Friday, November 4, 2016

America's Choice

Usually we don’t have the scandals until a new president gets a couple of years into the office. Once the leather swivel chair has adapted itself to the particular contours of the current ‘most powerful derriere in the world’—only then do we begin to hear of new scandals.

That is what has made this election cycle so confounding and so disrupting: the controversies have swirled around the candidates almost from the day they announced.

Donald Trump: the main controversies boil down to three: his comments about women; civil fraud committed by Trump University; Trump foundations fronting Trump business interests.

Let’s take them in order. Don’t ignore the women who have come forward to allege they were victims of Trump’s, oh let’s say, wandering hands. But we can dismiss the Donald’s dismissal of these women because we don’t not need their testimony to understand what he did. He confessed. And forgot. That is the most egregious thing of all: he assaulted women but it was so meaningless to him that he doesn’t remember.

Trump blew the spin. Instead of offering a false contrition, something like I really regret that I hurt some people along my life’s journey, he chose to attack them. Has he checked the statute of limitations? Because this issue reveals that Trump is a political naif. He didn’t bother to have staff to go back through his history and identify these types of comments that might pop up to hurt him.

Does he think rallies alone will win an election? He apparently doesn’t understand the critical importance of a ground game: hundreds of offices, managed by professional staff, directing tens of thousands of volunteers making phone calls, walking the streets, addressing mailers, and so forth.

One of Trump’s dumbest moves was to disrespect Ted Cruz because Cruz had built the organization Trump needs but Trump didn’t bother to patronize Cruz and get his people.

Trump University: it is going to cost Trump billions. Did he not know what was going on? Is this another case of Trump thinking he can put his name on something and turn a loser into a winner? This happened in Atlantic City during the early gambling years. Trump acquired a third hotel, a real dog and loser, and thought his name was good enough to turn it around. The hotel failed. The Trump brand has never been the same.

Lastly, journalism is going on around the Trump foundations. Much spending seems to flow back into profits for Trump personally and his business. There is much more to be learned, but it seems that Trump has been doing on a large scale what Corrine Brown was indicted for.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has her own problems. The email scandal will not go away. Julian Assange’s frothing as a mad dog via Wikileaks is not the problem. Her transgression is well known and cannot be easily dismissed.

It is not that she used an email server. It is that she willfully and knowingly used a private email server for official government business, including the transmission of classified information, in violation of established law.

She can’t claim ignorance. Government officials have had this problem for over 10 years and each case got national prominence in the media.

No, the deeper issue for Mrs. Clinton is that she did it to hide … well, something. She has control issues in which she must control the narrative and the data. We have not seen such behavior since Richard Nixon. Even the 18 and a half minute gap pales in comparison to the 30,000 plus emails she deleted rather than turn them over to investigators because she decided they were personal.
Then there is the pay-to-play operation of the Clinton foundation.

Somewhere along the line will come the obstruction of justice allegation that took Nixon down.

So GOOD NEWS, America. Stop fretting about your vote because no matter who wins, their term of office is likely to be short.

Clinton or Trump, neither will last long.

Your choice is clear: who do you prefer for president? Mike Pence or Tim Kaine?