Clinton v the 'Unfit Candidate'?
Voters are tasked with electing a candidate who is less unfit than the other, but we may end up with a "kakistocracy," a government under the control of the most unqualified and unprincipled charlatan.
"Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the spot of every wind. With such persons, gullability takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck." —Thomas Jefferson (1822)
Of course, Obama would endorse any braying jackass or jenny willing to help him fulfill his 2008 campaign objective of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America." And Clinton is prepared to do just that.
But the presidential race this year has devolved into a contest to determine who is the most unfit for office. This pathetic situation is perhaps a more scathing indictment of the degraded capacity of average American voters than of the deeply flawed candidates who won their party's primary elections. Undoubtedly that degradation has been accelerated by the endless loop of mind-numbing 24-hour "news" recycling.
So, who is more unfit?
In April, Clinton went after her opponent Bernie Sanders, declaring that he was not qualified to be president.
Sanders responded, "When you voted for trade agreements that cost millions of Americans decent paying jobs ... the American people might want to wonder about your qualifications. When you're spending an enormous amount of time raising money for your super PAC from some of the wealthiest people in this country, and from some of the most outrageous special interests, are you qualified? I don't think you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC."
Of Sanders' rebuttal, Harvard lawyer and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran David French concluded, "To say that Hillary Clinton is unfit to be commander-in-chief is to give her too much credit. It implies that she might be fit for other positions of responsibility. She's not fit to be POTUS, and she's not fit to be a private [in the Army]. It's time for her to slink back to her foundation, make her speeches, and retire to private life. Instead, she's still the odds-on favorite to stride into the Oval Office. Our nation is in the very worst of hands."
That notwithstanding, Clinton beat back Sanders and his young and restless constituents, and she has now centered her campaign on the theme that Donald Trump is "unqualified to be president." Obama is mirroring Clinton's political sound bites, also declaring Trump "unfit to serve as president."
Of course, Clinton has no other option for challenging Trump other than to defame him as "unfit."
Hillary Clinton is the slick sequel to Bill Clinton, and she's been the latter's partner in crime for more than 40 years. Together they've amassed a long and well documented record of malfeasance — deceptions, obfuscations and subterfuges, from Little Rock to the White House. And now Hillary, having gone from senator to secretary of state, is attempting to re-occupy the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
After Bill's glowing DNC endorsement of Hillary, Dick Morris, who was the senior political adviser to Clinton and manager of his 1996 re-election, corrected the record with a stinging indictment entitled "What Bill Left Out." Morris's insights into the Clintons are priceless.
She can't run on Obama's abysmal record. The legacy of his imperial presidency is characterized by his abject disregard for Rule of Law, and his record of disastrous economic and social policies.
On Obama's record, the best she could do at the DNC confab was to promise, "We'll fix it!" That theme was borrowed from the short-lived Bush slogan: "Jeb can fix it."
Beyond Obama's failures, Clinton certainly can't run on her appalling record as his secretary of state.
On her watch, there was the premature withdrawal from Iraq as the centerpiece of his 2012 re-election charade. Part of that charade was her mastery of the Benghazi cover-up to protect Obama's re-election bid and, thus, her own 2016 election bid.
It was the congressional investigation of Benghazi that led to the discovery of Clinton's use of unsecure private email servers in order to keep all her official communications as secretary of state off the grid so none of those emails could be accessed through Freedom of Information Act requests. Of course, as damaging as the discovery of this stratagem has been, recall that Clinton and company permanently destroyed more than 30,000 of those emails before turning over the remainder to the FBI. (Undoubtedly, among the destroyed emails were numerous communications from foreign funders of big Clinton speaking fees and foundation donations.)
The Obama-Clinton retreat from Iraq led to the Middle East meltdown and the predictable rise of the Islamic State to fill that power vacuum, which resulted in widespread death and destruction, a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions and the spread of Islamic terrorism worldwide.
Of course, there was also the "Russian Spring," the re-emergence of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin after Clinton's ridiculous "reset" stunt, and now China is flexing its military power in the Pacific.
Fact is, every U.S. adversary has thrived under the Obama-Clinton regime.
So where else might Clinton contrast her record with that of Trump?
Certainly she can't challenge him on issues of personal integrity, ethics, honesty, wealth, marriage infidelity, corrupt Wall Street connections, etc. Raising any of those issues with Trump will draw fire on her own record, which is as bad as or worse than his.
Clinton's honesty and integrity deficit is growing faster than the national debt. Her lies about her lies are now even being challenged by Leftmedia loyalists such as CNN's Jake Tapper and John King.
Nor are they buying her efforts to lie about that lie: "I may have short-circuited, and for that I will try to clarify, because I think Chris Wallace and I were probably talking past each other."
So what is Clinton to do?
It appears that she's settled on a theme of last resort. Claiming that Trump is unfit for office is a brilliant ploy — basically suggesting, without coming out and saying it, that she deserves your vote because Trump is even less qualified than she is!
Trump has certainly helped her make that case.
Trump has made a practice of derailing the political momentum he's gained targeting the Obama-Clinton economy and foreign policy by committing unforced errors — or, put another way, by saying stupid things. As I noted last week, his endless loop of gaffes sends all of his handlers and backers into damage control mode — and his endorsers into some state of buyer's remorse. He is his own worst enemy, and he makes it ever more difficult for reasonable people to transition from #NeverTrump to #NeverClinton.
Can Trump rebuff the "unqualified" and "unfit" labels?
Yes, he can reset the state of the race by staying on message and focusing on Obama's failed economic policies as he did in Detroit this week. He can focus on the long list of failed Obama-Clinton foreign policies, and the imperative to deny Clinton an "Obama third term." If he continually hammers home these three issues, then he can close the gap ahead of the only poll that really matters: the one on November 8th.
But as I predicted a year ago, his beneficent "free media" coverage ended as soon as he became the apparent nominee. Now, the same media that floated his boat are doing everything they can to sink it — as exemplified with all the faux focus on his Second Amendment remarks this week.
Can Trump stay on message, and if so, is there enough time for a reset? I hope so.
Finally, I want to circle back to an assertion above, that the selection of the presidential contenders this year is an indictment of the degraded common sense capacity of the average American voter.
On 9 April 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and anti-Nazi dissident who had been imprisoned for 18 months, was executed by Adolf Hitler's henchmen at the Flossenbürg concentration camp — just two weeks before U.S. soldiers with the 90th and 97th Infantry Divisions liberated that camp.
Bonhoeffer's letters, written while facing certain death, detailed his observations about the rise of evil. His papers were smuggled out of prison by sympathetic guards, who turned them over to a colleague who would later publish them.
In one of those letters, he discussed the subject of stupidity, and how ignorance and indifference allow evil to flourish.
Bonhoeffer wrote: "Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. ... Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one's prejudgment simply need not be believed — in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical — and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied..."
I find this passage particularly enlightening in the context of the current election cycle, in which voters are tasked with electing a candidate who is less unfit than the other. But in reality, we are likely to end up with a "kakistocracy," a government under the control of the most unqualified and unprincipled charlatan.
In his 1925 autobiography, "Mein Kampf," Hitler defined "The Big Lie" as a deception so "colossal" that the public would be confident that no national leader "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
Hillary Clinton is the personification of that Big Lie, and her statist constituents, groomed by Obama, are the dangerous lot of whom Bonhoeffer wrote.
At another dark moment in our nation's history 240 years ago, John Adams wrote in advance of the American Revolution, "If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?"
It is disgraceful that an ever-larger number of Americans are no longer "capable of understanding ... the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice," and have succumbed to the Big Lie, squandering the Legacy of Liberty bequeathed to them by our Founders and generations since.
While I have every confidence that Liberty is Eternal, we may have entered a Cycle of Democracy which necessitates that times will get much worse before they get better.
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis