Sunday, June 19, 2016

IF--the unlikely upside if Hillary loses

Is it already too late to write about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency? Trump has had some miserable weeks where he's said stupid shit for the whole country to hear and process. But before that happened, he and Hillary were nearly tied in the conglomerate poll average. At that time I started thinking about the benefits of a Trump presidency.

OK, I came up with one advantage. It would signal the end of the Clinton era. We wouldn't have to worry about Hillary running for another office, or listening to the infuriating reports of all the sleazy things she and Bill have done over the years. There has been a fair amount of sleaze. Off the top of my head, I can recall: cattle futures trading, travel office firings, Bill's sexual escapades, Bill lying about his sexual escapades, questionable pardons, private email server for personal secrecy reasons, and Clinton foundation payola.

Not too many other Democrats have a list that long. I started wondering whether I would have preferred Hillary to sit out this presidency race and instead go into a quiet retirement. Unfortunately, I still think she might have been the best candidate available this time. The likely alternative, if Hillary hadn't run, would have been Elizabeth Warren, who isn't exactly my favorite.

I'm still hoping that there are centrists in the Democratic Party and one of them will run for president at the next opportunity. But it isn't very likely. The centrists like Ron Wyden have been sidelined for so many years that few know about them. If anything, the party is split between progressives like Nancy Pelosi and even-further-left progressives like Bernie Sanders. Ugh. In a situation like this, Hillary is better, which a very sad commentary indeed.



Anson Burlingame said...

Just received your email checking on my well-being and found I still had a link to your blog. Not sure when you posted this one but here are a few thoughts from this very disappointed conservative.

I see not a single soul that will be on the presidential ballots this fall that deserve an affirmative vote from me. I refuse to endorse, by voting, Trump, H. Clinton or any potential third party candidate. Never in my 74 years have I felt this way, total disgust with any and all presidential choices. So for now I will not vote for a presidential candidate but will support reasonable conservative views down ballot.

Never will I vote to endorse Socialism in any form. I also refuse to endorse "4 more years" of Obama-like policies, the Clinton approach. As for Trump, I won't vote for an "all over the map" tyrant or at least potential tyrant, one supported in large measure by ignorant red necks, to state it bluntly.

I would love to hear how David Brooks and/or George Will might cast their ballots this fall. But even such conservative icons could no sway me to endorse anyone at this point in the electoral process.


Dangerous said...


The problem with conservatives is their dead-set certainty that their policies, and particularly economic policies, are always the prescription all of the time. Tax cuts, reduced regulation, smaller government (except for larger defense) laissez-faire for financial activity, all end up reducing to crony-capitalism because -- let's face it -- the people supporting conservative economic policies can't help themselves.

You can argue liberals are no better, wanting to give money to the poor without consequence at someone else's expense, and making it harder for businesses to make money. I'll grant you that sometimes that's true, but if you take that admission as some sort of proof that conservative economic policies are better, that's really just proof that all you really have is a critique on liberals as the basis for certainty of your approach.

The truth is that every advanced country, including the United States, endorses some form of democratic socialism over pure capitalism. The only difference is in degree between substantial and overwhelming. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Clean Air Act, Interstate Highways, FAA, etc., etc. are popular government initiatives to spread both the risks and benefits of our society. Regulations (and enforcement) prevent businesses and individuals from taking advantage of the rest of us for their own selfish gain, usually leaving the costs for externalities such as risk, pollution, upheaval to others, usually separated by time and/or distance. Trump was an expert at that. So are the Koch brothers.

Global warming is the tell. You conservatives think you are so clever by challenging the science and others' motives, when your own motives are on display. It turns out that ruthlessly adding CO2 to the atmosphere raises temperatures, melts glaciers that have existed for tens of thousands of years, water flows down to the oceans, and sea level rises. All of those things are easily understood by an 10 year old. If the world we didn't have 1 billion people living within a mile of sea level, it wouldn't be that big a deal. But because of this simple science, you conservatives don't want to admit that maybe burning fossil fuels have some unexpected costs, and continuing to do so is too inconvenient for today's profits to scale back.

SHAME ON YOU!! Because conservatives refuse to accept the obvious, we have little reason to accept any other argument you make for your preferred economic proposals. Instead, I've learned to attack those argument where they are weak and vulnerable. Reduce the national debt? Under Obama national WEALTH has skyrocketed. So how about the people who gained all that wealth pay off the debt? Or is it private wealth accumulation and public debt accumulation? That was Reagan and Bushes economic policies,, not Clinton and Obama. 100% of the national debt explosion is due to GOP economic policies, no matter when the debt was actually accumulated. But most of the net national wealth creation took place Clinton and Obama policies.

So you can vote or not vote, but don't claim some sort of high moral ground for not having a candidate as worthy to vote for. If you looked at the FACTS, accepting 4 or 8 or 12 more years of Obama and Democratic economic policies would work out just fine. They you might be able to make a case for tax cuts or scaled-back regulation on opportunists.