Republicans quid faciam?

In his stump speeches and the first debate with Hillary Clinton, the Republican candidate makes a plausible case that Washington has neglected many people who have been injured by trade, technological change, and the Great Recession; recovery from the Recession has been slow; and our infrastructure is falling apart.  

But it seems to me a tragic irony for the Republican to blame this on President Obama and the Democrats, when the reason for these problems lies ENTIRELY with the Republican Congress! Time after time President Obama has proposed measures aimed directly at these problems, only to have the Republicans' total obstructionism prevent the passage of any, including virtually all infrastructure spending. There is an implicit blackmail threat in this position: if we don’t elect a Republican President, they will prevent the federal government from doing anything useful—and blame it on those who are trying to get something done! I wish more eloquent people would be making this point in public.


The Credibility of a Psychopath

This is a comment I posted in response to Charles Blow's 9/8 column that the press's failure to hold Trump accountable for his repeated lies explains why a 15% majority in a recent poll found Trump more honest than Clinton:

It truly is mysterious, how any sane person could vote for an obvious psychopath like Trump. Of course the media deserves much blame, but what about our fellow citizens? At the moment, to be sure, we just have polls, and people can tell pollsters anything they want. Still, an extraordinarily large number of Americans is obviously considering a vote for this creature. As to Trump's lead in believability, I think that comes down to optics, and the possibility that many people disregard the content of what is said in favor of the person's demeanor. Trump, an accomplished huckster, in presenting a spontaneous self, peppered with "trust me" and "believe me" comments, comes across as credibly as any TV evangelist or con man must if they are to make a living at fooling people. (See the NPR interview with Jerry Springer making this point on 9/30/16, http://www.wnyc.org/story/jerry-springer-knows-about-mixing-politics-entertainment/?utm_source=Newsletter%3A+WNYC+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=0a0e12244d-Daily_Brief_July_4_20141_26_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_edd6b58c0d-0a0e12244d-68710341&mc_cid=0a0e12244d&mc_eid=5e42d777cb) By contrast, Clinton is obviously careful, lawyerly, and defensive of her privacy; she couldn't persuade an eskimo to buy a heater with this manner.