The Republican establishment is beside itself, trying desperately to figure out a way to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination. Truly mystified, they ask themselves, “How did this happen?”
Are you kidding me? Even the Republicans can’t be that stupid.
Donald Trump is the love child of the Republican Party and the toxic wack-a-doodles known as the tea party. Having given up what was left of their virtue in return for easy votes, the extremism and radical rhetoric spawned by their unholy union has taken the form of the orange-headed fascist mutant. It’s disingenuous for the Republican leadership to come out now and blast Trump for being too extreme, for inciting violence and hatred, when their entire agenda for the past seven and a half years has been to obstruct and destroy the elected president rather than govern. Even in this past week, as they decry Trump’s unfitness to govern, Mitch McConnell announced that he will not allow a vote on President Obama’s nominee for the supreme court, despite there being no historical precedent for denying a vote in an election year, despite polls showing that by a two to one margin the public thinks a vote should occur, and despite the responsibility spelled out by the constitution of the Legislative branch to advise and consent. But, hey, not doing his job is nothing new for McConnell. This is, after all, the same man who said, in 2010, that his “top priority was to make sure Barack Obama is a one term president.” Given his failure in this regard, one has to wonder why he still has a job.
Obama’s approval rating is currently at a three year high. Therein lies the main problem for both parties. For the Republicans, it shows that all of their hate filled vendetta against Obama isn’t working, and people who don’t belong to the tea party are tiring of their antics. This has been the one same shrill note they’ve been sounding for years now – Obama bad. They’ve even intentionally sabotaged key legislation and then brazenly blamed Obama for is failure. One example of this: I heard Ted Cruz, one of the most extreme obstructionists, blame Obama for cutting the military, when the cuts were actually mandated by sequesters that were part of the Cruz engineered government shutdown.
Obama’s approval rating also points to the main problem that Trump presents for the Democrats, and that is he’s not running. If he were, I have no doubt he’d sweep the floor with the puffy haired petulant little brat. It would be the clear contrast between mature adult and spoiled child. Obama has weathered seven and half years of vile hatred and lies with grace, dignity and good humor, while Trump has blown his stack over a couple of soft ball questions lobbed at him from a Fox News reporter, resorting to sophomoric and ugly personal attacks.
The problem for the Democrats is they are running two politically flawed candidates, both of whom will be easy targets for attacks from the right. Fair or not, Hillary Clinton is going to have to fend off attacks against her character, as she’s already been branded as “untrustworthy.” For Bernie Sanders it will be how he’s embraced the term “socialism.” And trust me, I know, there’s nothing really to fear in the term; that “democratic socialism” really refers to a return to a fairer economic model, where the distribution of wealth isn’t tipped to the top one percent to the degree it is today. That doesn’t matter. Any kind of nuanced discussion always loses out to the Pavlovian fear-inducing emotional responses triggered by the sound bite definitions assigned to such words. Just as “liberal” has come to mean “weak,” “socialism” is code for “communism” and “untrustworthy” means, well, “untrustworthy.” These one word character assassinations are extremely effective and easy, especially when relentlessly hammered into our brains.
A friend of mine posted “If voting really mattered, they’d make it illegal” on Facebook yesterday. If ever there were a year to prove that sentiment wrong, this is it. The stakes were high enough with an on-going health care crisis, global unrest, environmental disasters, assaults on individual rights to privacy, and the potential for another economic collapse hanging in the balance. Throw in the front running candidacy of Trump and his growing fascist following, the racism and misogyny of his rhetoric, and his advocacy for violence and his followers’ willingness to engage, you have the greatest threat to American democracy in my lifetime.
Above all, Trump must be stopped.
So it turns out I agree with Republicans on something.