Friday, October 7, 2016

This Campaign, This Damn Pain: Mike Pence None The Richer


Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You which is where the buffalo roam. I’m Dave-El and I’ve never seen a deer and antelope play but I did see a gopher and elk musical once.


Hey, you guys, I’ve gone a whole week without talking politics! Yaaaaaayyyy!!

And that stops as of today.

I know, I know: not so "yay". 

Not that there wasn’t much to talk about over the last week, mostly surrounding Donald Trump’s meltdown since his debate with Hillary Clinton on September 26th.  Our tangerine dreamer kept insisting he won the debate, Crooked Hillary was awful, he knew all the best words and the greatest threat to this nation was former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.


That’s right, instead of economic or foreign policy, the thoughts of would be President Donald Trump were consumed by Ms. Machado, how she gained a “massive” amount of weight, that the Clinton campaign arranged for her to become a citizen in order to get her to vote for Hillary, how she was a disgusting person with a “sex tape”. All anyone has seen by way of a sex tape is grainy footage of a love scene from a Mexican soap opera. Meanwhile, a soft core porn movie produced by Playboy was uncovered which features a cameo appearance by (oh, you know where this is going!) Donald Trump. But Donald was undaunted. “Who the hell needs daunts?” Donald Trump might say as he sat up past 3 in the morning engage in a Tweet storm rant against Machado and Clinton and how annoying it is when a sesame seed from a Big Mac gets lodged in your teeth and you can’t quite work it loose with your tongue.


No, to be fair, Trump did not Tweet complaints about Big Mac sesame seed buns; I made that up. But if he had, unlike his other Tweets, it would’ve made sense.


And then the New York Times got a hold of Donald’s 1995 tax returns where he recorded a nearly $1 billion loss which would’ve likely kept him from paying federal taxes for nearly 18 years. So we have a guy who got out of paying the taxes that all us other working schmucks have to pay and not contributing his fair share towards the security of this nation and the education of its children among many other things. We also have a guy who LOST nearly a billion dollars in the casino industry. The casino industry! Look, casinos are not inherently a license to print money; like any other business, a casino can do well or it can go bust. But you really have to work hard or be incredibly stupid to lose a billion dollars. Or you can be Donald Trump, turn this on its head and claim to be a genius by working the system. And if you have a problem with that, blame Bill Clinton. Yes, he blamed Bill Clinton who was President at the time for not changing the tax laws that Trump took advantage of.

But Trump's accountant from 1995 said that Donald didn't know nothing. Donald Trump had no idea what happened and how to fix it. All he did was sign the tax return when the accountant was finished.

So Donald Trump knows how to sign his name? The man's a freakin' genius!


And THEN there was the story of the New York Attorney General laying a smack down on the Trump Foundation by denying it the right to take in any more funds. The Trump Foundation is the alleged charitable arm of Donald Trump’s empire. I say “alleged” because it seems that Trump Foundation money has been used on behalf of Donald Trump’s favorite charitable cause, himself. Questionable purchases by Trump including at least two instances of Donald purchasing paintings of himself. Payments have been made in the name of the Trump Foundation to the benefit of Trump including distributions to his presidential campaign. And to make matters worse, Donald’s not even spending his own money. Donald Trump hasn’t made a donation to the Trump Foundation since 2008!


So there’s Donald Trump furiously digging in the dirt to carve out the grave of his misbegotten Presidential campaign. Maybe his running mate My Pants….Mike Pence! Dammit!---could save the day at Tuesday’s Vice Presidential debate?


Maybe?


The debate basically broke down like this:


Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate Tim Kaine was an eager contender. A little TOO eager, perhaps. Tim was like a precocious puppy all too happy to show off all the tricks he’s learned. Look at me, I’m fetching the stick! I’m fetching the stick just like you taught me! Look at me! Despite having some really damning facts on his side, what most people remembered about the night was Kaine’s demeanor and it was hardly a positive.


On the other side, Mike Pence just… sat there.


MENACINGLY!


OK, not “menacingly” but Pence did play the “rope a dope” game, basically taking the punches, making a few jabs here and there. What was quite notable about Pence when he took the offensive was how he differed from Donald Trump, particularly on his view of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the situation in Syria. It was as if Mike Pence was there for his agenda, not Donald’s. Mike’s got an eye on 2020 when (if?) Donald goes down in flames on November 8th.  He’s being patient, biding his time.


Which took the steam out of Tim Kaine’s attacks on Pence when Kaine tried to pin Trump’s orange hide to Pence. Pence just wasn’t having anything to do what that line of discourse. It actually fed a really good point that Kaine made, that Mike Pence could not defend a man he was telling people to vote for. But Kaine’s hyper nature compared to Pence’s calmer presentation took the sting out of that barb. 


Overall, the immediate assessment was that Mike Pence “won” the debate but that was mostly points for style. In the days to follow, Tim Kaine’s case may seem stronger as time and consideration is given to what was actually said as opposed to how it was said. At the very least, the debate did show that mild mannered neighborhood dad person Tim Kaine can go into attack mode for Clinton as needed although he needs to work on that some more.


But did My Pants…Mike Pence! Dammit!...move the needle for Donald Trump? Probably not. The diametrically opposed personalities and policy positions of Trump and Pence do not suggest any sort of symbiotic relationship where a solid Mike Pence can steady a wobbly Donald Trump. Mike Pence is just holding on for dear life until this is over with.


And you know there’s part of him that really hopes he and Trump don’t win this thing. Four more years of Donald Trump? Even Mike Pence’s vaunted patience would not help him for long.

That's that for today. Stay safe from hurricane and remember to be good to one another.

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