One very serious problem with the media narrative for this year’s election is that it doesn’t center on anything factual. Facts have given way to speculation and conjecture. Now, part of that is because there are so many aspects to this year’s election that we seem to have not seen before. It is basically thought that the nomination of Donald Trump by the Republican Party is something unusual, even though it really isn’t. In past GOP primaries, there has been an assemblage of crazy people, who have all canceled each other out, allowing the most “moderate” candidate to emerge. If you don’t think that didn’t happen this time, think again. Well, close, anyway.
See, here’s the thing; the crazies dominate the Republican Party these days. These are people who don’t care about any issue or any specific ideology. All they really want to do is poke the eyes of the “establishment” GOP. They want to upend “the system” and nothing more. In prior presidential election years, the crazies have had a wide variety of choices, which meant not individual ray candidate had enough votes to get over the top. This year, however, they got the mother lode in Donald J Trump. They had a candidate who could make liberals scream with outrage and also instill fear in the GOP “establishment.” Everyone hates Trump and that makes the GOP crazy base happy as hell.
That’s why I cringe when I see the following when I read the New York Times:
Read the first couple of paragraphs:
Democrats could hardly believe their good fortune last month when it became clear that Hillary Clinton was headed to a general election showdown with Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump carried so much baggage and had insulted so many voting blocs that some Clinton supporters began to imagine a landslide.
But early optimism that this would be an easy race is evaporating. In the corridors of Congress, on airplane shuttles between New York and Washington, at donor gatherings and on conference calls, anxiety is spreading through the Democratic Party that Mrs. Clinton is struggling to find her footing.
First of all, no one inside the Democratic Party ever thought this would be easy and no one in their right mind would assume a landslide in any election, especially six months out. I mean, I’ve been doing this for a long time and I will only go so far as to say this election should be Hillary’s to win; there is no way I would go out and assume landslide. The 2000 election is too fresh in my mind. Bush was a stiff, but he had a couple of the same advantages that Trump has, primarily name recognition and a professional left more intent on trashing the Democrat than making sure the Republican can’t win. Trump should be dead meat, but given the far left’s penchant for shooting Democrats in the ass, I can’t go much beyond saying that Hillary should win. Gore and Kerry also should have won, so there you go.
However, I want to dispel this garbage that, somehow, no one likes Hillary Clinton; that there is no “enthusiasm” for her. Consider:
- How do you measure “enthusiasm,” exactly? Many of the states Hillary won, she won with more than two-thirds of the vote, and some of the states with the largest minority populations she won with more than four-fifths of the vote. In the handful of large states that Bernie won, most were won by a handful of votes. Some of the largest, like Michigan, were virtual ties. Most of his wins were in caucus states, which are not democratic at all. In fact, in one of the caucus states, Washington, Bernie won the caucuses by a wide margin. However, they also had a meaningless primary vote, which Hillary won by a comfortable margin, even though there were no delegates at stake. That’s not enthusiasm?
- She has an overwhelming number of votes. – Last night, on “Real Time,” Bill Maher suggested that Bernie has 44% of the votes and that is somehow “close.” Um, no. If this was the general election and she had 56% of the vote, she would likely have upwards of 350 electoral votes, which is considered a “landslide.”
- If you only count pledged delegates, and leave super delegates out altogether, Hillary will have a majority of them by the time the polls close in New Jersey on June 7. California will be nothing more than icing on the nomination cake. And she’s done all of that even as she’s spent far less money than Sanders. A LOT less.
- In polling averages, Clinton has never been behind and has rarely been ahead by less than 10 points. Again, in a head-to-head election, winning by ten points would be a landslide. In other words, though the media narrative is that the Democratic race has been close, it really hasn’t.
- Hillary Clinton has won in every important Democratic Party demographic except white men, and she has won most of them by a wide margin. Blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women and LGBT people have all chosen her by wide margins, which is why she blew through the South without Bernie registering as more than a blip. Democrats are very enthusiastic for her.
Now, a quick note on Hillary knowing how to run against Donald Trump. Yes, I know, he’s different than most candidates, and “traditional” means may not work against him, right?
Or will they?
First of all, his campaign’s “platform,” such as it is, was created by listening to right wing talk radio and taking positions that would appeal to most of their callers. What that means is, while he’s more obnoxious than most, his positions on issues are pure GOP orthodoxy.
There seems to be a belief among many that she has to attack Trump to win, which is kind of silly, really. This is not a traditional candidate and if he follows the same pattern the next five months that he’s followed for the last year, he’ll learn the taste of his own foot more times than anyone will be able to count. One of the most common phrases out of Hillary’s mouth going forward is likely to be, “You heard what he said…” She won’t have to attack him much; he’ll do most damage on his own. The Clinton campaign should understand, and I’m betting they do, that they will never attract strong Trump supporters away from him. They just have to make the 75-80% of Americans who aren’t batshit crazy realize that he represents a danger. That won’t take much. Obama rarely went after McCain or Romney directly, primarily because he didn’t have to; they both destroyed their own campaigns. And they’re professional politicians, whereas Trump is most certainly not.
And what’s he going to do to her, really? Attack her? Gee, that’s never been done before. The entire Clinton family has been attacked repeatedly for 30 years; remember Rush Limbaugh’s ill fated TV show, when he compared Hillary to a Pontiac hood ornament and referred to pre-teen Chelsea as “the White House dog”? That was more than two decades ago and they’ve never stopped. You know Trump’s taunts will be childish and something Clinton has heard before.
It’s all up to us, folks. Defeating Trump and everything the Republican Party stands for is within our grasp, but we have to stop falling for the false media narratives. Again, if progressives do the right thing and support all Democrats this year and go after them again in 2018, 2020, 2022 and beyond, we can finally kill the far right GOP, once and for all.
And that is the very definition of “progressive.”