An absurd week in America's two-tier election - Macleans.ca
 

An absurd week in America’s two-tier election

Pundits claim Clinton had a bad week. Next to Donald Trump’s seven days of gaffes and scandal, that is insane.


 
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in New York. Clinton's campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee left the 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York early after feeling "overheated." (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waves after leaving an apartment building Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in New York. Clinton’s campaign said the Democratic presidential nominee left the 9/11 anniversary ceremony in New York early after feeling “overheated.” (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This may have been the most absurd week in U.S. politics in recent history.

Here is a list of gaffes, mistakes, or scandals that came out of the Trump campaign, just in the last seven days, just off the top of my head:

Let’s begin with the Commander and Chief Forum. Trump lavished praise on the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He then made the unprecedented error of discussing his classified intelligence briefings and claiming his briefers were unhappy with the current President. After that, Trump lied, yet again, that back in 2003 he opposed the Iraq War.

It was then revealed by the Washington Post that Trump had taken credit for charitable giving by others. It reported he lied to the IRS, claiming donations he never made. What’s more, he illegally used $20,000 earmarked for his charity to buy a six-foot portrait of himself.

Trump then gave a TV interview to the Kremlin’s propaganda network RT, and afterwards claimed he only did it because he was “tricked” by Larry King. In another appearance he gave an incoherent monologue about something he called “nuclear warming,” which included false accusations against Clinton and sentences like, “Uranium is big, big stuff because it means the ultimate.”

Next, as the terror attacks of 9/11 were remembered, a radio clip emerged of Trump (on the very day of the attacks!) boasting that his building was now the highest in New York. Then it was reported Trump has publicly lied about helping to recover bodies at Ground Zero. He also claimed he personally had “hundreds” of friends who died in the attack, not one of whom his campaign was able to name.

While all of this was going on, he made an unprecedented personal attack on the chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen. He renewed his attacks on Elizabeth Warren, once again calling her “Pocahontas.” He promised he would start a war with Iran if its sailors made inappropriate gestures. After his VP released his own tax returns, Trump once again refused to do the same. His son tweeted a neo-Nazi meme. And one of his chief surrogates disavowed the Geneva Conventions.

By comparison, how was Hillary Clinton’s week? She failed to smile at Matt Lauer. She echoed numerous polls by asserting half of Trump’s supporters are racist. And she almost fainted while suffering from pneumonia. Which is all to say, the media consensus as delivered by the pundits and the headlines is that Clinton had a really bad week. This is absolutely, unequivocally, insane.

Every day, Trump says something or is revealed to have done something that would have disqualified every other candidate for president over the last 40 years. Howard Dean’s political career ended after he yelled too loudly at a campaign rally. All Michael Dukakis had to do was pose for a picture in a tank and his campaign was over.

By contrast, Trump is exposed as a liar, a fraud or a bigot on an hourly basis. He is shown repeatedly to be ignorant of the most basic elements of the U.S. Constitution or international affairs. You could describe his entire campaign as a train wreck, if a train was able to crash day after day non-stop. But still, the pundits roll their eyes—“That’s just Trump being Trump”—and turn to Clinton’s cough.

There are a few possible reasons for this. It could be the dog-bites-man problem: The media only focuses on what is new or unusual. Trump’s lies are neither. There could be a desire to ensure some obvious “balance” in the media coverage. If news outlets reported on every single Trump gaffe, there’d be almost no room left to cover Clinton. Others have speculated that it’s just sexism; Clinton is getting much more scrutiny because she’s a woman. It is hard to imagine a male candidate being criticized for not smiling enough. Clinton’s unique relationship with the media is to blame, too. She and her husband are notorious for cutting corners with the truth and hiding their activities. This has ensured she doesn’t get a pass on anything.

But it doesn’t really matter why it is happening. What matters is that it is happening at all. Everyone needs to step back from the daily coverage and cast their eyes over the massive smoking wreckage of this election. As soon as you do, it becomes painfully obvious that Trump is the most unsuitable candidate for president in living memory. My God, he isn’t even qualified to be president of the Hair Club for Men.

The absurdity of the last seven days has made it impossible to deny there aren’t two tiers of scrutiny in this election. Maybe, as a result, we’ll see a turn toward sanity. Maybe, the media will begin to judge Trump as a candidate for the office he covets, and not as the reality-TV star he is.


 

An absurd week in America’s two-tier election

  1. I’m not absolutely 100% certain, but after skimming through this story, I suspect that Scott Gilmore has definite leftist political leanings. I wonder if Mr. Gilmore will be kind enough to confirm or deny my suspicions.

    • I would certainly hope Gilmore has “definite leftist political leanings” considering the only other alternative in the room. Don’t you? He is just sane.

    • He claims to be a conservative, but I have never seen him discuss a single conservative issue. He’s also married to Catherine McKenna, the Liberal cabinet minister.

    • Right. Totally ignore what’s being said about that nonsensical jerk and go after the messenger instead. Obscure, divert, bellow, say anything to get out of a pickle, pretend, pretend, pretend – Trump’s only strategy.

    • Scott Gilmore should just stick with commenting on Trudeau’s hair.

    • Rather than questioning Gilmore’s political leanings, as if that proves anything re the validity of his article, if I were a US voter, I’d be more interested in having *both* candidates undergo thorough physicals by independent physicians, who would also go over the candidates’ medical histories.

      Clinton does have a history of secrecy and obfuscation, and Trump’s “doctor’s note” was a total, 100% joke. So, if health is going to be an issue, then it is beneficial to have actual data rather the hearsay we now have.

  2. I share your angst. What is wrong with these people?

  3. “she almost fainted while suffering from pneumonia”

    Almost fainted? She would have face planted without people there to catch her. No question asked.

    This narrative of the mainstream media giving Trump a free pass is really, really sad. Up to a month ago Trump was toast and was making a mistake a day. Then he re-booted his campaign, hired Fitzpatrick as campaign manager and got some discipline. Since the daily gaffes have stopped the focus has been on Hillary.

    Glimore your bias is showing. If you were as elite as you are in your own head you would have made ambassador somewhere. Just sayin’. Trump isn’t “qualified to be president of the Hair Club for Men”. Is that supposed to be a serious statement?

    Who are the respondents in these ‘polls’ showing half of Trumps supporters are racists? If the race is as close as CNN is showing that means a quarter of Americans are racist. Why would Hillary want to lead such a country? Why did she walk back the ‘half’ comment if the polls show it to be correct.

    The ‘cough’ was symbolic of Hillary’s lying. Why not disclose the pneumonia then?
    She was overheated on a day with temperatures in the high 20s. Then hours later it was revealed that she had pneumonia.

    I understand this column is a way to rage against Trump as a repudiation of the ‘elite’.

    The five comments are telling of how small your readership really is.

    • Trump presents as having a problem with EVER being truthful. He seems to live in a fantasy world and after he makes ridiculous claims, he dismisses them by saying he was kidding or something else equally obtuse. You don’t like Hiliary. That is your business but you must admit that people in important jobs often push themselves to attend work when they are ill. Jack Layton never disclosed he had cancer. This was simple pneumonia. In this day and age, with antibiotics, under a physician’s care, people seldom die from this illness and people are usually on the mend within 24 hours of taking antibiotics if it is of a bacterial nature. The heat, the clothing, the humidity, the standing in one place for a prolonged of period of time was not conducive to recovery but to compare her failure to disclose her actual diagnosis to the Donald’s claim he recovered bodies from the 9/11 site…..come now…his own party leaders have problems with his actions and they don’t have left leanings.

      • The temperature was in the high 20s. Hardly ‘the heat’ to blame for Hillary’s collapse.

        Who made such a ridiculous comparison? Recovered bodies? Some Republicans aren’t supporting Trump. Just as some Democrats aren’t supporting Hillary.

        Hillary is all about falsehood and covering up basic facts. Bill got impeached because Hillary covered up Whitewater from the start. That attitude of secrecy almost cost Bill his presidency and will cost Hillary this election.

        • Check your records. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob. No more, no less.

          • Ken Starr would never have been named Independent Counsel but for Hillary’s stonewalling on Whitewater.

            No Ken Starr. No impeachment.

            The dots aren’t that difficult to connect.

          • Lying under oath is an impeachable offense for a U.S. President, blowjob notwithstanding, Shoop.
            You may not consider a blowjob a big deal, but Bill Clinton obviously does.

        • Obviously you have never been to NYC at his time of year with the heat in the high 20’s. The humidity is overwhelming. Perhaps you watched our Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic cramp up on the tennis courts at the US open tennis tournament in NY due to the heat and humidity. It is real and it is brutal. Your comments show you to be very naive about dehydration and its effects on a person who suffers from pneumonia. However, pneumonia is not a serious illness in and of itself. This is much ado about nothing.

    • Eleanor. You are confusing my comments with TJCooks.

      I’m on your side here.

      • Was Bill kicked out office because Monica wanted to keep the dress with seamen on it? No. Why? Most people thought Bill’s infedelity with the interim who flipped her skirt up and showed her thong was between he and his wife. Ken Starr disagreed. America didn’t thank Ken Starr for the impeachment proceedings. Bill is successful in his post presidential life. Where is Ken Starr? Nobody cares. Just like they don’t care that Hiliary had pneumonia but the Donald he concerns people because he is a buffoon and as Bill Maher said, a dead Hiliary would better president then a live, heathy Donald.

  4. Excellent and Accurate assessment. ..exactly how I saw it.
    I cannot fathom the comments otherwise.
    Thank you for not being a yellow journalist
    Thank you for calling it truthfully
    Thank you
    ps I posted your article on all my social media..and I love Macleans magazine

  5. There seems to be a real need to ensure that people see both candidates as undesirable and even equally desirable and in order to do so they have to make Hiliary’s actions appear equally egregious to The Donald’s. Whether the journalist has Liberal leanings or not, this is true. Pneumonia is not usually a deadly illness and many people get “walking pneumonia.” It was 31 degrees Celsius and humid in NYC on the weekend. Hiliary was ill and dehydrated and wore two warm of an outfit. She pushed herself to attend the ceremony on 9/11 and got faint. They see her not disclosing her illness as a sign of her untrustworthiness. How foolish. People often push themselves and when they do get ill, they need assistance in the immediate aftermath. They likely aren’t concerned with the optics of what the media will make of their failure to disclose.

    • Pneumonia may be a very treatable illness, but because Clinton has not been up front about her health, there is a lot of speculation that what she has is much worse than pneumonia. The video of her “stumbling” on Sunday actually showed something metallic fall from inside her paint leg. This has given way to speculation that she has a catheter and that her illness is much worse than she is letting on. Perhaps everything that Hillary has said about her health is true up to this point, but she attempts to hide her condition until she has no choice but to tell the press something, and that makes people feel that she is hiding something, which gives way to even more rampant speculation. Hillary can put an end to this if she releases her health records, which is what John McCain did during the 2008 election when speculation about his health became too big a distraction.

      • Honestly, I don’t see how any candidate could satisfy such shameless conspiracy theorists. If you’re willing to believe such baseless speculation, would you be satisfied by a signed note from her doctor that confirms her good health? No, you’d claim a coverup.

        If she released every last scrap of her health records, you’d claim they had been edited.

        The rabbit hole can go as deep as you need it to. If you’re already talking about a catheter, you’re well into it.

        • If she released her medical records, and they supported what she is saying, this would go away. Sure, there are those who would claim that she is still hiding something, but those are the people that will never vote for her anyway. People have a right to know if they are voting for Clinton or Kaine. And lest you think I am being partisan, let me say that I think both candidates should be required to go through a physical and mental analysis and the results of which should be released to the public. It wouldn’t surprise me if both candidates are hiding some pretty glaring health problems, and I think that is something that the public deserves to know.

      • I am all agog. What part of a in situ catheter is metallic? I will give you the answer? None of it. A catheter is made up of a rubber hose which is fed into the urethra, a balloon which is inflated with water to keep it in the bladder and a bag which is then strapped onto the person’s leg with an elastic that has buttons which are plastic. No metal is involved. What reason would a catheter be used? It is usually used on men who are having there urethra dialated due to stricture which causes drippage. This would be very rare is a woman. It would be unlikely to put one in even should she have a urinary tract infection because Sulfa drugs or antibiotics would clear it up quickly and the catheter would only make it more likely for an infection to occur. This sounds like fantastic bunk. I would love to hear your theory on the catheter but you best cut out the metallic bit because catheters have no metal component so perhaps you should try for another theory.

        • I think you misunderstand my comment. I’m an accountant. I don’t know anything about catheters. My point was, because Hillary has not been up front about her health issues, it has allowed this kind of speculation to occur, which is very bad for her campaign. The catheter theory is something that I read from an article posted on the DailyWire. Google: “Video: Mysterious Piece of Metal Appears to Fall Out of Hillary’s Pant Leg As She Collapses” for the article. Now that she has released a letter from her doctor, she might be able to stop the speculation if she recovers from her pneumonia and appears healthy for the remainder of the campaign (especially during the debates). However, she needs to be up front and honest about her health (as well as everything else) if she wants to be viewed as trustworthy. Hillary has a habit of only telling the truth after she has been backed into a corner and has no choice but to be honest. That mentality might cost her on election day if she is not careful.

  6. America has become a caricature of itself.

    The people it needs to deport are white southerners.

    • Bingo! Emilyone nails it once again!

    • That’s bigoted to southerners and racist toward whites. As a Canadian it is xenophobic as well.

      Emily you perfectly fit Hillary’s basket of deplorables.

      • LOL no, just bigoted towards stupid people

        • Then why didn’t you say that?

          You explicitly said white southerners.

          But, but, but Trump bad….

          • I DID say that…..you can’t read

          • What you said was bigoted, racist and xenophobic.

            Trump will win the election and those suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome will suffer from crippling anger at President Trump.

          • You can dislike anybody you want,,,,,just not for stupid reasons like skin coour or gender.

            Trump’s followers are stupid….so it depends on how many stupid people the US has

            You sound like one of them

          • Hey Emily you said this. “You can dislike anybody you want,,,,,just not for stupid reasons like skin colour or gender.”

            I agree. That’s why you were wrong when you said “The people it needs to deport are white southerners.”

            White is a skin colour I presume.

          • Actually white is a lack of colour Shoop….but I doubt you know that since you can’t understand that wasn’t a reference to skin colour……it was a reference to the Confederate South….but not blacks

            Why are you Deplorables on a Canadian web site anyway?

          • So discrimination against white people isn’t racist because white is the absence of colour.

            Yeah, Trump’s supporters are deplorable. right….

          • You are one of the functionally illiterate types…..certainly deplorable…..who has no idea what is being discussed

            You are making high school arguments…..without even being aware of the topic.

      • Well I am going to weigh in on this argument at the risk of getting my head chopped off. With respect to the comment, “The people it needs to deport are white southerners”, I agree with SHOOP that this is a racist comment towards White Southerners. Not all Southerners are stupid or deplorable. Even if is a reference to the Confederate South, not all people in a Confederate South are stupid or deplorable either. Nevertheless in today’s strange pop culture world, it is perfectly acceptable for a white person to be racist towards other whites and for black people to be racist towards other blacks. I can only assume that EMILYONE is white, and that kind of makes it ok in the weird world we live in, no?

  7. Lol liberals are sweating now. I guess from now until the election, the majority of the mainstream media will be an infomercial for Shillary, even more than it has been already. Not sure why the Canadian media has been so gung-ho about being a mouthpiece for the Democrat party of the US, but I guess crapping on Trump is just the easiest way to virtue signal these days, and if there’s one thing Canadians love to do it’s show how “progressive” we are.

    This whole thing has been hilarious to me. Both candidates are terrible, Trump probably more so. But in this election cycle we’ve seen liberals lose the high ground they presume to occupy. They’re gonna vote for a corrupt old hag who’s in the pocket of Wall Street and Saudi Arabia, and their media is just as biased and full of crap as Fox News. Christ, CNN is for all intents and purposes a Democrat party organ at this point, just like how Fox is for the GOP. And the Canadian media is just as bad if not worse.

    • I doubt the Canadian media cares…….Canadians certainly don’t

      • Huh? Then why is our media constantly bombarding us with stuff about Trump? Just look at this very website. You would think the guy is running for office up here.

        • The media writes about anything….mostly silly stories Whatever they need to make deadline.

    • I too don’t understand the reason the MSM is all in for Hillary. Hillary will be good for Canada in the same way that Obama has. We are nothing but an foot note to both of them.

      Trump – don’t know how he will affect Canada – probably through putting the US first in trade deals (the horrors) and expecting Canada to live up to its NATO commitments (more horrors). Under a Trump presidency Canada will actually have to act as a grown up country in a real partnership.

    • “… old hag”. She’s experienced and dares to participate as something other than eye candy in what some people still assume should be a man’s world.

  8. John Cleese tweeted the perfect summary of the candidates:
    “They’re both liars and crooks,but one of them is comparatively sane,and has a good attention span.”

  9. Just a small technical correction, from the 3rd paragraph: it’s “Commander in Chief”, rather than “Commander and Chief.”

  10. Small correction: he boasted that his building was now the tallest in Lower Manhattan, not the tallest in New York.

  11. For me, an American voter, Trump is bad, but Hillary is worse.

    I must be one of her “deplorables.”

    • No, sexist…..as Hillary is the best qualified candidate you’ve ever had.