February 24, 2016

Ironies Abound! Or "Please Make Us Bigger Promises that Can't be Kept!"

I can't get over how many ironic twists and paradoxes this election season has provided.  As a lover of oxymoron and Chestertonian paradox, I appreciate it on an aesthetic level.  A partial list:
1. Dem and Republican bases are tired of the parties over-promising and under-delivering so the response is someone who will double-down on that, i.e. Trump and Sanders.

2. Con$ervative talk radio, once dedicated to abusing Democrats has soiled its own nest.  It's more lucrative to bite Republicans.

3. Trump and Hillary are actually the same person! He's fine other than his character and the fact that he's not a conservative, just like Hillary.  Both are greedy and self-serving with the big distinction of Trump being open about it and Clinton being sneaky.  We apparently think con men are okay if they are transparent about it, because hypocrisy is the only modern sin.

4. Republican establishment is rallying around Rubio when he doesn't want to be rallied around! He doesn't want to take on Trump head-to-head (evidenced by his bromance with Trump) and is likely angling for a VP slot.
    The whole thing would be humorous if it wasn't so serious. As a commenter on Morning Joe said this morning, this pent-up anger from both the left (Sanders) and right (Trump) doesn't bode well because if an outsider gets elected and nothing changes (as it won't) where does the anger go?  And if a Hillary Clinton is elected and nothing changes (as it won't), what happens then?  The root cause of the dissatisfaction is a pining for an economy that is long gone, the golden era of 1950s prosperity, a time when there was no global competition for U.S. due to all other countries decimated by WWII.

    Cokie Roberts made a keen observation I hadn't heard before.  She said that the reason politicians from both sides of the aisle used to work together back in the '50s was that they fought together in the war.  Interesting. There surely was a more patriotic spirit then.  It's ineffably sad but I wonder if war is the only thing that brings people together or prompts a love for country.

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    From Henry Dieterich on Trump and our democracy.

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    From NR's Jim Geraghty:
    Are We Starting to See a Pattern Here?
    Things that make you say “hmmm” . . .
    Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, isn’t happy that a member of the prominent Ricketts family has bankrolled an effort to thwart his campaign. And he took to Twitter on Monday to warn the Chicago Cubs owners to “be careful.”
    The family is “secretly spending $’s against me,” Trump wrote. “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”
    As we’ve seen during the Obama years, the Internal Revenue Service can be particularly diligent in reviewing and auditing the tax and financial paperwork of critics of the president.
    GOP strategist Liz Mair, whose anti-Trump Make America Awesome super PAC has raised all of $10,000 since it was created in December, said major donors are shying away from her group partly because they are scared of incurring Trump’s wrath. He has already threatened legal action against conservative groups that have advertised against him, including the Club for Growth (which, he alleged in a Tuesday tweet “came to my office seeking $1 million dollars. I told them no and now they are doing negative ads), and has called out conservative billionaires who he unsuccessfully courted (including the Koch brothers, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and New York hedge fund titan Paul Singer).
    “We would totally donate to you if we could do it anonymously; we’re worried about Trump taking reprisals against us for donating to this,” Mair said, parroting reactions she’s heard from donors. “Suffice to say, there are a lot of people out there who want to stop Trump and are willing to donate to do it,” she said. “They’re just the rank and file of the base, not the establishment donors.”
    If you think Trump would be a president who would use the apparatus of the state to target and punish his critics, I would think you would want to pull out all the stops to prevent him from reaching the Oval Office, not keep your head down and hope for the best.
    “I’d like to punch him in the face,” Trump said, remarking that a man disrupting his rally was escorted out with a smile on his face. “He’s smiling, having a good time.”
    Trump claimed the protester was “nasty as hell” and accused the man of trying to punch the security officers forcing him out of the rally, though the man did not appear to be fighting off those officers.
    “In the old days,” Trump added, protesters would be “carried out on stretchers.”
     “We’re not allowed to push back anymore,” Trump said.
    At this point, in a Twitter poll I set up, 14 percent of the 800 respondents say they would trust President Trump with unilateral authority to deport American citizens where he chooses.
     “Jim, that doesn’t even make sense. The president -- heck, the federal government -- doesn’t have the authority to deport American citizens to other countries!”
    That’s my point.
    "A republic. If you can keep it." - Ben Franklin

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