That phrase sums up where those of us who are conservatives find ourselves during this high political season. Another phrase that might apply is ‘damned if we do and damned if we don’t’.
We have our candidate. A fellow by the name of Donald Trump; you may have heard his name before if you have not been unconscious for the past several months. He is a guy who has some rough edges. He has not been in the political arena before to my knowledge. He has been both broke and rich, and like most of us would, he likes being rich a lot better than he likes being broke. He gets a kick out of being rich, and I might also if I were rich. I am rich but not necessarily from the perspective of money.
There is another candidate and she has been around for a long , long time and she has the scars to show for that time in the political punji pit. She is the wife of a famous or infamous former politician; you decide how to frame this fellow. He is probably one of the most charismatic people ever to be in politics. He loves the ladies and they seem to reciprocate if only for a night or two or if under duress. Somehow, these two people have been married through all the bruhaha in their two lives, have had their share of fights and have survived several, some say many, things that people would call scandals. As a matter of fact, they can probably be likened to Harry Houdini in terms of their ability to escape what looks like sure imprisonment, or at least certain and total embarrassment. Their names are Hillary and Bill Clinton.
There is something people call a ‘debate’ scheduled for this evening, and it goes up against a Green Bay Packer football game which probably means a lot of channel switching going on in Wisconsin. This debate is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and it catches Trump in the midst of a bad patch of publicity. He engaged in some trash talk including some sexually explicit words in 2005 and now somehow that tape has made its appearance in public and has created quite a bit of conversation. We do not know, for certain, just how this coincidence occurred, but it seems safe to say that Mr. Trump has enemies who felt this was a great time to dump the tape on the public since he was running almost neck and neck with Ms. Clinton. The Clintons have been here before, except on the receiving end, given Mr. Clinton’s propensity for female encounters other than those involving his wife. A lot of money has gone into buying “insurance” that these people will stay still. Does the name Paula Jones ring any bells?
The press has seized upon this golden opportunity to try to push what seems its favorite candidate further out in front of Mr. Trump through innuendo. That may be fitting since Hillary Clinton has certainly had her own exposure with this kind of embarrassment given her husband’s wandering eye, but it is also rubbing some others the wrong way who suspect there may well be some shenanigans involved.
Just as Hillary Clinton appeared to be a bit wobbly in the knees, this gracious gift arrives and shifts the conversation back to the crudeness and naivete of her opponent, and his lack of depth in matters political. Whether this is simple coincidence or the result of a deft plan of attack, it appears that Mr. Trump has suffered some cuts and bruises. He is a big boy but can ill afford too many more hits politically at this stage in the race. He is confronting a political juggernaut.
Donald Trump, whether or not deserving, is also between a rock and a hard place. He is not always as polished and gentlemanly as his supporters would hope. He is not a professional politician. All this having been said, it seems almost too much of a coincidence that a video from 2005 would suddenly surface at just the right point in a campaign to serve to knock Trump out of the race, but that is what the Clinton machine would have us believe and certainly hopes will prove to have been the result.
Republicans who finally seemed to have accepted the fact that Donald Trump was their guy, if only by default, are trying to figure out how to avoid being contaminated in their own right by these accusations and by this crude video ‘evidence’ just presented in the court of public opinion. Donald Trump needs a very solid performance in tonight’s debate. He needs to remain the gentleman, but he also needs to be quite ready to let some political blood if and when that opportunity or those opportunities arise.
If Trump comes out of tonight’s battle badly damaged, he is quite likely finished unless there is some further amazing and damning information made available about Hillary Clinton. Given the skittishness amongst Republicans at this point, it seems more likely than not that they will stay as far from this fiasco as is possible, and that probably foretells of a second President Clinton and of a long term liberal U.S. Supreme Court and of a Republican party that is decimated in terms of political power.
Talk about a rock and a hard place!