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Trump

Clinton is the ONLY Qualified Candidate Left Hillary Clinton’s faith in what she knows to be true may be her most impressive personal quality. Unlike the thinned skinned Trump, Clinton knows the personal attacks against her aren’t true. She knows that she isn’t the caricature popular in the media, and that when push comes to shove the media and the public will figure that out. Her ability to brush off her critics and their criticism actually intensifies the hatred of her critics.  Clinton Derangement Syndrome is a real thing! She knows this, but has enough personal discipline and awareness of the big picture to realize that their hatred is irrational and that as such it will not sink her if she simply stays her course.

Donald Trump is the most unqualified person ever to run for president. He is also the most transparently flawed candidate ever to run for president. His lack of intelligence and integrity are on full display every day. Over the next six months, the most unqualified, morally and intellectually bankrupt candidate in history will be spewing ignorant and hateful attacks at the most qualified candidate for president in modern times.

Stay tuned for six months of “swift boating” Trump-style.

Obviously, Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination would be a terrible turn of events for the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement. The Republicans are serious under dogs in the presidential election this year regardless of who they nominate.  The electoral math, turnout in presidential years, the state of the economy and foreign affairs, all favor the Democratic nominee, though these advantages only tell part of the 2016 story and can be over-valued. The real ace-in-the-hole for the Democratic nominee is the clarity of the institutional partisan stakes in 2016, and the persistent power of “party identity,” which remains the principle driver of voters’ political and electoral calculations.

Donald Trump loves to remind us that he is so rich he doesn't have to grovel to other billionaires for their financial support. Therein lies an important truth about American politics.

Eric Fehrnstrom thinks that Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton. Barring the unforeseeable, he’s wrong, and more importantly for my purposes here, including the unforeseeable in ostensibly serious political analysis kind of negates the point of offering serious political analysis. 

For Trump, political interests and principles are just variables in a market analysis.  He jumped into presidential politics this year because he saw very friendly market conditions. He recognized the timing was good for responding to the pent up political demands of a certain type of voter, and that in 2016 at least he is more well positioned to exploit that demand in the short run than are the professional pols on the national stage.

More than anything else, this presidential campaign season has shown that the commercial media’s “bias” is about the “Benjamins,” not about pushing an ideological or partisan political agenda. For the GOP, it will serve as an invaluable lesson about what can happen when you fall for your own B.S.

My daughter’s English class read Jonathan Swift’s satirical classic “A Modest Proposal” and were assigned the task of writing their own satirical proposal for a curing serious social malady.  I thought the assignment timely, but a bit tricky.  The line between serious and satire in our national political conversation is definitely not as clear as it used to be. The line between comedy and the race for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination appears to have been completely erased.

The new presidential nominating system, the one unofficially dominated by national polls and national debates months before any balloting, is a sad spectacle.

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