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Grasping for Straws

Our formerly Grand Old Party formally nominated Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America on Tuesday, so at this point the only straw of faint hope for the country we can grasp at is that he won’t accept the nomination on Thursday and instead admit that his candidacy was just a practical joke and publicity gimmick gone badly awry. There’s even less chance of that happening than that the Democrats won’t nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton by month’s end, and thus our formerly great country will almost certainly wind up with one of the two most deplorable people its all-too-human political system has ever vomited up as its next president.
Those always deplorable Democrats will surely embarrass themselves in nominating their unprecedentedly deplorable choice in short time, and we’ll gleefully note it when they do, but until then we must glumly concede they’ll be hard-pressed to top what’s been going on at the Republican convention in Cleveland. Thus far the Republican convention has featured the hated “establishment” that Trump vowed to burn down quashing the feeble efforts of delegates representing the majority of the grass-roots Republicans who voted against Trump with highly questionable parliamentary tactics, the third trophy wife of the formerly family values party borrowing lines from the deplorable President Barack Obama’s deplorable wife, and the star power of that guy who used to play “Chachi” on “Happy Days.” Conspicuously absent from the stage are the party’s last nominee and its past two presidents and the locally popular Republican governor of the crucial swing state of convention-hosting Ohio, all of whom the presumptive Republican has slandered in the most outrageous fashion. The runner-up whose wife the Republican nominee mocked as ugly and whose father he fancifully suggested was in on the assassination of John Kennedy is scheduled for a turn on the stage, but at this point we can’t think of anything he might say on behalf of Trump that will do him or the Republican nominee much good.

None of this is helpful in dissuading the clear majority of Americans who have already formed a negative of opinion of Trump. The “anti-establishment” mantle he claimed was undermined when the “establishment” proved just as feckless as he’d always said it was and meekly climbed aboard the “Trump train,” his third wife’s cribbing from Michelle Obama’s cliched convention speech undermines is no big deal but allows the press to undermine Trump’s claim that his inept general election operation will surround him with the best people, and that “Chachi” guy and his weird speech suggests that the erstwhile reality show star doesn’t have the pop culture credentials that were enough to win a nomination by a formerly Grand Old Party. Some of the speeches that were allowed at the convention made a persuasive case that the all-but-certain Democratic nominee is even worse, but even then the Republican nominee’s ego got in the way. Less noticed was the Republican Party platform’s suddenly pro-Russian stance, but then again the presumptive Democratic nominee was the one who first offered that “re-set button.”

Perhaps the most compelling speaker the Republicans could come up with was Patricia Smith, whose son Sean died along with American ambassador and two others in Benghazi, Libya, as a result of the utter incompetence of the presumptive Democratic nominee, who also brazenly lied to her face about the reasons why, but if you were watching on Fox News you missed it because the Republican nominee chose that crucial moment to phone in another self-aggrandizing and utterly ridiculous interview that pre-empted the speech. In any case he was outspokenly for that ill-advised Libyan adventure, even if he brazenly lies about it now to Patricia Smith and the rest of us, just as he brazenly lies about his opposition to the Iraq War that he slanderously blames on the last two Republican presidents, and no matter what apologies his so-loyal-he-could-shoot-someone supports might come up with he missed yet another opportunity because he simply can’t shut up and let the Democrats look bad.
We can’t discount the possibility that the Democrats will once again boo God and badmouth America and otherwise embarrass themselves when they nominate their deplorable nominee, and we note with some satisfaction that she’s also unfavorably regarded by a heartening 60 percent or so of the country, but they’ll have their work cut out for them if they want to surpass what’s going on in Cleveland. In any case, we’ll be clinging to the faint straw of hope that some pot-smoking Libertarian or teetotaling Prohibitionist or some other oddball alternative might yet mitigate the next four awful years.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. Me: “Remember back when … oh, about a year ago?”

    Friend: “What are you talking about?”

    Me: “When Republican after Republican announced they were running for President?

    Friend: “ Yeah. Walker, Cruz, Christie, Rubio, and then the inevitable Jeb, heir to the throne who had all that money.”

    Me: “And don’t forget Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, George Pataki, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and … who else. I know there was someone else.

    Friend: “Jim Gilmore!”

    Me: “Who?”

    Friend: “You know, Gilmore, ex-governor of Virginia.”

    Me: “Oh, right. Great choices to go up against the Democrats, the Clinton machine and the media. Could have been any one of them because Hillary’s such a weak candidate. All we needed was a clean, presentable, middle-of the road, God fearing, once married, guy or gal who could win over the media and we’re in like Flynn.”

    Friend: “Yeah. Romney could have made it this time. Last time was just a fluke what with the economy, and you can’t beat an incumbent. And McCain was just too old, but he was nice and defended Obama so the press liked him right up until he started campaigning – and picking Palin as veep, how lame is that? They squashed her like a bug.”

    Me: “Hey, I have an idea. The election’s not over; we still have a few months to November. How about we start a write in campaign for Cruz? You liked Cruz and Walker and Carson. I mean Cruz may not have gotten the primary votes but he has the hearts of the REAL Republicans. He may not have won the credentials fight, he may not have won on the convention floor, but HE’s the one that the country’s been waiting for and he has so many followers … like Ken Cuccinelli and Bud here.”

    Friend: “Remember when Bud was sane?”

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