What Happened

Hillary Clinton’s new book  promises to reveal some interesting lessons for future political campaigns.
I particularly like the analysis:
“I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment,” she wrote. “I was giving speeches laying out how to resolve the country’s problems. He was ranting on Twitter.”
We saw Hillary twice at rallies and we saw Bill Clinton once. At no time did we think that her policies were off the wall as opposed to Bernie’s which were off kilter from the moment the Democratic Party gave him air time to promote his platform right up to when he refused to concede defeat and let Hillary focus on the main target – Trump.
I look forward to reading the book which must, in the final analysis, be a memoir of one of the greatest political tragedies of this century

Political Joke(s)

Political jokes have a long pedigree. Hey diddle diddle is said to date back to the 16th century.
In modern times we have the Little Johnny joke which takes place in a classroom and little Johnny sitting at the back is the unexpected voice of logic and wisdom
This joke came my way this week and I immediately recognised the genre.
The joy of such jokes is that names can be changed to suit the circumstances of the  target.

donald-trump-aDonald Trump was visiting a primary school in Orlando and visited a grade four class.
They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked Mr. Trump if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘tragedy.’ So our illustrious Republican candidate asked the class for an example of a ‘tragedy’.
One little boy stood up and offered: “If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy.”
“No,” said Trump, “that would be an accident.”
A little girl raised her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone, that would be a tragedy.”
“I’m afraid not,” explained Trump. “That’s what we would call great loss.”
The room went silent.  No other child volunteered.  Trump searched the room. “Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?”
Finally at the back of the room, Little Johnny raised his hand. The teacher held her breath. In a quiet voice he said: “If the plane carrying you was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy.”
“Fantastic!” exclaimed Trump, “That’s right.  And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”
“Well,” says Johnny, “It has to be a tragedy, because it sure as hell wouldn’t be a great loss… and you can bet your sweet a…. it wouldn’t be an accident either!”

Basket of Deplorables Sounds About Right

Celia Rivenbark is a columnist, born and raised in North Carolina. She is also a best selling author. This is this week’s oeuvre.

donald-trumpLet’s just put aside the obvious nut job rumors like how Hillary Clinton has a body double, how she has murdered at least two people in her decades-long presidential power grab and how she rattles a necklace of bleached chicken bones every full moon to cast a spell on her enemies.
I know that’s the sort of stuff that makes Sean Hannity giddy but, really, most of us have better sense than that.
Let’s concentrate, instead, on the now famous “basket of deplorables” which, the first time I heard it, sounded like the least popular floral arrangement ever.
“Hmmmm. I was going to go for the Sunlit Meadows or the Precious Hearts bouquet but, what’s this? The Basket of Deplorables? That sounds pretty intriguing. What’s in it?”
“Well, there’s asters, carnations, baby’s breath and a bit of misogyny and homophobia.”
“Really? No daisies? And at that price point I’d expect at least a sprinkle of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”
“We can always add some of those in. They have been very popular lately.”
Yes! The Basket of Deplorables available for only $49.99 at your local florist.
The phrase, which I predict will become part of the political lexicon like “gate” did, is captivating.
One wonders where HRC got this notion of a basket of deplorables. Was it a slip up? Did she mean to say something else? Baskets are such gentle things: adorned with flowers and affixed to the front of a little girl’s first bike. Baskets are usually filled with knitting supplies or calendar kittens or, my personal favorite, onion rings. Deplorables? Not so much.
As a longtime lover of linguistics (also alliteration), I have to say the phrase has resonated with me and I’m going to use it as often as possible, often completely out of context. I can’t stop, won’t stop saying it.
Unfortunately, as I embrace the basket of deplorables, HRC is walking back the phrase even as I write this. She now says she wishes she hadn’t said “half” of Trump’s supporters can be found in this basket, for instance.
Oh, woman up, Hills! Own the basket! Because, the truth is, you were right the first time. Half of Trump’s supporters, the ones whom I try very hard to understand and respect, will vote for him while holding their noses because they honestly believe his policies will result in less government intrusion. They are Libertarians at heart but they can’t bring themselves to vote for the guy who acted like he thought Aleppo was one of the Marx Brothers. So they vote for Trump out of frustration with the Washington establishment.
The other half? Yep, they live in the basket of deplorables. They vilify others on the basis of skin color, religion, sex, otherness. No amount of flowers can beautify this basket. It’s ugly and dark inside, the lid clamped shut to prevent daylight and decency from streaming in.
If Trump wins, we’ll be going you know where in this handbasket.
Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Nellie is a Trump Card…

Republican Party ElephantLast Thursday’s column in The Sun by Kelvin Mackenzie moots the idea that Donald Trump should adopt  the song “Nellie the Elephant” as the Republican nominee’s campaign tune Kelvin writes “…after a few glasses of the falling-over lotion, a friend with a great interest in US politics who has a home in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as here (in London), told me of an email he sent to Donald Trump urging him to make the children’s song and Fifties hit Nellie the Elephant his campaign song. I thought for a while that the Bulgarian prosecco had got the better of him. But no. To the surprise of many within earshot … he began to sing the lyrics. And I think he’s right. So here we go. All together now:

Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk And said goodbye to the circus
Off she went with a trumpety trump Trump, Trump, Trump

Two further attractions for the song. The elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party and, strangely, is recommended for its rhythm and tempo for CPR in order restart the heart, as it encourages 105 chest compressions a minute.”
For more please see http://www.thesun.co.uk
and if you are unfamiliar with the song see: http://www.last.fm/music/Mandy+Miller/_/Nellie+The+Elephant

Republican Party Leadership Issues

GOP_SquareThe New York Times today reporting on the difficulties being experienced by the Jeb Bush campaign included the following comment:

“I have no feeling for the electorate anymore. It is not responding the way it used to. Their priorities are so different that if I tried to analyze it I’d be making it up.”

JOHN H. SUNUNU, the chief of staff for the first President George Bush, on his confusion with the rise of Donald J. Trump and the struggles of Jeb Bush.

Some of the readers’ comments suggest that the G.O.P. leadership is out of touch with the voters. But I think it is more complicated than that. Donald Trump articulates the wisdom of the saloon bar. Simple answers to complex questions. One question for 2016 is: will Trump have the organization to get out the vote? There are other questions of course, but they are for another post