Ain’t No Winners In This Election
Let me begin by reiterating a lament. This presidential election was the Republicans’ to lose. By every measure, traditional and modern-day, the wind was at the GOP’s back.
Add to these conditions that Democrats were dead set on nominating — for reasons of history and debt-repayment — a woman whose capacity for irritation, misguided policies, deceit and corruption are unsurpassed in, like, forever, and Republicans ought to have breezed.
Elevate someone from the bench of proven public officials they’d been cultivating at least since the turn of the millennium, and certainly in the last eight years, and Republicans wouldn’t simply have breezed to the White House, there’s every reason to believe they’d have padded their historic majorities on both sides of Capitol Hill.
I mean, it’s not for nothing the GOP has experienced a surge not only in Congress but also in governorships and state legislatures. Down ballot, lots of Republicans were expressing an engaging new language to describe how conservative principles could broaden the reach of liberty and, as a result, improve people’s lives.
Instead, during the primaries just enough yahoos — a plurality of a minority — elbowed their way into the voting booths to foist on the party of Lincoln, Ike, Reagan and W, aka President Miss-Me-Yet, this demagogic, uncurious Manhattan Democrat billionaire authoritarian interventionist.
Because of the relentlessly boorish Donald Trump, and Republicans backed into lending him tepid support — based exclusively on brand loyalty — the GOP will go into November playing defense, which has every prospect of resembling the garrison at the Alamo the morning Santa Ana finally got serious.
If nothing changes between now and Nov. 8, Hillary Clinton will waltz into the White House next January, raising the possibility that she will at last return some of the trinkets she and Bill absconded with back in 2001.
But, really, speaking of baggage, anyone else lugging her trunks wouldn’t be allowed near a position of public trust. After 25 clutching, grasping, covetous years on the national stage, HRC is wrapped up in more clanking chains than Marley’s ghost.
Any one of them ought to be enough to disqualify her from putting her knees under the Resolute Desk. Indeed, most anyone else who had treated sensitive government information as cavalierly would have been stripped of rank or banned from future service, if not fined and/or imprisoned. Instead, in a nation inured to ever more grandiose Clinton escapades, she’s leading prohibitively in the polls.
And so it is almost inevitable that this latest one — peddling favors to influence peddlers in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation & Slush Fund — will be dismissed as just another wacky escapade, one of those things “they all do.”
Hillary skates because Trump, blasting away at his toes (with the ricochets wounding Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Jim Toomey and even Marco Rubio), repeatedly roared something dopy and outrageous about who founded ISIS. His bad Don Rickles impersonation drowned out a thoughtful case not only that the murderous throng has thrived under stubborn, misguided Middle East policies pursued by Barack Obama and endorsed by Herself, but also that the reported progress against them was a pure invention.
And then Trump calls the whole thing a joke. Didn’t we see him winking? Didn’t we see the air quotes? No. Because it wasn’t. And he didn’t. Trump the candidate is still behaving as though he is Trump the billionaire celebrity developer who never gets called on his bad, bullying antics, and his repetitive babbling of baloney, because everybody in the room needs to keep him happy.
That’s simply not how this works. How it works is, because the Big Media PAC always lends support to the Democratic nominee, Republican presidential candidates have to be about 50 percent better at campaigning just to have an outside chance of pulling off the Ohio-Virginia-Iowa-Colorado-North Carolina-Florida inside straight.
It’s not fair, but it is what is.
This time last year, Republicans had 16 viable candidates and Donald Trump. At least a dozen of them would have been twice as good at campaigning as Hillary Clinton, who mistakes harangues for stump speeches. We know this because about a dozen actually had, you know, won elections on tough battlegrounds while making the emerging conservative case.
Instead, the GOP has Trump, a human flamethrower who splits his time between torching a platform that Speaker Paul Ryan could make respectable and making the wretched Hillary Clinton seem like an acceptable alternative.
Snatching colossal defeat from the jaws of victory. Now I know how Cubs fans feel.