Trump calls for sabotage

Every losing candidate for the presidency in recent years has conceded defeat in the election and wished his opponent well. I don’t think that is going to happen this time. This time, it looks like the Trump-led Republicans (that isn’t all the Republicans by any means) are preparing to continue the war.

Here is what struck me that way.

If that doesn’t work for you, try “cartoon trump ad moving to the white house” or go directly to  It’s worth 30 seconds of your time.

I was struck by the line, “When America sent Hillary back to the White House…” That is the first line in a cartoon Trump ad that I saw yesterday, on the weekend before the election. It looked like a concession speech—everything but the wishing his opponent well. Instead, it was, “You’re going to wish you hadn’t done that.” or, more briefly, “I told you so.”

“I told you so” is interesting to me in two ways. First, it presupposes that Trump will lose the election. There isn’t any other way to understand “When America sent Hillary back…” Second, it presupposes that Hillary has done something that will make “America,” or at least the Trump-leaning part of America, ashamed of her. In the dim background, I keep hearing the beginnings of a call for impeachment [1]

America, she has not yet taken the oath of office. This is like a groom accusing the bride of being unfaithful to the marriage vows before they get to the alter. Hello? She can’t have been a bad president yet.

The ad is nearly as much anti-Bill Clinton as it is anti-Hillary. There is a reference to Bill’s foreign policy speeches. I can scarcely imagine who that is aimed at. I really think it is just filler. The “report” of the Clinton moving day is given by a cartoon reporter named Robyn Lewis. At the end of the ad, Bill Clinton moves over to her and does something inappropriate—I can’t quite see what it is—and then winks at the “camera.”

That is why Bill is there. A lot of people have not forgiven “Slick Willy” for getting away with something. He was accused, but he denied. He was impeached but not convicted. The moralists who keep score so rigorously and those who are as guilty as Bill but who couldn’t evade conviction, are equally angry and that is a splash of resentment that gets on the bystanders. It cost Al Gore the 2000 election, in my judgment. It will cost Hillary every day of her presidency.

So this Trump ad, presupposing that they will lose “the main battle,” seem to be calling for years of guerrilla war as the next step. Even if the Democrats regain control of the Senate for two years—that would be the maximum, as I see it—the House will still be firmly Republican and ready to stymie anything President Hillary wants to do. More states will break out the pre-Civil War doctrine of “interposition,” interposing themselves between the federal government and “their” citizens. [2] There will be targeted budget shortages. Roads, rails, and bridges will continue to deteriorate.  The U. S. will continue to flirt with bankruptcy. “The interim is just the election carried on by other means”—that is my adaptation of the famous Clauswitz quote about war and politics. [3]

That is a very bleak picture of our future and I hope very much that it does not turn out to be true. I do think that this Trump ad is a call for exactly that future.

[1] Just a moment for a little clarification of language. “Impeachment” is something the House of Representatives does. It is a charge which is then “tried” in the Senate. By my reading, the House will still be solidly Republican after the election. Is there a downside to inaugurating impeachment proceedings at once? I can’t think what it would be.
[2] The conclusion reached by the Civil War was that they are all “our” citizens. The states have the constitutional right to control some areas of politics, but all citizens are citizens of the United States first and of…oh…Texas…second.
[3] “War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means.”

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.
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