A Night Of Comity Turns Bitter

What was supposed to be a night away from the campaign trail quickly turned partisan.

Clinton Dolan Trump

In most Presidential Election years, the Al Smith Dinner is one of the easiest events of the year for both candidates. Named after the late New York Governor who became the first Catholic nominee of a major political party only to lose in a landslide to Herbert Hoover in 1928, the dinner is a major annual fundraiser for Catholic Church charities in the New York area and, in Presidential election years, has played host to the major party candidates in what is supposed to be a night off the campaign trail the highlight of which are usually remarks filled with largely self-deprecating humor from the two candidates. Since the parties are considered to be guests of the Archbishop of New York, the one rule that candidates in the past have followed is to leave the partisanship aside for one night. Perhaps inevitably, the nature of this year’s campaign made that either impossible or unlikely. In any case, rather than a night in which the respective candidates light-heartily poked fun at one another, but mostly themselves, the affair turned into a metaphor for this entire campaign:

Donald J. Trump began this quadrennial exercise in campaign humility and self-deprecation on Thursday by comparing himself to the son of God — just another “carpenter working for his father” in his youth.

By the end, facing cascading and uncomfortable jeers from a crowd full of white ties and gowns, he had called Hillary ClintonCatholic-hating, “so corrupt” and potentially jail-bound in a prospective Trump administration.

“I don’t know who they’re angry at, Hillary, you or I,” Mr. Trump said sheepishly from the dais, turning to his opponent amid the heckling.

It seemed clear to everyone else. Mr. Trump was being booed at a charity dinner.

So it went at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in Manhattan, a presidential campaign ritual of levity and feigned warmth — upended, like so much else in this election season, by the gale-force bid of Mr. Trump.

Breaking with decades of tradition at the gathering once he took the microphone, Mr. Trump set off on a blistering, grievance-filled performance that translated poorly to the staid setting, stunning many of the well-heeled guests who had filed into the Waldorf Astoria hotel for an uncommon spectacle: an attempted détente in a campaign so caustic that the candidates, less than 24 hours earlier, declined to shake hands on a debate stage.

Relations did not much improve.

Mr. Trump’s set began typically enough. He joked about the size of his hands and Mrs. Clinton’s comparatively small crowds. He even very nearly poked fun at himself — insofar as a zinger about his wife, and her partly plagiarized Republican convention speech, qualifies — when discussing the “biased” news media.

“You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech, and everyone loves it,” Mr. Trump said. “My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech and people get on her case.”

Some sharper jokes about Mrs. Clinton seemed to edge just to the line.

“Just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me. And she very civilly said, ‘Pardon me,'” Mr. Trump said, as murmurs filled the room. “I very politely replied, ‘Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.'”

Mrs. Clinton, seeming to get the joke before some others, chuckled hard before the punch line.

But quickly, his remarks took a more menacing turn.

Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton was merely “pretending not to hate Catholics,” an allusion to hacked correspondences from Clinton aides that appeared to include messages criticizing Roman Catholic conservatism.

He wondered aloud how someone like Mrs. Clinton — “so corrupt,” he said — could sell herself to the American people. “What’s her pitch?” he asked. “The economy is busted, the government’s corrupt, Washington is failing. Vote for me.”

The evening went somewhat better for Hilary Clinton, but not by much:

“I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here,” she said, adding, “Usually, I charge a lot for speeches like this.”

But she soon turned to more cutting satire, joking that Mr. Trump was “translating from the original Russian” on his teleprompters and wondering just how President Obama might be able to visit the White House for a reunion of former presidents under a Trump administration.

“How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?” she asked.

Noting that she was speaking second, she riffed: “It’s amazing I’m up here after Donald. I didn’t think he’d be O.K. with a peaceful transition of power.”

She also spoke of the Statue of Liberty, recounting how for most Americans, the green lady of freedom represents a shining beacon of hope and a welcome symbol for immigrants arriving on the nation’s shores. But Mr. Trump, she added with a glint of steel, “looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4” — a not-so-veiled reference to his comments rating the physical appearance of women.

“Maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair,” she continued, before making an explicit, if subtle, pitch for becoming the nation’s first female president.

“You know, come to think, know what would be a good number for a woman? 45,” she concluded triumphantly.

The night was a marked contrast to four years ago when Mitt Romney and Barack Obama shared the dais at the same time and came away with good reviews for displays of humor and good will during a tough campaign. Instead of that, this year we got Trump, who spent most of his time attacking others rather than making fun of himself, and Clinton, who had better material but honestly just isn’t very good at delivering it. At the very least it makes one dread the prospect of future White House Correspondents Dinners regardless of which one of these two ends up winning in November. Of the two, though, it was clearly Trump’s remarks that were the least well-received in the room. To the extent any of what he said was self-deprecating, it was mainly one joke and that one was aimed mostly at his wife and the media rather than himself. The rest was almost identical to some of his campaign speeches even though Trump and his people must surely have been aware of the tradition involved in the event. By the time he sat down, it was clear even from just listening to the reaction that Trump had lost the crowd.

In the end, of course, what was said at a dinner attended mostly by the upper-crust of New York City elites is hardly going to matter to the result of this election. Most Americans either will not have seen coverage of the event, or simply won’t care about it enough for it to make a difference in their vote. On some level, though, the entire affair seemed to be a metaphor for this entire Presidential campaign and what it has done to American politics. While election campaigns have been intense in the past, this year’s contest seems especially bitter on all sides and it seems unlikely that the wounds are going to heal very easily after the voting is done and the winner is decided. Of course, when you have candidates like these, that’s probably inevitable.

In any case, here are Trump’s remarks from last night:

And here are Clinton’s:

By contrast, you can watch what Mitt Romney and President Obama had to say four years ago, and you’ll see what I mean about the marked difference in tone.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    Is that supposed to be comedy or committee, or a new portmanteau? Had to google that and make comity my word of the day.

  2. CSK says:

    Well, he did say he’d cast off his shackles, didn’t he?

  3. Bob@Youngstown says:

    There’s a difference between comedic ribbing and mean-spirited jabs, Trump crossed that line with the “hating Catholics” line.

  4. bookdragon says:

    When you’re getting boo-ed by priests, esp. in an anti-abortion crowd that’s not so friendly toward Hillary, it’s time to dial it back.

    Hillary didn’t do so well either since her delivery really is dreadful. But at least she she poked fun at herself over her lack of charisma and poor ability there. She even went so far as to admit that since she’s not much of a comedienne the jokes had been written for her, making a reference to “It takes a village”. I think my favorite line of the night though was the one about ‘you should see the jokes I rejected …well, you probably will soon on wikileaks’.

    Over all, both were too serious. But with this one night after a debate when Trump threatened to up end the foundation of our democracy – or at least keep us in suspense as whether he would or not – light-hearted remarks were probably too much to hope for.

  5. Kenny says:

    Does no one at google know how to spell the word comedy?

  6. Kylopod says:

    None of this should be surprising. First off, a pathological narcissist like Trump is incapable of the kind of self-deprecation this type of occasion calls for (the closest he got was an attack on his wife).

    Second, it fits a larger pattern on the right where they’re so encased in their own little world they don’t seem to realize they aren’t funny to anyone but themselves. Many of them are weirdly fuzzy on the meaning of terms like “satire” and “sarcasm.” It’s one of the reasons why their attempts at comedy programs (like the 1/2 Hour) have generally failed; I’m not sure they understand humor enough to deliver it effectively.

    At best, what they seem to relish the most in could be described as a form of insult comedy–but with a very limited frame of reference because it presupposes that you actually agree unreservedly with their starting premises (e.g. liberals hate the USA, Crooked Hillary is really crooked, etc.). There’s no ironic distance (something actual insult comics usually possess), it’s just an excuse for them to spout their hateful beliefs, where only those who share those beliefs are being invited to laugh, and for everyone else it’s just a childish exercise in provocation.

  7. Hal_10000 says:

    I’ve said this before, but the first time I thought Trump was a dangerous person was at the 2011 WHCD, where he sat stone-faced while Seth Meyers and Barack Obama roasted him. Being able to laugh at yourself is a sign of a healthy psyche. It’s something you look for in someone who will soon be the most powerful person in the world. The one thing a megalomaniac can not deal with is being laughed at or mocked.

    Clinton doesn’t have great comic timing, but there’s no sign that she minds being made fun or joked about. Trump hates it. And there are specific subjects, like his wealth, where he simply can not deal with jokes being made at his expense (Mike Schurr had a story on Twitter the other night about how Trump got angry during an SNL runthrough about jokes regarding his casino).

    This is someone we want to keep away from power.

  8. Aelio says:

    When it was Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I think it helped that Mitt Romney believed that he was going to win it, as the polls were closer and some of them may have leaned in Romney’s favor. In other words, it is easier to be in a good mood if you think that you’re going to win it.

    Trump proves again that he is not that religious even if a lot of the Evangelicals would love to have him elected. Trump can’t go into a room full of Catholics and disparage them in the least. He’s already behind having gotten into a kerfuffle with the Pope. He got what he hoped for in so many ways.

  9. Modulo Myself says:

    This election is every story ever told by conservatives about how intolerant the Orwellian liberals are to their views/jokes/personalities, except it’s unedited by conservatives.

  10. Kylopod says:

    @Hal_10000: It is not often that you’ll hear me praise George W. Bush, but I will give him this: the man was always a good sport about being laughed at. This is a guy whose team were privately dubbed as the “Department of Strategery,” in reference to an SNL skit making fun of his mangling of the English language.

    If anything, I think one of his faults was kind of the opposite extreme from Trump: he sometimes gave the feeling he didn’t take things seriously enough that he should have, like the time he made a joke about being unable to find WMDs under his podium. When you’ve sent thousands of people to their deaths over such a “mistake,” as far as I’m concerned you’ve forfeited the right to make light of it, even at your own expense.

  11. al-Alameda says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I’ve said this before, but the first time I thought Trump was a dangerous person was at the 2011 WHCD, where he sat stone-faced while Seth Meyers and Barack Obama roasted him.

    To this day I remain convinced that the reason Trump ran for the nomination with more seriousness this time is because Obama needled him at the 2011 WHPC dinner.

    Trump is all about getting the last word in, evening up the score, and retaliating for all perceived slights.

  12. al-Alameda says:

    Doug: “The evening went somewhat better for Hilary Clinton, but not by much:

    I won’t attempt to equalize or equate the performances by Hillary and Trump at the dinner, because they were not equal nor were they similar. It went a lot better for Hillary because her comments were not toxic.

    The sad thing is, there are probably many on the Right who see Trump’s comment about Hillary’s pretending to not hate Catholics as solid non-PC, tell-it-like-it-is stuff.

  13. CSK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And I’ve said this before: Trump is an outer-borough arriviste who’s spent his entire adult life trying to crash Old New York Society. You can’t do that–you have to be born into it–but if you could, he went about it in exactly the wrong way, courting the tabloids, trashing his first wife in public, boasting of his adulteries, and wrecking the skyline with garish Pharaonic monuments to his own ego.

    And, he has made it clear that he’d like to pervert the First Amendment in such a way as to make it illegal for anyone to say or write mean things about Donald Trump.

  14. CSG says:

    @Kenny:

    No, I think they MEANT (or at least hoped for) COMITY, which means “courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.”

    Obviously, neither comity nor comedy was very well served at this event.

  15. MBunge says:

    So, Trump is a hateful, racist, xenophobic, dangerous, sexual assaulting monster…but it’s still okay to josh around with him like he’s just one of the crowd?

    Why do I get the feeling these people would have been rolling in the aisles at George W. Bush’s “Where are the WMDs?” routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Hundreds of thousands of men, woman and children dead is a killer punch line.

    Mike

  16. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Alameda:
    More of Doug’s “both sides” crap…which, of course, can be abbreviated as BS.
    I’ve read reports that Trump was booed for the first time in the history of the event.
    I’m sick and tired of people trying to draw some kind of equivalence between these two people.
    I’m no Clinton fan, and wish Democrats had come up with someone else. But the fact is she is head and shoulders above Trump, as a politician and as a person. Of course, that is an extremely low bar.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2016/10/21/al-smith-grandson-trump-crossed-the-line-at-charity-roast.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

  17. Nick says:

    I guess it all depends on your bias, but I thought Hillary did a great job. Funny, insightful, and biting without the bitterness and with much subtlety.

  18. Franklin says:

    The Michelle/Melania speech was a good joke from Trump, although it wasn’t exactly self-deprecating. I even thought the “pardon me” was okay, if that was as far as he went. But yeah, the guy is pathological, I’m *almost* starting to feel sorry for him because I think his mental health is unsteady.

    Hillary is her usual wonkish self. Her joke writers did pretty good, but she’ll never have that great delivery that most modern presidents have had.

  19. Moosebreath says:

    @CSG:

    “No, I think they MEANT (or at least hoped for) COMITY, which means “courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.”

    Obviously, neither comity nor comedy was very well served at this event.”

    Or as they sang in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum “Tragedy tomorrow — comity tonight!”

  20. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    Why do I get the feeling these people would have been rolling in the aisles at George W. Bush’s “Where are the WMDs?” routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    People present did laugh, but it garnered a fair amount of backlash at the time.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/26/bush.wmd.jokes/

  21. KM says:

    The evening went somewhat better for Hilary Clinton, but not by much

    Of course, her night went better. Vastly better. She wasn’t booed by priests. PRIESTS.

    But if she’s not 120% awesome with stellar interpersonal skills, top-notch wit and exceeding graciousness overflowing from her pores, she only did slightly better then the petulantly bitter pig who decided to screw with tradition AGAIN by making this an ugly political moment.

    Ginger Rogers would like a word with you, Doug. Bring your heels.

  22. Gustopher says:

    I thought Clinton’s routine was fine — not particularly respectful, but how can anyone respect Donald Trump?

    And, immediately following Trump, who was unfunny and mean-spirited, Clinton’s routine seemed appropriate, as she mostly chided him horrible things he said in the past. Had Trump been well behaved, Clinton would have come across as an ass, but what were the odds of that happening?

  23. DrDaveT says:

    @KM:

    Ginger Rogers would like a word with you, Doug. Bring your heels.

    Awesome.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Alameda:

    To this day I remain convinced that the reason Trump ran for the nomination with more seriousness this time is because Obama needled him at the 2011 WHPC dinner.

    Trump is all about getting the last word in, evening up the score, and retaliating for all perceived slights.

    I’ve thought the same. But perhaps not a good plan. Sure isn’t going well for him. Thankfully.

    Someone commented this morning that the Al Smith dinner can be an entree into NY society, so Donald and Melania might as well move to Palm Springs full time. Has anyone ever lost the Al Smith dinner before?

  25. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Nick: Didn’t watch the speech, haven’t looked at the videos, but I did hear on the news this morning the one about enjoying Trump’s speech tonight and looking forward to hearing Pence say Trump didn’t make one tomorrow. That was a cheap shot. Deserved, but I think out of place if we’re looking for comity.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @CSG:

    Obviously, neither comity nor comedy was very well served at this event.

    To be fair, Al Smith IV set the stage by remarking that Trump had courteously asked how Hillary was feeling before the dinner, to which he had Clinton replying, ‘I’m fine, now get out of the ladies’ dressing room.”

  27. gVOR08 says:

    Takes two to tango. That applies to Al Smith dinners and to the desire that Ryan and Hillary will do a Tipnronnie act. Does anyone here honestly think Trump is capable of being gracious and self deprecating and reaching across the aisle? After eight years of implacable opposition to Obama, Ryan has already announced that the House will launch investigations into Hillary’s damned emails. But both sides do it, amirite?

  28. Kylopod says:

    Ok, I admit this threw me a little:

    Dolan said the three of them prayed together. “And after the little prayer, Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You know, you are one tough and talented woman,’” he recalled. “And he said, ‘This has been a good experience in this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been,’ and she said to him, ‘And Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterwards.’ Now I thought: This is the evening at its best.”

    So after all this is over, will we find out that this whole thing has been an act? That “Donald Trump” the sexist racist narcissistic dictator-loving boor was just an invention because America has to have a villain? Will he take off his mask and reveal that all along he was Andy Kaufman returned from the dead after 30 years (the ages almost match up), having pulled the greatest prank the world has ever seen?

    Or maybe not.

  29. de stijl says:

    @al-Alameda:

    Trump is all about getting the last word in, evening up the score, and retaliating for all perceived slights.

    What many people have forgotten or never knew was that Trump’s primary mentor (perhaps only true mentor) was Roy Cohn. Trump learned Cohn’s lessons very well, it seems.

  30. the Q says:

    Did you hear the one where a Democratic nominee accuses the other of being a Russian puppet? Yeah, so did I, what a knee slapper!!!!!

    Did you know that McCarthyite accusation has been used by Nixon and other GOP wingnuts for decades against liberal Dems? Google Helen Gahagan Douglas boomers.

    Boy, it used to be the liberals who hated this innuendo, slander and Commie baiting.

    Just goes to show the moral and ethical hypocrisy of what passes for the left these days and the absolute shrillness of the Clinton slime machine.

    I”ll stay tuned when you all mimic the W supporters of the non existent WMDs when you cheer on Hillary against the threat of Putin.

    You people do realize that the old USSR is now 15 countries. That Russia’s population is now 143 million (as opposed to 300 million in 1991) and it is one third the geographic size it once was.
    But don’t let facts get in the way of a good hawk argument.

    And in my lifetime we will have to fight them TWICE? After we kicked their ass once? Without losing one drop of blood in the process? Old George Kennan would be rolling over in his grave listening to HRC.

    Modern day libs are morphing into the new McCarthys. “I have a list in my hand of all the Russian hackers supporting the Donald.”

  31. wr says:

    @MBunge: It’s nice to know that you’ll always be here to be purer than anyone in any room.

  32. the Q says:

    PS, as far as being a dupe of a foreign entity, I guess the CGI donations don’t count?

    Trump is a narcissistic lunatic, unfit for office. That doesn’t mean our candidate gets a pass for her incredible tone deaf behavior. Or does it?

    Reading some here, putting a D in front of your name gives you a blanket amnesty.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    Can a mod pull my comments from Spam Purgatory?

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @the Q:

    Modern day libs are morphing into the new McCarthys. “I have a list in my hand of all the Russian hackers supporting the Donald.”

    Liberals = Joe McCarthy? That observation has no basis in reality, not that that matters to critics of Hillary Clinton and the oh-so-scary ‘modern day libs.’

  35. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Trump’s primary mentor (perhaps only true mentor) was Roy Cohn

    @the Q:

    Modern day libs are morphing into the new McCarthys. “I have a list in my hand of all the Russian hackers supporting the Donald.”

    LOL

  36. wr says:

    @the Q: “Boy, it used to be the liberals who hated this innuendo, slander and Commie baiting.”

    Did you know that Russia is not a Communist country anymore, and that the accusations of Russian meddling in our election have nothing to do with the ideological battles of the Cold War?

    No, didn’t think so.

  37. DrDaveT says:

    @the Q:

    Did you hear the one where a Democratic nominee accuses the other of being a Russian puppet?

    Yeah, but I’d forgotten it.

    Did you hear the one about the troll who didn’t know the difference between Russia and the Soviet Union?

  38. Rafer Janders says:

    @CSK:

    And I’ve said this before: Trump is an outer-borough arriviste who’s spent his entire adult life trying to crash Old New York Society.

    As a New Yorker I’ll have to disagree — Trump has never tried to crash NY society. He’d love to be accepted, of course, but he hasn’t done one thing, one tiny thing, to make that happen. His name adorns no museums or hospitals, he doesn’t give to charities, etc. He’s always conducted himself as a boor. Approval from old money and society types truly doesn’t mean anything to him — if it did, he would have done something about it.

  39. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Apropos to nothing…

    You know, many have discussed Donald’s small hands.

    But nobody has said anything about his “hitch-hiker’s thumbs”.

    Which is weird… Because it kind of is.

    Looks like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8e/Bendable_thumb.jpg

    Once you see it, you can’t help BUT see it when he waves his hands around… which he does.

    A lot.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    Comedy is hard. Comity is apparently impossible.

  41. MBunge says:

    Don’t look now, but…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN12L1UI?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=580aad2f04d30122a608a5ce&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

    For the click-averse, Trump has cut Clinton’s lead in half in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll and trails her by just 4 points, 44 to 40. And that’s NOT a poll which has been very favorable to Trump in the past.

    An outlier? We’ll see. It will be tragically hilarious, however, if it turns out they exploded the Billy Bush bomb one or two weeks too early.

    Mike

  42. C. Clavin says:

    Have you noticed that while Trump self-destructs, Jenos and JKB and bill and Guatneri have disappeared.

  43. PJ says:

    @MBunge:
    To your credit I’d say that at least you’re not posting about unscientific online garbage polls like that other commenter who hasn’t been seen for ages.

    At least that is something.

    Not much, but nonetheless something.

  44. MBunge says:

    @PJ: To your credit I’d say that at least you’re not posting about unscientific online garbage polls like that other commenter who hasn’t been seen for ages.

    As I believe I mentioned in the past, I have to tap out on this whole election pretty regularly and just withdraw because…well, when one has to choose between a possible sexual assaulter and people who didn’t give a tinker’s dam about sexual assault when the alleged perpetrator was Bill Clinton, one must consider one’s own mental and emotional health.

    All I can hope for is that whichever side loses, it will crack their worldview enough to allow a little self-examination and reconsideration. Sadly, Republicans would likely be too busy fighting off the pitchforks-and-torches crowd while they plan to turn the 2018 midterms into a referendum on the 2nd most unpopular person to ever win a Presidential election and the Democrats would most probably be too busy crying themselves to sleep every night over how America is racistsexistracistsexistRACISTSEXISTRACISTSEXISTYEEAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!

    Mike

  45. JR says:

    @MBunge: This is horse race nonsense. Reuters is being disingenuous. They selected their 14-20 sample instead of actually using their current polling numbers which show Clinton +9

    http://polling.reuters.com/#poll/TM651Y15_26/filters/LIKELY:1

  46. Guarneri says:

    Did Hillary get the standard $12MM fee from a head of state for her sage commentary?

  47. Guarneri says:

    Which one of you zeros is going to be “Smokin’ Joe” Bidens corner man?

  48. PJ says:

    @MBunge:

    Five days ago:

    New ABC/Washington Post poll has Hillary 4 points up on Trump, up from a 2 point lead in their last poll in September. That fits with other evidence that Trump has been hurt by this October non-surprise, but not quite as badly as everyone wants to believe.

    But by all means, go right on masturbatorially focusing on “What’s wrong with Republicans” and ignoring how Democrats wound up nominating someone who, EVEN NOW, still might lose to Trump.

    Mike

    I hope you’ll get better so that you’ll have the energy to post about the polls where Clinton is up by more than 4 points. Because that’s the reason you haven’t posted about those polls? Your poor health?

    Because any other reason would be sad. So sad.

  49. An Interested Party says:

    As I believe I mentioned in the past, I have to tap out on this whole election pretty regularly and just withdraw because…well, when one has to choose between a possible sexual assaulter and people who didn’t give a tinker’s dam about sexual assault when the alleged perpetrator was Bill Clinton, one must consider one’s own mental and emotional health.

    Oh come now, it is obvious you have to tap out on this whole election because you are about to be proven spectacularly wrong, but at least you will be able to complain about the 2nd most unpopular person to ever win a Presidential election for the next 8 years…

    @Guarneri: Will you be offering to help clean up the Donald after he has the $hit kicked out of him on election day? After all, alleged very wealthy people should stick together…

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MBunge:

    Obama led Romney, on the day before the 2012 election, by just 0.7 points.

    He went on to capture not only the popular vote by greater than 5%, but the electoral vote by a nearly 24% margin.

    So, what you’re really saying here is that Clinton’s lead over Trump is about 4 and a half times larger than Obama’s was. Enough with the concern trolling.

  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Mr and Mrs Khan appear in a new campaign ad for Clinton. I think of how I would feel if it had been my son instead of theirs, and I’m left wondering where they find the strength to get out of bed in the morning, much less to fight for their belief in this country as strongly as they do. They are, indeed, among the best of us.

  52. An Interested Party says:

    Did you know that McCarthyite accusation has been used by Nixon and other GOP wingnuts for decades against liberal Dems? Google Helen Gahagan Douglas boomers.

    Boy, it used to be the liberals who hated this innuendo, slander and Commie baiting.

    Just goes to show the moral and ethical hypocrisy of what passes for the left these days and the absolute shrillness of the Clinton slime machine.

    Apparently you’re in such a rage that Hillary is about to be elected president that you are reduced to making very faulty analogies…I don’t recall Helen Gahagan Douglas saying nice things about Stalin and openly calling on the Russians to steal and release her political opponent’s private communications…get back to those history books so you can make better analogies in the future…

  53. dxq says:
  54. de stijl says:

    @dxq:

    Republicans Need to Abandon Angry White Guys

    They cannot.

    It’s the plurality of their voting bloc presently.

    They would never win another election in the next ten years outside of the Old Confederacy and parts on the Mountain West and Great Plains. (Maybe not even those; absent angry white guys the GOTV effort wanes.)

    R’s ditching angry white guys would be like D’s purposely excising college grads and AA’s simultaneously. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Even if they try to lop off the worst of the alt-right – the MRA types, the anti-Semitics, the blatant misogynists and outright say-it-out-loud-not-whisper-it racists, that subset is still a clear or near majority of the wing that is the plurality of the people who vote R.

    Also, angry white guys have a strong tendency to be angry in a manner that alienates anyone who is not a right-wing reactionary white guy.

    Plus, if they try to lop off the worst of the worst, there will be a strong backlash.

    The alt-right is salty and emergent. They believe they are the future. They don’t see (or don’t really care) that their tactics alienate ~ 65-70% of the populace. They believe that their path is obvious, correct, and the way to win. They’re foolish in that belief, but they are assured that they are correct.

    If they think someone is thwarting them or disrespecting them they will attack. Doubly so, if the disrespect comes from someone who is a self-identified Republican. Establishment R’s either winked at this tactically insane foolishness or actively courted it just a year or so ago, and now it is destroying them and their party.

    At the national level, R’s cannot win with just the alt-right angry white guys, but they also will not win without them. They’re stuck. (Well, they created the damn fool bastards to begin with, so I say good to all that.)

    And this has been brewing for a long while. Akin, Angle, “I am not a witch.” Blown solid lead-pipe pick-ups because the primary electorate could not be controlled – could not vote tactically. And that is just the last few cycles.

    End-stage Gingrichism. Grenade chucking that used to delight the R’s is now killing them. They did not see that grenades are omnidirectional. That they could be the target. That they would be the target.

    Trump is shrinking the R tent inadvertently because he’s a narcissistic, bombastic fool. Alt-right Trump supporters are actively shrinking the R tent purposefully. Half the people still inside the tent are trying to eliminate the other half.

    Republicans may need to abandon angry white guys, but they cannot. And they will not. They will try to contain the behavior, but they’ll fail. They’ve winked at – or actively encouraged – this behavior for a generation.

    I believe the phrase is “Hoist On Your Own Petard”

  55. Concerned UK Citizen says:

    Enough!

    There is something seriously, psychologically wrong with DJT.

    Has he no idea what he is doing? Or is it that he just doesn’t care?

    The man is a total embarrassment.

  56. dxq says:

    de stijl, we all know those things. Still, they’re going to have to find a way to do it. That brief Kevin Drum article I linked to discusses it a bit. The GOP has a base problem and a policy problem. The whole right wing is a scam to use misinformed angry people to enrich the wealthy, and the whole thing’s breaking down.

  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Concerned UK Citizen: I’ll pick “B.”