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Cheap Seats 2017

Disarray - 11/08


By Rich Trzupek
  If we are to be fair, both major political parties are in disarray at the moment. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
  The uproar in the GOP affects the uproar among Democrats and vice-versa. At first glance it appears that the root of all the dissension was the Presidential election of 2016. While Trump’s upset and Hillary’s failure should not be discounted, that’s hardly the entire story.
  Voters are sending both parties a pretty clear message: business as usual is not going to cut it any longer.
  Now that some Dems have found the courage to finally (finally!) call out Hillary for what she is: about as corrupt a politician walking the face of the earth, the old Clinton coalition that both Bill and Barack used so well is clearly falling apart.
  It is remarkable that the Democrat rank and file ever went along with the idea of super-delegates in the first place. Having super delegates as part of the primary system is just an invitation to corruption: a pool of votes that could guarantee a candidate the nomination in a close run race.
  This would be true if the Republicans had super-delegates. You can’t put that much temptation in front of any politician this side of Jesus Christ. The only difference we’d find if the GOP used super-delegates is that he mainstream media would make a whole lotta noise about the practice.
  The revelation that the Democrat National Committee essentially handed over their checkbook to Hillary in the midst of her primary battle with the Bern was, for many, the last straw. Even Nancy Pelosi was appalled and I literally did not think there was anything a fellow Democrat could do short of dropping his or her trousers on the floor of the Senate that would offend Ms. Pelosi.
  Sanders supporters, who suspected at the time they were being sold out, now have proof to confirm their suspicions. The Democrat brand is going to have a very difficult time convincing many of them to return to the fold. Apathy is the natural out-growth of disgust.
  The turmoil on the Republican side has a different flavor, but it too is a party divided. In some ways it’s a split between the party’s conservative/libertarian wing and its moderate wing. And yet, that’s not completely it. Trump does lean right on many issues, but can also be a left-leaning centrist at times.
  The split in the GOP is more about how the game is played than it is about what the goals of the game are. George H. W. Bush, the very model of a gentleman politician, recently described President Trump as a blowhard. I’m not sure that The Donald would take that as an insult.
  The elder Bush epitomizes the sort of politician that most politicians aspire to be, or at least appear to be: genial, approachable and reasonable – somebody that can reach across the aisle and work with anybody. I think that’s how Bush tried to carry himself and I also believe that is who he is as a person.
  Trump, on the other hand, is bombastic, blunt and full of bravado. Unlike just about every other politician on planet earth, he appears to not give the slightest bit of a damn what other people think of him. He has consciously taken decorum off the table in how he deals with politics and the press.
  Some Republicans have come around, seeing that there is appeal to this approach among many a GOP voter. It’s anything but politics as usual. Plus, it’s reassuring to see the bluster disappear when he’s dealing with our allies abroad and ordinary Americans.
  At the same time, there is clearly still a large “Never Trump” contingent in the party. They want to find a way to rid themselves of this mad-man every bit as much as their Democrat opponents.
  I have no idea what either party will look like or stand for in ten years’ time. It’s all way too confusing. But, it sure is entertaining as hell.
  E-mail: rich@examinerpublications.com

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