Who knew that October 2016 would bring so many surprises? In one Friday evening, we not only received proof of Donald J. Trump’s misogyny and penchant for rape culture, but also verification of every last accusation progressives made against Hillary Clinton throughout the blistering process that was Primary 2016.
In a leaked 2005 video from Access Hollywood, Donald J. Trump was seen and heard saying the most cringeworthy and horrific things one imagined he probably said to an avidly receptive Billy Bush.
Late in the evening, the Trump campaign released a statement in which the candidate basically said he’s no longer that guy. It is highly unlikely that this attempt at an apology will satisfy the vast majority of Republicans outside the sphere of, say, zealots such as Tony Perkins…
“Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, another Trump supporter, told BuzzFeed he isn’t concerned with sharing “values” with the GOP nominee.
“My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values, it is based upon shared concerns about issues such as: justices on the Supreme Court that ignore the constitution, America’s continued vulnerability to Islamic terrorists and the systematic attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen in the last 7 1/2 years,””
Had these been Friday’s only revelations, Hillary Clinton would be sitting pretty in the knowledge that all it would take for her to finally put fifty points between her and Trump is another good showing at Sunday’s debate, and giving time for Trump’s damning video to make the rounds. But that wasn’t to be. As my favorite Anime character in Fullmetal Alchemist says:
“Alchemy is the science of understanding, deconstructing, and reconstructing matter. However, it is not an all-powerful art. It is impossible to create something out of nothing. If one wishes to obtain something, something of equal value must be given. This is the law of equivalent exchange; the basis of all alchemy. In accordance to this law, there is a taboo among alchemists. Human transmutation is strictly forbidden. For what could equal the value of a human soul?”
Thus far, each candidate has matched the other every time a new scandalous revelation has come to light. As they’ve nipped each other’s heels in the polls, Clinton and Trump, both, have demonstrated equal abilities in snatching defeat from victory.
And so today is no different. WikiLeaks unleashed another devastating trove of emails. This time, the source is John Podesta, and the mail encompasses and confirms just about every single accusation of duplicity put forth by progressives during the 2016 Democratic primary, right down to the most damning statements from a Wall Street speech. Here are some highlights from the document:
*Hillary Clinton Said There Was “A Bias Against People Who Have Led Successful And/Or Complicated Lives,” Citing The Need To Divese Of Assets, Positions, And Stocks.* “SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that. He said, you know, when he came to Washington, he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small — MR. BLANKFEIN: That’s how you have a small fortune, is you go to Washington. SECRETARY CLINTON: You go to Washington. Right. But, you know, part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives. You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes very onerous and unnecessary.”
[Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]
“*Clinton: “The Simpson-Bowles Framework And The Big Elements Of It Were Right… You Have To Restrain Spending, You Have To Have Adequate Revenues, And You Have To Have Growth.”* CLINTON: So, you know, the Simpson-Bowles framework and the big elements of it were right. The specifics can be negotiated and argued over. But you got to do all three. You have to restrain spending, you have to have adequate revenues, and you have to have growth. And I think we are smart enough to figure out how to do that.”
[Clinton Speech For Morgan Stanley, 4/18/13]
“*Hillary Clinton Said Her Dream Is A Hemispheric Common Market, With Open Trade And Open Markets. *“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
[05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]
*Hillary Clinton Said We Have To Have A Concerted Plan To Increase Trade; We Have To Resist Protectionism And Other Kinds Of Barriers To Trade.
*“Secondly, I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances, you know, that Inter-American Development Bank figure is pretty surprising. There is so much more we can do, there is a lot of low hanging fruit but businesses on both sides have to make it a priority and it’s not for governments to do but governments can either make it easy or make it hard and we have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade and I would like to see this get much more attention and be not just a policy for a year under president X or president Y but a consistent one.””
[05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 32]
*CLINTON SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY*
*Clinton: “But If Everybody’s Watching, You Know, All Of The Back Room Discussions And The Deals, You Know, Then People Get A Little Nervous, To Say The Least. So, You Need Both A Public And A Private Position.”* CLINTON: You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, “balance” — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today. That, I think, has probably been true for all of our history, and if you saw the Spielberg movie, Lincoln, and how he was maneuvering and working to get the 13th Amendment passed, and he called one of my favorite predecessors, Secretary Seward, who had been the governor and senator from New York, ran against Lincoln for president, and he told Seward, I need your help to get this done. And Seward called some of his lobbyist friends who knew how to make a deal, and they just kept going at it. I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position. And finally, I think — I believe in evidence-based decision making. I want to know what the facts are. I mean, it’s like when you guys go into some kind of a deal, you know, are you going to do that development or not, are you going to do that renovation or not, you know, you look at the numbers. You try to figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work.”
[Clinton Speech For National Multi-Housing Council, 4/24/13]
As I’ve been reporting in these pages, Clinton’s problem, from the very beginning, was a profound lack of trust among voters. In fact, there was negligible difference between her and Donald Trump in polling over a year. These revelations will do nothing to improve her image, even as Donald J. Trump emerges as a self-confessing rapist, on the heels of a year-long string of gaffes and revelations about his taxes and larcenous business practices.
If seeing and hearing Trump talking about grabbing lady parts finally does him in, as I believe it will, then what? Well, The Hill reports that Republicans have begun to call for Trump to step aside. It is highly unlikely that they would demand the same of his running mate, Governor Mike Pence. Pence is coming off of a successful debate against Clinton’s running mate. The success wasn’t so much in the positions he articulated, but in the calm, respectful demeanor he maintained throughout. Whereas Kaine took on the role of rabid attacker, Pence remained collected all throughout. This wouldn’t matter in a normal election cycle in which running mates don’t matter much.
Prior to the vice presidential debate, polls were already showing that Hillary Clinton could well lose the election in a matchup against Mike Pence. Politico reports:
“Nearly two-thirds of GOP insiders, 66 percent, said Pence would beat Clinton in their states. But only a 44-percent minority of GOP insiders say Trump would defeat Clinton in their state if the election were held today — fewer than the slightly more than half that picked Trump in recent weeks as he closed the gap with Clinton in the polls.”
In “Young people would really like to vote for someone not named Clinton or Trump,” the Washington Post’s Philip Bump writes:
“Among the people that many voters haven’t really heard about are the vice presidential candidates. In the most recent CNN-ORC poll, about a third of respondents said they’d never heard or had no opinion of Tim Kaine or Mike Pence. So, unsurprisingly, when we slot them in against the top of the other ticket, each does better. Clinton beats Trump by 10 points 1-on-1, but Kaine beats him by 16. Pence loses to Clinton, too, but only by a point.”
Bump’s piece was published on October 5th.
In this horrible, no good, terrible election, the best possible outcome would be for both front-runners to withdraw. On the Republican side, for some time now, top officials have been saying that they would prefer Pence as their candidate. On the Democratic side, before these new revelations, Hillary Clinton had yet to win over the bulk of Senator Sanders’ supporters. Post-Wall Street speeches leaks, she not only risks completely losing Sanders supporters, but a portion of older voters, specifically those who rely on Social Security. Add Black millennials (whose doubts of the Clinton campaign’s promises were also recently confirmed) to both those groups and the picture becomes much clearer. As pointed out throughout Philip Bump’s article and backed up by solid polling data, Governor Mike Pence is largely unknown among the population of voters that will make the most difference: those under age 35. It has taken over a year to fully vet Donald J. Trump. Mike Pence has not been vetted and there is very little time in which the public can truly acquaint themselves with him.
In spite of the media’s best efforts to drive home the Russian scare scenario, the public has largely ignored the foreign interference issue in favor of focusing on the actual content of leaks. If the content, up until today, wasn’t too damning, it now is no longer the case. The Democratic party should be preparing for the worst. Senator Sanders has kept his word to this day and supported a candidate whose duplicity has been exposed to an already hostile and dubious public. The concern should now be two-fold: a continued bleeding of voters to the Green Party, and voter disillusionment.
I fully expect a groundswell in the #BringBernieBack movement on social media. Though many were disappointed with Bernie Sanders’ devotion in keeping his promise to Hillary Clinton, his voters would still vote for him in a heartbeat, even if they participated in the #DemExit to the Greens. Should Clinton choose to remain, voting for the Greens or not voting at all will have the same disastrous effect, especially if Mike Pence becomes the GOP’s presidential candidate.
The real surprise, this month of October, may well end up being a complete facelift for the worst election cycle America has witnessed. Thirty days from voting day, there is still plenty of time and space for more revelations that will roil us again and again, until we finally cast our votes or stay home in utter disgust.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 7, 2016
2. …I'm not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump.
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016
3. Don't have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked…
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) October 7, 2016