Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Clinton: Unhinged?

Hillary Clinton in Concord, New Hampshire
Hillary Clinton in Concord, New Hampshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following multiple damning email leaks and disclosures, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign decided, in the weirdest attempt at damage control I’ve ever seen, to  invoke the late Allen Ginsberg’s “America”:

“America it’s them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.”

Forget the content of the leaks. Just focus on their alleged (not proven, alleged) source. IT’S THEM RUSSIANS!

Never mind that one of the leaks uncovered the Democratic National Committee’s secret program to deliver its party’s presidential nomination to Clinton at all costs. Did I mention that Donald Trump MIGHT BE WORKING WITH THEM RUSSIANS?

Never mind that another disclosure gave the public a glimpse of Clinton’s corrupt “pay to play” scheme,  in which high-dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation got special goodies from the Clinton State Department. Who cares? The Ukrainian government (installed in a 2014 coup funded by the US and orchestrated by Clinton’s protege,  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland) just happened to conveniently “discover” “evidence” linking Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to THEM RUSSIANS!

Servergate? Never mind FBI director James Comey’s announcement and testimony revealing that she’s at least recklessly negligent  and almost certainly a felon who only avoided prosecution because her name is Hillary Clinton. LOOOOOOOK! THEM RUSSIANS!

It’s all so maladroit and ham-handed that it would be laughable if not for the stakes:

Clinton’s strategy for distracting attention from her corruption and incompetence, so that she can win the White House, is an all-out attempt to re-start the Cold War (at the risk of one or more very hot wars) and resurrect Joe McCarthy between now and November. And it just might work.

No, I can’t bring myself to support Donald Trump. But it’s getting harder and harder to peg him as the distinctively harebrained, irresponsible, unhinged one in the race. Clinton is still a game down to Trump in the World Series of Crazy, but it looks like the series will go all the way to seven.

It’s been noted over and over, by pretty much everyone, that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most roundly despised presidential candidates since polling became a thing. How either one of them got within spitting distance of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a mystery for the ages. And one of them almost certainly moving in come January sounds like an establishing shot for next summer’s top-grossing horror film.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000

RGBStock.com Vote Pencil

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is a “fringe candidate.” I’m not sure what definition of “fringe” Trump is using. Johnson is a former governor, elected twice as a Republican in a Democrat-leaning state. Trump’s main presidential qualification seems to be his legendary skill at trolling his opponents on Twitter.

Democratic presidential  nominee Hillary Clinton hasn’t deigned to notice likely Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Instead she’s dispatched proxies like runner-up Bernie Sanders (“We have got to defeat Donald Trump. And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. … this is the real world that we live in”) to heap scorn on the practicality of a post-Philadelphia campaign from Clinton’s left.

OK, I admit it: History and money say the odds are with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — that one of them will be the next president of the United States. The last time a third party or independent candidate really threatened to win the White House was 1992, when Ross Perot knocked down nearly 20% of the popular vote, having at one time polled ahead of both Republican incumbent George HW Bush and the eventual winner, Democratic nominee Bill Clinton.

But it’s strange year. It feels like almost anything could happen. And while Clinton and Trump are the frontrunners, the field is, well, YUGE.

As of July 27, the Federal Elections Commission lists 1,814 candidates for president on its web site.

It’s true that some of them have dropped out, or have been eliminated in party nomination processes, or haven’t done anything EXCEPT file an FEC “statement of candidacy.” Most of them won’t appear on any state ballots, or even register themselves with election authorities as write-in options.

On the other hand, some candidates who haven’t submitted FEC statements may show up on your ballot this November. Candidates are only required to file an FEC  Form 2 once they’ve raised or spent $5,000. In some states, ballot access doesn’t cost that much.

If you’re an American voter, you have options. Republicans and Democrats will tell you that you’re “wasting your vote” if you don’t pick one of the two leading brands. I don’t think they’re right — what’s the point of voting if you’re not voting for who or what you actually support? — but even if they’re right, well, it’s your vote to waste, isn’t it?

For once I agree with Ted Cruz: If you vote, vote your conscience.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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Election 2016: Wherever You Go, There You Are

English: ‘Down Goes McGinty’, This cartoon par...
English: ‘Down Goes McGinty’, This cartoon parodies a popular comic song about a foolish Irishman who undergoes a series of mishaps culminating in a fall into the sea, where he dies. McGinty here is Democratic presidential nominee of 1900, William Jennings Bryan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six months ago, who would have bet on Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, even given juicy odds? But here we are.

Who would have predicted the last two Republican presidents, the immediate past GOP presidential nominee, and the Republican Speaker of the House declining even lukewarm endorsements for their party’s horse? Yet that’s what’s happening.

Over on the Democratic side, who expected Bernie Sanders to erase Hillary Clinton’s 50-point leads and go toe to toe with her — or for that matter to win a single primary other than perhaps his home state of Vermont’s? Well, guess what?

And then there’s Clinton herself, not just continuing to run but continuing to win. This, even as she faces possible compelled deposition relating to her use of, and an ongoing FBI criminal investigation into mishandling of classified information via, a non-secure, privately owned mail server — a server allegedly hacked by, probably among others, now-incarcerated Romanian hacker Marcel Lehel Lazar, aka “Guccifer.” A confidential source that I just invented tells me Clinton shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. I’m skeptical. But not as skeptical as I would have been a year ago.

Over in third party territory where I live, some activists are convinced that all this  #NeverTrump #FeelTheBern #WhichHillary stuff portends a breakout year for the Libertarians or the Greens. Again, I’m skeptical. Again, not as skeptical now as last Christmas.

There’s a major crackup/realignment going on in American politics, from the parties’ rank-and-file all the way up to leadership. The nation’s transpartisan ruling class is in the throes of something approaching civil war. Maybe, hopefully not,  one as dangerous as the crackup preceding the REAL Civil War.

The pundits, myself included, have been churning out novel theories to make sense of all this for as long as it’s been going on. Each theory enjoys a half-life of a week or so as it decays into the next. Those of us who arrogate to ourselves the job of explaining stuff to the rest of you are at least as lost at sea as you are. Not, as you’re no doubt noticing, that it shuts any of us up.

It’s going to be a long six months between now and the election. Maybe at the end of it we’ll have some kind of epiphany or valuable takeaway to show for it. But I wouldn’t bet on that either.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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