Some good stuff from this week’s G-File:
Goldberg disagrees with the argument put forth in “The Flight 93 Election” that asserts this election is the most important ever [don’t we hear that every cycle?], so much so that we have to “rush the cockpit” even though there’s no guarantee we’ll live. I.e., we have to elect Trump because that gives us a chance – but just a chance – to save the country. The alternative is The End.
I am the first to concede that if Hillary Clinton wins it will likely be terrible for the country. But America is larger than one election for one office in one branch in one of our many layers of government. Indeed, if it’s true that America is one election away from death, then America is already dead. Because the whole idea of this country is that most of life exists outside of the scope of government. Yes, this idea is battered and bloodied. But I fail to see how rejecting the idea — as Publius does — is the best way to save it…
In my preferred metaphor, we are on a plane heading for a bad place, though not to our deaths. We are heading to a place from which it will require years of work just to get back to where we are now, never mind a preferred destination. I remember giving speeches during Obama’s first term, amidst the fights over the stimulus and Obamacare. The set title for my talks was “Cheer Up, for the Worst Is Yet to Come.” I was right of course. But I remember saying, often, that I may end up spending the rest of my professional life fighting just to undo the messes this president has created. That may well still be true. And if either of these two hot messes hit the fan in November — and one almost surely will — I’m going to be on my hands and knees with a bucket and sponge trying to get the stain out of the carpeting.
And that’s the thing. The plane is off course because the pilot is MIA, off guest-editing Wired magazine or some such, while the other two members of the flight crew are fighting over the throttle. One, Hillary Clinton, wants to take us to a bad place and she knows how to get there. The other, Donald Trump, wants to take us someplace that doesn’t even exist. The best argument for Donald Trump is that if the destination existed, it might be a great place to go. I hear the martinis in King’s Landing are fantastic. Meanwhile, the only argument for Clinton is that at least she knows how to fly.
On the double-standard applied to Mrs. Clinton:
Men can wear the same suit every single day and almost no one will notice. Women have to come up with new stuff all of the time. Why Hillary Clinton chooses to dress like the First Minister of Rigel 7 in an episode of Star Trek is a separate mystery, but the basic point holds true.
But the idea that Hillary Clinton is being brutalized by sexist double standards is ridiculous, particularly in a cycle where the size of her opponent’s hands — wink wink — has been a major topic of conversation. There may be some sexist undercurrents when critics say Hillary should smile more or that she is shrill. But they are erased by the factual tsunami that she is actually quite shrill. Think of it this way. I certainly get why gays bristle at the word “effeminate,” especially when it’s used as a generic insult about all gays. But am I really guilty of anti-gay bigotry if I point out that Richard Simmons is pretty damn effeminate?
Not only is it not sexist to dislike Hillary Clinton, it is sexist to claim that disliking Hillary Clinton is sexist. I do not see Hillary Clinton as a stand-in for all women, nor do I associate the things I dislike about Clinton with women in general. If I did, I’d still be a bachelor or looking for Richard Simmons’s phone number.
And anyway, male politicians have always been vulnerable to insults to their manhood — just ask the first president Bush who was derided on magazine covers as a “wimp.” When he ran for president, it was said his trouble with women stemmed from the fact that he reminded women of their first husband. This was all grotesquely unfair to Bush of course. The guy signed up to fight for his country when he was 17. Moreover, I would guess a significant number of first husbands were cut loose — or left their wives — because they were cads, bullies, or bad fathers. George H. W. Bush is, in fact, a consummate gentleman and family man.
Moreover, Hillary Clinton is running explicitly as the First Woman President, Breaker of Glass Ceilings, and Grandma-in-Chief. She’s doing that in large part because she needs to borrow excitement she can’t muster herself. She’s like an unseasoned plate of steamed root vegetables, but the chef is determined to dress it up by describing the meal in French and delivering it under a giant brass dome. Voila! The spectacle is all the more ridiculous when you hear the wait staff and busboys shouting about how great the “real steamed cauliflower” is or how what the chefs need to do is come up with “Cauliflower 6.0.” There’s really only so much you can do with cauliflower.
On Trump’s habit of praising Putin:
This morning, I heard a sound bite of Donald Trump Jr. explaining that the one thing we know is that Putin is doing “what’s best for Russia.” This is spectacularly disgusting. So now conservatives believe that strongmen who brutalize their own people and undermine American interests and allies around the world are to be admired for their leadership. I cannot wait to hear the Trumpistas explain how punctual the trains are in Russia. Four years ago, Mitt Romney rightly said that Russia was our chief geopolitical foe. Obama countered that the 1980s called and wants its foreign policy back. Well, now it seems the 1930s are on the line and Trump is eager to take the call.
Earlier, I spoke about cleaning up messes. Well, the best-case scenario is that the mess these fools are making can even be cleaned up at all.