One of the most stunning arguments I had with a friend during the 2016 presidential election season was over the relative health statuses of the candidates.
You might remember that Hillary Clinton appeared off-balance following a September Eleventh remembrance in 2016, near the end of it, and that she was later diagnosed with and treated for pneumonia. My friend was telling me that what she heard was that Hillary Clinton was having mini-strokes every day of her life, that she was dying, and that she was lying about her health.
To make a long story short, I compared and contrasted Clinton’s official health disclosure with Trump’s. I did so in some detail. I provided a link to Clinton’s full disclosure and a picture of Trump’s doctor Harold Bornstein. What we know now about Trump’s disclosure is that it was as bull-shitty as it sounded, and that Bornstein later claimed Trump had dictated the bullshit medical disclosure himself and, as a bonus, that Trump’s men had raided his office and taken any records to do with the Impeached Preznit Carnage Wannabe Dictator Boobieface.
And at some point throughout that process, he went on Dr. Oz? What?
So, here we are now, same shit, different election season.
Remember that time in November 2019 when Impeached Preznit Dear Leader was shang-hai’d off to Walter Reed? And later on they were like oh no, that weren’t nothin’, it’s just part of a checkup? A weird checkup that requires an emergency transport to the hospital despite adequate medical facilities on-site and several hours in the hospital?
So a reporter named Michael S. Schmidt is releasing a book called Donald Trump V. the United States, and in this book he broke a bit of news, a little detail we did not previous know: Not-Yet-Impeached Vice President Pence was put on notice that day that he might have to be preznit.
Impeached Trumpenstein is of course denying that, denying one of the most scooping reporters the New York Times has.
Which brings me to my real point: Germans love David Hasselhoff.
Just kidding. I brought up all of this crap to point something out: Joe Biden has released his medical disclosure.
And while it does not say that Biden “…will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” it does state Biden is a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief.”
The assessment, which you can go online and read, seems to be honest and straightforward (though I personally never made it through my first year of residency). If you have questions about his mental acuity, his fitness, his health generally, yeah, the guy was treated for brain aneurysms and he has some acid reflux issues. There it is for you, bulleted and signed by Kevin C. O’Connor, D.O., FAAFP.
They still won’t tell you why Trump was rushed to the hospital nearly a year ago.
I failed to mention a detail I noticed regarding James Comey. I read Hillary’s post-mortem, What Happened. Actually, I listened to it, as read by the author.
And you can tell whom she’s most upset with regarding 2016, just in her tone of voice when she reads a particular section of her book.
Comey. Oh, she’s so pissed off at Comey.
I could spend more time trying to talk you down from your 2016 PTSD, my fellow seekers of peace, but to do so would require further relitigation of that election season. I think there’s been enough of that.
One more detail, though, to consider when comparing and contrasting the election season then and today: Incumbency. 2016 was the first election in 16 years where there was no incumbent.
Those are more difficult waters to navigate. Whom do you run against? Do you defend or run on the predecessor’s record? If you were the vice president (as is likely) and the electorate is in a mood for change, how screwed are you?
But this is 2020, and, unlike 2016, we have an incumbent, an incumbent whose record is, objectively, abysmal. That makes your talking points stick to their bullets.
This is not 2016. And we have 63 days. And while I want to be careful not to tempt the wrath of whatever from high atop the thing, I will tell you that this is one voter who thinks good things are afoot.
The Republican National Convention has just ended this past week, and we’re hearing doom and gloom from some for some reason, notably HBO host Bill Maher, who told MSNBC’s Joy Reid, “I am feeling less confident about this. Maybe it’s just their convention bump got to me, but I’m feeling less confident than I was a month ago.”
Michael Moore is also feeling gloomy, as he indicated on his Facebook page recently: “The enthusiasm level for the 60 million in Trump’s base is OFF THE CHARTS! For Joe, not so much.”
CNN is reporting that, despite Biden out-polling Trump handily, “The result of the 2016 outcome for this cycle is that the general public doesn’t buy the polling showing Biden clearly ahead. They think Trump is going to win.”
Wow. Problematic. Maybe we need to understand a few things about 2016.
First, recall the numbers. As the Washington Post reported in December 2016: “But for 79,646 votes cast in those three states [Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin], [Hillary Clinton would] be the next president of the United States.” This is a razor-thin margin. From the same article:
Trump won those states by 0.2, 0.7 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively — and by 10,704, 46,765 and 22,177 votes. Those three wins gave him 46 electoral votes; if Clinton had done one point better in each state, she’d have won the electoral vote, too.
This was despite Clinton’s lead in total votes by three million. America on the whole wanted Hillary Clinton to be President. Trump’s victory turned on a dime. And there were several irregularities in 2016 that might have helped affect this result.
I think the most interesting thing about James Comey’s last-minute Oct. 28 notification to Congress is remembering where the issue originated.
Comey’s letter to Congress said: “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
Those emails were only found because the FBI was investigating Anthony Weiner’s funny habit of sending dirty messages to a minor in North Carolina. From a laptop he shared with his wife, Huma Abedin. Who would also correspond with the Democratic candidate for President on that computer.
So if Weiner hadn’t been the perverted human being that he apparently was, we may not have had the Comey Surprise, and we might not have Impeached President Carnage McGee today.
Vanity Fair’s reporting on that little episode is priceless, by the way.
Of all the different issues swirling around regarding the 2016 election, the Comey letter is one that our friends at FiveThirtyEight can point to and say yep, that caused a dip for Clinton. I mean they can point to it like it’s on a map.
Comey later testified it made him feel “mildly nauseous” to think they might have swayed the election. I hope the former FBI director has gallons of Pepto on hand.
My point? This is not 2016.
There’s no Comey. There is no email “scandal.” We are nearly five years away from Hillary Clinton’s marathon Benghazi testimony. Bill Clinton can meet on the tarmac with Loretta Lynch all he wants to this year, and it will not affect the election. Anthony Weiner is sobbing in a cold room somewhere clutching a body pillow, tattooed forever as a sex offender.
I submit to you and will have further comment on this soon, that 2016 was a particularly egregious and difficult little tick. I am not saying that 2020 isn’t likely to provide us with some challenges, too. But it is a mistake to allow PTSD from 2016 to shade one’s enthusiasm and hope for the Biden/Harris ticket.
Just for fun, we’ll start with a probably partial speaker list from tonight:
Dana White, president of UFC
Sen. Tom Cotton
What I enjoyed most about this evening’s festivities, besides maybe the excellent view one had all night of Joy Reid’s sternum, was that there were probably about 1,500 people sitting on the South Lawn of the White House. I look forward to the Sturgis-like numbers in D.C. in about a week-and-a-half.
Also, hey Internet: Melania Trump wore a green screen tonight. Have fun!
Having now witnessed the last night of the Republigoat National Nightmare, I will say this. I used to work in that neighborhood. A lunchtime activity was for a group of us to take a walk around the White House to walk off lunch. And even though at the time one was still held far away from the building by the tall steel fences, it always felt somewhat comforting that it was there.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before Donald Trump brought his distasteful, crappy golden-toilet aesthetic to the White House.
I mean, first, let’s get this out of the way: Stop bagging on what they did to the Rose Garden. They didn’t deface a historical space, and they actually may have improved the “rose garden” aspect of the place and improved accessibility. Dig it from Snopes.
And I wanted to give a similar pass to the idea of holding the Preznit’s keynote at the location due to safety concerns due to the Trump Virus. However, if you saw the crowd and how they were packed in there like anchovies, then that justification is a Jango loser. No, this guy turned the White House into his own Sportpalast, and my largest takeaway is that I hope Congress takes a long look at this travesty.
If you’re interested in more nit-picking about tonight, I suggest going over to NPR and have a looksee.
Or check out a lightning-round fact check here (link goes directly to Twitter, thank you Daniel Dale).