Now that the second Super Tuesday (which all things being equal, was far more super than the previous Super Tuesday) is over, it is pretty clear who the two people will be representing the two major American political parties in the race for president. Sorry Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, it’s none of you.
On the second Super Tuesday (March 15 — the Ides of March) Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump cemented their claims to the presidential nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. Interestingly enough, the Republican Party won’t have a Republican — or even a true conservative — leading their party. They have Donald Trump.
You could hear the mini-bars across Florida and Ohio shaking violently as Republicans yanked open the doors in search of the heaviest, most potent hard liquor available. If they were good Boy Scouts (or Girls Scouts) they thought ahead and came prepared with large quantities of their favorite gin and vodka, or bourbon and whisky, because this reality was already written in the stars … well, the polls. Should have brought some tequila as well. It’s going to be a long slog to the convention.
- Okay, Ohio Governor John Kasich won his home state, but that’s the end of the trail for him.
- Florida Senator Marco Rubio officially dropped out of the race. Not only did he fail to win his home state, but an NBC reporter polled his neighbors, the people who live on his block and in the surrounding neighborhood — the majority of them were voting for Trump. Some didn’t even know Rubio lived in the area. Tip O’Neill said it best: “All politics is local.” You at least need to get your neighbors on your side.
Those people feeling the Bern, well at least they can say their candidate made a difference, pulling the presumptive nominee further to the left. Hillary Clinton had to adopt some of the Bernie Sanders’ ideals, although she didn’t go quite far enough with the free college, reducing the debt load stuck on the backs of most college grads and she’s not quite there with Medicare for All, but now economic inequality is a major part of her campaign, as is campaign finance reform.
Clinton has taken a harsh tone towards Wall Street and big banks … but it’s still Bernie’s issue and he’s won great approval across the Democratic primaries for his consistency on the issues of too big to fail and too important to prosecute for financial crimes. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, took six-figure speaking fees from Goldman-Sachs, one of the major (some say criminal) enterprises that crashed the financial world in 2008. Well, maybe she’s sincere in her denouncement of banks that are too big to fail and bankers who are too important to jail.
Hillary Clinton comes with a lot of baggage, not the least of which is an FBI investigation into her private email server. It won’t go anywhere near to indicting the former secretary of state, but it’s a cudgel her GOP opponents can use in the general election. Along with “BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!”
But the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State comes with 25 years of GOP attacks on her, and all the old conspiracy theories will make their way into the campaign once again: Vince Foster, Whitewater, the conspiracy tale about her and husband and former president Bill Clinton killing off Arkansas state police troopers.
The craziest of the right wing fringe, who just happen to hold some of the reins of power in the GOP right now, will resurrect all the old anti-Clinton talking points — forgetting of course that Bill Clinton left office as one of the most popular presidents in history — 0ver 65 percent when he walked out of the White House in 2001 — according to Gallup, the Mount Everest of polling companies.
- Look for an explosion of YouTube videos from conspiracy nuts explaining in hazy detail every anti-Clinton conspiracy theory out there since 1991. Here’s a quick primer. Or if you need some heavy reading, the Clinton Body Count.
- You know, you just can’t make this shit up, because these kooks have already done it.
The American populace has heard this story before, ad nauseam, over and over for 25 years. They’ve developed a deaf ear to the melodramatic roar of the anti-Clinton rhetoric.
And then there’s this: Hillary Clinton will have Donald Trump as an opponent.
They say, the ubiquitous “they” being pollsters and political pundits, roughly 85 percent of Hispanics either dislike or hate Trump. It’s the idea of rounding up and deporting 11 million people … and maybe some citizens would get caught up in it and there they would be, somewhere in the Sonoran Desert south of the border saying, “lo que la cogida.” Only, they would probably say it in English because, WTF, they are American citizens.
He’s insulted women — including conservative women — at every opportunity. He’s used schoolyard vulgarities to speak about women. Trump wants to stop Muslims from immigrating to the U.S.
Trump has the aging white people and white supremacists on his side, so he has that going for him. And he’s got Dr. Ben Carson along with new Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Clint Eastwood. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama supports Trump, not to mention Gary Busey. Now there’s a celebrity endorsement.
Pundits expect Clinton to bury Trump in November — as do Republicans. The Dump Trump cabal is now in high gear, albeit in a quitter fashion. Once it was leaked that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave GOP Senators up for re-election permission to run against Trump if he were the Republican Party nominee — and that he would drop Trump “like a hot rock” — the party has to be little subtler in their approach to Trump.
They can’t dislodge him at a brokered, or contested or open convention. Trump has already threatened violence if they do. On Wednesday Morning Trump told CNN, “I think we’ll win before we get to the convention. But I can tell you, if we didn’t, and if we’re 20 votes short, or if we’re 100 short, and we’re at 1,100, and somebody else is at 500 or 400 – because we’re way ahead of everybody – I don’t think you can say that we don’t get it automatically. I think you’d have riots.”
That may not sound like a direct threat, but with Trump’s violent rhetoric about protestors and the violence from his supporters after the comments, it can’t be ignored as a throwaway line or even a metaphor.
Especially considering he told CNN, “I’m representing a tremendous – many, many millions of people, in many cases first-time voters. These are people that haven’t voted because they never believed in the system, they didn’t like candidates, etc., etc., that are 40 and 50 and 60 years old, and they’ve never voted before.
“If you disenfranchise those people, and you say, ‘well, I’m sorry, but you’re 100 votes short,’ even though the next one is 500 votes short, I think you would have problems like you’ve never seen before.”
And to make his intentions clear, he added, “I think bad things would happen. I really do. I believe that. I wouldn’t lead it. But I think bad things would happen.”
If past is prologue, Trump just sent a signal to his followers. If you think that’s a stretch, remember his speech in Nevada on February 22, when his rally was interrupted by a protestor and Trump falsely claimed the man was “throwing punches.” “… He’s walking out, the guards are very gentle with him, he’s walking out like big high fives, smiling, laughing — I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya.”
Afterwards protestors were abusively ejected out of Trump rallies getting punched and kicked. Just a week ago one protestor was sucker-punched by a Trump supporter who told Inside Edition, “He deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” And then there is the complaint by Michelle Fields, formerly of Breitbart News who said Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski assaulted her at a campaign event in Jupiter, FL last week.
No matter what Hillary Clinton’s negatives might be — and her negatives are really high for a presidential candidate, Trump’s are higher across the political spectrum. Not only will they lose the White House, but they also stand to lose most Senators and Congressman up for re-election in a blue or purple state.
Some Republicans are softening their views on Trump as the GOP nominee because, well, what are you going to do? If they mount an alternative candidate to Trump, it splits the conservative vote and Clinton wins. Campaigning against your party’s president or presidential nominee is a losing proposition — just ask what’s her name from Kentucky. Yeah, what’s her name, she’s forgotten that quickly.
Alison Lundergan Grimes if you want to know. In the 2014 elections she stumbled over her support/non-support of President Obama so much she went from being a viable candidate to a laughing stock.
So, running against your party’s candidate is no bueno.
The GOP now finds itself between a rock and a hard place, one they created.
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he isn’t planning an anti-Trump campaign, but added, “I’m planning my own campaign in terms of where I’ve been.”
That’s pretty much how Grimes started her campaign against McConnell. Johnson is running against former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a major figure for liberals and progressives.
What’s at stake? The United States Supreme Court. President Obama just nominated a very Republican-friendly judge from the D.C. District Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland. He was unanimously confirmed to the district court. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, as right wing a senator as you can find, has a high opinion of him.
For lefties like me Garland is too conservative a choice, but it’s a moot point right now. The do-nothing Republicans in the Senate said they weren’t going to hold hearing or even meet with any Supreme Court nominees until after the November elections.
If the GOP sticks to its do-nothing guns, Garland won’t be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
President Obama laid it on the line for the Senate Republicans. “Give him a fair hearing, and then an up or down vote. If you don’t, then it means everything is subject to partisan politics, everything.” He added, “I have fulfilled my constitutional duty, now it’s time for the Senate to do theirs. Presidents don’t stop working in the final year of their term, and neither should senators.”
There’s your hot rock, Senator McConnell. Confirm President Obama’s rather moderate nominee or wait to see whom Hillary Clinton nominates next January. On the other hand you might not be the majority leader in 2017, so maybe it’s another moot point.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.