It Can Do No Other

In the process of becoming something new

Roger Simon compares the craziness surrounding the 2016 presidential election to a “national nervous breakdown”.  Paul Krugman for one is feeling it. He Tweets “There cannot be another Trump-related scandal tonight. I need to get some rest.”  Fat chance of that.  Not only is yet another Trump scandal imminent in the coming frenzied days but probably another Hillary one too.


James Carville is either past caring or past help, depending on your point of view.  On MSNBC he accused the FBI, the KGB and the GOP of joining forces to bring down Hillary.  If he’s nuts so’s Harry Reid.  The ranking Democratic Senator accused Director Comey of hiding Donald Trump’s affiliations with Russia and violating the Hatch Act.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch kept her disaste in check long enough to ask if she might not help the FBI go through Hillary’s emails to see if there was something to be concerned about. Politico reports that the AG, after initially opposing FBI director Comey’s investigation into emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer, is now eager to vet them herself. Mickey Kaus isn’t buying the loving kindness. Everybody’s up to something in this supercharged season. “Would Comey have gotten his warrant (to search Weiner emails) if he hadn’t gone public?”  Now that’s cynical. Downright cynical.

Still there’s no denying this is definitely a peculiar election. David Goldman (Spengler) writes on Facebook perhaps tongue in cheek: “I’m seriously considering canceling all my appointments to get a scenario thriller out before Nov. 8. Premise? Huma Abedin is a Saudi agent, and her masters in Riyadh have decided that Trump is preferable to Clinton (who was a major mover in the hated deal with Iran)…”

The author Robert Bidinotto is frankly amazed.  On his Facebook timeline he writes: “IT WAS A busy week. As for the paucity of posts (don’t you love alliteration?) over the past few days, the news leaves me increasingly speechless, my jaw now perpetually hanging open in disbelief. It’s like watching an MMA cage match between Orwell and Kafka.”


The political civility that everyone was supposed to observe went overboard some time ago. In an op-ed whose captures the mood of this election Leonard Pitts expresses this in “I don’t want the GOP defeated.”

I want it immolated.

I want it razed to the foundation, reduced to a moonscape, left unlivable even for cockroaches, much less newts. I want it treated like boot heels treat ants and furnaces treat ice cubes, treated like a middle-school basketball team playing the ’71-’72 Lakers.

Defeat is not enough. Let there be humiliation. Let there be pain.

Maybe he’s upset. There’s a lot of that going around these days. What exactly “the world” thinks of events in America is not yet clear. It’s not clear that they can think it.  America has always been atmospherically different from other First World countries, an unpredictable place where outre, astounding and jaw-dropping routinely happen. Flying saucers land in America and everyone knows they never land anywhere else. It’s a place where a Los Angeles police department dispatcher who receives a call reporting the Predator rampaging downtown might actually send a response team because in America it could be true.

The election of 2016 seems like a scene inside a larger event.  There is the sense that something significant is happening though no one seems can say exactly what. Robert Kagan called the United States the world’s “most dangerous nation”.  It’s a place where the idealistic and the cynical, the tawdry and the sublime, the brilliant and the stupid routinely rub shoulders in public life.  The Most Dangerous Nation is now apparently in the process of resolving a political crisis in its own inimitable way. What it will do next is anybody’s guess. It might be wonderful. It might be horrifying. It will probably be a little of both.


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