Election Update: Cubs on Brink; What’s Next in This Crazy Year?

October 31, 2016 — 1 Comment

“Good pitching will always stop good hitting–and vice versa.” Casey Stengel.

The 2016 World Series is a pitchers’ duel, except when it’s not. The Cubs have Theo Epstein, who orchestrated the Red Sox win in ’04. But the Indians have the former Sox manager Terry Francona. Only one team will find the magic mix of pixie dust.

Hillary Clinton’s mix of magic dust now has more dust than glitter.

Media accounts were calling it an October Surprise. But the surprise didn’t come from the Trump camp. It came from the FBI.

Before the FBI announced the reopening of the Clinton email investigation, Peggy Noonan opined that Trump’s purpose in history  would end short of winning the White House.

“Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues (Noonan’s emphasis). The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.”

Republicans could shift for the next cycle. Sane and reasonable men with political prowess and skill could pick up the Trump banner and carry it on. It would be the Trump perspective without the craziness.

Best case scenario if you’re a Republican, Trump might end up being a pseudo-Goldwater, buried under his own landslide, but setting the table for a new revolution. Or worst case,  Trump could be a big rock gathering speed in an ongoing Republican shift to the bottom.

Then FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI would reopen its investigation into Clinton’s emails. Former Bill Clinton aide Dick Morris says Hillary Clinton had slipped out of the lead even before Comey’s news conference.

The “drip-drip” of the Wikileaks emails were having an effect. The red herring distraction–The Russians did it–didn’t work.

And then came Comey.

It remains to be seen how the next eight days will play out. If you haven’t already, fasten your seatbelt.

So will it be Trump or Clinton? Media outlets lean Clinton but acknowledge a tightening race.

I have the sense that this year is the year of ‘Be careful what you wish (or pray) for.’ You might want to vote for the person you most hope to be the subject of endless Congressional hearings–depending on who controls either house.

The country has fallen a long way from the days when Hubert Humphrey encouraged bitterly divided Democrats to embrace civil rights and when Noonan could write a book about Ronald Reagan entitled When Character Was King.

Last week, Russell Moore delivered a speech that Rod Dreher says will be “a line in the sand marking the end of an era and the opening of a new one.”

“Moore went all-out condemning religious conservative figures who, in his view, traded their moral principles for first-class seats on the Trump Train. The same movement that condemned Bill Clinton for his immorality and denounced feminists for their hypocrisy in sticking by Clinton for the sake of holding on to power has produced leaders who have done exactly the same thing [for Trump]. For Moore, they are morally bankrupt, and the world knows it, even if they don’t.”

From Russell Moore himself: “The religious right turns out to be the people the religious right warned us about.”

Moore said he understood the Christians who could hold their noses and vote for Trump. In light of Clinton being Clinton, he gets that.

But Moore doesn’t get, and neither do many who do not plan to hold their noses, how so many evangelical leaders could stand next to Donald Trump and said, “here’s one of us.”

Natan Sharansky was a Jewish dissident in Soviet Russia. His great crime was wanting to live in Israel. Shortly after his arrest, Sharansky endured a strip search. He stood naked–body cavities searched–with a handful of other people in the room, one of them a woman.

At that moment, Sharansky had a realization that we of the religious right should heed.

“I realized that nothing they could do could humiliate me. I could only humiliate myself by doing something I might later be ashamed of.”

Hold your nose, if you must. But please don’t try to claim moral high ground.

In baseball, the pitcher’s mound is higher than home plate.

In American politics this year, the mound of leadership is empty.

 


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