An Independent Defense of Hillary

One of the things that has puzzled me over the years is the extent to which Republicans have attacked and vilified Hillary Clinton. They seem to think that persistent mudslinging will eventually stain her character. Now it turns out that an independent analysis has documented just what happened. In the 1990s William Safire wrote a column attacking Hillary for telling lies and suborning perjury in connection with a decade-old business venture called Whitewater. Formal investigations followed. It turns out that there was not a shred of truth in any of these charges. Safire never retracted his claims, and instead, despite having been disproved, they became a right-wing mantra. A second point, based on an analysis of polling trends, shows that whenever Hillary announced a plan to run for office, her poll numbers declined. When she succeeded to the office, however, her poll numbers went up. What explains this? It is pretty simple: misogyny. The idea of a woman seeking power is unpopular with a significant number of men. Fortunately, when the woman does a good job, at least some have the good grace to admit it. In essence, that is it. Here is a link to the article.

The claim that Hillary is a liar and not to be trusted is itself nothing but a Republican lie.

Hillary Speaks

She gave one of the best speeches I have every heard tonight in Brooklyn. In a conversational tone, yet speaking to millions, she talked of American values and pointed out how woefully short of living up to them Donald Trump is. She spoke about the power of working together. She rightly spoke of the influence of her own mother and how great it would have been if she could have witnessed the nomination of her daughter to be President by the Democratic Party. She rightly told us that Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again” was code for “Let’s Go Backwards.” It was  brilliant.

 

Hillary Wins Nomination

The AP polled all superdelegates- Democrats in public office for the most part- and discovered that the number committed to Hillary has gone up. This, and her new delegates from Puerto Rico, put her over the top.

New Jersey will make it even bigger; there is no way she will be denied unless there is some unprecedented massive change of heart among Democratic leaders. Not likely given Sanders’ limited time as a Democrat.

Not Hitler, but…

Justin Smith’s column in the New York Times today offers some in-depth analysis on the question of history repeating itself. Without quoting Santayana even. Here is the link.

I quote from this scholarly and perceptive article:

“If Trump is not a reincarnation of Hitler, he is most certainly one head of the same global Hydra that has already given us Vladimir V. Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Narendra Modi. ”

In case you are interested, you can read about the classical reference to the Hydra here.

Michael Gerson on Trumpism and Evangelicals

Normally Michael Gerson is full of conservative ideas that I do not agree with. This time, however, in his column in the Washington Post, he is right on the mark. Here is a juicy quote, pointing out the weirdness of any hypothetical alliance of Trump with evangelicals:

“Support for Trump involves a massive, disorienting shift, especially given the reputation of the religious right. It is, well, unexpected for evangelicals to endorse a political figure who has engaged in creepy sex talk on the radio, boasted about his extramarital affairs, made a fortune from gambling and bragged about his endowment on national television. ”

The endowment referred to here is not a financial one. No.

Seriously, how can anyone imagine explaining to a child the buffoonish and racist statements of this man if he should become President? Who would not be ashamed to acknowledge that this guy is actually in charge of the executive branch of government? In fact, there is good evidence that many decent Republicans are already ashamed that he is their nominee.

Sometimes common sense and decency outweigh political preferences and party sentiment. This is surely one of those times.

 

Trump Fits into the Nazi Style

This letter by me appeared in the Albany Times Union, June 2 2016:

I read Charles Coons’ letter; I was attracted by the headline, “Election will help decide the future of America,” May 21. Mr. Coons enters into a diatribe against politicians who are exploiting their positions for personal gain. Who is he talking about?

It begins to become clear when he finally reveals his position: “What do they find wrong with having a balanced budget or closing our borders, other than votes. What is coming across our borders is the future of America and do they think ISIS does not know how easy it is to enter America?” Clearly, this is a letter of support for Trumpism.

I can answer the question about what is wrong with closing our borders, in the sense that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands for. Let us go back to square one in Trump’s appeal, referring to people from Mexico: “…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists….” This was followed by a call for deportation and the creation of a wall on the Mexican border.

Elsewhere, Trump called for a complete ban on entry of Muslims into the country. Let’s substitute the word “Jew” for “Mexicans” in Mr. Trump’s first speech, or for “Muslims” in the second. There, one would have a plausible quote from the Nazi press of the 1930s.

The problem with closing the borders as advocated by Mr. Trump is that it amounts to racism of the ugliest kind the world has ever seen. It is indeed an important election. Trump must not be elected.

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