Friday, October 14, 2016

Total Meltdown

That's Time Magazine's title.

To me it's the left's meltdown, knowing that they were on the verge of losing the presidency, they went all Dr. Strangelove.

FWIW, "Inside Donald Trump’s Total Meltdown":

As the 2016 campaign moved into its final weeks, Trump had put the whole country on the rack alongside the Christian conservatives, stretching the sinews of American politics to the breaking point. While some voters were tugged toward the wincing sophistry of the conference call, a larger number pulled disgustedly into the ranks of #nevertrump. The candidate himself was consumed by petty grudges. The furor over the leaked recording seemed to liberate him. Free of the “shackles”–his own tweeted word–Trump reduced his campaign to a primal grunt.

It sounded, at times, like the last gasp of the angry white man. Trump threatened to throw his opponent in jail, bragged of avoiding income taxes and peddled an empty conspiracy theory about undocumented immigrants’ being given voter-registration cards. He insisted he was right to stoke the racial tensions of New York City during the Central Park jogger drama in the 1990s, refusing to accept the DNA proof that he had the case wrong. He promoted a fiction that Muslim friends of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists knew their plans but failed to alert authorities, and he injected a crude Russian propaganda effort into one of his rallies without a care about its inaccuracy. Another tape (it wasn’t easy keeping track) caught him agreeing as a radio shock jock labeled his daughter Ivanka “a piece of ass.” Having congratulated himself for keeping the first presidential debate slightly above the muck, in Round 2 he plunged into the wallow, deflecting attention from his own vulgarity by saddling Clinton with the alleged sexual sins of her husband and trying to seat Bill Clinton’s accusers in the front row.

Trump once said on the campaign trail that he would approve of torture as President, “even if it doesn’t work.” With four weeks left to Election Day, he seemed to be testing the proposition on the public. Unshackled, he flirted with unhinged and erased the emollient line between a campaign aimed at the base and one intended to debase.

While his followers reveled, his more reluctant allies squirmed. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Washington’s highest-ranking Republican, came within a whisker of withdrawing his endorsement of the party’s nominee, urged on by his wife, who marched for women’s rights while a student at Wellesley. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, considered quitting the ticket. Then, attempting a straddle, Pence released a stinging rebuke of Trump’s Access excesses before resuming his role as chief cheerleader. “I don’t find myself thinking a whole lot about party right now,” he said on Oct. 11.

But others could no longer stay silent. “Enough!” insisted former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling on Trump to withdraw. “Offensive and despicable,” declared Utah Governor Gary Herbert. “I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump,” said Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama.

The Trump campaign, party insiders admit, could do irreparable damage to a generation of prospects by rendering them enablers. Rivals for the nomination, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, had cozied up to him until they realized it was too late. Elected officials had hesitated to oppose him lest they rouse his army of pitchfork populists. Many of the leaders of the religious right repeatedly blessed a candidate who bats 0 for 3 on the biblical injunction to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. Barring a last-minute surprise, Trump is on track to lose his race. The question now is whether he’ll destroy the party’s congressional majorities as well.

“It’s us against the world,” declared a digital ad from the Trump campaign on the morning after the debate. But it wasn’t clear whether his main foe in the final month would be Clinton or Republican officials. After his incendiary debate performance, he turned on Ryan and company with a gas can and lighter in hand. “Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary,” Trump tweeted of the fleeing Republicans. “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win–I will teach them!” Almost immediately, his fans took up the chorus: Trump loyalists circulated a rumor that Establishment Republicans were behind the leak to the Washington Post of the disastrous tape. When protesters gathered outside the party’s white brick headquarters on Capitol Hill, the organizer turned out to be Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman. One sign waved at the RNC offices read, Better to grab a p-ssy than to be one...
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