Jack Ohman wonders what would happen were the Kennedy-Nixon debate to take place today. (Hint: It’s not pretty.)
In the Raleigh News and Observer, Duke University fellow Geoffrey Harpham offers a novel take on the appeal of Donald Trump–that he offers a vision of privilege with no responsibility and no cost, a candidate, in short, not of freedom, but of feckless self-indulgence. A snippet:
Trump’s supporters do not claim that he did not mistreat employees, purchase political influence, cheat investors, exploit women or bilk students at his “university.” To them, his general, indeed comprehensive fraudulence does not count against him, but merely reveals the fraudulent nature of the rule-governed life.
In this sense, Trump is not really a political candidate, but rather an embodiment of a fantasy of infinite power and freedom without costs (“the Mexicans will pay for it”), consequences or conscience.
The Debate Watch Party, kindly organized by Patricia, will be at our usual location.
When: 7:30 p. m.
Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
620 19th Street (intersection of 19th and Cypress)
Virginia Beach, Virginia (map)
I won’t be there. As my two or three regular readers know, I don’t do debates–I read about them the next morning. But lots of nice persons will be there.
See the sidebar for links to learn more about Drinking Liberally.
At The Guardian, Lucia Graves claims to have found a fitting analogy for the candidacy of Donald Trump. A snippet:
Donald Trump’s detractors have struggled to define him as long as he’s been on the political scene. But in 2015 it was the famously tongue-tied Rick Perry who landed upon what seemed like the most accurate descriptor to date: he called Trump “a cancer”.
But the way this election is shaping up, the better analogy might be an autoimmune disease. Such illnesses result from our body’s natural defenses being marshalled against it with destructive results. Trump is exploiting our political immune system to the detriment and potentially grave peril of the republic. He’s taken what actually makes America great, the systems of government designed to foster public good – the courts, the press, our charity and financial systems – and used them for personal gain at the body politic’s expense.
*That’s the second line of a children’s song from the slave South as quoted in a little book compiled by one of my great uncles (citation available upon request). The book had only a local printing and is now long out of print, but I still have my copy.
By the by, the first line of that charming little ditty is “Run, N****r, run.”
Dick Polman marvels at the disparate treatment.
Imagine the outcry if Hillary Clinton’s transition team was led by a scandal-plagued sleaze whose gubernatorial reign was best known for shutting traffic lanes on a major bridge, jeopardizing the public’s safety for the sole purpose of punishing a local mayor who’d refused to endorse. Imagine the outcry if Clinton’s transition leader was named by federal prosecutors, on day one of a major federal trial, as being fully aware of the bridge scandal while it was happening. Imagine the outcry if Clinton then came forward to robustly defend her aide, calling him “a spectacular advocate.”
We all know what would happen. The mainstream media would nail Clinton for the “perception” that a “shadow” had been cast over her campaign. They would assail her for refusing to dump the aide. They would amplify Donald Trump’s inevitable declaration that this episode proved the perfidy of “Crooked Hillary.”
But since Trump is inexplicably permitted to play by banana-republic rules, there will be no such equivalent oucry over the fact that his own transition leader, Chris Christie, was outed yesterday in federal court by a prosecutor who said he was fully aware of the bridge closures while they were happening. It was a milestone moment in the long-running scandal, the first time that a federal official has said such a thing in a formal judicial proceeding, and it flatly contradicted Christie’s long-running lie (which he repeated Sunday on CNN) that he has been exonerated by all the investigations.
More troubled waters at the link.