Friday, October 28, 2016
GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
When Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for President about a year ago, like a lot of Americans, I was both amused and appalled. And as he dominated the primaries, picking off one opponent after another, I couldn't help but feel happy, sure that he would fall apart once he had to start appealing to the whole country and not just Republican voters.
Well, it appears that that scenario, for the most part, has played out; every reliable poll shows Clinton with a lead nationally and in most swing states. She may even have a chance at winning traditionally red states like Texas and Utah. And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person; Trump is such a terrible candidate that newspapers like the Cincinnati Herald and the Arizona Republic, which haven't endorsed a Democrat for President in over fifty years, have endorsed Hillary Clinton. Even USA Today, which normally doesn't make endorsements, has said that he doesn't deserve to be President.
And the Republican Party itself saw this coming; after Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama in 2012, party officials and analysts took a long hard look in the mirror and realized that they would never win the Presidency again if they didn't find a way to appeal more to Hispanic and Women voters. And then the Republican primary voters turned around and voted for a man who was the direct opposite of what the party knew that they needed. The party may be facing a split that may never completely heal; there's no way of knowing for sure, but it's entirely possible that a normal Republican candidate, like say Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, might be beating Clinton in the polls right now if the party had gone with them. But, to the anger of the party elites, the primary voters picked Trump as their standard bearer, which will in all likely hood end with his humiliating defeat.
While there is some worry that Trump won't accept the election outcome, seeing as he already is calling it "rigged", Clinton's margin of victory appears that it will be large enough that even his most rabid supporters will have to accept his loss, even if he rants and raves about it.
Now, that's the good news. Here's the bad part: while there is a fair chance of the Democratic party taking control of the Senate, it appears that the Republicans will hang on to the House of Representatives. Which means that we can look forward to at least four more years of Congressional gridlock, not to mention tax payer dollars wasted on pointless investigations of every possible aspect of Clinton's political machine. Senator John McCain, normally seen as a voice of reason in the Republican party, has floated the idea of rejecting all of Clinton's Supreme Court nominees for the next four years, regardless of their qualifications, (although he has seemed to walk that statement back a bit). So, sadly, progressives like myself will probably spend the next few years gritting our teeth at nothing getting done while ruefully admitting that Clinton doing practically nothing is still better than Trump doing anything.