Saturday, April 30, 2016

Trump Has "Zero Chance" Vs. Hillary In November? Think Again!

Two days ago I read a piece at  by Walker Bragman I thought I'd never see, ever:

That the "lesser of two evils" paradigm also dominating this election (at least for progressives) may not be an HRC choice at all, but a Trump choice was unthinkable back in February.Bragman actually went through point by point - including Supreme Court picks - showing why (especially if the Dems managed to snatch back the Senate) a Trump presidency might not be as apocalyptic as made out by many on the Left. That includes  scolds like Patton Oswalt, Bill Maher and George Takei - warning "do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, dumpkopfs!"

But is Hillary really that "good"? After her AIPAC speech and a recent NY Times write up on her war hawk nature, e.g.

Many inquiring minds are wondering.

Probably most of Bragman's article would have been unthinkable even a few days before the New York Times posted its lengthy magazine article on Hillary's evolution as an unreconstructed war hawk - prepared to back Netanyahu to the hilt, as well as go after Iran or Russia. I read the piece too and it sent chills down my spine. I made the mistake of reading the Times' piece after re-reading the spell -binding 1959 novel of thermonuclear war, 'Alas, Babylon', by Pat Frank.  The scenes described of an accidental U.S. strike on Latakia - the Russian Naval base - could occur even today and ok, start the real thing - if cooler heads don't prevail.

Anyway, to counter a recurring anti-Russia U.S. narrative we recently beheld Trump saying we needed to work with Russia instead of making war on her, including setting up 'no fly' zones. He has a good point, but is that enough to throw caution to the winds and dispense with a lesser of two evils approach? I don't know.

But what ought to be alarming to many on the left, especially the pundit class,  is the many still dismissing Trump as a "clown". They might want to think again. People some months ago dismissed him as a Bozo but look where he is now. On the cusp of getting to the magic number of 1237 Reepo delegates. If one compares his odds at any Vegas' bookmaker's they are far more in his favor, than they are in Ted Cruz' (especially after Johnny Boehner dinged Cruz with the "Lucifer in the flesh" epithet - probably referencing that video where Cruz is reaching out to hug his daughter and the poor girl recoils in disgust.)

Former Loyola University PolySci and Philosophy lecturer Sean Illing in his own ;piece has been among the first to confess he was all wrong. As he writes:

"Pundits are paid to pretend they know things. But we have no special insight, no higher claims to truth. We’re wrong as much as we’re right, if not more so. Sometimes it’s clear what will happen, often it’s not. In the case of Trump, everyone – myself included – got it wrong.
When Trump descended preposterously from that escalator and announced he was running for president, we all giggled. Trump? President? Seriously? And yet all the polls suggested that he had real traction. But we assumed his star would fade. Then he started winning primaries – by massive margins. We downplayed it. Then he made one gaffe after another – insulting John McCain’s military service, hurling a menstruation jab at Megyn Kelly, calling Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals,” promising to ban all Muslims from entering the country. He even vicariously called Ted Cruz a “pussy.”

None of it mattered. Trump is now on track to receive the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party. Let that sink in for a moment."

In fact, little of it has sunk in, as the political chattering class continues to give Trump no hope at all vs. Hillary. In only one memorable televised instance in the past two months did I see and hear a different take - from a Hillary female supporter (Jess McIntosh) from Emily's List. She told Chris Hayes on his 'All In' show that she viscerally feared a one on one debate between Hillary and Trump. In her own words, and I quote:

"It would kind of be like facing a mad monkey with a gun. And you just don't know what that monkey might do so there's no way to really prepare."

Indeed. But far more ominous is that if this election is close, it might be another GOP steal especially in states like Ohio using electronic voting machines. See e.g.:

Greg Palast in an RT segment recently noted that the only reason Obama didn't lose the 2008 election is because his "numbers were way too big to enable a steal".  It may not be so this time, given Hillary's high negatives and also if she can't secure Bernie's people. Up to now, according to recent reports, she has indicated zero inclination to incorporate any of Sanders's' proposals into her platform. This is precisely the error that could conceivably render this general election close enough to steal. (Say by tossing OH to the  GOP by dumping a quarter million provisional ballots as in 2004)

Illing again:

"The political class is experiencing a collective cognitive dissonance: We just can’t quite believe this is happening. And yet it is happening – right now, in front of our faces. Barring something extraordinary, Trump will be the Republican nominee. Will he win the general election? Probably not. But he absolutely could win, and willing ourselves to ignorance won’t make it any less likely.
To read the latest “Insiders” report at Politico, however, is to discover how little pundits – on both sides – have learned. "

Will they learn enough before the November showdown? Who knows?  Who will be the most likely- Clinton or Trump -  to avoid a nuclear showdown with the Russians? That may be the true litmus test for determining the lesser of two evils.

See also:

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