The other day I was—what is the past participle of tweet?—I was twooting about the election, and commented on two possibly inconsistent emotions that were jostling beneath my sternum. You see, I want Hillary to lose in a fireball one hundred yards across, and I want Trump to lose in a fireball fifty yards across.
Both would be bad presidents. But questions immediately arise. How bad? For whom? Where? Why? Someone is going to say that the choice is simple—Hillary would be terrible for Christians, and there is a possibility that Trump wouldn’t be. He certainly promises not to be. But when you have a bad president, you have to reckon with the possibility that treachery is one of the bad possibilities.
Now going into this further would just rehearse my views on #NeverNeither. I don’t agree with those Christians who are going to vote for Trump because they simply cannot handle the idea of Hillary, but I do understand the dilemma. I share the reaction to Hillary, Rod Martin commented on my Facebook thread that there is a difference between Darius and Antiochus Epiphanes. I take the point, although maybe not the spread.
But that is not where I am going this morning. Both parties have nominated terrible candidates, and one of them is going to lose. What is going to happen on the losing side when that happens? If Trump loses, it seems to me that the Republican Party, battered, leaky, and forlorn, will be able to recover. “We were temporarily shanghaied by a non-establishment candidate, everything was crazy for a while, but he lost, and we are not going to do that again.” Those who didn’t jump on the Trump train will be seen as farsighted and statesmanlike—they will likely not be blamed for the Trump loss unless they were actively campaigning against him, and he lost in a squeaker. Say that Trump loses Florida by a hair, and he lost it because of Jeb decided to campaign against him there. This is not likely, and so it is reasonable to surmise that a Trump loss will actually vindicate the non-Trump sentiment in the party.
But a Trump loss does not look nearly as likely as it did a month ago, and the consequences of a loss by the Democrats will be far more serious to them. Hillary is the establishment candidate over there. She has name recognition, mountains of money, a party apparatus totally in her corner, what passes for experience in politics, etc. If she loses to Donald Trump, for the love of Pete, the recriminations will commence immediately, and will come in the form of flaming hailstones from sky, all of them size of softballs. Jim Geraghty of National Review has pointed out, quite rightly, that she will instantly become the most hated figure in American politics. Those on the right have never been able to handle her, those in the Bernie wing of the Democrats already don’t like her, and if she actually loses to someone like Donald “Clown Car” Trump, despite all her advantages, the establishment middle will join in with everyone else, and the whole thing will become a National Festival of Detestation. If you have never visited Recrimination City, especially in the off-season, be sure to pack intelligently.
What everyone already knows (at some level) will become okay to say out loud, and what used to get you shouted down, or to get your mic unplugged, will suddenly be the received wisdom. “Hillary was hopelessly corrupt . . .”
And now she is showing herself fully capable of losing this thing. How bad a candidate she is can be seen in how quickly, how readily, how instantly, people will say that Trump is “acting presidential” when all he did was stay on message for about five days straight. “Give us something, anything,” the public is pleading. “We will drop Hillary like a shot, and we will do it in exchange for the smallest of fig leaves.”
Hillary is doing her part. If she keeps this up, and if Trump shows up at the debates with three heads, and only one of them is drooling, he should take it away.
She really is falling apart in remarkable ways. In a masterpiece of bad timing, any number of things are becoming visible to the public in the months running up to the election. In the sewage lagoon that is the Clinton enterprise, you never want too many things floating at the same time, and yet, here they all are. We see the Clinton Foundation corruptions, we see the secret and then deleted emails, we see close associates pleading the Fifth, we see Hillary wearing anti-seizure glasses and having seizures anyway, we see Madame Secretary’s Middle East in flames, and ongoing terrorism starting to take root here.
And so let me finish with that. We have just had a rash of terrorist incidents, and the Democrats have responded reflexively—let us call it their problem of automatic Ahmed tolerance. Dahir Ahmed Adan has been identified as the St. Cloud mall stabber, and Ahmed Khan Rahami is apparently the Chelsea bomber. The governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, took the opportunity to encourage people who were not sufficiently welcoming of future Ahmeds to go find another state to live in. If you don’t like the mass immigration of Somalis into Minnesota, then you are the one who needs to pack up and move out. “Go live with people who are your kind.” And I can’t imagine a faster, more efficient way to put Minnesota in play for Donald Trump.