I Voted!

I voted by mail this week. So I’m done writing here about this election. Well, maybe one more comment afterward, but then that’s it!

Happy to report that salacious stories and revelations of political shenanigans, that I couldn’t stop myself from reading day in and day out, had no effect one way or the other. Turns out, there are some actual issues to be considered. I don’t want us to keep fooling around in the Middle East, I don’t want to be enemies with Russia, I don’t want trade deals that decimate our ability to make things here, I don’t want to keep hearing that everything is about race, I don’t want the protections we all get from our Constitution to be disregarded by SCOTUS, I don’t want to ignore our immigration laws, and if we could stifle the  “climate change” thing for a while that would  be great.

I don’t think grandma is with me on those things, so my choice was easy as I colored in the little oval next to “The Donald, Yeah Baby!” I think he’ll do fine as President, even surprise some people on that, and as a bonus, it also works for me that I voted to spare us the national embarrassment of having Bill back in the White House.

But whether The Donald wins or loses we are all in his debt for the way he has given us at least a hint of how worthless, in general, are the elites who govern us and the hacks who write about them. He does this by saying things that sound nut-job conspiratorial at first, but then, it turns out, are true. I almost expect Obama to say some day, “You know, I actually was born in Kenya.”

So I did my civic duty. Feel free, Fourth Estate, to keep writing those salacious stories and revelations of political shenanigans. Whatever. I’ll be checking my fantasy football team. Do I start Allen Robinson this week? He is supposedly my best WR, and yet I don’t trust him.


Just Being Political

In response  to “What the WikiLeaks Emails Say About Clinton,” by Russell Berman in The Atlantic, 10.12.16

Right, the emails only support suspicions we already have of her, so in that sense, what’s the big deal, you could say. Still, the emails do hammer home Bernie’s old point about grandma being owned by Wall Street, and they shed light on behind-the-scenes scheming to undermine him. That might make it harder for his supporters to vote for her. I mean, can you really vote for the exact same person who just hosed you? How does that work, self respect-wise?

But to a larger point, you suggest, Russell, that the emails just reflect politics as usual. And you’re probably right, but why should we be ok with that? Why should we give a pass to a political campaign that has been given special treatment by the press, and advanced itself through evasion, deception, and fake posturing? I don’t accept that politics has to work that way, and I give credit to The Donald for the chance to try something else. Yeah, I know he’s quirky, but who else was going to challenge the established order? Jeb? Marco?

If you doubt that The Donald is any different from your garden-variety politician, Exhibit A is the fact that he is obviously not a politician, and Exhibit B is the fact that there are many career politicians in his own party who are against him even though, in terms of policy, they should obviously be with him. This is remarkable, but it makes sense if you understand that he is doing things his way, not theirs, and that makes them nervous. All they know how to do is put their fingers to the wind, and go that way. They don’t have any vision, or leadership skills to speak of. Neither does Hillary.

NPR Kool-Aid

I was listening to NPR on my commute today, and a featured bit was an interview with a Republican “strategist” from Florida. Of course, this being NPR, he was anti-Trump, and the interviewer seemed to take great glee in listening to him fret about the future of the party—even as he insulted Trump supporters, aka, the future of the party.

Oozing political elitism, he suggested that people like me were “literally face down in the Kool-Aid”– not a bad line, actually (although he doesn’t apparently know what “literally” means). Asked how he was going to cope with the vast number of supporters The Donald has, he suggested that maybe we can be “re-educated” after the election. Wow. That’s not weird at all. He figures that once we see the errors of supporting The Donald, we will get on board with a more conventional candidate next time and the party will move to the to the “Center Right.” Good grief. His ideal Republican might as well be a Democrat, and seemingly unaware that he was proving my point, he said he will vote for Hillary (who is reported to have said, at one point, that she moves from the Center Left to the Center Right.)

Where to begin? First, establishment blowhards like this strategist are a big reason many of us support The Donald. Mr. Strategist claims to be a Republican, but he’s like the most useless of Republicans, who have no ideas independent of the Democrats. With nothing to offer, really, they want our votes, then ignore us as they sit in their comfy chairs in Washington and make deals. Which they spin as “governing.”

Secondly, this asshole doesn’t understand he is part of The Problem, which is elitism, which has led to cronyism and corruption among our political class. It’s great if we can find people who are inspiring, who can provide leadership while still understanding that is we who put them in position to lead. But those people are rare, and nobody like that is running for President right now. Still, The Donald has shown leadership, humor, intelligence, and nerve. And that’s not bad. Inarticulate as he is at times, this former entertainer/playboy and current rich guy has somehow managed to poke a stick into the hive, and now the bees are furious. Nobody else was willing to that. Bernie almost, then he shamefully sold out, revealing himself in the end to be Just Another Politician. But The Donald marches on.

Thirdly, there are policy differences between The Donald and Hillary, and the differences are not trivial. Different ideas re trade, world relations, immigration, crime, economic policy, and probably other areas I can’t think of right now. So if someone wants to tell me that he or she is voting for grandma based on policy (and that has happened), I say “fair enough.” But this is such a strange election season that I am not so sure people are focusing on policy. For me, if I agreed with Hillary’s set of policies, I’d vote for her even though I think she is one of the most snavely people ever to run for President. You know what I mean, don’t act like you don’t understand “snavely.”

But re Mr. Strategist, I bet if I put policy statements side by side and asked him to pick the stack he most agreed with, he’d pick The Donald’s positions. And yet, he will vote for Hillary because he hates The Donald—called him a “snake,” I think. So what we have here is a pompous elitist who thinks he can “re-educate” me, yet he cannot make a rational decision himself on who to support, instead resorting to emotionalism. It as though, oh, I don’t know, as though he is face down in the Kool-Aid.

Thanks Mike

I was beginning to question the wisdom of The Donald’s choice for VP, but now it seems like a genius move. Mike’s performance last night was a clinic in Not Taking The Bait, executed to perfection. By now, who is not familiar with the media-driven anti-Trump canards, parroted during the debate by the screechy and annoying Tim Kaine? Most of the refutations are well known, and I was hoping Mike would respond and put that stuff to rest. But I was wrong to hope that. The Left will keep repeating it’s dark litany of smears until the cows come home, regardless. But Mike was not about to allow Hillary’s running mate steer the course of the discussion. He stayed on message: The Donald will be a good President; Hillary would not be.

The Other Shoe Dropping: Single Payer

The hairball called Obamacare never made sense, and to no one’s surprise, it is unraveling. Some people talk about fixing it, but the idea that it can be “fixed” only works in the sense that you fix your car by buying one that runs. Obama’s heath monstrosity needs to be towed to the junkyard and crushed. Yes, I just said Obamacare is both a hairball and a junk car.

But here’s where I get into trouble with my conservative friends. Schemes to replace Obamacare with some kind of alternative involving private insurance companies, health savings accounts, portability of employer-provided plans, tax credits, purchase across state lines, insurance pools, and whatever else politicians are babbling about along those lines—they are ideas that may have worked preObamacare, but not now. I hate to say this because I was against Obamacare before it was (over the objections of feckless Republicans) passed, but Obamacare cannot be undone with a return to the marketplace. The toothpaste will not go back into the tube, as they say.

And the vexation gets worse, because not only were the objections to Obamacare (insurance premiums will rise, quality of care will decline, it will worsen our national debt, the Constitutionality of the individual mandate is dubious) apparently valid (SCOTUS notwithstanding on that last one), it may also have been, by design, a stepping stone to single payer. It is possible that even Obama knew it would not work, but was looking ahead to single payer. Possible. But I can’t help any of that. The time to stop single payer has long since passed. Now, in defeat, we must admit that it is just the other shoe dropping, and move on.