The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Doubling Down on Dumb

With every passing day, it appears that Donald Trump is doing everything possible to alienate undecided voters and lose to Hillary Clinton. Whether it's his verbal battle with the Khans (a Muslim gold star family); his less than respectful acceptance of a purple heart from a Viet Nam vet supporter; his off-topic rant about fire marshalls; his lack of support for nationally recognized GOP candidates, or his less-than-thoughtful comments about sexual harassment in the workplace, Trump is doubling down on dumb.

Even if he were a near perfect candidate (he isn't) he would have an uphill battle to defeat Clinton. It's not that she's an impressive candidate—she isn't. Her dishonesty, corruption and incompetence would make her an easy target with someone less 'dumb.' But Clinton has the media, now in full gotcha-attack mode against Trump, who makes it far to easy for the media to do just that. The Democrats have forced lax voter ID laws meaning that votes in the inner cities will be rife with fraud. And of course, the fractured GOP will dilute the vote. It's almost as if Trump wants to lose.

Trump's doubling down on dumb has given rise to much moral preening among Hillary Clinton supporters, the media (but I repeat myself), and the political commentariat. The consensus is that Trump's serial tweets are prima facie evidence of a lack of discipline, a lack of control, a thin skin, and a lack of judgement. All of that may be true, but the moral preening part is laughable.

The reason? Hillary Clinton is worse. GOP commentator Ben Shapiro breaks it down for Democrats who think Clinton is a better choice:
1. Hillary Is Worse Than Trump. Over the weekend, one major political candidate earned a four-Pinocchio rating from The Washington Post. That same candidate slurred Gold Star families as liars. That candidate was Hillary Clinton, who appeared on national television to explain that FBI Director James Comey had fully cleared her – he had even said she was honest! This, of course, was false. Then Hillary went on to claim that Benghazi Gold Star families must have misremembered her comments to them about a YouTube video being responsible for their children’s deaths. Hillary can complain all she wants about Trump’s connections with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, but she’s the one who handed him a reset button, then cut a nuclear deal that allowed the Russians into our uranium mines. For every Trump sin, there’s one just as bad in Hillary’s closet – and usually worse, since she was a government actor at the time.

2. Trump Is Our Black Swan. You Guys Wanted Hillary. Donald Trump, as everybody knows, was a black swan, once-in-a-century aberration. Republicans never expected him to do well, let alone win the nomination. As soon as it became clear that Trump would have a serious shot at the nomination, many [establishment] Republicans announced they would never back him. Today, many Republicans who will back him do so out of the simple calculus that he’s superior to Hillary, not because they like him. The same is not true for Hillary Clinton. Not only do Democrats want Hillary to be president, the Democratic National Committee worked arduously to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination. The media have played fast and loose with Hillary, denying her evils and pushing her all the way to her “historic” nomination. Before you start gloating about Republican moral failures, take a look in the mirror: you begged for Hillary. Most Republicans tried to stop Trump.

3. You Guys Are Still Backing Hillary. There are many Republicans who won’t vote for Trump (including me). Even the ones who will are out condemning Trump today. Where, exactly, are the Democrats condemning Hillary’s corruption? Where is the #NeverHillary movement from the left? Why do leftists get to claim moral superiority for ardently supporting a worse candidate? In a normal world, they wouldn’t. But they can, because the media have been propping up a cackling, corrupt old crone for two decades. And they won’t stop now.
It's Shapiro's second and third points that might be the most compelling. Many in the GOP establishment have criticized Trump with extremely harsh language, condemning his stupid tweets, his lack of depth, and his otherwise crude behavior. But who among the Democrat establishment has criticized Clinton? Who has condemned her serial lies, the continuous whiff of corruption that has followed her throughout her career and during her tenure at the State Department, her failures as Secretary of State? The answer—not a one.

You might characterize that as impressive party loyalty and discipline, and you'd be partially correct. I'd characterize it as willful blindness and the tacit acceptance of dishonesty, corruption, and incompetence in the Democratic party's lust for power at all costs.

So please, Dems, spare those of us in the center from your moral preening. Your candidate is at least as bad as Donald Trump and arguably worse. It's just that she, unlike Trump, doubles down on her lies, but doesn't double down on dumb.