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Friday, April 12, 2024

Qualified for President? None of the above

Donald Trump: Not the only clown in this political circus.
Donald Trump: Not the only clown in this political circus.

As an newspaperman who has spent most of the past 52 years reporting on politics, I have never seen such an uncontrolled, chaotic circus as the Presidential election of 2016.

As a one-time political operative who took a decade-long sabbatical from journalism to work on the dark side of politics (mostly for the Republicans), I am ashamed of the party who once paid me and the system it supports.

As an American, I fear the consequences of a campaign where no candidate for office from either party appears qualified or capable for the job of President of the United States.

Reason left our political system long ago.  So did sanity.  What remains is vulgar, buffoonish, insane and beyond comprehension for a nation that once served as a model for the free world.

Donald Trump is a con man, a self-absorbed narcissist, a misogynist and a vulgar, pathetic man with no compassion or consideration for anything except his self-gratification, self-delusion and self-promotion.

His throng of followers, which has dwindled in recent days, is more of a cult than a party.  They fall for his con and promises he can’t keep.

The so called Republican establishment hopes to head him off with a brokered convention, which is still a long shot.  I worked with and for some of these “Republican elites” some years ago.  They are now caught in their own greed in rapid pursuit of right-wing “ideals” that don’t exist and their goal is to serve themselves, not the people whey claim to serve.

They put their hopes on Sen. Ted Cruz, a right-wing zealot with his own self-serving agenda and no compassion for the needs of a country in trouble.

Cruz is a grandstanding first term Senator from Texas who knows how to create turmoil, not productive action, and is so far out there on the right that he is disliked by even his colleagues.

Yet here he is, waiting in the wings with what may be enough support from die-hard Republican extremists who want to turn back the clock and the calendar to more regressive times. Eight years ago, Republicans called Barack Obama unqualified because he was a first term Senator.  Hypocrisy is a partner in politics.

Ohio governor John Kasich claims to be more moderate than Cruz and less flamboyant and unpredictable than Trump, which should be easy but his is a distant third in delegates with just one win (his home state of Ohio) and the longest of long-shots if it comes down to a brokered convention.

I remember a long night in Bullfeathers, a popular Capitol Hill Bar, when then first-term Congressman Kasich finished his drink, stood up and announced that “it’s time for me to see which young lady wants to come home with me for the night.”

On the Democratic side, we have Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of States under Barack Obama and former First Lady with Bill Clinton as President.  Her husband’s history shows her role as First Lady was most likely never under him since he was off chasing interns and others.

Clinton is under investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department for using a private server for email during her time as Secretary of State.  Classified messages were part of those emails and some feel she may be charged.

An FBI source tells me that the odds are long that any formal charges will be filed.  They have not yet established any criminal intent by Clinton.

She put in the private server because using the one at the State Department eliminated use of her Blackberry and she preferred her mobile email system over protocol and the rules.

Her actions show a disregard for the rules that raises questions about her fitness for office.

Of course, following the rule or obeying the law has never been a quantifiable way to stop a President.

As for her opponent, independent Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democrat because that’s how he wanted to run for President. He is playing on doubts about Clinton to the hilt and has made the race closer than many expected.

Sanders calls himself a “democratic socialist,” which is till a socialist with attempts at rationalization.   He is also 74, which is pretty damn old to be running for President for the first time.   Republican John McCain was 71 when he ran in 2008 and Democrats called him “too old” then.  He also accepted the though that letting Sarah Palin be his running mate was a good idea and that, alone, suggested dementia.

What we have here are four guys and one gal running for President at this point of the election year and, from out point of view, not one of them is worthy of consideration of the job.

Right now, the odds say Donald Trump will represent the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton the Democrats in the general election in November.

The same odds say that Clinton would wipe out Trump on the level of a Lyndon Johnson-Barry Goldwater matchup in 1964.

Johnson won with 61.1 percent of the popular vote and beat Goldwater 486-52 in electoral vote counts.

The odds, however, do not have a good record in this election year and what they say now are still more than seven months away from the day when voters and/or the electoral college decides.

And what they decide may not matter because there isn’t a real President in any of the disgraceful bunch.


Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

10 thoughts on “Qualified for President? None of the above”

  1. Pretty thin “disqualification” on Clinton: She did something many other Secs of State have done and the Justice Department doesn’t consider illegal… Just like all of Clinton’s other baggage: Manufactured outrage by Republicans because they have Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

  2. And what’s so wrong about socialism? Simply discarding it as if it were an insult is kinda insulting. It seems to work fine in Europe. Perhaps we need to invade them.

    And speaking of proofreading; Hal… “”?


    • Jon,

      More consequential than that typo was when I registered to track packages from UPS as halnown. I can’t get it changed, so I have to remember to log on with that user name.
      Why not, by the way, didn’t I register a dot com with my name… already taken, or reserve by someone with my name (which I wasn’t able to trademark). That left .org and .net since I’m not a .edu (hmmm, maybe I should start a university ) or .gov (I could become a country)… I figured I was more an .org and than .net – so it is.

    • In my view Mr Sanders is not a democratic socialist but a social democrat, even now as presidential candidate of convenience social Democrat.

      Common parlance has long spoken, aptly enough, of social liberals and social conservatives.

      But for years Republicans haven’t gotten along with anybody else, or even of late with one another, for any to qualify as social anythings.

  3. Doug,

    Who was the last president or presidents you deemed qualified before they were elected?

    I think that Hillary and Bernie are flawed as candidates, and will each have some shortcomings if elected. However, I would hardly call them disgraceful. I think either would have some shortcomings as president, but would lead the country in a competent way.

    Worry not, if Hillary does get elected, as it now seems likely, you will no doubt have lots of issues about her to vent your spleen over.

    I would recommend you take a humor pill, as it is the best medicine for dealing with a political system in a shambles. I mean, come on, a joke about Hillary not being under Bill is beneath you (so to speak). Check out my growing reliance on snark to deal with my feelings about politics.


    • Thanks for your thoughts Hal. Good to hear from someone who was a columnist for us and a great contributor. Last qualified President before his election? Probably George H.W. Bush. He had the background: CIA director, Vice President and more. Was he a good President? In some ways but his stumble on taxes made him a first term leader. I’ve watched the Presidency and Congress decline into a vapid collection of cartoon wannabes. I wrote this piece because of what I see as the absurdity of the 2016 election. My comment about whether or not Hillary was “under” her husband as First Lady was,, I thought, appropriate in a campaign where penis-size was discussed as part of the incredible level of rhetoric. I turned down a job offer to cover the Presidential election as a photojournalist — something I would have jumped at in the past, but not this year. I don’t give a damn who wins. I doubt I will even vote. Why bother? When no real choice is offered, no decision is possible.

      • Thanks for the complement. Those were some interesting times. Did you notice on Reader Rant that frequent poster California Rick is now PDX Rick, and that he and I got together for lunch?

        Now I am amusing myself trying to post something interesting on my blog every morning. I’ve decided that my blog is rated on the Pogo University Creativity Blog Scale somewhere between Digby ( ) and Drudge. I hope it’s closer to Digby. I am throwing caution to the wind and going for full-frontal snark.

        Speaking of cartoon wannabe candidates, the primaries have led to some damn good cartoons. Some of my favorite come from Tom Tomorrow. Here’s one on penis size:

        Oh, come on Doug, hold your nose and vote for Hillary in the general, if only because she may be able to appoint one or two Supreme Court justices.

      • Mr. Thompson, I hope that was hyperbole about staying home on election day.

        You see, you can leave the ballot for President blank, if you want to. Or write in “Mickey Mouse”.

        But there will be many other races decided at the same time, for Representative and Senator and school board – And if you stay home, they will go their merry way without you.

        If anything, those are the races you really should care about, because a) they will impact you rather more directly and b) you can impact them likewise.

        Ah well. Stay home if you want to.


        PS – Hal, I figured out what you meant. I’ve family in PDX also – they think it’s miserable in the winter, but love the place in the summertime. J.

        • The only lost vote is the one not cast.

          People have put their lives on the line — and some even lost them — for the ballot.

          Don’t insult them by not casting it.

  4. Nice of you to balance out the reporting by failing to put the biggest clown of all into the portrait–Hillary “it takes a village idiot” Clinton.

    And for Christ’s sake, get yourself a proofreader.

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