My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson has some predictions about what is to come in the presidential election campaign this summer. As I do, he understands that the normal political rules simply do not apply this year:
Before summer is over, we may see things now scarcely imagined that will make Brexit seem anticlimactic.
Trump’s Attack Mode
I think the following is an accurate statement: No major public figure has ever before attacked the Clintons in the manner that Donald Trump did last week. The details and tone of his charges can be endlessly analyzed, but their central theme resonates: The Clinton couple, broke when they left the White House in 2001, leveraged Hillary Clinton’s planned political trajectories to amass a personal fortune of between $100 and $200 million — all in the form of quid pro quo investments by wealthy individuals and foreign governments in the likely continuance of Clinton political power. Government is not the jungle of Manhattan real estate, and should have demanded at least a veneer of honesty.
The scandals of the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton’s various get-rich and jet-set escapades, and much of Hillary Clinton’s paranoia over the audit of her e-mail communications all revolve around a Clinton circle that can never be squared even by liberal pieties: The wealthy do not make politicians fabulously rich — unless they assume that they will receive something of much greater value in return.
The Clintons are unique — like no other first couple in recent American history. Not the Carters, not the Reagans, not the two Bush couples, not any first family emeritus has so unapologetically charged banks, foreign governments, corporations, and universities so much money for overtly so little, but on the expectation of clandestinely offering so much.
The Clinton ethical miasma is emblemized by the Laureate International Universities scandal — the highbrow version of Trump University, but a public not a private debacle. Between 2010 and 2015 “Chancellor” Bill Clinton was paid $16.5 million by the for-profit Laureate — but for what services he was to become one of the highest-paid university officials in history is not clear. Mirabile dictu, an educational affiliate of Laureate saw its support from the State Department more than triple from a pre-Clinton $15.1 million.
True, Hillary Clinton, who deleted over 30,000 of her private-server e-mails, can demand hard proof of such payola, but she still cannot rationalize why her husband was paid so much for so little demonstrable work, while she, after stepping down as the nation’s top diplomatic official, followed his reprehensible cue in her retirement.
Trump will continue to expand these charges, no doubt in his characteristic nihilist, take-no-prisoners fashion. Hillary is already replying in like kind, rather than in exalted “Have you no shame?” stature. But the rounds of fire between the two candidates are not quite symmetrical. Trump is brash, crude, and a brawler. Hillary is a carefully scripted and choreographed establishmentarian. Recently, speech coaches seem to have had some success in sedating her screech-owl, nails-on-the-chalkboard rants. She has seemed calmer, quieter, more deliberate.
But in response to Trump’s charges, Hillary is starting to resort to her naturally unpleasant side, both in form and in content. She should learn from Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. When Trump unloaded on them in turn, each eventually stooped to reply in like kind — and seemed suddenly unpresidential. Trump, of course, never claimed to be or perhaps could be completely presidential. But his establishment targets became less presidential once he scraped often their veneers and they climbed down into his muck.
Go here to read the rest. Trump, if elected, will make a poor president. However, he is the perfect candidate to take down a brazen, shameless crook like Clinton. The Democrats have largely benefited over the years in that the Republicans tend to nominate ladies and gentlemen who are reluctant to engage in harsh, personal attacks. Trump is a Democrat in Republican clothing, and he regards going for the jugular as mild campaign tactics. This should be an immensely entertaining campaign. Edifying, no, but entertaining, yes!