The Blame Game

November 11, 2016


In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump Democratic Party officials, liberal media pundits, and those who worked their buns off to get her elected are starting to play the blame game, no not a fun board brain teaser but a finger-pointing exercise that comes naturally when someone who was supposed to win gets tanked big time.

Sure I could say that Hillary won the popular vote but that is small consolation in our very odd electoral college system where you can run up the score in places like California and New York but lose a boat load of states by a narrow margin and win the White House.

Sure I could say that Hillary is far more qualified to hold the highest office in the land, but this election was about change and white America getting revenge for being ignored not governmental resumes and glass ceilings being broken.

Sure I could say that Donald Trump has no clue about the rule of law, checks and balances, and constitutional guarantees, but he won and this country has to live with a guy who poses a threat to our rights, our traditions and our security.

Could the outcome have been different? Certainly, and I put the burden of blame on Hillary. Let me tell you why.

Hillary suffered from the deadly political sin of isolation.When you live in an elitist bubble where most of your contact is with the same members of the establishment and don’t have any idea what the folks in Youngstown, Ohio or Bethlehem, Pennsylvania are going through on a daily basis, you will pay the price. Many Americans have little understanding of public policy issues and far less about simple civics, but they know self-interest and they know that their vote is power. Hillary neglected these folks, mostly white, and spent time speaking for gobs of money to Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities instead of walking the walk along Main Street.

For a highly intelligent person Hillary was strangely unable to find the right words to bring people over to her side. She had to borrow a phrase from Michelle Obama to get attention and when she did try to coin a phrase she chose ” a basket of deplorables”. Trump, who used some of the meanest words in his campaign, won over the voters with one simple line-” I will be your voice”

Hillary also failed to understand the generational and class shifts that now define our country. She didn’t comprehend the anxiety of the millennials, she relied too heavily on African-Americans and Hispanics and she did little to win back those angry white guys who twenty years ago were shoo-in Democrats. Trump didn’t care about the millennials, the blacks and Hispanics but concentrated on the white population, young and old, rural and urban, middle class and under class. Hillary’s electoral coalition was always fragile because her operating premise was that smarts and organization would win the day when this was a movement election spurred on by millions who were just fed up.

Finally, Hillary like Bill live in a world where they believe it is possible to get away with actions that are secretive, self-serving, and too often phony. Now Trump is far worse on all of these accounts but sadly for a woman to break the ultimate political glass ceiling, there is little room for poor judgment, shady deals, and arrogance. Unfortunately, we hold women seeking power to a much higher standard then men, and Trump is the prime example. But for someone who was planning this campaign since her college days, you would expect that she might just have thought through how to present her best side rather than taking unnecessary risks.

An integral part of this blame game is whether Bernie Sanders would have been a far better candidate and eventually take the White House. A pretty good case can be made for President-elect Sanders rather than The Donald, but a few words of caution. Trump would have quickly coined a title for Bernie – how about “Bernie the Commie”. Trump would have been relentless in scaring the voters about the Socialist senator from Vermont pushing for more big government, more spending, more taxes, more regulation. A case can also be made that those white voters who chose Trump and change would have seen Bernie as just another leftist senator bent on picking their pockets.

Well I’m glad I got that off my chest. The election is over, Trump won, the American people are fair-minded and will give him the benefit of the doubt. Like all those people who believe in their shattered hearts that Hillary should have won, Trump remains a dangerous, ill-equipped charlatan. But let’s face it- he’s our dangerous, ill-equipped charlatan. God Bless the United States of America.




Hookers 4 Hillary

March 15, 2016

Yes, in this crazy election season there is a organization called Hookers 4 Hillary, women  like Entice Love and many others in the world’s oldest profession, who want to express their political views and support a presidential candidate. As Ms. Love stated to the Politico website, “A lot of people think… we’re just hookers and all we know is how to have sex and we don’t know anything about politics. But that’s not true.”

Now I don’t believe that Hookers 4 Hillary will have much impact on the primary season and beyond, and I suspect that Hillary Clinton is not overjoyed with the endorsement, but at this stage in the delegate race to the convention in Philadelphia, Hillary can use all the help she can muster. For someone with all her political experience- an army of aides and consultants and millions in the campaign war chest- one would think that Hillary would be the runaway choice of Democratic voters. Instead she is fighting for her political life against an unlikely foe, Bernie Sanders- an aging, Jewish, socialist from Vermont where cows outnumber people.

In a nutshell, Hillary simply has misjudged the American voter, especially the young voter; she mistakenly thought that a campaign geared to the senior set, women over 50, Latinos and African-Americans would carry the day. Instead she is being hammered by the millennial generation, white workers, and progressive voters who nod in agreement when Bernie talks about a rigged economy, the evils of Wall Street, and working class angst. Meanwhile Hillary is talking about health care, children and women’s rights, valid issues but not the core of voter interest.

So what we see with Hillary is a series of resets as she shapes her speeches to counter what Bernie has been saying all along; now she is against free trade, now she mildly criticizes Wall Street, now she appeals to the working class who have lost their jobs and millennials who are seeking jobs. Give Bernie credit- he is consistent and on message; as for Hillary – she is the ultimate political chameleon.

Hillary may still end up as the Democratic nominee, in fact it is likely, but along the way she will be required to answer for her shifting positions and her out of touch divide with the new American voter. On second thought, in a close election Hillary just might need Hookers 4 Hillary.

A Few Random Political Musings

March 3, 2016

Sitting at the old kitchen table having a cup of coffee a few electoral thoughts ran through my over-caffeinated  brain, nothing profound, just random musings. So here goes:

If Trump wins and Miley Cyrus moves to Canada will a nation weep?

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, stated yesterday that the election will likely be between Hillary who is dishonest and Trump who is crazy. What a choice. By the way Graham is convinced the American people will choose dishonest.

Just think of all the millions the billionaires are saving by not putting money into the Trump campaign or the anti-Trump campaign.

Trump wants to make America great and Clinton wants to make America whole. I really have no idea what they mean.

There already is a partial wall on the border with Mexico and you guessed it the steel came from China.

Sgt. Schultz who always stood behind Col. Klink in Hogan’s Heroes had the famous tag line ” I know nothing.” Seems appropriate when you replace Schultz with Christie.

Who are all these great business people that Trump claims have signed on to help him make America great? So far only Carl Icahn, who is reviled by most of the business world.

Hillary may not get indicted but just the calling of a grand jury upends her campaign.

Melania Trump is from Slovenia. Does anybody know where Slovenia is?

Only Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz stand in the way of a Clinton-Trump presidential race, one’s a socialist and the other is hated by everyone except those who believe in the end of times.

God Bless the United States of America.

Trump, Captain Underpants and Liberal Massachusetts

February 29, 2016

If the polls are right, and they have been off occasionally this election season, in my home state of Massachusetts Donald Trump will overwhelm his chief opponents, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz by 47% to 15% each for Rubio and Cruz. If the numbers hold up that is a huge victory for Trump in what is a often termed the heart and soul of American liberalism in the United States. So how did this anticipated Trump victory in the Bay State come to pass?

The stock answer is that voters are angry and as Peter Finch in the movie Network said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  But mad about what? Massachusetts has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, its economy at least in the eastern portion of the state is strong and vibrant. Crime is low, prices are low, opportunities abound, the governor is loved, and the politicians with a few exceptions benign. So why the Trump bandwagon to Make America Great Again, which means making Massachusetts great again as well?

I personally ascribe to the third grade vocabulary theory of Trumpism, called by some wiseguy pundit the Captain Underpants approach ( as in the wildly popular kids book series, Captain Underpants). Simply stated, Donald Trump talks to an uninformed electorate at a third grade level using short easy to understand phrases that sound exciting and make those who don’t yet realize the world is complicated and that answers to problems are not solved by third grade rhetoric nod their heads in agreement. No, the Mexicans are not going to pay for the wall, no the Chinese are not going to change their trading policies, no, ISIS will not be destroyed in a matter of weeks, and no, the economy will not grow by 10% in 2017 under Trump’s business model.

But give the blowhard credit, he knows how to work a crowd of Americans who are sick and tired of Washington gridlock, failed compromises and political posturing. When Trump promises to change Washington using his reality show approach ( you’re fired!) and developers’ mindset ( to hell with the rules, just build it!), and then talks to crowds knowing they have little understanding about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the legal system, democratic values and the American way of life, he becomes Captain Underpants, and it works.

So Massachusetts is really no different from the rest of the country. Sure Hillary will win the Democratic primary and Bernie Sanders will run a respectable second. But nearly 50% of the Republicans in the Bay State will fall prey to third grade political discourse and policy prescriptions that are hollow. All Hail Captain Underpants.

Polling and President Donald Trump???

February 23, 2016

I just looked at the recent poll numbers comparing the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who appears to be well on his way to capture the Republican gold ring. To my surprise Hillary is on average in February polls about 3-4 percentage points ahead of The Donald, not 13 or 14 percentage points but 3 to 4 percent.My goodness, 3-4% is in the margin of error. Wow!!!

You would think that with all that bluster, vulgarity, narcissism, phony promises, policy voids and intolerance Trump would be a shoe-in to lose to Clinton. And yet he marches on saying the same platitudes to boisterous crowds who love it when he is politically incorrect or even racist. While Clinton fights for every female, youthful and Hispanic vote, Trump  befuddles the pundits with his rising popularity.

Bernie Sanders, who most experts agree will have a difficult time gaining the nomination, does better than Hillary with an average of about 7 percentage points in front of Trump. But of course should Bernie rise to the top he will always be thought of that socialist from Vermont who would transform this country into Denmark.

Now for those of you who in your hearts believe that the Trump bandwagon will come to a crashing halt somewhere before or during the convention and certainly will collapse when he has to face the public in a series of debates against a tough campaigner like Hillary Clinton, such an outcome is real and to quote Lincoln ” the last best hope.”

But should Hillary face more email controversies, tax avoidance concerns, greedy speechifying reports out of Wall Street or ol’ Bill being ol’ Bill on the campaign trail, then the current closeness of the race is not some bad dream. As many have said before me – Trump could win, and promptly turn this country into a failed reality television show.

Somewhere along the line Hillary will have to get her act together and start convincing voters that she is not dishonest, self-serving, and friends with Wall Street not Main Street. So far she has done a miserable job of being the sane and populist answer to the Know Nothing candidate, Donald Trump.

If Hillary fails at this task then we could have a president with bad hair and a first lady who barely speaks English.

Trump, Sanders and the Vote Count

February 11, 2016

While political pundits, party leaders and of course the candidates seeking the highest office in the land are divining the tea leafs of the New Hampshire primary, one tidbit from the first in the nation vote on the road to the White House is what color ballot the citizens of New Hampshire chose – blue for the Democrats, Pink for the Republicans.

Using my handy-dandy smartphone calculator I came up with approximately a 38,000 lead for the Republicans in voter turnout. Certainly Trump’s first victory makes him more than a loudmouth billionaire with no clue on how to run a country and Sander’s utter slaying of out of touch Hillary Clinton proves that he is no flash in the pan socialist. But when New Hampshire voters, both Republicans and Independents grab the pink ballot nearly 40,000 more times than the Democrats that should strike fear in the hearts of both Sanders and Clinton.

New Hampshire is one of those so-called purple states that could go either way depending on the candidates and the political environment. New Hampshire has a Democrat governor and one of each party in the Senate. But if the Republican heavy turnout means anything down the road, it shows that perhaps the Democrats have more of a problem than just Sander’s idealistic socialism and Clinton’s pragmatic “establishmentalism”.

The GOP may be headed to a brokered convention and the Democrats may be engaged in a delegate bloodbath, but an alliance of Republicans and Independents in the future primaries and the general election could coalesce into a victory that would doom the Democrats. Recent polling data and research points out that there are now more red states ( Republican leaning) than blue states (Democrat leaning) on the electoral map. A purple state ( no clear leaning tendencies) like New Hampshire that pushes the turnout to the Republican side may be a sign of trends to come.