Oct 10, 2016

Hurricane Trump

Our political traditions become more cut-throat each election cycle. We now have what has become known as the October Surprise. In this election, Clinton has been aided by a press hostile to her opponent, and the Washington Post did Hillary's dirty work for her. By Saturday morning Donald Trump had replaced Hurricane Matthew as the headline. The tape released on Friday certainly didn't disappoint any Trump haters. It provided all the proof they needed that the candidate has arrested development in his attitude toward women. However, as vulgar as the tape was, our political system now has its own vulgarity. Besides hearing it in Trump's own words, was anything unknown revealed? Trump's video apology was done well enough. Although, rather stiff and scripted, he did indeed apologize, and promise to be a better person. He also shared the blame with the Clinton's, accusing Bill of numerous sexual improprieties, and Hillary of complicity in covering them up.  We are no longer in the era of the Brady Bunch.  While it seemed somewhat like a juvenile excuse to mention the Clintons,  in truth. they had desensitized America to hanky panky by politicians, even in the White House.

From a ethical point of view, Trump's apology was inadequate, but this is politics. He managed to take the best shot against him, and essentially set the bar lower for himself with his upcoming debate with Hillary.  He once again seemed to be best about making lemonade,  if nothing else.

Trump, under incredibly adverse circumstances, spoke fairly well during the debate.  Despite the infamous tape released just two days prior, despite a format aligned with Hillary's experience, Trump managed to hold his own, and even put Hillary on the defensive.  However, Trump's new problem may well be the spectacle he conducted before the debate.  Bringing out Bill Clinton's former accusers was anything but the contriteness recommended by those knowledgeable in damage control. His body language during the debate, although improved since the first encounter, also lacked discipline 

Another consequence of the 2005 tape was that Trump, in addition to debating Hillary, has to contend with numerous Republicans disavowing support.  As an independent, who is critical of partisanship, that jumping of ship amuses me. The first to jump were previously the last to support him.  Some pundits are declaring the Trump ship dead in the water,  and those on the undercard better jump to survive.  I believe that they are confusing this election with a regular campaign.  Trump's base will stand by, and those who have disavowed him may actually suffer.  Trump has always been an independent,  he was just running on the Republican ticket.   The Democrats and the media just assumed that the tape would make Trump unacceptable to all but the most deplorable.  I see no such movement by the public away from him.  Americans appreciate a sense of fair play,  and Trump may have actually gained some sympathy votes for the ploy against him.  All in all, like a hurricane, it made for a messy aftermath.

To commemorate the Trump tape release, I have placed a poster on How To Train Your Wife on this blog's sidebar, visible on the web version.  I should clarify that I too found the 2005 tape reprehensible. However,  if I had supported Trump before its release,  I would not change my vote because of it.  Trump supporters had seen the nude pictures of his current wife and accepted the fact that he's a political Hugh Hefner.  America has become jaded enough to know that Sunday school teachers don't win primary elections.  The web site Politico was portraying the Trump supporters outside Trump Tower on Saturday as only the diehard wacko's.   Many substantial supporters, wacko by no measure, are standing by Trump.  Their opposition to politics as usual in Washington continues, and they still see Trump as a possible vehicle of change.  Welcome to democracy in 2016.


Dave said...

When the going gets rough, you find out who your fair weather friends are and who your real friends are. And you remember

Scott Armstrong said...

Put this on Facebook yesterday;

What we are presently witnessing is an attempted media coup to take out the Republican candidate for president. With the knowledge that Republicans don't defend other Republicans the media is screaming scandal and feigning indignation. And what is the "scandal"? An 11 year old audio that is appalling but certainly less disgusting than the many things Bill Clinton did that they brushed off as unimportant. Waiting in the wings are apparently more audios of Trump talking dirty with Howard Stern. Hey, big deal! These were on the air years ago, these aren't secret recordings. Guess what, nobody was shocked then, no one will be now. Why? Because that show was and is just a reflection of the base morality/culture that this same media worships.

doug_b said...

We are surrounded with much worse than 'locker room' talk. Most every movie is filled with it, Howard Stern, an internet serving up unlimited porn. I say anyone who is offended by this - well they must live a very sheltered existence.

I find these 'debates' completely lacking in substance. I have yet to hear how any of our problems will be solved. Not one concrete solution - just talk - from both sides. Trump had some quick come backs, but what does that have to do with policy?

I don't think either one has persuaded any voter to switch sides.

Jamie Kelton said...

The question asked at the end of the debate last night was very telling. Mrs Clinton praising Trump's children demonstrated that even she is aware Trump will take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and fight to protect and raise America and her people as he has done for his own and his businesses.

Trump on the other hand commented that Mrs Clinton doesn't quit, she doesn't give up and was a fighter is also very true. Her goal is first and foremost to be elected as the first female president of America. She is interested in making history and only that and hopes she becomes a saint of the left like Margaret Sanger.

It's also quite clear from her statements that she is not interested in any policy of braining us together, or making America the shining city on the hill of freedom and liberty. It will be more of Obama's policy of my way or I use executive orders to get my way.

Dave said...

You also need to remember that it wasn't the GOP "regulars" that wanted Trump in the first place. It was the people who registered Republican that wanted Trump and voted for him in the primaries. The party executives wanted Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. So it's not surprising that they gave him tepid support, at best after the election. They bolted from him at the first opportunity.

Now it seems, that they just may be outside looking in on Inauguration Day.

Scott Armstrong said...


By the way, love your debate wrap up.

George Ruth said...

By the way...who buy all those millions of copies of "50 Shades of Grey?" Could it have been those sainted shy and reserved Suburban Philadelphia Women that every politician gets---you should pardon the expression---orgasmic over?

Ted said...

Wow. Great commentary. Fair to both parties but appropriately critical. Hadn't thought about it before but you are right: Bill Clinton helped pave the way for this era of vulgarity. Truly independent perspective thanks.
(Now a selfish plug for my video and text blog site at buildinganewreality.com. Mike: I would love to get your opinion of what I'm proposing as political and economic system change.)