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The Big City Press (N. Y. Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Atlantic Monthly, etc.) has been falling all over itself portraying the first weeks of the Trump Administration as Chaos or Dysfunction.  They can find nothing being done by the Trump Administration that measures up to the wonderful job done by Mr. Obama and his Administration in its early weeks in office.

An example:

In today’s Washington Post, E.J. Dionne, Jr. has an Op-Ed that states that Trump is unfit to lead.  His opening shot is that the Michael Flynn resignation was not just a terrible choice but showed a total lack of vetting.  How could Mr. Trump appoint someone who had lied to his Vice President about National Security matters?  He implied that Mr. Trump was, at best, a very poor decision maker and a bad judge of character.  Dionne goes on to say that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should immediately recuse himself from all investigations to do with Russia, just because he was chosen by Mr. Trump who Dionne says is in bed with Russia.

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It would be interesting to read Mr. Dionne’s op-ed about Mr. Obama’s choice for National Intelligence Council Chair in 2009, Charles Freeman.  You will remember Mr. Freeman who had worked for (was on it’s Board) the Chinese Government-owned Chinese National Offshore Oil Company and who had lobbied extensively for Saudi-Arabia.  Oh, wait.  Dionne never wrote such an op-ed.  It was apparently fine for an Obama appointee to be in bed with the Chinese Communists and the Saudis.

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It would be similarly interesting to see Mr. Dionne’s op-ed asking Loretta Lynch, Mr. Obama’s Attorney General, to recuse herself from the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s pay-to-play scheme and email scandal while Clinton was Secretary of State.  You will remember that Lynch and Bill Clinton had a timely discussion just prior to Lynch making a decision that was very beneficial to Mrs. Clinton.  Again, Mr. Dionne saw no evil there, either.

What about Tom Daschle?  He was the Obama appointee for Health and Human Services who somehow neglected to pay more than $140,000 of taxes.

Or, Timothy Geithner who was actually confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury and served in the position for 4 years?  Geithner somehow forgot to pay his Social Security Taxes for years (inspite of being advised to do so and being given extra compensation for that purpose).  Geithner was also in the thick of the banking crisis that set up the 2008 recession and profited greatly from the rules he backed.  Dionne did comment about that: “All of the administration’s critics are being emboldened by its hesitancy in dealing with the banking question and its apparent fear of temporary bank nationalization. On this issue, the president genuinely is trying to steer a moderate course.”  Moderate?  To appoint a tax cheat and one of the bankers at the heart of the crisis?  Imagine, if you can, Dionne saying about Mr. Trump, “…the president genuinely is trying to steer a moderate course.”

Or, Bill Richardson who was appointed to run Commerce.  He was not nicknamed “Dollar” Bill for nothing.  He had a history of accepting outsized political donations from people who sought favors (mostly State contracts) in return.  He finally withdrew, or was asked to withdraw, after over a month as the appointee.

Dionne did not, to my knowledge, decry any of these gaffs.  He did not claim Mr. Obama was “unfit”.  In fact, Dionne wrote in his recent book, We are the Change We seek: “Despite his fervent campaign promise to ease the country’s political divisions, he discovered that he faced a Republican opposition intent on taking back power by stymieing his program, challenging his mandate to govern, (emphasis mine) and leaving his dreams of harmony stillborn.”

Why such a different view?  Perspective.  Mr. Dionne and much of the Big City Press backed Mrs. Clinton.  They were out of touch with the heart of the country and they are sore losers.  They will continue to cherry pick the news and harp on the evils of Donald Trump, much as they cherry picked the news and wrote glowing reports of Mr. Obama and his actions.

The facts show that every administration has some missteps and some successes as they get started.  Mr. Dionne’s conclusion that Mr. Trump is “Unfit to Serve” is provably biased and, at best, premature.  Mr. Dionne and the Left learned nothing from the Right’s “Birther Movement” and show their inability to be unbiased observers and reporters with every stroke of their pens.  They should take a deep breath and, for once, try to be reporters of the truth, not just hacks using their pulpit to push their political views.

 

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Assume the worst about both candidates:

Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar, a threat to our National Security, a pay-to-play politician willing to sell access to anyone in government for the right price, is willing to destroy any woman who threatens her husband or her political future, etc., etc., etc.

Donald Trump is unqualified to be President, is crude and dismissive of women, has fondled half the women he has met, has been bankrupt himself and will do the same to our country, etc., etc., etc.

This presidential campaign has become the biggest schoolyard shouting match in history, and, like kids yelling insults, much of what is said is false and/or misleading.  So what can you believe and who should you choose?

Most people are holding their nose and making a choice.

Here is what I believe to be true and how I plan to vote:

  1.  Hillary is an egoist.  She will do whatever she believes serves her self interest.  Any failure will be hidden from public view or rationalized as having been caused by others or by conspiracies against her.  The egoist puts herself and her desires above all else. She believes she can get away with any action legal or illegal.  She believes she is above the law and above those she would rule.  She is more likely to destroy others than to build herself.
  2. Trump is an egotist.  He will do whatever he believes will enhance a positive view of him.  Any failure will drive him to do something to make him look so good that people forget the failure and see only his success.  The egotist puts his image above other concerns.  He is more likely to pose with a beauty queen than to destroy one to prove his power.
  3. Egoist vs. Egotist.  It is an important distinction.
  4. Donald Trump got the nomination of the Republican Party because he is not part of the political establishment.  Period.  For the most part, those who backed hims did not care if Trump was a brilliant businessman or not, whether he had a concrete plan to improve fix any of the ills of our federal government or not, whether he employed more female executives than anyone in his industry or not, whether he saw women as objects to be manipulated or not.  All that mattered to a large numbers of citizens was that for the past 40 years (covers the political lifetime of most voters) an elite cabal of political functionaries has taken effective control over the lives of most Americans.  A large and growing number of people are sick and tired of being used by their political “betters” and want to see change.  At this point, the desire for change is great enough that many feel that any change away from the self-serving, ego-driven, aloof politicians, regardless of party affiliation, will be for the better.  Trump may be ego-driven.  He may feel he is better than the rest of us (just like most politicians do, especially the Clintons).  He is not, however, seen to be part of the current “ruling elite”, not part of the establishment.
  5. There are a lot of people who resent Hillary Clinton for getting away with crimes that would put the rest of us in jail.  They don’t like being told what to do by people who have never really “done” anything except tell others what to do.
  6. Like a majority of those who voted for Brexit, I think the American public is getting fed up with being governed by condescending, self-interested politicians.  As a result, they could well vote for any “non-establishment” option.
  7.  The national media are part of the establishment.  They are working hard to preserve the status quo.  They live in a world that is oblivious to the feelings and concerns of “average Americans.”  As a result, like in the U.K. during the run-up to the Brexit Vote, their sheltered viewpoint blinds the media to the real feelings of the majority of Americans.  They are out of touch.  People don’t know who to believe, but they are certain that national media have an agenda and are not to be believed.

It has been said often that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.  I think many are willing to risk most anything to see if we can’t break the cycle.  People want less government control and they want more efficiency out of their government.  They don’t want to be led by people who break the law.  They will vote against the “Establishment”.  They will vote against “more of the same.”  I will.

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Hillary Clinton currently leads Donald Trump by anywhere from 5 to 15% depending upon which polls you read. The press is falling all over itself demanding that everyone agree with them that Donald Trump will be defeated in an historic Clinton Landslide.

It is interesting to note that in 1988, George H. W. Bush trailed Michael Dukakis by 17% in July and still by 7 to 10% in late August.  Dukakis ended up winning a total of one state – his home state of Massachusetts.

Similarly, in 2000, Al Gore led George Bush by up to 10 points in mid-September.  In September, John McCain led Barack Obama by as much as 5 points.  As late as October, Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan by 4-6%.

Obviously, my point is: “Most successful pundits are selected for being opinionated, because it’s interesting, and the penalties for incorrect predictions are negligible. You can make predictions, and a year later people won’t remember them.”   -Daniel Kahneman (emphasis is mine)

Romney landslideBrexit Prediction

As was shown again in the November 2 election, there are a lot of people who are very disappointed with Barack Obama.  And, the disappointment is great for those who put him on a pedestal and defended his every move.

Some are upset because he did not deliver on his promise of Universal Health Care.  They actually believed his Campaign Promise that he could provide quality health care to almost everyone without increasing the cost.

Many are upset because there are still prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (though the mainstream press rarely even mentions this broken promise).

Lots of folks are very disappointed that the man who promised a “post racial” society is using race to divide and conquer more than any President in recent memory. (“And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder – and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on Nov. 2,” he said.)

Of course, there are the millions of Seniors who voted for Mr. Obama because he promised to end income tax for seniors with incomes less than $50,000 per year.  The fact that he has never even put forth a proposal to do anything like that has many upset.  You won’t read about it in the New York Times, though.

The list of broken promises is long and many people are very disappointed in the man they chose to change things in Washington.  But it can be pretty tough, especially for a Democrat who really thought that Mr. Obama was the Second Coming, for someone to now admit to the folly of his or her vote for him.

The easiest way to save face is to be honest with yourself and others.  You were sold a bill of goods.  It is that simple. The best way to save face is to honestly acknowledge that you fell for a great marketing program and voted for an inexperienced politician who made promises intended for only one purpose, to secure the election.  The people who do that will save face with others who are honest.  Of course, not everyone has the strength to be honest with themselves.

Many continue to deceive themselves by saying that Mr. Obama would have done all these things had not the nasty Republican minority fought him all the way.  Those folks will still hold you in contempt if you honestly admit your mistake.  For they cannot allow truth to spoil their dream.

So how does a Democrat who drank the Kool-Aid save face?  I think there is a way.  It’s a bit disingenuous, like Mr. Obama himself, but I think it will work.  First you berate those nasty Racist Republicans and Tea Party types.  You say that they will never let Mr. Obama get anything done.  Then you say that, as much as you support the Brilliant, Fair, and post-racial Barack Obama, you must be practical.  If anything is to get done, it will have to be done without him at the helm.  You then say that Hillary Clinton has proven to be the hard working, wise, and loyal public servant that we need.  You rally your friends around Hillary in 2012.  Again you mutter what a shame it is that the rest of the country is not yet ready for Mr. Obama, because, with support, he could have accomplished so much.  But you are a pragmatist and it is time to move on and get things done n Washington.  So for all you disappointed Obama fans out there:  Vote Hilary in 2012.

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