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Hullabaloo


Friday, August 26, 2016

 

I shot a campaign in Reno

by Tom Sullivan



... just to watch it die.

Hillary Clinton's killer instinct made an appearance in Reno, Nevada yesterday, writes Michelle Goldberg at Slate:

We hadn’t seen this Hillary in a while. She stayed under wraps during the Democratic primary, never seriously going after Bernie Sanders. But the killer in Hillary came out on Thursday, delivering a devastating indictment of Donald Trump’s associations with the far-right fringe, one meant to permanently delegitimize him among decent people.
The assault that began with the release a Clinton ad tying Trump to the KKK and followed up with an unheralded speech tying Trump securely to the emerging alt-right. It was a speech aimed at "sinking Trump but sending lifeboats for Republicans," William Saletan explained:
Twenty seconds into her attack, Clinton sent her first conciliatory signal. Trump’s “divisive rhetoric,” she said, was “like nothing we’ve heard before from a nominee for president of the United States from one of our two major parties.” Many liberals would disagree. They think Trump has made explicit the racism to which other Republicans have appealed indirectly through attacks on figures such as Jeremiah Wright or Willie Horton. Clinton, who began life as a Republican, chooses not to see it—or at least put it—that way.
But she means to govern, he writes, and she'll have to work with her rivals. So no scorched earth.

Clinton said of Trump's vivid history:
Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones.

Trump said thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.

He suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps in Trump’s mind, because he was a Cuban immigrant, he must have had something to do with it. Of course there’s absolutely no evidence of that.

Just recently, Trump claimed President Obama founded ISIS. And then he repeated that nonsense over and over.

His latest paranoid fever dream is about my health. All I can say is, Donald, dream on.

This is what happens when you treat the National Enquirer like Gospel.
Jamelle Bouie writes of the speech:
As strategy, however, Clinton’s approach is shrewd. She could tie the entire GOP to Trump, but at the risk of embattling Republican voters and activating a tribal loyalty to the party. By distancing Trump from the Republican mainstream, she offers those voters another choice: You can vote for me, or if that’s too much, you can just not vote at all. Either way, Trump’s margin shrinks. And if those voters decide to abandon the polls in November, it could bolster Democrats even further as they try to take the House and Senate back from the Republican Party.
Bouie asks the obvious question: "Why couldn’t Republican leaders say this when they had the chance?"

Chances are that was a rhetorical question.

Clinton said yesterday, "This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump." Her effort to take out Trump without killing off the Republican Party with him will not buy her much grace from rivals who have spent their political careers trying to end hers. But leaving a defeated adversary a way to retreat can reduce the carnage in a country Hillary Clinton hopes to govern starting in January.