Friday, June 3, 2016

USS Hillary

Hillary didn't mince words in launching her sharpest broadsides against Donald Trump as she discussed foreign policy.  Her condemnation of his so-called policy statements, twitter rants and off-the-cuff comments led her to label him as an "historic mistake."  In fact, the current White House administration is pondering just how much in the way of classified briefings they should make available to the presumptive Republican nominee, since he has shown so little discretion on the campaign trail.

The presumptive Democratic nominee made no bones about the national security risk Trump represents.  She went so far as to call him "temperamentally unfit" for the White House.  She singled out his "twitter wars," saying how can you trust someone with the nuclear codes who so easily takes offense to the smallest slight.  She also noted the endorsement he received from North Korea's young tyrant, as well as his fondness for Putin and other authoritarian leaders.

This was Hillary at her most combative, scolding Donald as a teacher would an unruly student who continually disrupts class with his outbursts.  Not surprisingly, Donald fired back but the severity of Hillary's attack seemed to leave him at a loss for words.  His "rebuke" was that of a petulant child, as he dredged up attacks she made of Obama on the 2008 campaign trail.  He seems to forget he publicly endorsed her in 2012.  It looks like it will take a little while for his campaign to shape a more appropriate counter attack.

Say what you will about Hillary, but she is a strong lady and if Trump and his merry minions think they are going to have an easy time of it this Fall on the campaign trail they have another thing coming.  He will need considerable help in piecing together a foreign policy, as what he has said to date has made most Republican leaders cringe, not just the electorate in general.

His campaign to this point has been about appealing to the lowest common denominator, harping on his border wall, Muslim ban and no more free rides when it comes to NATO.  Untenable positions that would alienate virtually the entire planet.  That's fine as far as the Duck Commander is concerned down in the Louisiana bayous, but if you are trying to negotiate trade deals all these positions are non-starters.

This was just the speech Hillary needed to reset her campaign.  Get the focus shifted away from her faux e-mail scandal and onto Trump's "dangerously incoherent" policy statements, not to mention his dubious business record, which is currently under fire in regards to the "university" that was set up in his name.  In similar petulant fashion, Trump is lashing out at the judge presiding over the case, as it has become a very ugly reminder of the fraudulent schemes that have long characterized Trump's business ventures.

Nevertheless, he is finding support from the most unlikely of sources, including Ari Fleischer, who served as George W. Bush's press secretary.  As I said in the previous post, I think a lot of Republicans feel they can guide Trump on foreign policy and other delicate matters.  However, they are dealing with the classic case of the bull in the china shop, which Hillary wants to make voters well aware of.

It's not like Republicans have been very delicate themselves in recent years.  US Senators tried to undermine Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran by sending an open letter (translated into Farsi no less) to Iran's top state diplomat, only to be reminded by Iran's foreign minister that they have no power in such matters.  It seems that Mr. Zarif knows the US Constitution better than our own Republican senators.  It turned out to be a complete embarrassment for Republicans, which helps explain why they have rather easily swallowed Trump.

Hillary went onto castigate Trump for his comments on the Iran nuclear agreement, saying "he doesn't know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program."  She overplayed her role in this process but she is right in saying this goes far beyond striking up a "golf-course deal," which apparently Donald isn't very good at either.

She was most vicious on his "secret plan" to rid the world of ISIS, pointing out the many inconsistencies he has revealed, like turning Syria into a "free zone for ISIS," as if this would placate them.  Yes, he actually said that,

"It's really rather amazing, maybe Syria should be a free zone for ISIS.  Let them fight and then you pick up the remnants." -- from an interview with Bill O'Reilly, June 17, 2015

His statements have become the fodder for SNL and other late night comedy programs because this is the only place one can imagine such scenarios playing out.  As a friend noted the other day, it's like the movie Idiocracy.   Have we become that dumb to actually think Trump could lead this nation?

Hillary was quick to point out just how insulting it is that anyone can take Trump seriously.  Yet, here again is Ari Fleischer telling us that by dismissing him this way we are dismissing the voters.  No, Ari, Hillary is pointing out that just because the man managed to undermine the Republican primaries with his bellicose positions does not mean he has the support of the American public in general.  Hillary is appealing to the better portion of our society that sees Trump for what he is -- a demagogue.

We will see how the general election shapes up but this was a bold move by Hillary and one that should serve her well in the months to come.  She has to be aggressive, she can't leave anything to chance, she needs to tear down this image many Americans have built of Trump brick by brick until there is nothing left but the two-bit huckster behind the crumbling wall.