Hillary Clinton: “Creep” Trump Made My Skin Crawl

‘This is not ok,’ I thought. It was the second presidential debate, and Donald trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him bragging about groping women. Now, we were on a small stage, and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled.

“It was one of those moments you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, ‘well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on, as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly, ‘back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’ I chose option A. I kept my cool, aided by a lifetime of dealing with difficult men trying to throw me off. I did however, grip the microphone extra hard. I wonder though whether if I should have chosen option B. It certainly would have been better TV. Maybe I have over-learned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my fingernails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world.”

It’s been 10 months since the most shocking election in recent modern history, and Hillary Clinton is saying now what she wanted to say then. We all knew she’d have something to say in the limelight of a wall-hitting political career, but this was a doozy.

On October 7, 2016, America was treated to the raw video of a man who thought he was alone with a buddy, joking about and admitting the sexual assault of women he came across. There was hardly a single person to be found defending it. Heck, even Reince Preibus quietly suggested Trump drop out of the race. But, two days later, Hillary Clinton faced him in the second of three presidential debates, making for some of the best made-for-tv political drama in history. Now, after almost a year in relative exile, she’s speaking out about the campaign, and she’s holding nothing back. Perhaps she realizes she has nothing left to lose. Literally, nothing.

70,000+ votes in three pivotal, traditional blue states sent Hillary Clinton packing after an election she felt entitled to win. Everything had been lined up, and Donald Trump was arguably the most obnoxious, offensive and unrestrained candidate to ever run for president. But, the results went the opposite way, and now she’s working on explaining her own process, before and after the election. She must feel intense depression for having lost an election against someone like Trump. I mean, it takes an amazingly bad candidate to lose such a race. I suppose there will be those who want to hear her personal debrief, but I’m not one of them.

However, calling the president a “creep” may sell a few more books for her.

In a seven-month presidency that has been filled with Russian collusion investigations, crowd sizes, Muslim bans, staff “resignations,” failed repeal bills, more Russian investigations, saber-rattling with North Korea, profane speeches to Boy Scouts, more staff “resignations,” Nazi equivocation, riots, and more Russian investigations, Trump’s history with the other gender (yes, there are just two) has been a footnote. At least, so far. Now, it may come back to the surface, as the news constantly churns out new developments of a chaotic presidency.

Then again, why give him the headline? The adage “he who controls the microphone controls the conversation” means we’re facilitating his instability by covering it. But how can we not?

I don’t know… Maybe I’m just getting tired – because it’s not passivity – but I’m not sure I want to go that route again. We already know he’s a creep. We already know he’s the stereotype of spurned high school bullies. It’s clear that his defenders don’t care. I’m not interested in making them care anymore.

I suppose I am interested in cataloguing, and not forgetting every single abrasive, angry, hateful, childish, uncivil, obsessive trait this president shows. Someday, it may be needed for either a big election, or a big impeachment trial. So, I guess take note, file it away somewhere, and remember this election when the next one comes along.

Hopefully, America will do a better job than nominating the two worst candidates on the planet, and forcing us to choose which creep we want as president. Because for people like me, who voted for neither one, it brings no joy to watch America beat each other bloody and senseless (sometimes literally) over why they picked one liar over the other.

At least some of them will have their legal bills covered.


If You Ever Said Anything Critical of Trump During Campaign 2016, You’ll Want to Read This

Let me tie together two stories, one old and one new, that explains where things may be headed.

First is a 2015 New York Times story titled “The Agency.”

If Arthur had checked Twitter, he might have become much more worried. Hundreds of Twitter accounts were documenting a disaster right down the road. “A powerful explosion heard from miles away happened at a chemical plant in Centerville, Louisiana #ColumbianChemicals,” a man named Jon Merritt tweeted. The #ColumbianChemicals hashtag was full of eyewitness accounts of the horror in Centerville. @AnnRussela shared an image of flames engulfing the plant. @Ksarah12 posted a video of surveillance footage from a local gas station, capturing the flash of the explosion. Others shared a video in which thick black smoke rose in the distance.…

The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. The perpetrators didn’t just doctor screenshots from CNN; they also created fully functional clones of the websites of Louisiana TV stations and newspapers. The YouTube video of the man watching TV had been tailor-made for the project. A Wikipedia page was even created for the Columbian Chemicals disaster, which cited the fake YouTube video. As the virtual assault unfolded, it was complemented by text messages to actual residents in St. Mary Parish. It must have taken a team of programmers and content producers to pull off.

Anyone who criticized Donald Trump during 2016 understands this story. As I documented at the time, critics of the President were inundated with long dormant Twitter accounts from Russia suddenly harassing them, filling their timelines, and trying to drive them from the conversation. Look at the harassment suffered by the Colorado GOP via online trolls after they declined to side with Trump during the primaries.

Well, now here’s the second story to tie to the New York Times one and this one is from last week.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are now probing whether the digital campaign operation run by Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner helped Russia target U.S. voters with fake news stories about Hillary Clinton, according to a new report.

McClatchy News first reported that investigators are looking into whether the Trump campaign helped Russian cyber operatives target areas in key states, “where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.”

CBS leaves out the harassment and trolling of others component, but I would suspect that is being looked at too. Someone had to be behind the Twitter troll army. There is speculation in Washington that Mueller’s team is investigating whether Kushner might have had something to do with it and with the micro-targeting of voters via social media, etc. And, here is the big bit, if so was it properly disclosed on a campaign contribution disclosure report.

Unsurprising: Hillary Clinton Blames October Surprise for Her Loss

Hillary Clinton is obsessed with the biggest two-letter word in the English language: if.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on her. Anyone who came so close to the most powerful office in the land would no doubt be in similar torment. But the thrust of her comments to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour suggest that if the former Secretary of State is engaging in any self-flagellation over her mistakes on the campaign trail, it is happening in private. Publicly, she is casting blame elsewhere.

Despite some lip service about “absolute personal responsibility” for the outcome, Secretary Clinton seems rather to believe that if the election had been on October 27, she would now be President Clinton.

October 27 was, of course, the day before FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congressional investigators indicating that there were still a few loose ends to tie up in the Bureau’s investigation into the private email server Secretary Clinton used while she was the nation’s chief diplomat. She told Amanpour that the timing of the letter and “Russian WikiLeaks”—with a dash of general misogyny thrown in for good measure—led to her failing grade in the Electoral College.

Does she have a case? That depends on what your definition of the word “if” is. Political scientists will be debating the impact of the Comey letter for a long time.

But if Secretary Clinton insists on rehashing the “what ifs” of the 2016 campaign, here are a few that she really ought to consider:

  1. What if Secretary Clinton hadn’t participated in misleading the country about the cause of American deaths in Benghazi, Libya? The decisions she and the rest of the Obama administration made on the night of September 11 and 12, 2012 may or may not have been justified by what they knew at the time. But in the aftermath, she was reflexively dishonest. Then her irritated “What difference, at this point, does it make?” line during the investigation (the same investigation that ultimately uncovered her…unorthodox…email setup) did not reflect well on her. Speaking of which…
  2. What if Secretary Clinton hadn’t taken so much effort to set up a private email server instead of using a secure government account? It’s hard to discern any motive for doing such a thing other than wanting to avoid oversight of her email communications. Oops. Most charitably, this was a gray area. But it was an unforced error—nobody made her do it. No server means no investigation, and no investigation means no Comey letter. If she wants someone to blame, she should look in the mirror.
  3. What if Secretary Clinton hadn’t shown utter contempt for religiously conservative voters? The Democratic Party platform may not be friendly to most religious conservatives, but at least President Obama made some effort to reach out to people with traditional Christian beliefs in his campaigns. Secretary Clinton, though, thought “religious beliefs…have to be changed.” And even though it was only last week that DNC chairman Tom Perez essentially kicked anyone with pro-life sentiment out of the party, the signs were there in the Clinton campaign. This came through loud and clear in its slavish devotion to Planned Parenthood—which, incidentally, was Secretary Clinton’s next speaking engagement after the interview with Amanpour. She was never going to win a majority of white evangelical voters, but in a year when a substantial number of conservative Christians said “Never!” to the Republican nominee, a few could have made a difference. It was a missed opportunity.

So, Secretary Clinton, it’s understandable that you’d be thinking about the election, replaying it over and over in your mind, analyzing all the possible different scenarios that would have put you in the White House. But the truth is, it wasn’t the Comey letter, it wasn’t the Russians, and it wasn’t us that cost you the presidency. It was you.

Are Democrats Finally Prepared to Deal With the Reality of 2016?

James Comey cost Clinton the election. No, it was the Russians. No, it was both. No, it was the racists. No, it was the basket of deplorables. No, it was a conspiracy. No, it was the media. No, it was something more. Since November 8, 2016, Democrats have tried to come up with any of a variety of excuses for Hillary Clinton’s loss while expressly avoiding blaming her and her campaign. That may finally be about to change.

A new book has come out by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes that chronicles the missteps and failures of Team Clinton, concluding the candidate herself could have won if she was a better candidate.

And that is the truth. Clinton won the popular vote because she had liberals in her pocket. But she, not the Russians or James Comey, failed to engage white working class voters. In fact, when her husband openly suggested they needed to, he was ignored and rebuked.

It was not James Comey or the Russians who kept Hillary Clinton out of Wisconsin or out of white working class neighborhoods in Michigan. That was her campaign strategy. They were so convinced of the inevitability of her win, they never really considered she might lose. They were so convinced the country had gone so far left, they never really grasped the shift back right.

Clinton ran a terrible campaign and in 480 pages more than 100 of her confidants and former campaign staff finally admit it and, in fact, seemingly throw Clinton under the bus. You can get a good sense of it all from this review at the Daily Beast.

Perhaps they’ll figure things out finally and move beyond elaborate conspiracy theories.

2016: The Year of Disruption

There was always something different about 2016. Not a good different, but a seismic, tectonic, continent-moving different. These years happen every century or two, and they show up in an especially strident fashion about once a millennium. This past year could be one of those millennial disruption years.

On January 17, 2016, I wrote that the key trend for 2016’s presidential cycle is “disruption.”

Donald Trump is a master disrupter, and Hillary is being disrupted. Hillary should know better–she had eight years to prepare for this run after getting blindsided by Barack Obama in 2008.

I compared 2016 to 1066, when the British were disrupted (prior to Brexit). It took over 700 years for the stirrup to make it from India to Europe, and another 200 years before William the Conqueror used it with his armored calvary at Hastings to destroy the Saxon army.

It took 30 years for television to make it from experiment to president-maker in 1960. It took 10 years for social media to go from college campuses to @RealDonaldTrump winning the White House.

It’s not just presidential politics that was disrupted in 2016. The entire U.S. media was disrupted and baited by Trump’s feints, outright lies, and random 4 a.m. tweetstorms. Fox News was disrupted as Roger Ailes was ousted in a hail of sexual harassment accusations. Breitbart was disrupted as Steve Bannon left to orchestrate the trolling of America.

The stock market was disrupted as everyone expected it to tank if Trump won, and then when he won, it soared. No expectation this year was left untouched.

The Russians disrupted American politics with a flood of “fake news” combined with some rather pubescent hacking jobs done well, and coordinated with Julian Assange. Before that, the Russians themselves were disrupted in Rio when most of their team was kept from the Olympics due to doping. By the way, the Russians lied about doping, and now admit they lied.

(Relatedly, Zika did not disrupt the Rio Olympics. But Ryan Lochte disrupted himself as a pantomime of the ugly American. And Rio itself was disrupted, sinking up to $20 billion to host the games, most of which disappeared like a pickpocket in the favelas, while the poor are still just as poor, no matter how much you hide them.)

(Double irony: Mitt Romney’s 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City generated a $56 million surplus, while most Olympic hosts lose their shirts, while Donald Trump took what’s normally a printing press for money–casinos–and ran them into the ground. Hmmm. I digress, so back to the Russians, who stole more cash in Sochi than Obama shipped in unmarked Euros to Iran.)

The Russians lie. We should not trust anything they say, no matter how much Brother Vladimir and Brother Donald are bro’s.

The FBI, CIA, DIA, and their overall boss the Director of National Intelligence were all disrupted by the Hillary emails, DNC hacks, political footballs, and continual leaks to the press. I cannot image a time since Vietnam when our intelligence spooks have walked on more eggshells and nitroglycerine cocktails on a sea of Bic lighters while carrying grenades with no pins. The whole thing could blow any second.

President Obama disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, getting the final stab in their knife fight before Obama’s term ends. But Netanyahu will still be in power when Obama is a civilian left with history to judge him, and Israel will still build settlements in East Jerusalem, despite John Kerry’s final pain-inducing speech, which he will numbly speak and will fall on deaf ears.

The UN itself was disrupted. Maybe we owe Obama a round of Cinnamon Appletinis at Sotto for letting the Security Council finally pull the scab off the pus-filled Jew-haters club infecting the UN. Now everyone can see the disgusting green stuff run down the pinstripe-and-wingtip crowd’s pressed pant-legs who infest Turtle Bay.

Obama’s legacy will be one of abject failure, by any reasonably historical measure. The economy flagged along at 1.5 percent GDP growth. Unemployment finally dropped, but only because the workforce participation rate contracted with frustrated millennials going back to school and working class jobless shunted to the “gig economy” driving Uber and Lyft, renting their homes on AirBnb, or getting paid by the job on Fiverr.

(If you don’t think the “gig economy” is going to disrupt work as we know it in America, go back and read a few microeconomics textbooks. This will have a larger and faster effect than automation, robotics, and self-driving vehicles–those are coming too, but Uber will get there before Google.)

Obamacare is, as Trump campaigned on, a disaster. Healthcare was disrupted in 2016 by 20+ percent insurance premium increases. The Iran deal is a gangster’s paradise with enough secret exemptions to drive a few tons of enriched uranium through. If Obama had a discernible plan in Syria, no matter what it was, it failed. And with ISIS–oh I’m sorry, ISIL–folks “just don’t get it.”

Homegrown terrorism disrupted how America will handle immigration, visas, and refugees. Trump promises to do it differently. But honestly, it’s hard to not screw it up worse than Obama.

Around the world, disruption ruled. Thailand lost the second-longest serving monarch in the world. The EU lost Britain (but not Ireland). The Cubs won the freaking World Series (beating the Indians, no less)! The Patriots managed to only lose two games (so far) despite not having Tom Brady for their first four weeks.

Fidel Castro died and Hell barely noticed his arrival. No disruption there or in Cuba where it’s oppression as usual. David Bowie exited in style, like he lived. Prince followed Michael Jackson to an early grave by the same method. Muhammad Ali lost his biggest fight. John Glenn reached up and touched the face of God. Arnold Palmer hit one straight up Heaven’s fairway. Hockey star Gordie Howe died at 88, while Alan Thicke died playing hockey with his 19-year-old son.

We lost Antonin Scalia, whose death will be felt by more Americans for more generations than maybe any single individual who graced Heaven earlier than we’d like in 2016. Phyllis Schlafly, who perhaps foreshadowed Trump’s victory more than any of the conservative leaders who kneeled before him, without actually succumbing to Trump-worship, didn’t live to see his victory.

And to kick our butts one last time, just a few weeks after Rogue One disrupted Star Wars by being the first non-Skywalker story to make it to the screen, we lost Princess Leia IRL. That sucks.

But every year, people die. We can’t avoid it. It’s just that in 2016, more than people’s souls departed this earth. It seems that the souls of entire nations, political parties, and civilized modes of discourse shuffled off this mortal coil into the hereafter, never to return.

When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, we will finally be rid of this accursed year, and good riddance. But 2017 will be different in profound ways. Things never go back to normal after a disruption year. Just ask King Harold of the Saxons.

People Who Can’t Stop Him Say Trump Has No Mandate

About two weeks before the election I tweeted that if Clinton got elected the GOP could say she had no real mandate because she was hugely unpopular and would only have won because of Donald Trump. The left was positively incensed that I would dare say the first woman President would have no mandate.

Now that Donald Trump has won, the left insists that Trump has no mandate. Their argument is that Hillary Clinton has a 2.6 million vote lead while ignoring that she has it because 4.2 million more people in California voted for her than Trump.

They also try to discredit the Electoral College as irrelevant to the issue of mandate because, as liberal writer Robert Schlesinger notes, the constitution begins with “we the people,” not “we the states.”

“Trump is a glitch president, not a mandate president,” Schlesinger writes. I suppose that would be true if Trump won in a way the system did not contemplate but Schlesinger’s glitch is the Electoral College working as designed.

There’s more to it than that though. The GOP in the House got over 3 million more votes than the Democrats, the GOP controls a majority of state legislatures, state gubernatorial offices, the United States Senate, and will fill up the United States Supreme Court too.

Liberals like Schlesinger can say Trump is a glitch and has no mandate all they like, but they cannot stop him. Harry Reid and the Democrats scuttled the filibuster for appointments, so Trump can fill up the executive and judicial branches of government with conservatives. They can systematically undo the regulatory state Barack Obama imposed. Because liberals like Schlesinger were perfectly happy with Obama using executive orders to expand his power, they have established the precedent for Trump.

But the biggest precedent of all is this one — when Republicans were making historic gains at the state and county level across the nation over the past eight years and taking back Congress only a few years after losing it, the left did not see it as the nation rejecting Obama, but as Republican usurpers trying to stop progress. In other words, the left will never recognize or concede a mandate for anyone but themselves.

Now the GOP has the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the bulk of states. So it does not matter what Robert Schlesinger thinks.

Wrong, Wrong, Totally Wrong. Time to Reset.

“I was wrong about so much about this election and so were so many others. The sooner we get over our pride, eat some crow, and realize we missed the mood of the country, the sooner we can move on.”

Donald Trump is going to be the President of the United States.

In July I wrote the piece I put up this morning acknowledging a Hillary Clinton win. It is fitting that it is the ultimate bit of being wrong after a year of being wrong about the election. I genuinely presumed Donald Trump could not win. All of the data agreed. And I and the data were wrong as were so many others.

The upside to this election is the great Democratic freakout that is now playing out. The nation took to televisions tonight to watch the breakup of the Republican Party and instead witnessed the breakup of the Democratic Party. An overwhelming number of Americans like Barack Obama, but they want a more conservative President. Tomorrow, you’ll be able to get a great deal on a mansion in Beverly Hills as the left flees the country.

Democrats overplayed their hand on cultural issues. They had a Supreme Court impose gay marriage on the country and then tried to force men into women’s bathrooms. On top of that, they ruined healthcare for many Americans and drove up premiums. Then they nominated the worst politician in American history. Within the next 12 hours they will take off the mask and show just how much contempt they have for the very white working class that just kicked their ass.

That’s no excuse for me though. I could not vote for Trump. And I could not vote for him even if I thought he was going to win. His positions on trade and the economy are not mine. I do not trust him on social issues. I make no apologies for that. He said he did not need my vote and again he was right.

But he is soon my President now and the head of the party that I belong to. I was #NeverTrump in the election, but must now reset and give him the benefit of the doubt. He says he will fight for a conservative Supreme Court and will have a Republican Senate willing to help him. He says he will help the little guy. I hope he will.

I want my President to succeed. Scripture commands we pray for our leaders and Trump must be in my prayers and yours.

What we are about to see is a bunch of Democrats suddenly defend the filibuster and Republicans want to scuttle it. A bunch of Democrats outraged at Rush Limbaugh for saying he hoped Barack Obama failed, will now hope Trump fails. A bunch of Republicans will now be outraged by that.

I have never seen anything like this election. The disdain for Hillary Clinton is obvious, but the real struggles and hurt of many voters went unregistered. The data that I have long relied on to help shape my opinions is no longer reliable and, frankly, a lot of people I thought were full of crap turned out to be as right as I was wrong. There are really two Americas and I have to do better relating to one I thought I knew already.

I’m still a conservative. I still believe limited government is best and a strong man in Washington is a dangerous thing. I think protectionism is a bad idea. But I think the #NeverTrump Republicans need to do a reset and give Donald Trump the chance we did not give him up to now. There clearly were voters who would not admit to supporting Trump and they have sent a strong signal that they should be listened to.

I was wrong about so much about this election and so were so many others. The sooner we get over our pride, eat some crow, and realize we missed the mood of the country, the sooner we can move on. The Brexit polling was more accurate than the American election polling this year. That is stunning. But it is also somewhat exciting to be flying blind into the future knowing the gauges we’ve always used to see where we are going no longer work.

And not only did white working class voters beat Democrats, but Antonin Scalia’s seat is safe.

#NeverTrump Must Model The Humility They Claim Trump Does Not Have

I want the President of the United States to succeed. Whether you want to admit it or not, Barack Obama is your President and he is my President. Come January, Donald Trump will be our shared President. We should want him to succeed.

Many of us who were opposed to Trump from the right found him to be personally unacceptable for a variety of reasons and all of us presume he has a lack of humility unbecoming any person’s character.

We just got beat. We just got proven wrong about a great many things. We should model the humility we think Trump does not have.

We are not selling out our principles by wishing Trump well and hoping for the best. We are not selling out our principles by giving him a chance and the benefit of a doubt — a benefit we did not give him when we turned out to be wrong about the election.

The American people disagreed with us. Be humble and recognize it was not because of racism or bigotry or bad motives. It was because people are fearful of the future and think no one in Washington has listened to them. Donald Trump has.

By the time this is over he will have outperformed Mitt Romney among blacks, hispanics, and blue collar voters. He clearly resonated in ways we do not appreciate.

It does no one any good for us to wish the President-elect ill. I wish him well. As he becomes the leader of this nation, scripture commands we pray for him. His election is God’s will. We should remember that. God is in charge. Trump is the instrument of His will.

Hoping for the best and giving him a chance reflects our principles. Doing so does not abandon our principles.