Monday, September 5, 2016

I Stand Between You and the Apocalypse

So Hillary said at a recent fundraiser:

"At a private fund-raiser Tuesday night at a waterfront Hamptons estate,Hillary Clinton danced alongside Jimmy Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney, and joined in a singalong finale to “Hey Jude.”

“I stand between you and the apocalypse,” a confident Mrs. Clinton declared to laughs, exhibiting a flash of self-awareness and humor to a crowd that included Calvin Klein and Harvey Weinstein and for whom the prospect of a Donald J. Trump presidency is dire.

Like Jeet Heer notes:

It's funny because it's true.

It really is true. Here's the thing. Hillary is a big favorite to win.

And assuming she-mercifully-does, she will actually be bucking a world wide trend. As big an outlier as Donald Trump seems to be, in truth, he is the rule, not the exception in 2016.

Donald Trump politics is alive and well, internationally:

1. First of all, Trump politics won with Brexit. Then all the leaders of the movement: Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Andrea Leadsom.

Now we hear that Britain is expecting a mild recession thanks to Brexit. Trump meanwhile campaigned with Farage and boasts that he will be the American Brexit.

That's the problem.

2. Now we see a Donald Trump party getting over 20% of the vote in a weekend German election.

"Merkel’s Party Beaten By Anti-Immigrant AfD In German State Election."

"Exit polls show a stinging defeat for the German leader’s party."

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats fell to third place in a state election on Sunday behind the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, TV projections showed."

"In a stinging defeat for Merkel in her home district one year ahead of federal elections, the upstart AfD won 21.4 percent of the vote in their first election in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern by campaigning hard against the chancellor’s policies on refugees, according to a projection by ZDF TV at 1615 GMT."

“This isn’t pretty for us,” said Michael Grosse-Groehmer, one of Merkel’s top deputies in parliament in Berlin in a ZDF TV interview. “Those who voted for the AfD were sending a message of protest.”

The election took place exactly a year after Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees and the discontent in the state was palpable.

“This is a slap in the face for Merkel - not only in Berlin but also in her home state,” said Frauke Petry, co-leader of the AfD. “The voters made a clear statement against Merkel’s disastrous immigration policies. This put her in her place.”

"The SPD, which has ruled the rural state on the Baltic coast with the CDU as junior coalition partners since 2006, won 30.2 percent of the vote, down from 35.6 percent in the last election in 2011. The CDU won 19.8 percent, down from 23 percent in 2011, and its worst result ever in the state, the broadcaster said."

"The far-left Left Party won 12.5 percent, down from 18.4 percent five years ago, while the pro-environment Greens won 5 percent, down from 8.7 percent. The far-right NPD was knocked out of the state assembly, falling below the 5 percent threshold for the first time since 2006 with 3.2 percent, down from 6 percent in 2011."

Despite losing support, the SPD (24 seats) and the CDU (16) won enough seats to be able to continue their grand coalition in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with the AfD as the second-largest bloc in the 71-seat state assembly with 18 seats. The SPD, which could also form a coalition with the Left and Green parties, said it was leaving its options open.

"Voters already punished Merkel in three state elections in March, voting in droves for the AfD and rejecting Merkel’s Christian Democrats."

"Founded in 2013, the AfD now has won seats in nine of the 16 state assemblies across the country. However, it has no chance of governing in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since the other parties have said they would not form a coalition with the party."

"The AfD is also making gains nationwide, a new poll showed on Sunday. If the national election were held next week, the AfD would win 12 percent of the vote, making it the third-largest party in Germany, according to a poll conducted by the Emnid institute for the Bild newspaper and published on Sunday."

"Merkel, mulling a bid for a fourth term as chancellor, made a last-minute campaign appearance on Saturday in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, warning against the politics of “angst” offered by AfD with its virulent anti-refugee stance."

Don't get me wrong. Normally I would be happy to see the SPD get the most vote. But it's vote share was also down as was every party except the Trumpian anti immigrant AfD.

We have seen the Right rise in other European countries: France, Greece, Spain, et. al.

3. Meanwhile the Philippines elected their own Donald Trump:

"Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned President Barack Obama not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or "son of a bitch I will swear at you" when they meet in Laos during a regional summit."

Duterte said Monday before flying to Laos that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people."
"He said Obama must be respectful and not just throw questions at him, or else, "son of a bitch, I will swear at you in that forum."

"Duterte was answering a reporter's question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines to Obama. More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30."

Obama, meanwhile, says he has asked his staff to assess whether it would be productive for him to meet with Duterte.

Obama was asked at a news conference in China on Monday whether he intends to meet Duterte, as planned, at a gathering in Laos this week of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Obama said he had heard about the comment and instructed his aides to determine whether it would still be productive to hold the face-to-face meeting.

Read more:

So as you can see, Donald Trump like candidates and parties are the rule right now. Hillary is the exception who looks poised to buck the odds.

'God help her if she fails. God help us all.'

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