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