Hillary vs. Trump

>> Sunday, June 5, 2016

I am a Hillary supporter. I've mentioned this before and I still am. I said I would vote her for her in the primary (and I did) and naturally, I'll vote for her again in November.

(If you think the choice might be Bernie, you have been misled. The primary is over to all but the most delusional. Wait, let me rephrase that. The primary is over and, when they go to the convention, Hillary will have the most votes, the most pledged delegates, and the most superdelegates. That is reality and thinking otherwise, no matter how fervently, will not change that. Bernie had a good run; that will have to satisfy you.)

When it comes to the general election, does it occur to anyone that, especially with Trump as a competitor, the GOP has very little leverage against Hillary?

Bernie they could have attacked whole-heartedly as a "Commie bastard" out to increase EVERYONE'S taxes and a thousand other things I haven't even thought of yet and, as always, it wouldn't really matter if it were true. GOP is not bound by honesty. By the time the flood was largely debunked, Bernie would be ruined, at least for this election. I'm not a Bernie fan, and this is not an attack on Bernie; this is reality just like the delegate math. They have no limits on him as effectively fresh meat. He wasn't vetted during the primary, so they can paint him however they want and he'll have very little time to recover. We've seen the feeding frenzy before. The best thing that could have happened to his career was losing the election and saving himself the pain that goes with this kind of thing.

But Hillary's different. They've been attacking Hillary so consistently and so long, she eats their attacks for breakfast, spits 'em out and climbs on them to the next level. Most of the old stuff is so thoroughly debunked only the fanatical far-lefties and the GOP die-hards think it's true (or will at least pretend it is), the people who would do anything for an excuse not to vote for her, no matter her qualifications or opponent. And there's also that contingent (mostly male but including some misguided women) who think women just can't be President under any circumstances. For Hillary to try to get those votes is a waste of her time (and I bet she knows it), so the GOP doesn't have to do anything for that contingent.

But, they're not the majority. People point to her unfavorability rating as proof she "can't win" but there's a world of difference between wanting her to die a fiery death and maybe wondering if there might not be truth to some of the deluge of accusations against her. It's this last bunch the GOP definitely wants to keep from voting for her. They can't touch her devoted followers. They probably can't do much with the devoted "Vote Blue No Matter Who" crowd, which means the pools of voters they need to sway are moderate (of independent, liberal or conservative persuasion), the Bernie supporters and other liberals that weren't sold on her during the primary but aren't rabidly anti-Hillary, and the GOP crowd who finds themselves frightened or nauseated by Trump.

But how to sway them?

IF she hadn't been battling it out with Bernie Sanders this primary, where he and his supporters were painting her as a corporate shill and a social moderate (with the active participation of the GOP slime machine), the GOP could use the same tactic they used with Obama on her - she's too left, she's going to destroy us with her socialist ways. Under other circumstances, they could gain ground there since she's proudly said she's building on President Obama's legacy. Her very public, very detailed agenda is definitely progressive. But they can't because reminding everyone that she's really a progressive (and always has been) could bring more of Bernie's supporters to her corner.

And Bernie's attacks have likely helped sway many of the moderates to her corner that are unlikely to be unswayed when faced with Donald Trump as an alternate. Probably will get a few of the most moderate conservatives that way as well since, while progressive, none of her proposals are so extreme they'll be desperately painful in the short time. And, let's face it, many people have learned to appreciate President Obama if they're not consumed with his race.

They could try Bernie's tactic, reminding everyone she's pretty wealthy and hobnobs with the rich and famous, not a friend of the poor and middle class and corrupt because she gave speeches for $250 thousand a pop. IF she wasn't up against Trump who is a bald-faced liar (demonstrably so), hobnobs with the rich and famous since he was born that way (and loves to remind people) and hey, gave speeches for $1 M a pop (and the mind boggles at why that was a going rate given his vocabulary). Plus, of course, she's not a flaming racist misogynist buffoon. And has nicer hair if crap like that matters to you. Try taking that tactic to the debate stage, Don the Con, and you're gonna need mops for your own blood.

And that leaves the other Sander's tactic that she's too Republican, especially when it comes to defense, to be President. But, then, that didn't even work on Dems, for whom that's a bad thing, largely because it hinged on one vote that was not actually for war (however it was characterized) and a number of decisions when she was Secretary of State (made ultimately by President Obama however she saw it) that people regard as too hawkish. They might have been, but then, we'll never know if the alternatives weren't just as bad or even more destructive so it's hardly black and white. She was actively involved in an accord in Ireland, between Hamas and Israel, and the accord with Iran, which argues against the war now and under any circumstances paint they'd like to paint. Hillary calls it smart power and that's a key element and also argues something she has that absolutely no other candidate had here: in depth knowledge of these foreign circumstances. I'm not the only person who would rather, if we're going to have to have hard decisions made in volatile places in the world, have someone level-headed who understands the nuances to be making them.  But that perception, how's that going to fly with a whole heaping help of Republicans, some of them not actually insane, who have, as an alternative, Trump? Many of these people care deeply about national security (which is why they've been voting for Republicans even though the Republicans have moved further and further into crazytown on social issues). When looking at the potential nightmare of Trump at the helm of the nation's defense (and noting his bombastic insanity on those issues and cozying up to tyrants), they'll be desperate for some sanity on the subject. And Hillary has it.

The GOP can give Hillary the votes from Bernie's camp or their own, but can't attack her and avoid either. They've painted themselves into a corner.

Meanwhile, Trump, the political gift that keeps on giving, can't seem to stop himself from saying stupid, hateful or stupidly hateful things almost 24/7, giving her an endless supply of ammo for attack ads and speeches like her one on 6/2. And she doesn't have to hold back. Her worst accusations pale against his actual words. He's arguing FOR her.

At least, that's how I see it.


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