Tag: Hillary Clinton

First Debate Thoughts

  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • Judged as as pure debate, Clinton “won” as far as that goes. You can tell because the conservative blogs are calling it a draw. She didn’t get rattled. She appeared almost human. Her answers were coherent if alarming. Trump held his own for thirty minutes. But, as I suspected, having a one-on-one debate meant his catch phrases began to wear thin after a while. His ignorance of policy and his tendency to shaft other people kept coming back up. Trump avoiding rising to Clinton’s bait a few times, but he did bite more than once and was on the defensive a lot. This is was clearly intentional from Clinton because the one thing we know about Trump is that he can. not. let. anything. go.
  • That said, I don’t know how much of a difference it will make. Trump has been exposed as a lair, a fraud and a policy ignoramus for months now. His core supporters simply do not care. They either despise Clinton more or cling to the strange belief that he will trash the system without also trashing the country. He could literally have spent the entire 90 minutes masturbating and they wouldn’t have cared.
  • I thought Holt did an OK job. He mainly let the candidates go at each other, which is a format I prefer. There’s been some criticism of him for not going after Clinton (bringing up Benghazi, etc.). There’s legitimacy in that. It seemed odd to press Trump on his support for the Iraq while ignoring the woman who voted for it. But … most of the things that put Trump on the defensive were brought up by Clinton. Trump punched back a few times, making Clinton talk about the e-mail scandal. But he spent so much time trying to weasel about his tax returns, his bankruptcies, his birtherism that he wasn’t able to push her on other issues.
  • I suspect Trump will do better in the next debate because Conway will make sure he stays on the offensive.
  • What was with the sniffing? Based on the internet speculation about Clinton, I’m going to assume that Trump has Ebola.
  • Trump has already surrendered much of the conservative agenda. Among other things, he called for massive investments in “infrastructure”, mandated paid parental leave, restricted trade and more gun control.
  • In fact, I challenge anyone to go through that debate transcript and find anything either candidate said about basic freedoms. The subjects of mass surveillance, the War on Drugs and mass incarceration weren’t touched on. Foreign wars were barely mentioned and the only in the past tense. Obamacare wasn’t really addressed. Regulation wasn’t really addressed. What this came down to was which candidate is most qualified to tighten the screws on our liberty.

Tight As A Drum

In 2016, Hillary Clinton has:

  • An arguable structural advantage in the electoral college.
  • An incumbent President with an approval rating in the high 50’s.
  • A media almost united behind her.
  • An historically awful Republican candidate: a deeply disliked two-bit conman who knows nothing about policy and has a poor ground game in battleground states.
  • A big funding advantage.

And, as of this morning, the campaign is basically a toss-up, according to 538’s analysis. There was a reason the Democrats rejected her in 2008 in favor of a freshman Senator. There was as reason the Democrats almost rejected her this year in favor of a 74-year-old crackpot Senator from Vermont. And that reason is not her extra X-chromosome. It’s because she’s a poor politician.

Election 2016: V. The Case Against Hillary Clinton

This is the fourth part of a five (or maybe seven) part series I will do this week making the case for and against each of the major candidates, with a wrap-up on the weekend. I did this in 2012 and I will observe the same ground rule I did then: making the case for a candidate means making the case for a candidate, not a case against the opponent. That’s the subject of later posts. So “he’s not Hillary” is not a reason I will list for voting for Trump and “she’s not Trump” is not a reason I will list for voting for Clinton. Each one of them will get their own special post all to themselves about they don’t deserve our votes.

Today I write a post that summarizes a lot of what I’ve been saying for the last eight years: that Hillary Clinton is a poor choice for President.

Hillary Clinton is not like Bill; she has laid out a far left agenda. I’ve done this before, but here is a list of positions Clinton has put forward: “free” college, a $15 minimum wage, mandated paid maternity leave, expanded Obamacare, expanded Medicaid, subsidized daycare, cardcheck, massive “investment”, rejecting TPP, tax hikes, gun control, more education spending, expanded Social Security, $60 billion on alternative energy, more job training, more infrastructure spending. I mentioned earlier this week that Trump falsely claimed that Clinton was running a campaign without policy. That’s the opposite of the real problem — Clinton’s policies are listed on her website in the link above. She has tons of policies, most of them bad.

Keep in mind … we have problems paying for the stuff we’re already committed to. This year will see the deficit increase for the first time in six years. It is projected to increase dramatically over the next ten years, piling on another ten trillion in debt. We don’t have the money for this. Without spending cuts, we will have to max out this nation’s tax bill just to keep our heads above water. Where’s the money going to come from for this?

And jobs? Clinton says she’s going to bring jobs back to America by … killing free trade, enacting card check, “investing” in spending and paying out subsidies to favored business. This is on top of the slew of regulations she wants to pass and a near doubling of the minimum wage.

Now it is true that most of this wish list will never happen. But a significant amount could happen, especially if she has a Democratic Congress. And our economy and our budget are already straining under the weight.

Clinton’s “massive experience” isn’t all its cracked up to be. Let’s review the experience that Clinton brings to the table. As first lady, she authored a health care reform proposal that was byzantine, forged in secret and instantly unpopular. She jumped on the superpredator panic and wrote off all of her husband’s misdeeds as a vast right wing conspiracy. Yes, she organized some good things as First Lady. That’s not being President.

Handed a Senate seat on a golden platter, she went onto a fairly undistinguished career, supporting popular causes but never really taking a stand or crafting any major legislation. Even her own website sees her big accomplishment as getting funds to help first responders, which was important but not something she played the key role in.

As Secretary of State, Clinton tried to “reset” our relationship with Russia, which worked our poorly. She also was a huge proponent of our attack on Libya, which worked out poorly. She made no progress on Iran or Pakistan or Afghanistan or North Korea. And while Benghazi has been a bit overblown, there’s no question that, as Secretary of State, she bears responsibility for the poor state of defense of our assets in Libya.

Sorry, but her health is a concern. It always was. She’s turning 69 soon.

We can expect four more years of bullshit Let’s step back a bit. Suppose when the e-mail scandal had broken, Clinton had said something like this:

Look, I wanted to have easy access to e-mail and I wanted to have it outside the State Department. We made the decision to have our own server after many consultations. In retrospect, this was a poor decision. While we don’t think we were hacked, we left ourselves vulnerable. And while it wasn’t on purpose, we have mishandled some classified information. I take responsibility for this messup and, as President, I will take the initiative in tightening down our protocols on internet security.

That would not necessarily have been true, of course. But it would have defused the scandal instantly. The same is true of the Clinton Foundation. Or her health scare. Or any scandal involving the Clintons over the last 25 years.

The polls have tightened lately. The biggest shift has been among young people abandoning Clinton for Johnson and Stein. And the biggest reason for that is that they see Clinton as untrustworthy. The Clintons lie — frequently, flagrantly, fluently and reflexively. They lie when the truth would suit them way better. At least 70% of the scandals with which they have been “besieged” over the last 25 years could have been defused if they’d just answered a few questions honestly and forthrightly. You think that’s going to get better when she’s President?

Something else. Remember what she said in the first debate: that she was proud of having made so many enemies. Clinton has nursed grudges against Republicans for 25 years. Even if you posit that all of that was Republican evilness — and I don’t think it was — aren’t you a bit worried about Clinton wanting some payback? Aren’t you a bit worried about someone who boasts about the enemies she’s made having the power to attack them? A few weeks ago, Vox ran an alarmist article about how Trump could abuse the power of the Presidency against his enemies. But these methods will be available to Clinton too.

She has shown no ability to learn from her mistakes. As the War in Iraq has grown less popular, Clinton has admitted that voting for it was a mistake. As mass incarceration has grown less popular, Clinton has admitted that her role in the superpredator panic was a mistake. Normally, that would be a good thing in a politician.

But … Clinton has shown no ability to learn from her mistakes. Yeah, she’ll say that Iraq was a mistake. She still supported intervening in Libya and Syria, unleashing massive chaos. Yeah, she’ll say the superpredator panic was a mistake. She’s still jumping on the current moral panic of sex trafficking.

As with Trump, this post could be much longer. But notice, as with Trump, I haven’t commented (much) about her personality or manner or bearing. She can be as unlikable as she wants. What concerns me more is having a President with a long history of deception and evasion, armed with a big government agenda who has shown no ability to adapt in the light of new information.

Election 2016: IV. The Case for Hillary Clinton

This is the fourth part of a five (or maybe seven) part series I will do this week making the case for and against each of the major candidates, with a wrap-up on the weekend. I did this in 2012 and I will observe the same ground rule I did then: making the case for a candidate means making the case for a candidate, not a case against the opponent. That’s the subject of later posts. So “he’s not Hillary” is not a reason I will list for voting for Trump and “she’s not Trump” is not a reason I will list for voting for Clinton. Each one of them will get their own special post all to themselves about they don’t deserve our votes.

Today I write the post I’d hoped I’d never have to write: making the case for Hillary Clinton. Ugh.

Hillary Clinton has been part of our political landscape for 25 years. There are grandparents who can’t remember a time they didn’t know her name. Andrew Sullivan used to call her “Nixon in a pants suit” and that’s very appropriate. Like Nixon, she was denied the Presidency in a close race by a younger, more charismatic candidate. Like Nixon, she’s back for more. Like Nixon, her principle advantage in this election is having a terrible opponent.

So why should someone vote for Clinton? I mean, other than masochism?

She would be checked by a Republican Congress: I made this point four and eight years ago with Obama and it remains true. We have a system of checks and balances that puts much of the power — and almost all of the power to spend money — in the legislative branch. The Republicans are very likely to hold onto the House and might still keep the Senate. Paul Ryan would be a powerful balance against Clinton.

Now I can already hear the cries of “surrender caucus!” But let’s remind ourselves of what the Republican “surrender” looked like: Obamacare deprived of its “public option” and risk corridors; no card check; no cap-and-trade; flat spending; a deficit cut in half; spending $700 billion per year less than Obama was projecting back in 2010; the retention of most of Bush’t tax cuts; no gun control; no “free” college; no amnesty.

Remember that all that was in opposition to Barack Obama, a charismatic politician and good speaker who came into office with a nearly filibuster proof majority in the Senate, a big majority in the House, a 70% approval rating, a massive electoral win and a national economic crisis to capitalize on.

Hillary Clinton is no Barack Obama. Many people within her own party don’t like her. Thanks to Gary Johnson, she’s unlikely to win even 50% of the vote and, thanks to her recent collapse at the polls, she may only eek out a slim electoral margin (in fact, Nate Silver now estimates an 8% chance she wins the electoral college while losing the popular vote).

Obama had a mandate. Clinton won’t. If she’s going to get anything done, anything at all, she’s going to have to drive a bargain. And that bargain will be favorable to the GOP. She simply doesn’t have the political skill to hang shut-downs and confrontations on them.

A weak President means a strong Congress. And I like the idea of a strong Congress behind Paul Ryan. I like it a lot.

She might … might … govern like her husband. Bill Clinton’s presidency managed to be one of the better ones of modern times, certainly better than Bush 43 or Obama.* Granted, a lot of his achievements were due to a Republican Congress. But we avoided stupid wars, balanced the budget, controlled spending, had a booming economy and reformed welfare.

Will Clinton II be like that? I am very doubtful, as you’ll find out tomorrow. The party has veered sharply left since Bill left office and Clinton has veered with it. She was once a Goldwater Girl so she can’t be completely beyond redemption. But that was 50 years ago.

Still, one can hope. Hope is really all we have these days.

The Democrats should reap what they have sewn: One of the hallmarks of Obama’s legislation is time-delay. Obamacare was gradually rolled out, Dodd-Frank was gradually rolled out, most of his regulatory excesses have come recently. There is a price that is going to be paid for Obama’s policies. Obamacare is teetering on the brink of collapse, the economy remains sluggish and we are due for a setback. And a host of regulations and minimum wage hikes are soon to come crashing down on us.

Maybe we should let these happen when a Democrat is in office. If these happen under President Trump … give me a second to recover from those words … the Republicans will reap the blame from the disaster Obama has sewed. If it happens under President Clinton … give me a second to recover from those words … she will take the blame.

And that brings me to:

2020. In general, I don’t like playing the “let’s lose this election so we win the next one” game. I heard that in 1992 and the GOP didn’t take the White House back until 2000 and even then with a “compassionate conservative” in charge. In general, I believe you play for today’s election.

But if the GOP loses this year, they will have to purge the Trumpistas and rebuild toward a potential landslide in 2020. I have little doubt that Clinton will be vulnerable in 2020. Hell, she may not even be in office by then. Maybe we can gamble four years of Clinton against denying Trump and having a sensible candidate in 2020.

That’s it. You’ll notice that, like Trump, I’ve mainly focused on things outside of the candidate — the next election, Congress. You could argue there are some other positives about Clinton: her massive experience, her time in the State Department, her skill in organizing her campaign. But most of those, as I’ll explain tomorrow, I don’t see as a positive.

She’s semi-competent. And she’s sane. I doubt she’ll be as bad as my heart tells me. And if she turns out to be great, I’ll be happy to eat some delicious crow in four years. But I don’t see a huge amount of upside here. However, that’s the case for being Ready for Hillary.

(*For those of you interested, my ranking of the Presidents in my lifetime from best to worst: Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Carter, Ford, Obama, Nixon, Bush II. Ford is a bit difficult to rank and Carter I rank high only because he embraced deregulation and appointed Volcker to the Fed Board, both of which were of enormous benefit to the economy of the last 30 years.)

Clinton Faints

So some excitement this weekend:

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, her doctor said Sunday, hours after the Democratic nominee stumbled and exited a 9/11 commemoration ceremony early.

“Stumbled”. Fainted would be a more apt description.

The incident seems certain to prompt further scrutiny of Clinton’s health and her campaign’s transparency — though Republican rival Donald Trump was uncharacteristically silent throughout a solemn day marking the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

I can only assume this is because Kellyanne Conway seized his phone and locked herself in a vault.

Clinton, 68, was diagnosed on Friday with pneumonia, and “was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” Dr. Lisa Bardack said in a statement.

“While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now re-hydrated and recovering nicely,” said Bardack, chairman of internal medicine at the Mount Kisco Medical Group.

Pneumonia can vary from “walking pneumonia” to a deathly illness. This explanation from the Clinton camp comports with what we saw yesterday as well as her coughing fit from a week earlier. Despite my distaste for Clinton, I hope she recovers well. Pneumonia, even a “minor” case, is scary business

A few thoughts on the wider issue of candidates’ health:

First, the health of the candidates is a perfectly legitimate concern. Clinton is 68, soon to turn 69. Trump is 70. Either would be the oldest President in American history and both are at an age where health can decline very rapidly, especially under the massive pressure of the Presidency.

The conspiracy theories about Clinton have been silly, but the “how dare you!” response of the press to those questions has been even more ridiculous. And it blew up in the media’s face this weekend. There was a hilarious period of time where the Clinton supporters were insisting that the mild temperatures and low humidity in New York were inferno conditions that would make even the most rugged human pass out. This was before the pneumonia was revealed and they decided that Clinton continuing to campaign while sick showed superhuman strength and vigor.

The health of a Presidential candidate is always a legitimate issue. It was an issue when Tsongas was concealing lymphoma back in ’92. It was an issue with Dole. It was an issue with McCain, specially given his tin dingbat of a running mate. It’s an issue this year. Let’s not pretend it isn’t.

(There’s a part of me that thinks that, in both cases, poor health would almost be a reason to vote for them since Pence and Kaine would make much better Presidents than Clinton or Trump. But the larger concern is a President incapacitated or making poor decisions due to health.)

Second, the paranoia and secrecy of the Clinton camp came home to roost. The Clintons tend to be secretive and untruthful, even when honesty and openness would suit them better. Revealing Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis on Friday or Saturday would have made Trump’s followers crow, but it would have quickly abated as everyone else just wished her a full recovery. Having it crop up this way was the worst possible combination of circumstances.

Third, as much as the Trumpaloos are preening, they are in a glass house on this one. Trump has been completely opaque about his medical history, releasing a crazy note from a California quack and claiming to be in perfect health. Clinton, for all her concealment, release a more detailed note addressing the hematoma from her fall of a few years ago and revealing her hypothyroidism.

The gripping hand here is that it would be really hard for either of these candidates to conceal a major health issue. The schedule demanded of a Presidential candidate is absolutely brutal. During the campaign, they never get a day off and they meet with donors, media or voters all day long (and thus are constantly exposed to pathogens). The idea that Hillary Clinton is being carried to the finish line by the Secret Service or that Trump is concealing cancer is ridiculous.

However … I do think healthcare disclosure remains important. Both candidates should have their medical records reviewed by an independent physician (or three of them). But neither will do it of course since Clinton is paranoid and Trump is consumed with his own vanity and won’t reveal anything. So maybe this is something, like the release of tax returns, we’re going to have to mandate.

The Clinton Quiz

For some reason, this morning’s hoo-hah over Gary Johnson reminded me of a Polish joke from the Cold War. I will adopt it to the present circumstance:

Hillary Clinton is on a game show where you have to answer four questions to win a cash prize. She sits down with the host.

Host: So, Mrs. Clinton, are you ready for you first question?

Clinton: I’ve been ready since 1991, when I …

Host: OK, so … for your first question … what is Iraq?

Clinton: Iraq is a country that I voted to invade in 2003.

Host: That is correct! Now, for your second question … what is Libya?

Clinton: Libya is a country I decided to bomb in 2011.

Host: That is correct! Now, for your third question … what is Syria?

Clinton: Syria is a country I supported bombing in 2014.

Host: That is correct! Now, for your last question … and all the money … what is Aleppo?

Clinton squirms for a while, fiddles with her blackberry, stares off into space, bites her lip. She concentrates very hard. Finally, she clears her throat.

Clinton: Well, I’m not completely sure, but I’ll take a shot at it.

Host: THAT IS CORRECT!

The Cover-Up

Holy cow:

On Friday afternoon, the FBI released its 47-page report on the investigation into the private email server Hillary Clinton used while serving as secretary of state. (The FBI also released an 11-page document detailing its interview with Clinton in early July.)

Among the things revealed?

  • Clinton had 13 different mobile devices during her tenure as SoS. Most are not accounted for. Some were smashed.
  • Clinton never sought approval for using a private server and ignored warning from her own office about using unsecured devices.
  • Astoundingly, Clinton’s people began wiping her servers three weeks after the story broke in the NYT. This was a deliberate and calculated attempt to hide her e-mails.
  • Clinton didn’t realize that C markings atop e-mails indicated they were confidential.

Clinton also blamed her concussion for her inability to remember some things. This is after weeks of HOW DARE YOU! responses to questions about her health.

You can read the whole thing. Best take on it I’ve seen is from Ken White, who said the kindest interpretation is incompetence and arrogance. The least kind: obstruction of justice and lying to federal agents, which are criminal acts.

The thing that strikes me over and over again is that this was completely unnecessary. If Clinton had simply told the truth right off the bat, this scandal would have died a quiet death. There’s unlikely to be anything truly damning in those e-mails. But the Clintons lie — fluently, repeatedly and instinctively. And, somehow she got away with it. I can appreciate the dilemma that Comey found himself in: an indictment of Clinton would have been the political storm of the century, directly affecting the election. But … at some point … doesn’t the rule of law have to apply to Presidential candidates?

The Clinton Foundation

This week, AP ran a story alleging that about half of the people outside government who met with Clinton when she was Secretary of State had donated to the Clinton Foundation. This is on top of reports that donors to the Clinton Foundation mysteriously mysteriously earned lucrative contracts from the State Department under Clinton’s tenure. There is no smoking gun at this point; no proof of an explicit quid pro quo. But there is an awful lot of smoke.

The response of the Left Wing has been … astonishing. They have basically been writing pieces all week that are little more than wrappers for the Clinton campaign’s press release. Their claims are basically:

  • The AP deceptively focused on only 154 of Clinton’s thousands of meetings during her tenure. This talking point is garbage. AP deliberately excluded people with whom Clinton would have met anyway as Secretary of State (some of whom, incidentally, were also big Foundation donors). Moreover, the State Department has refused to release large parts of Clinton’s schedule. The AP worked with what they had.
  • There is no explicit proof of a quid-pro-quo.. True enough. But the Left Wing knows perfectly God-damned well that this is not how corruption works. Government corruption does not work like it does in movies with smoke-filled rooms, cackling fat men and suitcases full of cash. What the Foundation donors are alleged to have been buying is access. And a group of people who have spent the last six years screaming and wringing their hands over Citizens United should understand that.
  • The Clinton Foundation is an A-rated charity and puts 88% of its money into good causes. I’m a bit dubious of the charity rater they are citing, who seems a bit too enthusiastic. But even assuming this, that’s kind of beside the point. I’m sure the Clinton Foundation does do a lot of good — $2 billion will do that. That does not mean that donating to it isn’t the best way to get the Clintons’ time and attention. It does not mean that its money can’t be directed toward certain organizations and causes. That the Foundation does good and the Clintons are corrupt are not mutually exclusive possibilities.
  • Republicans don’t face this level of scrutiny.. As the Intercept points out, this is bullshit. Non-profits associated with John McCain, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush have come under fire for similar incidents. Just because you haven’t been paying attention doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Honestly, it’s pathetic. So pathetic that Vox had to run an article where four experts carefully explained to them why these allegations are so troubling.

Clinton Derangement Syndrome is a thing. There are certainly people who are driven to madness by the Clintons and see everything they do in the worst possible light. But Clinton Defense Derangement Syndrome is also a thing. There are people who continually insist that all the allegations about the Clintons are baseless right-wing smears. Hell, there are people who still insist that Whitewater — which resulted in forty felony convictions — was a whole lot of nothing. To these people, the Clintons are wonderful do-gooders who have endured 25 years of baseless persecution.

(Left unanswered by the Clinton defenders is this: if the Clinton scandals are all Republican dementia and invented nonsense, why have we seen nothing like this with Obama? The Republican hatred of Obama is arguably deeper than their hatred of Clinton. And they’ve tried to pin some stuff on him sure. But they’ve never gotten anywhere with it. The IRS scandal fizzled and ended up focusing on Lois Lerner. The gunwalking scandal fizzled. Benghazi ended up focusing on Clinton (and fizzled). Even the VA scandal fizzled. The most they could come up with from his pre-Presidency days was Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers which no one outside of Fox News cared about. They’ve made a lot of noise and tried to get something going, but we’ve not seen them gain the kind of traction they did with Whitewater or Lewinski. And while the media arguably runs interference for Obama, it’s peanuts compared to the interference they run for Clinton. Obama’s been in office for eight years without any felony convictions, impeachment proceedings or perjury. The vast majority of criticism is focused on his policies, not his ethics. Doesn’t this suggest that there may be at least something to the idea that the Clintons are a bit slimy?)

Now I wouldn’t go as far as some pundits have in describing the Clinton Foundation as a criminal organization. The money it dispenses actually goes to good causes, such as providing anti-malarial drugs in Africa and disaster relief in Haiti and Indonesia. It’s also burned money on a lot of dubious liberal initiatives like “sustainability” and patting do-gooders on the back. Overall, I suspect it’s fine … on its terms.

But I also think it’s highly likely that it’s become a nexus of Clinton influence, with donations to the Foundation catching the attention of the Clintons and occasionally largesse from the government. It’s not nothing. And I wish the media would quit pretending that it is.

Because Everything is Awful

In the last election cycle, I ran a five-part series on the Presidential campaign detailing my feelings of the case for and against each candidate. I’m contemplating doing that again, if there’s interest. But it’s really hard to write something positive about these two jokers. Here’s a summary of what our Presidential candidates have been up to for the last few days:

Donald Trump attacked a fire marshall for enforcing fire code, responded angrily to the gold star father who criticized him at the DNC rally (saying, among other things, that’s he’s sacrificed for our country) and said he would support a $10 minimum wage. Oh, and he’s ready to sell out the Ukraine.

Clinton, meanwhile, gave an acceptance speech that went over like a lead balloon and was filled with trillions of dollar in promises. And this morning, she claimed that the e-mail investigation vindicated her:

This is the complete opposite of what Comey said. In his announcement to not indict, he specifically called out multiple Clinton falsehoods (e.g., no classified e-mails were compromised). Wikileaks is also hinting at more leaks from both the DNC and the Clinton campaign itself. Apparently the Democrats think cyber-security is locking the door to your server room.

Sometime in the future, we’re going to find a document signed in blood on which a drunk Clinton and a blazed Trump wrote down their pact to make the 2016 election the worst ever. It’s almost like they’re trying to outdo each other, to see just how awful a candidate they can be and still get elected. Right now, Trump has the lead on pure insanity. But Clinton is highly competitive in the sleazy socialist category.

By the time November rolls around, there won’t be enough alcohol out there to keep the nation sane.

The DNC’s National Grabfest

So far, the DNC has been … interesting. There’s been some drama with die hard Bernie supporters walking out and protests outside (more protests and more violent protests than we saw at the supposedly fascist RNC). DWS was booed out of the city. On the other hand, Bernie endorse Hillary. Michelle Obama’s speech was well-received. And Bill Clinton gave a nice rambling folksy speech last night. Support is slowly solidifying behind Clinton.

It’s almost enough to make you forget that the Democrats have rolled out one of the most radically Leftists agendas in modern political history.

Either through the platform or through speeches, the Democrats have called for trillions in new spending: free college, more healthcare, a public option, a $15 minimum wage, public funding for abortions, expanded Social Security, free pre-K, more money for schools, more money for “infrastructure”, more money for “alternative energy”, trade restrictions. They’ve had several speakers tonight talk about gun control — not the “expanded background checks” stuff they’ve talking about, but real gun-grabbing radicalism. They’ve blasted Citizen’s United (which involved a movie that had the temerity to criticize their candidate) and billionaires buying elections (even though the Koch Brothers are sitting this out while Soros has given $25 million to Clinton). Everything they’ve said so far — every single thing — has been about expanding government power. You have heard almost no advocacy for less government or more freedom.

Really, you could see it all in Michelle Obama’s speech. It was well-delivered. It was passionate. It was the right combination of fire and ice. And it was scary as hell. Because all she talked about was how we need to select a President who will “shape our children” over the next 4-8 years. Shaping our children is not the job of the damned President. That’s what we have a society for. The job of the President is to enforce the laws and keep the Canadian hordes from sweeping down through our cities. The President should be a role model. But asking him to “shape our children” is like asking the electric company to fold your laundry: it’s not their damned job.

Ordinarily, this would be a death-knell for the Democrats. And maybe it still will be — Trump is currently ahead in the polls. But I fear we are about to cement into American politics the idea of government as mother, government as father, government as savior, government as protector, government as provider. After two decades of pushing the country toward freer markets and greater prosperity, we are poised to plunge into a socialist abyss.

(I’m very curious to see where Trump goes on these issues. He has already conceded on Medicare. He has, in the past, expressed support for taxes on wealth and socialized medicine. He’s been kind of all over the map on abortion and gun control. One harbinger to watch for: what he says about the minimum wage in the debates. If he concedes that, he’s giving up the whole agenda.)

The most important, as I keep saying, is that the Republicans hold onto Congress. With Congress, they can stop most of Clinton’s agenda and perhaps set up a 2016 resurgence. But if they lose both houses and the White House, Clinton could do irreparable damage.