ON THE TRUMP SIDE
Trump's been making Republicans uneasy because he says things that they think he should NOT say publicly. And polls say this open talk is hurting him.
The message I get from this is: It's ok to be a racist and misogynist as long as you don't get caught. As long as you don't say these things publicly. How many other politicians say and do the same things, but off mic? As long as we don't know about it, no problem.
On the other hand, many of his supporters applaud his free-wheeling tongue, saying it's a sign of transparency and it's a refreshing change from the careful spin of most politicians. It doesn't matter that what he says is hateful and disgusting.
Now, for some (many?) of his base, probably he's saying out loud the hateful things they're thinking and saying in their closed circles. They're delighted he's saying them in public. It validates their thinking.
But some Republicans are cringing as if their fancy shoes can't avoid the dog doo.
And while his supporters admire his openness, they can't seem to mimic it themselves. Take this example of twisted spin from World Net Daily:
"Mr. Donald Trump is raising the bar of America’s conscience. Apology is often the first step in correcting a wrong. Having moved for [sic] a position of saying “I don’t need forgiveness,” Mr. Trump is now taking a second look at past behaviors; things that he’s said and done that he regrets. While he is not asking for forgiveness for being human, he is admitting that he’s made mistakes and humbly making apologies."What's wrong with this? Trump's raising the bar of America's conscience? Yeah, sure. Things he regrets? Only if they make him look bad, not because they are bad. What he said was a sincere apology? How many of his advisors had to pin him down and punch him until he agreed? There is nothing Donald Trump has publicly done in the last year or so that can be remotely described as "humbly.' NOTHING.
And Trump's supporters are not being as open and honest as Trump is.
What she's really saying there, and it gets clearer in the rest of it (you can see it here if you must) is, "I don't really care what he says or does about anything, as long as he appoints anti-abortion judges." That's one of the problems with extremism. You don't have to be an extremist to dance with the devil now and then. The US became an ally of the Soviet Union during WW II, so sometimes we have to take those kinds of positions. But the Soviets played a huge role in the defeat of Hitler. They delivered. Why would anyone believe anything Trump promises? He's only going to follow through if he gets a cut.
ON THE CLINTON SIDE
Clinton's taken a lot of heat for things she and her staffers said that they had every reason to believe were said in private conversations. Until Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) server and Wikileaks shared them with the world.
We say a lot of things in private, at work and with friends. In fact policy debate among staffers is one of the in Freedom of Information Act exemptions (#5), so that agency staffers can speak candidly, play the devil's advocate, and test out policies that they don't really expect to pursue. They're the kind of things a number of Republican presidents have claimed Executive Privilege to prevent being disclosed. And the DNC isn't even a government agency that would come under the Freedom of Information Act.
But Clinton's been attacked for things that she or the DNC staff never actually said in public. Now, one could argue that Trump sex assault tape was similar, and once it's public it's fair game. And there are some things that are inconvenient for Clinton supporters. But I dare say if we got the same conversations that were held with the RNC, I'm confident there'd be a lot juicier quotes than what we have from the DNC.
As I've said before, I'm not 100% in agreement with Clinton. I'm troubled by the Clinton Foundation, particularly its actions with relation to Haiti and the appearance, if not the actual fact, of it being used to sell influence. I'm not happy with her early position on Iraq and her cosiness with Wall Street. But there are many positions I support fully and she has the experience and the connections to make things happen. She's had eight years to watch how Republicans obstructed Obama. I'm betting if she gets a majority in the Senate, we're going to see a lot of legislation passed in the first two years before the 2018 election. And she's running against Trump.
I think the saying "Damned if you do and damned if you don't" is appropriate here. Trump gets hit for saying what he's thinking and Clinton gets hit for not saying what's been said by her party in private. But in balance, what Trump's been saying has been so over the top, that many in the political party he hijacked are abandoning him. Clinton's email sins are run-of-the-mill back room political strategizing. But nothing really damning, unless you're a Republican strategist trying to find anything that might stick and to get the negative attention off Trump and onto Clinton.