him? Probably not in the present political climate.

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  10. P.S. I don't even recall the name of the other Democratic primary contender who was running against Hillary and Bernie at first.

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  11. "Nixon wasn't so bad". Wow. Must be a different Nixon. Anyhow, it won't even be close she's our next president.
    Larry

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  12. I don't believe Trump can win, not with his continued self-destructive rhetoric. He's offended too many people, including a large block of conservatives. Yes, his base will not be moved, but they are not a majority. I believe the needed percentage of undecided voters will vote for Clinton in the end. Her numbers seem to fluctuate, but his don't. They haven't for some time.

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