Finding it hard on this end to react coherently to the presidential election result last week.
I’m definitely not one of those guys on Union Square or Fifth Ave. saying he’s “not my president.”
Unfortunately, Trump won fair and square with an electorate seeking a shake-up.
I certainly didn’t expect him to win or consider it a real possibility as October passed into November.
During the primaries last winter and spring, positive slivers of his message were clearly resonating. He wasn’t taking campaign dough from the regular corrupt sources and he had somehow pulled off the distinction of being the “anti-establishment” candidate. He spent time in gutted communities with torn-away industrial output and corresponding jobs. He spoke about American cities and towns that have become shells of themselves over the last two, three decades. Trump vowed to bring those places back to life by undoing – or re-doing trade policy advanced in part by the husband of his general election opponent.
Trump’s free-form off-the-cuff approach on the stump and during Q and A’s with a skeptical media was found to be refreshing. He was definitely not Washington slick.
Bernie had the same type of anti-establishment appeal for a good chunk of the left – and also for those who couldn’t stomach Trump’s xenophobic, hate-driven, bullying tendencies.
The problem with Bernie’s campaign as he gained more legitimacy was that he ran in a contest that gave a big stack of chips to the party frontrunner – or presumed nominee – before the race even started.
If and when the DNC decides to start fresh and learn from how it blew this thing so bad, its first order of business ought to be total elimination of superdelegate stench from its party’s nominating process.
During the World Series, both Hillary and Donald ran effective ads with final pitches. In those spots, the party claiming the moral high road went low while Trump’s people finally created a commercial that managed to make him look presidential.
I thought Trump’s buffoonery as we watched the conventions – and then the debates gave him zero chance to win states like Florida and Pennsylvania. The revolting Billy Bush tape laid bare in the form of documented evidence what kind of guy he is. How could mature adult voters not completely reject Trump’s grave disrespect for women?
Trying to reconcile that tape with exit polling data showing how white women in this country voted is very hard to grasp. During NBC’s election night coverage,. I heard a female Trump supporter explain that what she heard on the Billy Bush tape was much the same as how she and her female friends talked.
OK. So that’s where we’re at?
Blaming Comey for the loss – or even bringing him up at a time that’s best for exiting the stage in humble silence – is also something I don’t understand. All arms and legs of the executive branch are politicized and Hillary gave the FBI boss something to put his pointer on. The Wikileaks grab of snarky and sneaky written words from a clubby Clinton team of backstabbers didn’t help when mixed up with the separate and more serious issue of being sloppy with correspondence while on official duty. It all got blended together. It caught fire and sent up a lotta smoke. The candidate alone needs to accept blame for that.
So, here we are with a joker about to take over. It’ll be bad for the environment. It’ll be bad for the worker who has a job, perhaps OK for the one who doesn’t. We don’t know what he’ll do with foreign relations. McConnell will now get away with his stall on Garland which ends up being a devastating blow to fair process. Trump’s enlistment of Steve Bannon shows you that crackpots will get a crack until they get run out. Trump’s shoulder-shrug answer on abortion to Lesley Stahl shows you he hasn’t really thought too much about much.
If you’re looking to hold your nose and hope for the best, perhaps you can feel good about his pledge to fix infrastructure. Trump was talking about LaGuardia Airport (pictured above) way before Biden or anybody else of stature was holding it up as a symbol of US failure.
The other small ray of light if you’re into the day-to-day side of watching this debacle is Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway. With each stumble or misstep from the Donald comes brilliant reclamation by Conway. The talented political operative defends and successfully articulates vision on behalf of her boss with great aplomb. Often citing historical precedent in an attempt to normalize the irregular or bizarre, Conway will be called upon often to bail out President Trump after the inevitable trips and falls. Should she become the White House press secretary, Conway’s involvement on the strategy side and access to the President would make her different from most if not all of her immediate predecessors in that job. And that will be interesting.
Beyond that, it’s scary. The result is done but it’ll be important to keep a close eye on this guy and make educated noise if and when he takes it to the edge.
-I went to the St. John’s game Monday night at Carnesecca Arena and came away very excited about the backcourt duo of Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett. Ponds is especially exciting to watch. A true freshman from Brooklyn, Ponds is maybe six feet tall and plays happy and well in all phases. When LoVett is on the court, Ponds plays the two and is very active in the motion offense. Both can shoot. Both can pass. And both play good defense despite size constraints. LoVett was forced to redshirt last year because of a NCAA academic eligibility problem viewed as dubious by St. John’s. Ponds and LoVett won’t be enough this season to nail down a Dance bid but if coach Chris Mullin can keep them together and add inside agility and talent, the two guards here are special. Mullin clearly likes Ponds and city hoops fans will too once they see him in Big East play.
-Forgot to mention one of the brewery stops on the recent visit to Los Angeles. A week ago Friday night, we hit Progress Brewing in South El Monte. Both the Armadillo (dipa – 9.4 on the richter) and Porcupine (fresh hopped IPA) were super tasty. We sat outside. Along with our horse racing group enjoying the good stuff under cool clear skies, we were treated to a visit from Jets fan Ernie who was operating the Dipd food truck.