Saturday, October 01, 2016


Here we go:
Donald J. Trump unleashed a slashing new attack on Hillary Clinton over Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions on Friday as he sought to put the Clintons’ relationship at the center of his political argument against her before their next debate....

In an interview with The New York Times, ... Mr. Trump ... raised Mrs. Clinton’s criticism of women who had been involved with her husband, such as Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers.

He said he was bringing up Mr. Clinton’s infidelities because he thought they would repulse female voters and turn them away from the Clintons, and because he was eager to unsettle Mrs. Clinton in their next two debates and on the campaign trail.

“She’s nasty, but I can be nastier than she ever can be,” Mr. Trump said.
Really, Donald? Can you? I'll admit that Trump was awfully nasty on Monday night -- but when it came to this particular subject, not only couldn't he confront Clinton with it, he couldn't even bring himself to identify the subject in plain English:
TRUMP: ... But you want to know the truth? I was going to say something...

HOLT: Please very quickly.

TRUMP: ... extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, "I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice."
After the debate was over, Trump and his surrogates explicitly named the Bill Clinton sex scandals as the subject Trump was allegedly too considerate to raise. The surrogates praised Trump for his magnanimous restraint.

The obvious conclusion is that Trump wants it both ways -- he wants praise for not Going There in the first debate, and he wants to Go There with a vengeance now. But maybe he really wanted to Go There on Monday night, except that once he was actually in Hillary Clinton's presence, he couldn't bring himself to do it. And now he's overcompensating by showing us what a big tough guy he could have been if he'd wanted to be.

Remember the trip to Mexico? Big tough guy spends a year telling us how awful Mexicans are, and how big and classy and beautiful his wall on the Mexican border is going to be, and how he's going to make those damn Mexicans pay for it. Then he actually arrives in Mexico, has a face-to-face meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, and ...
On "Morning Joe," the host said Trump's refusal to press Peña Nieto in person about funding a border wall between the US and Mexico demonstrated Trump's lack of confidence as a leader.

"If that's the center of your campaign, how do you not get the job done when you're there?" Scarborough said.

He added: "He had the guy in front of him and he choked. He choked! I can't stand people who choke under pressure."
Yes, Trump choked -- but immediately afterward, once he was safely back over the border and out of Peña Nieto's presence, then he became a tough guy again, delivering one of the most feral anti-immigrant speeches of his campaign, and asserting again that Mexico will pay for the wall.

Yet I bet if he'd gone right back to Mexico City the next day for another meeting with Peña Nieto, he'd have wimped out again. Because he's just not the tough guy he thinks he is -- not when he's confronted with the people he's insulting from a safe distance.

I could be very wrong about this. But if I'm right, we'll hear a lot of talk about this subject from the Trump camp ... right up until debate night on October 9. We'll all be waiting for Trump to raise the subject in the debate -- and he'll wuss out again.


If I'm wrong, and Trump is telegraphing what will actually be a major line of attack at the next debate, then I'm a bit confused. Trump's campaign has made it clear that letting the enemy know how you're going to attack is a terrible strategy. Trump said so in a garbled, incomprehensible way during the debate, in reference to ISIS:
TRUMP: And look at her website. You know what? It's no difference than this. She's telling us how to fight ISIS. Just go to her website. She tells you how to fight ISIS on her website. I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much.
Before the debate, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway conveyed that talking point in a more coherent (if still wrongheaded) way on Morning Joe:
Asked by Willie Geist during MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” whether Trump will offer specifics beyond his broad statement that he will “knock the hell out of ISIS,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway replied in the affirmative.

“He certainly has a plan. I’ve heard it,” Conway said. “This is his debate tonight, Willie, he’ll tell you if that question is asked. But there’s also -- you know, people are just amazed that Hillary Clinton would put on her campaign website what her plan to defeat ISIS is. Is it that ISIS can’t read that plan?”

... Pressed by Geist and Mika Brzezinski on whether voters deserve to know details about his plan before they cast their votes, or at least a sense that he has any “knowledge of the landscape,” Conway said, “Yes, and he’ll be happy to offer those specifics without telling the enemy exactly what we’re going to do.”
Trump is now telling Hillary Clinton's campaign "exactly what we’re going to do" in the next debate, assuming he has the nerve to actually do it. What would General MacArthur think?


Yastreblyansky said...

My favorite example of Trump broadcasting his strategy to the world is from his discussion of trade negotiations at a GOP debate in March:

TRUMP: The 45% tariff is a threat. It was not a tax, it was a threat. It will be a tax if they don't behave. Take China as an example. I have many friends, great manufacturers, they want to go into China. They can't. China won't let them. We talk about free trade. It's not tree free trade; it's stupid trade. China dumps everything that they have over here. No tax, no anything. We can't get into China. The best manufacturers, when they get in, they have to pay a tremendous tax. The 45% is a threat that if they don't behave, we will tax you.

Unaware that he's just informed everybody in China that he's bluffing.

Yastreblyansky said...

Inadequate quote, this one from CNN interview is clearer:

TRUMP: "I’ve talked about different taxes. I have also said - I didn’t say I was going to put. I said use it as a negotiating tool, and I would if we couldn’t make the right deal."
COOPER: "But that would raise prices for consumer goods."
TRUMP: "China just devalued their currency recently more than they have at any time in more than two decades. This was like shocking. And the only reason they did it is because we’re weak and have no leadership. It makes it impossible for our companies to compete with Chinese companies and China generally, OK. It makes it absolutely impossible. The threat of me doing this, for instance, the threat of doing it against Japan or China, tell Japan, by the way, when your cars come in you are going to have to pay a 35 percent tax. I sued 35 percent. I only used 45 if somebody is really egregious and, of course, now you have many people that are really egregious."
COOPER: "So you are seeing this as a negotiation tactic?"
TRUMP: "Absolutely. And you know what is going to happen? When they see that we are not playing games, that we are really do because I would do it in a heartbeat. I would love to do it. When they see that we are not playing games, they are going to stop playing with their currencies and they are going to stop taking our jobs to the extent that they are taking them right now."

Unknown said...

The next debate is a town hall setting, so it seems likely to me that the issue will come up.

Nefer said...

Well, that would be a rare moment of lucid thought on the part of that giant angry orange toad.

If he doesn't realize that Clinton's campaign is fully prepared to belt him upside the head with the perfect short, sweet, sure to go viral, debate winning, Trump campaign ending comeback to whatever rancid bit of projecting viciousness he throws at her, he's even dumber than I think he is.

Of course Clinton doesn't want to re-hash Bill's infidelities. But she has endured public scrutiny of hers and Bill's marriage for decades. Dumpster doesn't have whatever it would take to rattle her on that topic. But he will pay regardless.

Phil Freeman said...

Trump is absolutely a coward face to face - and the Clinton campaign has already picked up on that fact. Check out this quote from Hillary's speech in Florida yesterday: "My opponent's only infrastructure plan is to build a wall! I loved that he went down to Mexico and he choked. He didn't even raise it. He's been going around telling people for months we're going to build a wall, make Mexico pay for it, so he's sitting with the president of Mexico and he doesn't even bring it up." They've got him pegged 100%. They know all his weaknesses, and they're just gonna keep sticking thumbs in his eye for the next five weeks.

Victor said...

What do you get when an ass and a pussy screw?

Donald t-RUMP!

KenRight said...

Disgraceful. Clinton has no problems spending trillions to Iraq, Libya and Syria...but national health care? That's a no no-and only spoiled young victims of her and her hubbie's wholesale job outsourcing and deregulation of banksters would believe otherwise.

No Sanders voter can do other than vote Stein or Trump with this leak.

Aimai said...

Literaly incomprehensible, KenRight. But to get back on track: yes, Trump is both a thin skinned bully and a coward. There's no doubt he's petrified of confrontation with someone he doesn't think he owns. I wouldn't be surprised if he and his handlers actually have to psych him up to get him out on stage with Hillary for fear that she will laugh at him and make him feel as petty and small as he must feel inside. All his braggadocio and his self love are just a cover for a scared, self loathing, tiny man. Hillary was born to destroy him and I think she will do it handily in the next debate.

Victor said...


t-RUMP will destroy himself.

IT'S fate is straight out of Greek and Shakespeare's plays!

Buford said...

we still are not talking about releasing his tax returns...

trnc said...

'She also characterized disaffected young Americans -- particularly the many college students who joined the so-called Sanders’ political revolution -- as “living in their parents basement” and feeling their post-graduate jobs are “not at all what they envisioned for themselves. … They don’t see much of a future.”

“If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to being a barista … then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing,..."'

So she believes that disaffected recent college grads might be somewhat discouraged about job prospects in their chosen field, and that supposedly would turn off voters so much that they ignore literally everything about HO?

Try again, Ken.

Ken_L said...

You're overthinking it, Steve. Trump was just being cute in the first debate with his "I could say something really bad but I'm not going to" crap. Of course everyone asked afterwards what he meant, and predictably his campaign's explanation complete with son's "I'm so proud of dad's forbearance" idiocy got more media coverage than an outright debate attack would have.

I'm hoping Hillary finds a way in the next debate to calmly mention briefly that one of Trump's ex-wives swore a deposition that he raped her. It should be enough to unhinge him completely for days.