[When I arrived at this morning’s destination, a law firm in Northern Virginia, I found myself in a huge nightmarish underground parking garage, with inadequate signage, that was beneath four large office buildings. Once I drove beyond my desired elevator looking for an unreserved parking space, I found myself totally lost and disoriented. Everywhere I turned signs indicated that I was beneath the wrong building, and there were no apparent arrows pointing back to where I had come from. I was in there for a half an hour, going in circles. When I asked for help from other drivers, they just shrugged and said that it was a confusing garage, or that they were lost too. Eventually, I parked the car between two rows, called security to say that I was trapped with my hazard lights on, and needed assistance.Eventually someone arrived to lead me back to where I wanted to be. I now realize that this is an excellent metaphor for the plight of the ethical, responsible voter in this train wreck election. The lights keep blinking, but nobody’s coming.]
To continue where I left off in Part I.:
9. The fact that all of the accusations against Trump might be true does not mean that Trump’s counter-accusation that this is a coordinated assault by the Democrats and the Clinton Campaign isn’t also true. The timing is suspicious. Democrats have apparently decided that they can’t win Presidential elections by running fair and transparent campaigns; there have to be sudden revelations of mysterious origins or impetus: Bush’s DWI arrest in 2000, Dan Rather’s faked National Guard letter in 2004, the Romney “47% ” tape in 2012, and now this. Not only are elections no longer decided on the issues and the positions, skills and demonstrated abilities of the candidates, the party that has denied that character matters is the main purveyor of character-based “October surprises.”
10. I have been waiting for the “Hillary Clinton Same-Sex Lover” October surprise from Trump and the Republicans. I’m pretty sure she’s out there. If she doesn’t surface now, it will mean one of these are true:
…The GOP and Trump are too inept to find her.
…They found her or them, but are afraid of “backlash,’ which makes no sense at all. If you are willing to run Donald Trump for President, backlash is no longer an issue.
…Hillary treats her lovers well, and none are willing to betray her.
….They hate Trump more than they love money or notoriety
…They are afraid for their lives.
I suppose that it is possible that she doesn’t exist, but I doubt it. This is one of a variety of long-term Washington whispers that are almost always based on fact. No, of course it shouldn’t make a difference at the polls; it would just be one more piece of evidence of what we know already: Hillary is a self-fueled fabrication whose public persona and positions are more lies than fact. However, if you supporter her, you are already at peace with that…..in other words, corrupted.
11. Attacking Bill Clinton as a response to the allegations is idiotic, so naturally, that’s what Trump is doing. Proving that Clinton is also a sexual predator doesn’t excuse Trump; showing the news media double-standard doesn’t make Trump’s conduct less horrible; making that case that Clinton was a terrible role model for the culture doesn’t suggest that we need an even worse one.
12. Horrible as it is for the nation, the election, and the national self-esteem, boy, did Trump ever ask for this. I could not believe that he answered Anderson Cooper’s question about his conduct be denying even that he had kissed women without their consent. Was it hubris? Stupidity? A gamble? I have worked closely with wealthy, powerful, narcissistic alpha males like Trump. As he suggested in his comments to Billy Bush, they really feel entitled to kiss attractive women as their right, and sufficient numbers of women allow them to do it without consequences that they keep doing it. It is a way of life for people like Trump who are less completely irredeemable than Trump.
13. I would guess that if they did or said something sufficiently inciting to anger women whom they had kissed, groped or fondled, about two-thirds of Congress and agency heads would face accusations like those being made against Trump now. I may be underestimating it. My law school room mate used to point out the astounding pulchritude of female Congressional aides, secretaries and staffers walking around the Capitol at lunch hour. He was right; it was and is ridiculous, like Hollywood casting, or Fox News. These men collect trophy wives and mistresses, and surround themselves with beautiful women. What do you think goes on in those offices? It is a culture of harassment. Washington, D.C. is the most sexist, sexually-charged culture outside of the entertainment industry, which is, again, why the feigned horror at Trump’s piggishness is so nauseating. These same people covered for Bill Clinton, the Kennedys, John Edwards and others.
14. To demonstrate how Trump’s presence on the political scene has sent basic decency into free fall, some right-wing blogs have even stooped this far. Have they no decency? At all?
15. This may be the worst justification for any bad conduct that I’ve ever heard: Donald Trump Jr. said today said that his father’s 2005 comments bragging about sexual assault make him “a human.” So does indulgence in any of the seven deadly sins, running from spiders, and using a flush toilet properly. Is this guy over-qualified, or what?
16. Finally, I might as well address this comment from the Part One threads here. It has been said that Reince Priebus is not wholly to blame for this fiasco. Of course, the Trump blight has many authors—the arrogant and incompetent Obama administration, the elevation of victimhood above actual merit and accomplishments, the betrayal by “the elites” of their duty to look out for the less educated and wealthy rather than just deceive and exploit them, the failure of the education system, the amazingly obvious abandonment of fairness and objectivity by the news media, social media, popular culture rot, the celebrity culture. America’s materialism, the decline of ethics literacy and understanding, the cowardice and stupidity of Republican leadership, and many more. However, the buck stops with Priebus. He led the party. He could have banned Trump from the nomination process, and didn’t. He could have stepped in the first time Trump personally insulted Bush, Cruz,President Bush and the rest, and made an ultimatum: do it again, and you’re out—just like umpires do when a pitcher throws at a batter. He didn’t. When Trump amassed enough delegates to be nominated, he could have pushed through rules that allowed the convention to nominate someone competent. He didn’t.
“If Priebus had taken steps to preclude a fair election to all candidates in the hunt he would have been no better than Debbie Wasserman Schultz of the DNC as she ran interference for HRC,” a commenter writes. Wrong. Schultz was trying to rig the process—and did—to nominate a pre-chosen candidate who was unfit to run. The duty of a major party is to nominate a competent, qualified candidate, above all. There is no “election” of nominees. Both parties include delegates chosen in primaries as part of the process, but if the process isn’t working, as in “threatens to choose a gross and dangerous incompetent” then the duty of a party is to junk the malfunctioning system and devise a new one that comes up with a respectable, qualified candidate. Priebus was the leader of the party, and his duty, as leader, is to the party, its constituents, the nation and the democratic system, not to a candidate or the nominating system that happens to be in place this year. He had a duty to block Donald Trump, and he is accountable for all of this.