04.27.2016 03:03 AM

Here comes November

It’s 4 a.m. At the airport on the way to Miami. But even my sleep-deprived noggin knows this: Clinton or Trump – that’s the choice. The others are irrelevant, now. 


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    Luke says:

    So it seems. Barring an independent running too, or something very dramatic regarding the FBI investigation and the DNC’s reaction to it, as the ever pro-Sanders H.A. Goodman would predict. Or some unseemly revelations surrounding electoral shenanigans in New York and Arizona, where some irregularities appear to have occurred.

    It saddens me, because Trump is a horrible, greed-driven, opportunistic liar and Clinton is pretty unimaginative, boring, untrustworthy, and intent to cede ground to Republicans in congress prior to even seeking a mandate from the people to do better. Her agenda seems to lack all ambition. Her message seems to be about assuming failure to get anything particularly important done without first putting in the effort to do so. It goes beyond pragmatism to a fault.

    Oh well, at least I’m Canadian.

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      Art says:

      You obviously know very little about Hillary Clinton other than what the left or right wing has told you. Because you choose to believe something doesn’t make it real. Personally I disagree with everything you said about her and look forward to her being President.

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        Luke says:

        Well we can disagree all we like, especially on such things as impressions of trustworthiness and extent of imagination. For me, it is really not about what one side or the other of the political spectrum has to say, it is more about the sort of campaign she is running, her tendency towards safe politics when the state of things south of the border beckons bold ideas, and her tendency to flip-flop on issues in step with opportunity rather than conviction or principle (as far as I can tell). That said, I have no problem with politicians changing positions for genuine reasons (not mere opportunism). And I’m not sure one can really know whether a switch is because of a real change of opinion or opportunism; perhaps all we can do is make our own judgements based on what we see, hear, read, and reason. From that point of view, it seems to me that Hillary Clinton tends to change her mind according to whatever advantage she and her team calculate she can get at whatever moment in time.

        I would also look forward to Hillary as president, if it does come down to a choice between her and Trump (or any of the other Republicans), because at least broadly her politics aren’t inherently repulsive to me. But I really couldn’t get much less inspiration out of a candidate. Her whole message is so focussed on “getting things done” that I expect she would achieve nothing particularly important, as she would come to the table with relatively little political capital or leverage, having sought a mild mandate. Bernie Sanders at least seeks a bold mandate, which would give him political capital (if he won), and if congress adopted the obstructionist role, that is their political burden to bear. The behaviour and performance of congress is viewed remarkably unfavourably by Americans, and so it seems very much backward to me for presidential candidates to design their platforms based on what congress might allow. Congress obstructed Obama after he beat the ‘hope and change’ drum very loudly. That is unfortunate, but not the end of the world. Congress can only obstruct the agenda presented to them, and were Obama’s goals more tepid, would he have achieved anything more than he did? Or would the ceded ground merely have given him less political capital from the outset?

        I hope the Democratic nominee (whether Clinton or Sanders) can beat Trump in a general election. But in the American political climate where large swaths of people appear to be fed up with ordinary politics, I don’t know that the best Democratic nominee to run against Trump would be the epitome of establishment politics.

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          Arts says:

          I agree with just about everything you said. The important thing though, is getting elected. Clinton’s are usually pretty good at that. Sanders would get killed in a general. The Supreme Court pick is absolutely crucial. You have to basically do and say what’s necessary to get elected, within some basic norms of course, not as crazy as Trump. Young people sometimes forget this in pursuit of the ideal.

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            Luke says:

            I don’t know. I think it is a bad year in American politics to be perceived as a business-as-usual kind of candidate. It should be interesting anyway.

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      Mike says:

      Many criticized Obama for not doing enough, for not being a bold progressive visionary. They voted for Obama but expected him to govern as if he were Jesse Jackson. Politics is the art of the possible. The reality is that great changes can not be made overnight and particularly not by the president alone. The founding fathers designed the system that way, they did not want one person, (or in their case one man) wielding too much power and making great sweeping changes. So a successful politician takes her victories were she can get them, she makes incremental changes that move her agenda forward. After all, America is fundamentally a fairly conservative place.

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        Charlie K says:

        That’s a pretty good assessment of the American political situation, Mike.

        You’re absolutely right about the functional design of the American system being one of incremental change as opposed to immediate change. Its not for the lack of trying, but there some are disappointed with the lack of tangible progressiveness in Obama’s administration. The issue with that is, a) within the context of American politics, Obama is the most progressive a successful politician can be in the US and, b) with congress impeding any attempt, what latitude was afforded to Obama to implement progressive policies without fully exercising the powers of his office?

        So Americans need to understand that the nature of the executive, legislative and judiciary system presents certain limitations on what can actually be achieved and that expectations that are placed on a President versus members of the bicameral legislature are unrealistic. If Americans want change, then it would require a from-the-ground-up change.

        Most importantly, as you stated, America is fundamentally a fairly conservative place. I don’t think Americans realize just how conservative their views are becoming and just how much attitudes in that country have veered rightwards. The fact that guns, gay marriage and abortion are still such colossally ideological issues that they continue to struggle with down south, is pretty indicative.

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        Luke says:

        Sure, we can view politics as the art of the possible, but that is the practical end, the implementation. Campaigns and elections should be about a competition of ideas, visions, and/or policies the candidates seek to achieve, and it is this public mandate upon which this art of the possible must unfold. To let only what is regarded as possible (by whom, I have no idea) dictate the discourse of ideas is to let the tail wag the dog. Seeking the mandate to achieve ideas is what forces us to determine what is possible, by pushing the limits of politics to that end. If it fails, so be it, but try to decide what is possible within the confines of conventional wisdom and not bring a more bold case the public out of fear of politic difficulty is, to me, the backwards approach.

        The Democrats need to decide (and nearly seem to have done so) whether they want to present the big ideas of Sanders or the more cautious ideas of Clinton, and fight to implement whichever mandate. Perhaps the Democrats are right that Clinton’s case will be more convincing to an electorate facing the prospect of Trump over a Democrat, but my sense is that this is the wrong year to be so cautious. I think there is a good chance of her losing to Trump, because Americans appear to be kind of pissed off with ordinary politics. Anyway, assuming she is the nominee, I hope I am wrong about that.

        Also, Sanders does not claim he can implement all the ideas in isolation, hence the calls (however idealistic) for his political revolution.

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    Peter says:

    Oh boy. Six months of arguing whether Trump more closely resembles Mussolini or Chuckles the Clown and whether Hilary is a historic breakthrough for American women or an establishment toady and unindicted felon.

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    billg says:

    Ms Clinton could possibly be the only Presidential candidate in US history who could win an election without ever speaking a word, all she has to do is point.

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    davie says:

    Sanders says he will stay in so as to influence the Democratic platform.
    I sense Sanders is soon to have a David Orchard moment.

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    Sean Cummings says:

    Clinton or Trump … either of them will the President America deserves because America is in full scale, unstoppable decline. Every society in human history reaches its glorious crescendo and then crumbles beneath the weight of its internal rot. These two are symptoms of the rot.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      Meh, that’s a lot of clichéd unexplored assertion dressed up to sound like insightful analysis. What are your reasons for saying this? And for that matter, if there’s rot to be found it’s planet earth a whole that’s rotten…

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    PJH says:

    Cruz apparently attempting a Hail Mary with the naming of Carly Fiorina as his running mate this afternoon……..

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Poor Cruz. He probably thought Carly was Meg.

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    Charlie K says:

    Remember that kid when you were growing up that would always try and hang out with you but you wanted nothing to do with him because he was downright weird, and despite that the kid would still stick around and try so hard to prove he’s cool.

    Thats Ted Cruz.

    He’s that douchebag kid that would always say and do weird things but would never take a hint. No matter what, that kid thought he was the glue that held your group of friends together.

    Nobody likes this guy, not even his own “friends”; certainly not enough to vote for him. Which is so sad to watch that you go from feeling pity for the guy, to getting sick of seeing his face because he just hasn’t got the message.

    Desperateness is such an unattractive characteristic on a losing candidate.

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      Kevin says:

      Speaking of unattractive characteristics, how about the one that would cause someone to spend their time tossing “hints” someone else’s way, and snickering behind that person’s back about how socially inept that person is, instead of taking that person aside and saying “Listen, about that nose-picking… How about not doing it in public? And it would be easier to be around you if you tried not to spray egg salad on us when you talk”.

      There’s something to be said about accepting that some people will march to a different drummer, and conducting oneself accordingly. I think that would fall under the heading of attractive characteristics.

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        Charlie K says:

        Huge difference between marching to the beat of your own drum and having narcissistic, self-centred perception of those around you. These are the kinds of people that can’t be told what they’re doing is “socially inept” because they refuse to accept and acknowledge the possibility of causing discomfort to those around you. Its a type of social unawareness that is brought upon by self or parental (i.e. mother insistently conditioning their child to truly believe they are better than everyone else) reinforcement.

        This is Ted.

        Ted is a personality type that repels people because of an inability to sense or empathize with emotions of those around you. He’s one of the most disliked characters in the entire Republican party and it has nothing to do with this beliefs; its his incessant propensity towards placing himself in a place where he does not fit in naturally.

        One can march to a different drummer without doing it in the midst of a parade, throwing everyone else off rhythm and ruining the parade, purely for the sake of being noticed. Independence can be destructive and Cruz has proved that time and time again. Yet, here he is, shamelessly looking for the support of the very apparatus whose weakening he’s been a main contributor to for years.

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    Maps Onburt says:

    As much as everyone here seems to hate Trump, he trumped Hillary in every state except one DESPITE the fact he’s running against two opponents and she’s only competing against one. I still think Trump is a blowhard but it’s becoming clear to me that he’s going to clean up against her one on one. He’s going to end up with the Republican nomination and he’s brought along a lot of new republicans. For every one Hilary/the Democrats have lost, he’s picked up two. It is really sad because I’ve never seen two people I’d never vote for being the only choices for President of the most powerful country on earth. I’m not dumb enough to count them out but you gotta think there are going to be some big electoral changes after this fiasco.

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      Arts says:

      She got way more votes than Trump in 5 of the last 6 states and I’m sure she beat him in many more. Not sure where you get your info.

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        Luke says:

        Maps is probably going by vote share, rather than raw votes.


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    Michael Strahan says:

    What about Kelly Ripa?

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