Ethics Dunce, I Hope For The Last Time: Hillary Clinton

train-wreck

The Hillary Clinton Presidential Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck rolls to an appropriate end.

CNN ( and every other news network) has now been stalling for almost a full hour, as Hillary Clinton, who announced that she would give her concession speech at 10:30 am, after ducking the duty last night, and postponing the 9:30 am scheduled speech she had initially announced. Spinning to the end for Clinton, CNN keeps saying she is “a few minutes late.” And still we wait.

Inexcusable. This is rock star-level rudeness and arrogance. Make everyone wait, hell, what choice to they have? She’s a star!

These are her supporters, and she’s treating them like this. Clinton had about 12 hours to get ready. Now she wastes everyone’s time to milk the drama out of her last moment in the spotlight…at least her last unpaid moment.

Just like a woman…always late.

Yes, she deserves that.

Post-Election Morning Ethics, Early Edition [UPDATED]

hillary-loses

Initial ethics observations following an amazing night in American history:

1. Give Trump a chance, and take note of those who will not.

He is now in the most difficult job in the nation at the age of 70, with less relevant experience and preparation than any previous occupant of the office. For once, it’s a good thing that he’s an egomaniac and a narcissist, because otherwise he might be perseverating in terror right now. One cannot say that he begins with the most daunting set of problems any POTUS has ever faced, but it’s close. Give him a chance. Nobody becomes President wanting to fail, and not wanting to do a good job for his country and his fellow citizens.  Begin with that, and let’s see what happens.

2. Those who are capable of being fair and objective should salute the shades of Mr. Madison, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Adams, Mr. Hamilton and their colleagues. The Founders wanted a system that was capable of peaceful political upheaval when the public was dissatisfied and demanded change, and their unique creation was strutting its stuff last night. So much has taken place over the last year—the last eight years, really—that has undermined our democracy that it is refreshing to see its resilience and vitality. As before, I still believe that Trump is a cautionary tale about the danger when people who don’t understand leadership, ethics and government become the majority. On the other hand, it’s their country too, and the “elites” (how I detest that word) forgot that, repeatedly, shamelessly, and in many ways.

Jefferson would have reviled Donald Trump, but he would approve of the uprising.

3. Trump’s victory speech last night was widely reviewed as statesmanlike and gracious, which it was. It was also unusually coherent for him. Still, who can’t give a gracious victory speech? The effusive praise being lavished on this shows how low expectations are.

4. Hillary Clinton’s decision to not to appear in person at her headquarters and concede, also graciously, was a failure of character. On CNN, ex-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and ex-Obama flack Van Jones got in an argument over this, but for once in his life, Lewandowski  was right. Given the backdrop of Clinton and the media questioning whether Trump would “accept defeat,” the decision by Clinton was just plain wrong: unfair to Trump, unfair to her supporters, hypocritical. Continue reading

Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day: His Post-Wisconsin Primary Wipeout Statement, Making Richard Nixon Look Classy By Comparison

nixon-and trump

Of course, Donald Trump makes almost anyone look classy by comparison, including that drunk who threw up on your lap on the subway. (He apologized.)

On November 7, 1962, Richard Nixon made his official concession statement after losing the election for Governor of California to incumbent Pat Brown, Jerry Brown’s father. Nixon had barely lost the U.S. Presidency in one of the closest election ever two years earlier, and earning the governor’s seat in the Golden State was supposed to be the beginning of his comeback. The loss was devastating, but Nixon made it more so with a bitter, graceless, self-pitying concession speech that became part of his legacy. It was a long, extemporaneous, rambling mess. Read the whole thing, by all means, or watch the video, because it really is remarkable.  Here are some highlights: Continue reading

Don’t Say The System Doesn’t Work—It Worked Perfectly With Marco Rubio

As it turned out, this told us everything we need to know...

As it turned out, this told us everything we need to know

Pundits, professors and even China are saying that the U.S. system of identifying qualified Presidential candidates doesn’t work or “is broken” because Donald Trump appears to have slipped through the net. But the occurrence of what Herman Kahn called “an unpredictable convergence of bad management and bad luck” only proves what Ethics Alarms has noted over and over again: no system, even the best, works all the time. I’ll post an article about all the people and circumstances that poked that hole in the Trump net once my nausea subsides, but in the meantime, I want to point out that the system worked perfectly with Marco Rubio. He wasn’t fit to be President, and the system exposed him brilliantly.

Good.

Rubio thought that he could follow the successful plan that put Barack Obama Barack Obama in the White House in 2008, despite similar deficiencies in experience. Like Obama, he was a young, fresh, minority candidate with a natural base, who projected intelligence and was an impressive speaker. The political and campaign processes, however, and his reaction to the stress of them, exposed his many flaws. The Obama plan wouldn’t be enough this time, in no small part because Marco Rubio is no Barack Obama: Continue reading

Marco Rubio Flunks A Gut Check: He’s Unqualified To Be President (Too)

empty podium

Last night in Nevada, as the depressing vote totals poured in showing that Nevada Republicans, or at at least about 45% of them, have the minds of desert toads and the ethics of Vegas Strip pimps, (that is, really want Donald Trump to be President of the United States of America, Peewee Herman having chosen not to compete, journalists waited to see what Marco Rubio, supposedly the choice of the GOP “establishment,” would say in his concession speech. He didn’t give one, however. Fox News reported that “the Senator has gone to bed.”

That’s it. That’s signature significance, conduct that all the spin in the world cannot reconcile with a man having the requisite character and values to lead a nation. Rubio has a nice face, a good personal story, a polished speaking style and, most of all, ambition, and until last night, an opportunity. With that weak, lazy and pusillanimous demonstration, Senator Rubio proved conclusively that this is all he has. It’s not enough; it’s not nearly enough. As much as I and any sane and responsible American citizen want someone to block Donald Trump’s frightening march to the Republican nomination, Marco Rubio is no alternative.

I have, apparently foolishly, not allowed all of the many warning signs regarding Rubio’s leadership skills and character to cause me to label him a lost cause. Early on, he proved himself unable to handle his campaign finances ethically or competently. As a Florida state senator, he abused his power and engaged in a scandalous conflict of interest. As a U.S. Senator elected by a tea party surge, he showed himself to be feckless and expedient. He has also been a lousy Senator, seldom showing up for votes. When he began running for President, Rubio even stated that he hated being a Senator, and abandoned any pretense of doing his job—but he continued to collect his salary, because, he said, he needed the money.

While his chief rival, Donald Trump, worked—yes, it is work—around the clock to get in front of cameras and on the air as often as possible, Rubio adopted a minimalist campaign style, never going off script, seldom subjecting himself to interviews where he would have to improvise answers and actually think. Rubio’s debate performances were entirely dependent on whether he could use portions of his stump speech to answer questions. When a skilled ex-prosecutor, Chris Christie, placed him under cross-examination for this weakness, Rubio devolved into an old Star Trek episode computer, repeating the same programmed phrase as metaphorical smoke billowed out of his ears. Then he ducked accountability for his meltdown, insisting that he was just staying on message, until his advisors finally convinced him that denial wasn’t working.

With all of that, in part because of utter desperation, journalists, Republicans and Americans who are horrified at the prospect of having no better candidates to choose from than the delusional Bernie Sanders, the corrupt and dishonest Hillary Clinton, and the vile and inexperienced Ted Cruz, continued to hope that Rubio could rise above his obvious flaws and be someone with the capacity to grow into leadership.

That hope, always faint anyway, is gone now. Not one of the other Presidential candidates would have willfully avoided the opportunity to give a defiant and inspiring concession speech that would be played on the networks and cable channels repeatedly today. Indeed, not one of them could have been stopped from giving such a speech. Nor would any of the past Presidents or unsuccessful but nominated candidates for the office within my lifetime. Why is Rubio different? Continue reading

Ethics Observations on the 2014 Mid-Term Elections

election 2014

1. After the 2006 election, in which a Republican majority in the House and Senate became a well-deserved minority, the losing Republicans, in sharp contrast to their Democratic brethren after their losses in 2000 and 2004, were remarkably frank and gracious. I wrote on November 15, 2006…

When the Democrats were rejected at the polls in 2004, they and many of their supporters in the media declared that it was proof positive that the U.S. public was stupid, ignorant, and reckless. Many claimed that the election must have been rigged; others announced that the U.S. was a lost cause and that good people should consider moving to Canada. Some actually did.

The Republicans, who were resoundingly punished at the polls for everything from corruption to arrogance to incompetence, could not present a more dramatic contrast to their Democratic counterparts. They overwhelmingly placed responsibility for their losses squarely on their own mistakes and transgressions, where it belongs. They congratulated their victorious opponents. They avoided making legal challenges or suggesting that any elections were “stolen.” Defeated Republican Senator George Allen, whose race was close enough to demand a recount, did not. And no Republicans, as far as we know, have fled the country. They will be staying around to contribute to the process of democracy, because they respect both it and its results. In short, the Republicans have demonstrated the honorable and ethical was to lose.The deportment of the losers in a democracy is every bit as important as the behavior of the winners. As the Democrats attempt to teach their rivals something about how to govern when you win, let’s hope that they learned from the GOP’s lesson in how to behave when you get throttled. Some recent Canadian immigrants might think about it as well.

Will Democrats be model losers as well?

We shall see.

2. This “concession speech” by losing Kentucky Senate candidate Allison Grimes does not bode well: Continue reading