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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The decision not to go after Hillary

Apart from two relapses (both involving Tweets), Trump seems to have been making an honest effort to be more statesmanlike in the past two weeks. 

Trump just named Nikki Haley as ambassador to the UN, even though she supported Marco Rubio during the primaries. He seems to be considering Romney for Secretary of State, and Cruz for Supreme Court nominee, despite all the earlier rancor.

Trump's apparent decision not to go after Hillary seems another peacemaking gesture.

Those of us who wanted raw meat would have preferred for Trump to say, "Well, Hillary's not a priority of mine. At the moment I'm concentrating on getting our economy going and securing our borders. If, at the end of their investigation, the FBI recommends an indictment based on what they find with the Clinton Foundation, the Attorney General will look at the evidence and we'll make a decision from there. But right now, I'm busy with more pressing matters."

That would at least have left the door open for a later decision.

But the problem is, Hillary's health is bad. So if Trump's AG does decide to prosecute and they do succeed in getting her a prison term, and then Hillary dies while incarcerated, that makes Trump look like a vindictive guy who killed an old woman because she said mean things about him.

Make no mistake: Hillary deserves prosecution for her pay to play shenanigans. She was unquestionably corrupt.

But sending her to prison, while satisfying, will not help accomplish any of Trump's goals as President. And the vague impression the public will be left with -- thanks in large part to the way the media will spin it -- is that Trump was vengeful and merciless. 

And that won't help his administration.

These are the kinds of considerations his strategists have to take into account. We on the outside are not privy to them; but that's a large part of what people like Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Bannon are paid to think about.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

"vengeful and merciless".... sounds like a perfect description of the Left. The difference being that with the MSM as the wind in your sails, you get away with it. With the MSM as your adversary, you are destroyed (or at least - hurt).

I recently read a story that said the owner of the NYT expressed contrition, and promised more fair coverage of Trump. An analysis of articles the other day concluded that of 12 relevant articles published by NYT, 11 were critical of Trump and one was neutral. NYT is making great progress......

Over the last few days we have the MSM branding of the 'alt-right' as 'white supremacist'. According to Wikipedia "The alt-right has no formal ideology, with the Associated Press stating that there is 'no one way to define its ideology'." Along with 'although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental. It has also been associated with white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia, antisemitism, ethno-nationalism, right-wing populism, nativism, traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement."

Bottom line is the 'alt-right' was associated with people supporting Trump, so MSM brands it 'white supremacist' and all those who voted for Hillary (and probably many others) are horrified (and all their falsely held beliefs about Trump confirmed).

Republicans typically govern as RINO's because of two things: first, they run on a populist platform, and then govern toward the big corporate money that got them in office. Second is that they can't stand up to the assault from the MSM (or a combination of both - as occurred two years ago when many House Republicans ran on the popular sentiment against illegal immigration, but then caved citing the fact that they were getting bad coverage by the MSM).

The US has a monster problem with the 'Fourth Estate'.

Its encouraging that, slowly, more people read sources outside the MSM. Recently the MSM is fighting back against alternative media outlets, we now have efforts to censor 'false news' (which of course comes from alternative outlets). How ironic considering the MSM is all about false news.

What I'm getting to is this - will Trump, to some extent, fall into the trap? Will he feel the pressure of the unabated MSM assault, and 'reach across the aisle', and 'compromise' with the Democrats? (we only hear these terms celebrated when Democrats are out of power; when they are in power its the steamroller - and you can ride that steamroller all day long when the MSM has your back).

You might be right that Trump did the right thing politically and tactically to announce he's 'not going after Hillary'.

But it stinks of an early cave-in.

We'll see.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
Couldn't agree more. The NY Times has always been biased, and it's inconceivable that they would not remain so in the near future.

I'm not even sure what the alt-right is; some white nationalist groups have come to be associated with it. But talking honestly about racial differences, as the all-right is apt to do, is not quite the same as white nationalism. And I don't get the impression that all the groups associated with the alt-right necessarily agree with each other. It's great to have the debate open up more, and you can't solve problems without being honest about them. But it's still a fuzzy, ill-defined group.

Yes, the power of the media can't be overstated. They keep everybody inline, define the acceptable limits of public discourse, and enforce their rigid and hypocritical viewpoints at the cost of any sort of consistency or honesty.

Will Trump be able to resist them? Dunno.

Anonymous said...

Trump should be paying YOU to think of these things, dear Mister Craig. You are larger, fiercer and better than Kelly Anne Conway (or is it Kellyanne?) and/or Stephen Bannon. They would need a stepladder to touch your foot.

(That's just my opinion of course. But my opinions are ABOVE AVERAGE.)

Keep up the good work.

====Fake Baba

gambino dellacroce said...

John,

Aside from the health issue and the perception of Trump, wouldn't the Alpha Trump thing to do simply be to ignore her and marginalise her? Magnanimous exclusion? Even though the media can't help bringing her up every 3 minutes.

John Craig said...

Fake Baba --
You're way too kind. But thank you.

John Craig said...

Gambino Dellacroce --
I think that's pretty much what he intends to do. And yes, that's the alpha thing to do: just forget about her.

Come to think of it, that's what alpha men do with all females.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that in investigating Anthony Weiner, incriminating material was found on his laptop that related to other people as well, namely, Huma, Hillary, etc. If law enforcement can put Hillary and others in prison, then more power to them. Let justice be served.

- birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
But Comey already said there wasn't enough on his laptop to go after Hillary. And all of this is probably moot anyway since Obama will probably pardon Hillary. Though I'm not sure how that would work in the case of the FBI coming up with a recommendation to indict based on what they find with the Clinton Foundation in the future. (Can Obama pardon her for a crime for which she has not yet been charged?)

Anonymous said...

Comey, Lynch, and others should do a stint in the slammer as well. Good question about Obama pardon the Hildebeast. I don't see why he should if she hasn't been charged with actual crimes. It's very frustrating, to learn about crimes that she and others have committed and law enforcement does nothing. I hope that Obama doesn't do anything in relation to Hillary, so that in the future, law enforcement could go after her.

- birdie

Anonymous said...

http://www.hoover.org/research/al-qaedas-fantasy-ideology

You may like this article.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Great article, thank you. I'm normally a little resentful when people assign me that much homework, but that one was worth reading. Harris never used the word "narcissism," but he actually analyzed the narcissism inherent in all of these fantasy ideologies perfectly. He started by talking about how to his college classmate, the people he inconvenienced with his protests were merely props, went from there to describing how to the average fantasist this is true as well, and from there extrapolated to ideologies, many of which are just narcissism writ large. (I know you've already read it, that was for the benefit of anyone who is just reading the comments here.)

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump, despite being a narcissist, is thinking in terms of how to get results and achieve an objective. He only seems to manifest his fantasy ideology when he talks big or uses hyperbole (but it could be a technique, when he exaggerates about how global warming was made up by the Chinese, he did it to get elected and to make a point how China pollutes yet cites global warming to shame the USA and get ahead even though Trump has said he is willing to consider climate change science and is in favor of making the USA and world cleaner and the air and water unpolluted even if global warming did not exist), in his actions he actually thinks how he can win or get something done even if it means sacrificing putting a guilty person in jail for the greater good.

-Josh

John Craig said...

Josh --
As big a narcissist as Trump is, I don't think he subscribes to any fantasy ideology, or is in any way particularly ideological. He sees himself as a problem solver whose real world business experience gives him a practicality that's been lacking in DC, and he's probably right about that. He's also a good manipulator and salesman, which we as a country need (Obama had none of that).

BTW, you mentioned that you have ADHD, but I had never seen it until this comment, in particular your second sentence.

Were you the one who sent that al Qaeda fantasy ideology article? It was excellent.

Anonymous said...

Yes

Josh

High Arka said...

How many American citizens has Hillary Clinton gotten killed? How many millions of dollars has Hillary Clinton taken from American tax coffers and negligently wasted or outright stolen?

If you have answers to those questions, then ask yourself, "How many American citizens did the Boston Marathon bombers get killed? How many millions of dollars did the Boston Marathon bombers cost Americans?"

Depending on who you ask, those numbers might or might not be comparable. If you're among the people who think those numbers are comparable, then what is your justification for saving Hillary but not saving the bombers (or any other comparative criminal)?

John Craig said...

High Arka --
There's absolutely no question that Hillary is culpable on all sorts of fronts. And morally speaking, she is, as I've pointed out elsewhere on this blog, a sociopath. And yes, in terms of relative guilt, she's certainly responsible for more deaths than the Boston Marathon bombers. Or even Ted Bundy. Or Donald Harvey. Or all of them combined, if you attribute the rise of ISIS and our arming of the anti-Assad forces in Syria to her.

But this post wasn't really about her, or any sort of moral justification. It was about Trump's strategizing, and going after her doesn't really serve his purposes.

Anonymous said...

Trump owes the presidency to Clinton (both of them). Bill reportedly put the idea of running for the office into Trump's head, and Hillary made sure he won it by putting up such a crap campaign (calling opponents a "basket of deplorables" is bound to antagonise and entrench them further as opponents; anyone with an understanding of psychology knows that). If Sanders had been the nominee, there's a much higher chance Trump would have lost. So putting Clinton in prison would be a very bad way of returning this enormous favour.

- Gethin

John Craig said...

Gethin --
All true, though there were no good intentions not he Clintons' part. They originally thought that Trump would be the easiest opponent for them, and were actually rooting for him of that reason. And as far as Hillary's characterization of Trump supporters, that was just an offhand snippy comment to her own supporters, not an intentional gift, even if it turned out to be one.

There does seem to be a fairly widespread school of thought that Bernie would have had a better shot against Trump.

Anonymous said...

Post election scorecard:

Important campaign promises / themes broken: 1
Drain the Swamp: 0

MSM / Establishment: 1
Trump: 0

lose a battle to win the war?

Whenever Trump ducks a campaign promise due to fear of MSM coverage - its going to be difficult for me to imagine we're winning the war. Defeating MSM is required for Trump to win this war.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
It would be impossible for Trump to accomplish everything he's set out to do. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "defeating" the MSM. You could say he's already accomplished that just by winning the election, and their credibility has gone down in a lot of peoples' eyes after their hysteria of the past year. But Trump can't possibly drive them all out of business, they are simply too entrenched and have too much power. He can't put all of the major newspapers and television networks and Hollywood studios into bankruptcy, that's just unrealistic.

As far as draining the swamp, that would require getting rid of all of the lobbyists and most of Congress. How can he do that? I think we have to be happy that he's done as much as he has so far, and will push the country somewhat in the direction he wants it to go, which is all any President can do.

Anonymous said...

About Nikki Haley, I read somewhere else that this accomplishes two things: she must resign as Gov. of South Carolina, at which point the Lt. Governor, who was a Trump supporter, will take over.

She gets to show her pretty light brown face in the UN and say what Pres. Trump wants her to say. She makes no policy.

To me the deal breaker is immigration. If he and his Atty Gen. Sessions follow through on immigration, he can nominate Cher as Secretary of State.

ABout Hillary, we don't want to make her into a tragic heroine. Revenge really is a dish best eaten cold. Whatever that means.

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Ah, hadn't known that about the Lt. governor. Interesting. And yeah, they get a twofer with Haley, she's a brown-skinned woman. I've never understood why someone like her wouldn't hesitate to switch a Governorship to be what is essentially a spokesperson for a man she didn't support. I've never gotten the impression that UN Ambassador is all that important of a role, and in any case, you're just a mouthpiece anyway. As Governor, she was in charge of a lot of things, and had some real power, even if it was local.

Good point about Hillary. I've been praying that nobody assassinates Obama for the past eight years for basically the same reason. I want him to live a long, revealing life after he leaves the White House.

Anonymous said...

Here are some of Trump's 'Drain the Swamp' ideas from his 'Contract with the American Voter':

#1Propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress
#4 Institute a five year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service
#5 Create a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
#6 Institute a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
#28 Work with Congress on a Clean up Corruption in Washington Act.Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

Hillary, and the Clinton dynasty, are pretty much the epitome of political corruption. There could not have been a better way to send the ‘drain the swamp’ message than to go after her.

And if the MSM were on Trump’s side the story would be:

- drain the swamp; H Clinton indicted for crimes; great victory for ending, or at least reducing, Washington political corruption
- if Hillary were convicted and got sick, or even died in jail... Story: long and hard downfall of politically corrupt dynasty; H Clinton crimes lead to sad demise; let this be a message to all in politics – lead for the people, and lead cleanly
- if anything further needed, MSM could point out that jail / prison destroys the lives of millions of citizens and tears families to shreds. Again – lesson learned – stay clean.

And what I mean about MSM being defeated is this: as long as Trump is making decisions due to fear of MSM attacks in response – the MSM has too much power. When a President such as Trump stops making decisions based on MSM retribution, the MSM will be ‘defeated’.

- Ed

Anonymous said...

PS for anyone who hasn't read the Trump's Contract with the American voter, click here.

John Craig said...

Ed --
I love all those proposals, but --

#1 has exactly zero chance of being passed as legislation by Congress.
#4 has almost no chance.
#'s 5 and 6 do have a small chance, but only a very small chance. They basically ask Congress to pass a law cutting off what for some of them will be their best source of a jackpot after they leave Congress.

I agree that Hillary is the epitome of corruption. But the MSM will make sure that that is not the message that is sent; they'll make sure that Trump looks like a vindictive winner who goes after people for political and personal reasons. And he has a long enough history of nasty Tweets that it'll be an easy case for them to make.

I agree that that's the message the MSM should send. But I think we can be sure that it's the not th message they will send.

Aha, gotcha on the MSM; I certainly hope he doesn't start kowtowing to them. So far he's shown no signs of it, but who knows what happens in the future.

Anonymous said...

The MSM is run by globalists, so they control the narrative. We need to look at alternative outlets for news these days. It's sad but true.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
There was some talk that if Trump had lost the election, he would try to start a new news channel, but I guess that's not going to happen now.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is asking for a recount in WI. Ugh. I don't trust this, John, I think they are up to something.

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Wasn't it Jill Stein who asked for a recount in Wisconsin? Hillary was advised by some group to ask for a recount, but as far as I know, she hasn't.

Anonymous said...

It started with Stein and now the "Clinton camp" will join:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/us/politics/clinton-camp-will-join-push-for-wisconsin-ballot-recount.html?_r=0

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Thank you, I can't read the NY Times online, I'v reached my monthly allotment of 10 articles, but I did read the Yahoo version. It sounds as if the Clinton camp is going to "participate" in Stein's recount, though Clinton's attorney Elias has said that they have seen no evidence of any actionable fraud. So...yeah, they're passive participants at this point. And ugh, yes, I hope nothing comes of it.

Anonymous said...

I think you can bypass that threshold by opening up a private window. I'm not going to read it again - once was enough - but the wording was infuriating. They said that they were going to participate even though they knew no irregularities happened. In other words, they didn't get the result they wanted, so they'll recount. Does that suck, or what?

Puzzled

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Agree completely.

Anonymous said...

It occurred to me that HRC probably won't be prosecuted for any of her crimes because she's "got the goods" on other people's criminal acts, being more than willing to rat on them. Criminals protect each other.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
HRC may have the goods on a lot of her cohorts, butI doubt she has much on Trump. I think his decision has more to do with politics and less to do with fear of being brought down alongside her.

What you say may be true of the people in the Obama administration though.