First off, yes; we are having a problem with posting comments to the blog. We are aware of it, we still want your participation, and Mary is working to find a solution.
Second, by now you’ve heard that the Bernie Sanders campaign did a clever thing by using the Jimmy Kimmel show last night to plant a debate "dare" to Donald Trump, challenging him to a debate. Trump, because he is in over his head, went for the bait today, and said he would agree to debate Sanders in advance of the California primary if the networks donated their ad revenue to women’s health issues. Aside from whether the networks would bite on this, this is a good move for both Sanders and Hillary, despite the nonsense from the folks at BernieTV (MSNBC). Let me explain the reasons.
Good: If Bernie mops the floor with Trump in advance of the California primary, and then goes on to win the primary, he will shift the race with the super delegates in the weeks leading up to the Philadelphia convention. They will get over their reticence about dumping Hillary, especially if she suffers any more damage from the State Department IG’s report about her emails.
Bad: If Trump beats up Bernie in the debate, Sanders is toast.
Good: Despite what some observers say, such a debate would not be bad for Hillary. If Bernie wins the debate with Trump, she gets oppo research on how to beat him herself, and she gets confirmation that she needs Bernie as her VP. And if Trump gets the best of Bernie, he helps her finish Sanders off while still gathering oppo research.
Bad: If Bernie wins, her support amongst the party insiders will slip.
Good: If Trump bests Sanders, well, I don’t know how that helps except to strengthen Hillary, especially if Trump antagonizes more people in the process of beating Sanders.
Bad: If Trump loses to Sanders, the party will immediately get buyers’ remorse over their nominee, and know that perhaps either Democrat can smash him in the general election. Plus, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee will immediately go on suicide watch.
So please bring on the Bernie/Trump debate. And while we are at it, can someone tell Chris Matthews and his panelists at BernieTV on "Hardball" that they are delusional if they think Trump's admission that he wanted to profit off of the housing market crash won't hurt him with a broad cross-section of voters? Only morons who have drunk too much of the Trump Kool-Aid like Matthews and Michelle Bernard think such things.
Update (Friday): Trump turns tail and runs away.
Doing the Necessary
by Deacon Blues
After watching the debacle at the Nevada Democratic Party event over the weekend, the lack of a strong response from Bernie Sanders to the behavior of his supporters, his and his campaign’s continuing rhetoric against both Hillary Clinton and an allegedly “corrupt” Democratic National Committee, it is easy for me to give the middle finger to Sanders and his supporters. But it is also easy for me to give the middle finger to all of America for even considering voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, if a new (God help us) Fox News poll is to be believed. I would lose my faith in both America and our current electoral and media institutions should this come to pass this November.
Having said all of that, Hillary finds herself flailing about in her efforts to fight a two-front war against both Sanders and Trump. She can moan all she wants that Trump isn’t qualified, and the respectable parts of the media can make that case as well. But the simple truth is that the right wing media has poisoned the American electorate so much that large parts of them would actually act upon their hatred for both government and Hillary by voting for a reality TV show host. That is less a commentary on the flawed Hillary than it is a sad commentary on what Sanders, Trump, and the media have done leading up to this choice in November. It’s Hillary’s job, and yes obligation to deal with the facts on the ground and work with them, and not seek an ideal that isn’t achievable anymore, if it ever was.
No matter the disgust I’ve increasingly felt for Sanders and his supporters over their tactics and rhetoric, and no matter what I think of their alleged commitment to the Democratic Party and apparent willingness to damage it for their own purposes, the truth is that Hillary needs to unite the party now to save the country from Trump. She cannot afford to have the party face internal fissures and a hostile force from within willing to sink it for their own ends later. We can debate later Sanders’ rise and the true agenda and source of his supporters, but what needs to happen now is for Hillary to explore having Sanders be her running mate, and have him either accept it or decline it. Yes, if this were a different electoral cycle, there would be better running mate choices and better qualified people to be her partner, but for many reasons this isn’t and won’t be such an electoral cycle.
She needs to be able to say “we are offering a united Democratic Party and a Congress willing to work on solving the real problems that face the country, and the world. If you are still so angry with government and against me that you would vote for a reality TV host to be Commander in Chief, that is your decision and your responsibility.”
Trump: No Tax Returns From Me
by Deacon Blues
The Donald says he will not release his tax returns before the election, if at all. He claims that he cannot do so because he is undergoing an audit, which is a lie. He then pivoted to say that he won't release his tax returns because he doesn't believe voters are interested.
Now, it is true that those supporting The Donald aren't interested in this issue, because they only care about integrity and authenticity, and . . . . . oh, wait. Well, let's just say they don't care if Trump is a bald-faced liar. All they care about is that he stomps on Hillary and brown people. If he's a scumbag wholly unqualified to be Commander Chief, so be it.
Trump's reasons for not releasing his returns speak volumes. He clearly feels that whatever is in those returns would affect voting behavior among those not currently drinking his Kool-Aid. Trump already knows his sheeple will come out and vote for Mussolini if they could. But he also knows he needs more than the sheeple to stop the Democrats in November, and whatever is in those tax returns apparently jeopardizes new voters coming to him.
His true believers don't care, but the rest of us might care to find out what Trump actually pays in taxes, what he claims for offsets and business expenses (like legal settlements and tax havens), and how much he overstates his own wealth, which would call into question his trustworthiness at a time when he smears Hillary on the same issue. But Trump cannot afford for potential voters to see that he really is no different from the establishment Wall Street types and politicians he purports not to be.