“Sorry” Or Not, Trump Was Justified In Reaming Turnbull

AS YOU SOW, so shall you reap: these words should ring in Malcolm Turnbull’s ears like a klaxon siren after his entirely justified international humiliation by Donald Trump; having barracked for Hillary Clinton and made no secret of his disgust at her defeat, Turnbull’s refugee deal with Barack Obama, after that defeat, was tantamount to a poke in the eye of the new US President. “Sorry” he may now be, but Trump was within his rights to lash out.

There is one angle to the fracas over Malcolm Turnbull’s fraught telephone call with Donald Trump this week — over the equally contentious prospect of carting asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island off to the United States for resettlement — that every mainstream media commentator I’ve seen or read has missed, and it is an instructive one.

I should apologise to readers for my disappearance over the past few days; three days interstate and a heavy day yesterday back in Melbourne conspired to disrupt the renewed conversation we have been having here, and whilst I have stayed abreast of political goings-on, it has been a little frustrating to be unable to find the time to comment.

But I have followed, with interest, the increasingly embarrassing debacle that was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first telephone conversation with the new US President; to say Turnbull has come off second best is something of an understatement, and whilst some — like Daily Telegraph columnist Laurie Oakes — are trying to pump up Turnbull’s tyres, suggesting the PM “stood up” to the President and showed him his “mettle” — the reality is that being made to look a fool to a global audience by willing media is something Turnbull could (and should) have avoided.

First, a little history.

Back in 1992, the Conservative government of UK Prime Minister John Major — itself freshly re-elected in a result that probably owed more to the thumping majority won by Margaret Thatcher in 1987 it was defending, and to the fact its Labour opponent was Neil Kinnock, than it did to any great enthusiasm within the British electorate — leapt into the fray during that year’s presidential election in the US, making no secret of the fact it wanted George H. Bush re-elected, and going to great lengths to ensure that that message received extensive coverage by the US press.

The outcome, as everyone knows, was nothing of the sort; Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton beat the elder President Bush handsomely (thanks, in part, to the votes drained off by billionaire Independent candidate Ross Perot). Clinton went on to serve eight years as President — in a reign many credit his wife, Hillary, as the “real brain” behind — and during which controversy and scandal were never far from the surface.

(It is during this period that my own deep contempt and dislike for the Clintons developed; not because they were from the Left, but because they gave every appearance of being a law unto themselves: an entitled mentality that remained evident up to and beyond Hillary Clinton’s own failed presidential bid last year).

Even so, in 1997 — as Major again faced British voters, this time against a resurgent “New” Labour Party led by the telegenic but vapid Tony Blair — the Clinton administration, always happy to hold a grudge and to act on it, returned fire at the Conservative Party in a concerted endeavour to make sure it got the British government it wanted to work with. Labour would have convincingly won the 1997 election in Britain even without the endorsement and star power Clinton showered upon its campaign, but it hardly takes a rocket scientist to deduce that Clinton’s opinion counted for more in the UK than Major’s did in the US, and Major and the Tories were trounced.

This story is instructive, for it contains a sentiment that I think has changed very little in decades, if not centuries: nobody tells Uncle Sam what to do, or not do; from the War of Independence to the two World Wars — the second of which America was dragged into by the ambush attack at Pearl Harbour in 1941 — and to the Cuban Missile Crisis and more recently, its domestic politics, the bottom line always ends up being the same. America makes up its own mind.

What many people forget, too, is that prior to 1941, the US was quite content to dwell in splendid isolation, and leave the rest of the world largely to itself: this could offer a clue to why, after decades of global military activity over the past 75 years and being co-opted by most of the free world to act as its guarantor, the independent, isolationist message of the Trump platform resonated as strongly as it did. In short, it was a pitch for America to return to a more traditional view of itself.

The reason I relate both the Major-Clinton anecdote and the nature of pre-1941 America is because I think Malcolm Turnbull has probably emulated the former, and been complicit in an attempt to disrupt the latter.

Before last year’s US elections, Turnbull made it clear — crystal clear — whose side he was on; Hillary Clinton was “an old, personal friend” who “Lucy and I” looked forward to welcoming to Australia “as President.” Turnbull anticipated that “President Clinton” would be “a very good friend for Australia.” He was less vocal than some about his distaste for Trump before the election, but as the result became clear, the saccharine acknowledgement Turnbull gave of Trump’s victory failed to mask his obvious and real disgust that his “friend” had lost.

In an age of ceaseless, instant media coverage (and in a time political bunkers across the world receive news in real time, analysing and studying it to determine precise intelligence conclusions) Turnbull’s unabashed rah-rah antics on Clinton’s behalf were never going to escape the attention of the Trump team.

And in turn, the deal for 1,250 processed refugees to be resettled in the United States — formalised with Barack Obama, after the result of the election was beyond doubt — was only ever going to be interpreted by the Trump machine as a poke in the eye: an arrogantly mischievous attempt to lob a grenade into the incoming administrations’s plans that would explode in the new President’s face.

Turnbull himself might not have thought of the deal in such terms, but it beggars belief that Obama (and the Clinton team, which was reportedly involved with planning it) would have regarded it as anything else.

It was, to use the vernacular, the action of a smartarse.

There has of course been a tremendous amount of reportage over what was said and what was not said in the course of the conversation on Thursday between Trump and Turnbull.

What has not been contradicted by either side, despite wild accusations of “fake news” informing some of this coverage, is that a) Trump regarded the refugee settlement arrangements as a “dumb deal;” b) that Trump claimed that countries across the world were “taking advantage” of the USA, and that this had to stop; c) that Trump berated Turnbull, saying (among other things) that the call was the “worst” of his four calls with world leaders that day, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin; and d) that the call abruptly ended 35 minutes short of hour scheduled for it almost immediately after the refugee deal had been discussed.

As an incidental observation, characteristically fatuous remarks by opposition “leader” Bill Shorten — that Trump should have shown Turnbull more “respect,” and that he shared Australians’ sentiments that “petty playground bickering” and political point scoring must stop — deserve to be contemptuously dismissed as the hypocritical and opportunistic blather that they are.

And some readers of this column (and others who follow me on Twitter) may accuse me of hypocrisy in going down this track, too, for I was trenchantly critical of Hillary Clinton during the election campaign, and whilst not a Trump supporter, was resolute that the only result her candidacy merited was defeat. To those people I simply note that this is an opinion column, not a news service; the bulk of the opinions here are guided by my knowledge of and instinct for electoral behaviour. My sense was that beyond the Democratic Party’s citadels of California and New York, there was little appetite for Clinton among Americans. Once the votes were counted, that judgement proved correct.

But Turnbull is the elected head of government in a country very closely allied to the United States, and — like Major in 1992 — had drawn attention to himself for making it very clear to the Americans who he wanted to work with, and who he didn’t.

In this sense, what happened on that phone call should surprise nobody, but if ever there was a time one of Trump’s increasingly famous outbursts of belligerence was justified, this was it.

I tend to think that if it plays its cards correctly, the Turnbull government will find “better weather” in henceforth dealing with Trump: the President has vented, as they say these days, and there is a sense that having blown off a head of steam, the heat in the issue has been dissipated — whatever the eventual fate of the refugee resettlement deal turns out to be.

Indeed, there are some conciliatory overtures emanating from the Trump camp now the dust has settled a little. If Turnbull seriously wants to work Trump, now would be the time to draw a line under the refugee deal once and for all, for it never looked like anything more than a cynical stunt cooked up with a lame duck in Obama that was more about causing trouble for Trump than with achieving anything particularly noble or constructive.

But the fallout from the Thursday telephone call closes the circle on yet another in a long line of spectacularly inept political judgements on Turnbull’s part: having campaigned for Trump’s nemesis relentlessly and given every appearance of deeming her defeat despicable, the Obama refugee deal episode simply meant that the reaming he got from Trump by telephone was inevitable, entirely to be expected, and completely justified.

The real damage to Turnbull will be in the eyes of the Australian public, which already holds the PM in dim regard and will interpret what they have seen and heard of his discussion with Trump as weak, subservient, and a failure.

In this sense, I think Denis Atkins from the Courier Mail has it about right, saying that the Trump call will prove to be the curtain-raiser on a very, very difficult year for Turnbull.

That sentiment, however accurate, is probably the understatement of the year, although we canvassed the same point here last week.

I’ve heard whispers from different places (places, plural) that Turnbull’s papers are stamped, and that the push is on to get rid of him by Easter, or before the budget in May at the latest. The sticking point seems to be who to replace him with. If Turnbull even wants to see the year out, the time it takes the forces lining up against him to coalesce around a candidate represents the amount of sand that remains in the hourglass.

The first Newspoll for the year is imminent. It will find the Turnbull government faring badly, registering the seventh of “30 losing Newspolls” Turnbull used to justify knifing Tony Abbott. I don’t think Turnbull will last the year, or anything approaching it. But more fiascos like the Trump call will simply hasten what is now almost inevitable.

President Trump: Australia Must Work With The USA

NEW US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has taken office with customary American pomp and ceremony, and has already started work on his quest to “Make America Great Again;” whether you love Trump or hate him, much of his agenda is far more orthodox than either his belligerent rhetoric or the outraged reaction to it from the Left might suggest. Trump should be given a fair go, and Australia must work with the new administration.

At the outset, I will simply note that whilst I am not a supporter per se of Donald Trump, I am not hostile to him either; my only position during the recent presidential election in the United States was that Hillary Clinton (irrespective of who else was standing from any party) should lose, and that excellent outcome materialised very sharply in early counting. The world and the US has dodged a bullet whatever Trump might be accused of or indeed do, and in particular, those who think women have been shortchanged by her defeat in any way imaginable should review this unrebuttable piece.

This column minutes its congratulations to Donald Trump on his ascension to the office of President of the United States, and sincerely wishes him well as he seeks to implement far-reaching change in one of the Western world’s leading democracies; stripped of the rhetoric and assessed on its merits, there is as much to commend his agenda as there is to express unease over, but should the new President succeed he will leave the United States in far more robust shape than he found it after eight years of a socialist experiment that can only be described, domestically and internationally, as a failure.

One of the great ironies, as Trump settles into his new post, is that the chief gripe of the assorted socialists and other left-wing fruit cakes who have staged noisy demonstrations across America and around the world derives squarely from what Trump has actually been elected to do — govern in the best interests of the USA — and the nihilism and cult-like rage over the vanquishing of Hillary Clinton aside, Trump promises a revolution every bit as far-reaching as that overseen by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, which arguably restored a post-Vietnam America traumatised by the Nixon years and crippled by the Carter years to the position of global pre-eminence it had enjoyed in the early decades following World War II.

The Barack Obama presidency wasn’t as bad as that of Jimmy Carter, but by God it came close.

Trump should be lauded, not ridiculed, for his desire to establish better relations with arch-enemy Russia and is leader, Vladimir Putin, in particular; so low had US-Russian relations fallen during the Obama years that a third world war has become a distinct possibility for the first time in 30 years, and the Obama model of delivering rhetoric designed to humiliate Russia (a “regional power,” in Obamaspeak) whilst turning a blind eye to the threat it poses — even pontificating about eliminating the US nuclear arsenal — shows an ignorance of world affairs and historical strategic risk that placed not just America, but the rest of the world, in existential peril.

For years, it has been an open secret that Russia has been modernising, upgrading and expanding its strategic capabilities; for years, it has been building vast underground bunkers to shelter its people — an effort that has accelerated in recent times — and the Obama position, that Russia represents little risk and can be humiliated and put back in its box, is lunacy.

The world has become a much more dangerous place on Obama’s watch; in eight years we have seen Russian insurgents destabilise Ukraine, Russia itself annex the Crimea, forces aligned to the Kremlin commence positioning for a possible move against the Baltic states, China begin to rattle the sabres of war over its claim to the entire South China Sea, building military installations on reclaimed islands in that waterway in defiance of international law, the growth of the threat posed by North Korea, the rise of Islamic State and an apparent US strategy to deal with it that has been completely unproductive, and a deal to “disarm” Iran that any honest assessment of shows the theocracy in that country retains clear avenues to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

On balance, only an idiot can object to fresh attempts to deal with these hot spots: Trump may or may not succeed, but one certainty is that more of the same would not have worked: and more of the same is exactly what could have been expected of Clinton, save for the fact the Russians hate her anyway after her misadventures as Secretary of State (under, of course, Obama) and the familiarity that comes with the knowledge her husband’s presidency — which many believe was actually Hillary Clinton’s administration in all but name — was also largely focused on kicking foreign policy threats down the road instead of dealing with them too.

On Trade, Trump has announced that an “America First” philosophy — to buy American and to hire American — will guide the policies of his administration; he has also said that trade deals struck with global partners must work “in America’s interests.”

This does not mean that dealings with the USA will be precluded from satisfying the interests of other parties too, and in Australia’s case, an opportunity to strike bilateral deals to the betterment of both countries beckons.

It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his ministers are up to this assignment. Yet opposition “leader” Bill Shorten has all but declared Trump, his administration, and by extension the USA itself, an enemy of Australia. It is yet another huge black mark against the suitability of Shorten (and the ALP) to ever hold office, not least during Trump’s tenure at the helm of our most important economic and defence partner. Typically, however, the self-serving Australian Left, devoid of any common sense or obvious signs of actual intelligence, thinks the Shorten approach is just great.

In fact, there are enormous risks to Australia inherent in the Trump agenda that, with proper diligence and appropriate overtures, could be turned to great benefit; Trump is proposing, for example, to cut the corporate tax rate in the US to 15%, which will make Australia’s already overpriced goods and services even less competitive despite our dollar shedding 30% of its value in the past couple of years against the greenback. The change of power in America can and should be grasped as the pretext to enact comprehensive taxation reform in our own country, and not the kind of hot air and bullshit propagated, and dissipated, by Turnbull last year in a grotesque waste of the political capital he began 2016 holding.

Trump is an enthusiastic advocate of Brexit — the UK’s pending departure from the EU infrastructure — and eager to take advantage of opportunities to more closely integrate with Britain as it re-engages more fully with the wider world after 40 years of an overwhelmingly pro-Europe focus. There is scope to work collaboratively here to further the so-called “Five Eyes” relationship between the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and ourselves to build comprehensive economic and security links between the five countries on Earth that arguably share the most in common with each other.

Veteran financial journalist Robert Gottliebsen has published a brilliant analysis of how the international landscape is likely to change under Trump — and how this will affect Australia, and ways in which we might constructively respond — that you can read here. Far from a picture of international doom and gloom, there is plenty of upside for Australia in a Trump administration: if, that is, our “leaders” have the bottle to identify the opportunities that exist and to capitalise on them.

It is at times like this that the retirement of former Trade minister Andrew Robb is likely to be increasingly felt, and regretted, by those in this country with the insight to recognise the real value he offered.

And whilst many rightly find Trump’s 20-year-old remarks about grabbing women “on the pussy” distasteful in the extreme, the simple fact is that the lot of women stood to be far more comprehensively compromised and vastly more damaged by a Clinton presidency than anything Trump will in fact do in office: offensive drivel is one thing, but Clinton “boasts” a decades-long history of real action to destroy the lot of women and, in a litany of cases, women themselves, and those who don’t believe it should revisit the link I posted near the top of this article if they haven’t already done so.

Trump has, in the most part, assembled a first-rate administration — something conveniently overlooked by the outrage merchants of the hard Left — that will, in many cases, check some of the wilder outbursts their leader will undoubtedly make.

He must also deal with Congress, something Obama circumvented by issuing hundreds of autocratic executive orders that Trump is rightly repealing in his first act as President. One wonders what excuse the Australian Left, which claims the Liberal Party is “incapable” of negotiating with an utterly intransigent Senate, might offer in defence of Obama’s dictatorial misuse of executive orders through which to prevail.

Yes, there is much to worry about where Donald Trump as president is concerned; the bellicose rhetoric, the propensity to make unfiltered international announcements on Twitter, and the apparent lack of any “filter” at all for that matter are all points on which a pause for thought is far from inadvisable.

My point today, irrespective of what people might think of Donald Trump, is that he deserves to be given the opportunity to deliver on his promises, and to deliver on the outcomes he has promised those Americans who have elected him. There is much to do.

The final point I would make, for the benefit of those who profess to despise him, is that Trump’s victory is the logical end result of an approach to democratic government that benefits the rulers, is aimed solely at appeasing and buying off minorities and the marginalised, and completely ignores the silent majority in the middle.

This is no green light to the likes of Cory Bernardi — who is a red herring peddling snake oil — or Pauline Hanson who, whilst not a racist personally, has perfected an appeal to the bigoted and the rednecked in a cynical path to harvesting votes, a handful of seats in parliaments around the country, and public election funding.

But political types of all stripes in Australia — in contemplating the “Trump factor” and how it might apply here — would be well advised to remember that whilst winning elections in Australia requires a majority of the vote, it is the actions they take after achieving that which fuel approval and dissent. Ignoring the majority of voters to pander to narrow sectional interests is a recipe for political disaster, and that disaster is already beginning to be reflected in election results in Australia.

Exhibit #101: the 2016 federal election. Both Houses. No Authority. Splintering Support. And a process of revolt that is by no means complete.

This is the most salient lesson from the “Trump factor:” governing for all, in practice, means governing for as many people as possible, and this means for the majority — not just those interests who fit a politically correct, debased, quasi-socialist agenda that shafts the majority of the voting public.

Congratulations, Mr President. We are watching with great interest.

 

USA: Trump Wins The Election Hillary Clinton Was Born To Lose

AMERICA has delivered a vicious rebuke to Hillary Clinton and the Washington establishment, voting Republican firebrand Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States; despite early uncertainty, the sky will not fall in, and Trump’s task is to make good his vow to “make America great again.” For Clinton, the repudiation is a brutal, thorough, deserved humiliation. For her party, it remains to be seen whether it can recover by 2020 — if at all.

First things first: congratulations must be minuted to President-elect Trump, his family, their supporters, and the 60 million Americans who voted for them; Donald Trump has been elected to the most powerful political office in the free world — and will become its 45th occupant on 20 January — and it is to be hoped, for the common global good, that the eloquent vision he articulated during his victory speech last night (Melbourne time) is one he delivers upon.

I am not a supporter of Trump, nor am I hostile toward him; I am however (as regular readers well know) flatly opposed to the Clintons ever again holding public office and in this sense, the United States and the world have been spared four gruelling and traumatic years of legal machinations, a probable impeachment, and quite possibly armed conflict with Russia. And this is before we even contemplate the divisive, insiderish, illiberal junta that would have comprised a second Clinton administration.

Donald Trump, to be sure, is far from an ideal candidate for the presidency of the United States.

But his alleged misdemeanours — real, imagined, or laid bare by Wikileaks as campaign plots by a morally bankrupt and repugnant Democratic Party — pale into insignificance alongside any contemplation of decades of shady legal and business manoeuvres, questionable (and possibly criminal) behaviour during four years as Secretary of State, or the arrant and abhorrent sense of entitlement with which Hillary Clinton pursued the position of President.

This is not to say that dirty talk about women and other insulting and/or demeaning conduct should be sanctioned or condoned; far from it, although there are those leftist zealots who will accuse me of doing precisely that irrespective of any declamations to the contrary. For those people, reality is a jaundiced concept.

But a woman whose conduct may yet be found to have been brazenly and wantonly criminal — and who, in “supporting” her husband has repeatedly silenced women who levelled accusations of rape and sexual assault against Bill Clinton — is in no position to wail about “misogyny” or the mistreatment of her gender; in any case, she has singularly failed to satisfactorily answer the charge that her flagrant misuse of email systems as Secretary of State at best divulged highly classified material, and at worst compromised the national security of both the United States of America and its allies.

Hillary Clinton is, to be sure, the most unsuitable candidate to ever seek to be President. Whilst the alleged misdeeds of Trump are nothing to recommend, they do not outweigh any reasonable or reasoned assessment of her claim to that office. On that score, one of the best deconstructions of that campaign I have seen can (and should) be viewed below.

At the time of publication, it appears Trump and Clinton are level pegging with 47.6% of the popular vote apiece, with the balance claimed by a raft of minor party candidates, although as counting concludes in the Democratic fortress of California, Clinton will likely edge Trump on this measure by about half a percentage point overall.

In the Electoral College — where it really matters — this translates into 310 of 538 votes for Trump to 228 for Clinton, as the Republican carried EC votes from 31 of the 50 states to Clinton’s 19 plus the District of Columbia.

It is, in EC terms, a convincing win that falls short of a landslide. The only real surprise is that the margin isn’t greater.

One of the points of interest I have noted is that of the seven extra states Trump won, six — Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — are clustered in the north-east in and around the area variously described as “Hillary’s firewall” and the home of America’s liberal Left “elites.”

In other words, the Trump victory has been primarily fuelled by a rebellion against Clinton and the Democrats on what is to all intents and purposes their home turf: the only extra state he picked up elsewhere was Florida, whose 29 EC votes ultimately proved surplus to the required 270-vote threshold.

The notion Trump’s win was driven by a backlash against the Democrats in their heartland is further underlined by the fact almost every state the Democrats nevertheless carried in the immediate vicinity of those they lost — New York, Maine, Connecticut, to mention a few — were carried with significantly reduced margins.

There is a very clear message to politicians of the liberal Left — in and beyond the United States — and one that transcends the populist claptrap that at times characterised Trump’s campaign tactics: people are fed up with being told how to think, and act, and behave, or that someone else knows better than they do how to run their lives or spend their money, or that their country is the plaything for profit of a cabal of mostly unelected spivs legitimised by the fig leaf of an electoral endorsement obtained by gross deception.

This message (and its impact) has now been felt twice in Britain, once with the majority victory by the Conservative Party last year and subsequently in the Brexit referendum in June; it was a key reason for yesterday’s victory by Trump in the USA; and the prospect of sitting governments being turfed out in western Europe in favour of nationalist and/or conservative libertarian outfits is high, with the Front National in France a real chance to push the ruling Socialists out of contention in next year’s elections.

It is one that is quickly generating a backlash here in Australia, as people fed up with the finger-shaking agendas of an insiderish few profiting from the public purse, aimed at enshrining political correctness and hard socialism, find their voices in (for now) minor fringe parties.

If the Liberal Party rediscovers its proper role as the steward of the individual, freedom and respect for traditional institutions and values, it will prosper; but if it does not, the risk a new conservative force rooted in the mainstream rather than the far Right may usurp it is very real.

In other words, the forces that have led to the ascension of Trump are on the march across the Western world, as people react against the scam of “climate change,” the spectre of unlimited mass immigration, the prescriptive regulation of speech and thought, and the consequent destruction of everything that made their countries great to begin with.

Contrary to nightmare scenarios bandied about by Clinton and her cheer squad in global media — in increasingly shrill tones as election day drew nigh — the world will not end under President Trump, and the sky will not fall in; it is an obscene intellectual dishonesty to suggest otherwise, but in the US, Australia, Canada, Britain and elsewhere, it is fashionable for the Left to frame any conservative electoral mandate as the precursor to unmitigated social, economic (and in this case, military) destruction.

Ironically, the prospects for global conflict will recede after yesterday’s win by Trump; far from the a candidate with “inappropriate links” to Russia, Trump has demonstrated that he understands the need to ratchet tensions with the re-emergent superpower down.

In this sense, the so-called “bromance” he enjoys with Vladimir Putin appears likely to provide a circuit-breaker in US-Russia relations that would not have materialised under Clinton, who spent four years as Secretary of State giving every appearance of being as provocative toward Putin as possible, and whose campaign articulated a series of positions on Syria and the Middle East that seem contrived only to goad Russia into armed confrontation.

Global financial markets — which initially reeled on discovering compliant media reports assuring a Clinton victory were incorrect — will soon enough stabilise, as they did in the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

And whilst some of America’s trading partners may be entitled to feel nervous about changes Trump says he will make — backed by majorities in both Houses of Congress, no less — the truth is that US interests have been badly damaged during eight years of spectacularly incompetent Democratic rule. Whilst the Trump prescription might not be perfect, the prospect the American economy can be revived under this new approach is at worst no less probable than anything Clinton might have attempted.

Significantly, Trump has made it clear that the relationship with Australia is a key priority for his incoming administration: to safeguard our own interests, Australian officials have been building bridges to the Trump camp for months, and media reports yesterday featuring senior US figures suggested these prove fruitful.

But in the end, yesterday’s election result — a vindication of the Trump message, however unorthodox — was really a judgement on the illiberalism and socialism and failed international and domestic strategies of a moribund Democratic Party.

After two eight-year administrations in less than 25 years, it is easy to forget that America’s Democrats have lost six of the past ten US elections and that a seventh — Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992 — might have ended very differently had Ross Perot not drained off 19% of the vote as a third-party candidate: a development widely acknowledged at the time as having cost the senior George Bush a second term in the White House.

And in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, the euphoria of initial victory was quickly displaced by deep unpopularity and electoral mauling as soon as mid-term elections fell due; in Clinton’s case, a second term was made a certainty only by exceedingly poor candidate selection by the Republicans.

In short, the US Democratic Party of the past 40 years isn’t the most successful outfit on the planet.

I was shocked to learn, flicking through Wikipedia at the weekend, that many prominent names at Democratic presidential selection contests 30 years ago have remained prominent for most of the time since; the current Vice-President, for example, initially sought the presidency in the 1980s.

And with an eye to the future, it seems a tall ask for the Democrats to be competitive in four years’ time, let alone be in any position to win.

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was, in some respects, the last lunge by a patronage-addled, insiderish junta at an undeserved return to power in Washington; it has rightly been punished with defeat, and there are few credible names coming through that party’s ranks who might make plausible claims to the White House even after a further four years.

By contrast, the Republicans are blessed with fresh blood, with the likes of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio seemingly on the cusp of acting as standard bearers for a new era of American conservative politics.

I would be surprised if Trump seeks a second term in 2020, at the age of 74; whether he does or not, I suspect the axis of American politics is very much tilting away from the Democrats.

Either way — and whether he does or not — the onus is now on Trump to deliver on his rhetoric, and to make good his promise to “make America great again;” this project doesn’t start for another ten weeks, and until it does, I will reserve my judgement.

For Hillary Clinton, yesterday represented a brutal and thoroughly deserved humiliation, and a savage repudiation of everything she and her insidious cabal stands for; as I publish, Clinton has had neither the grace to publicly concede the election to Trump, nor the basic decency to address the American public or her long-suffering supporters. In defeat, Hillary Clinton has shown just how poor a champion she really is for the groups she claims to represent, and her actions remove any final vestiges of doubt that her only real agenda was power at literally any price.

America — and the world — are the poorer for the bruising and at times tasteless election campaign that concluded yesterday. It is Trump’s responsibility to now restore some decorum and prestige to institutions and processes that have been considerably tarnished.

But this election was destined to be lost by Hillary Clinton, who was born to lose any contest for the highest office in the United States at which she may have sought to slake her thirst for power and the imbecilic delusions of entitlement and public adulation that may have fed it.

In the end, this had nothing to do with oppressed women, or male dominance of spheres of influence, or the inherent “sexism” of the electorate, or any other bullshit with which the Left seeks to justify the failure of undesirable and contemptible candidates for high office.

Hillary Clinton has failed because the US public — weary of her after 40 years in public life, and contemptuous of her litany of scandals, fixes and other embarrassments — has finally decided to simply say “no.”

There is nobody else to blame. The result perfectly reflects her unfitness for office. Hillary Clinton emerges from this contest with precisely what she deserves, and that — literally — is absolutely nothing.

 

Trump vs Clinton: Choosing Between Political Correctness And The Truth

AS THE RACE to find the 45th US President enters the final stretch, it looks increasingly likely America — and the world — will be lumbered with the most unfit candidate to ever hold the office. A Hillary Clinton presidency is not and will not be a triumph, but a disaster; such an outcome is not a victory for women, but a curse upon them. In a turgid race pitting leftist fantasies of political correctness against a potty-mouth, a certain casualty is the truth.

Today’s post is as much an opportunity to “share” as an opinion piece in its own right; as we recommence the discussion in this column I’m mindful there are many issues we have missed, and with a known two-day hiatus starting off the new week, I want to try to get a separate piece up in time for Monday morning readers in addition to this one.

But the electoral contest playing out in the United States offers perhaps the most uninspiring choice of candidates ever seen at arguably the most important US election since Dwight Eisenhower triumphed in 1950, if ever; this election actually matters — not just to the USA, but to the rest of the world — and has become, like everything Hillary Clinton touches, a filthy slugfest between an allegedly rotten enemy that must be destroyed at any and all costs, and a tawdry set of “principles” to which unconvincing lipservice is paid but which are utterly disconnected from the reality of their so-called champion.

At the outset, I want to emphatically note that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, even if the practical effect of my position could be construed as marking me out as exactly that; on the contrary, I am flatly, resolutely and implacably opposed to the Clintons — be it Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, or the army of quislings who do their bidding — and can more accurately be described as sitting in the “anyone but Hillary” cohort.

Indeed, one of the despairing laments those around me have heard over the past couple of months is that it’s a shame (an almost criminal shame) that the independent candidates in the field, and Gary Johnston in particular, do not seem to have their shit together; the imperative of barring Hillary Clinton from the Oval Office far transcends any jumped-up indiscretions on the part of Trump, but through the negligence and selective amnesia of most of the American press, the sins of the latter seem certain to pave the way for the ascension of the former: with her own, far more reprehensible track record simply skated past and ignored.

The explosive revelation some weeks ago that Donald Trump had engaged, 20 years ago, in what he described as “locker room banter” but which at root was a filthy diatribe about what he would physically like to do to women he found attractive were inappropriate, abhorrent, and distasteful in the extreme, although I should note that a) were he not a candidate for the US presidency, they would never have come out, and b) if you show me a heterosexual male who has not articulated sexual desires toward a woman at some point, however foolishly, I will show you a liar. It doesn’t make it right, or justifiable, or even tolerable in the context of the election campaign, but it should also be noted that these sentiments — tasteless or not — were nothing more than words.

Of course, the Clinton campaign has followed up the salacious and scandalising revelations by producing a stream of aggrieved women with accusations of actual sexual “misconduct” against Trump; curiously enough, every one of these accusations has died out within a few days. Some have been allowed to quietly slip when contradicted by credible third-party witnesses; others when irrefutable proof has emerged that Trump was geographically nowhere near the woman in question at the time the alleged misconduct occurred.

The strategy is simple; operating from the grimy platform of the Clintons’ own debased standards (which we will come to presently), to paint Trump as a monster not dissimilar to the former US President in their own midst.

Just because Bill Clinton is a predator and a monster in his own right does not mean Donald Trump, by extension, must also be a predator on account of the fact he has dared to range himself against the Clintons in an electoral contest.

But if you are a Clinton, this is the mentality that underpins your words and deeds; Hillary is “a champion” of women and of women’s rights, and the “agent of change” who will encourage women across America and the world to speak out about their experiences at the hands of evil men, safe in the knowledge their grievances will be believed and assured that whomever they accuse will have the living shit kicked out of them by society, public opinion, and the law.

It doesn’t matter, in the jaundiced and warped Clinton world, that their own reality could not be more disconnected from this nirvana of women’s rights and the damnation of men at the merest denunciation, however fallacious; in fact, this outlook is a heinous and unforgivable slight upon those women who really have been raped, or assaulted, or otherwise physically mistreated by men who are never brought to account.

But when you are a Clinton, such distinctions are treated with contempt, for the only thing that matters is power: and if that means using a few women as pawns, or trashing a few men guilty of nothing more than a few loose (if grotesque) words along the way, then so be it.

This brings me to an excellent video editorial by New York media identity, former prosecutor and judge, Jeanine Pirro, from her programme on Fox News three weeks ago at the height of the fallout from the initial reportage of the Trump remarks; with surgical precision (and whilst failing to excuse what Trump said in any way, shape or form), Pirro made the case — irrefutably — that far from a defender of women, Hillary Clinton is in fact a destroyer of them; far from a champion of women’s rights, Hillary Clinton is a serial malevolent whose only priority has been to further her own (and her husband’s) political agenda even if it means actively compromising the very cause she has the audacity and gall to claim, po-faced, to be the greatest advocate for that America has ever seen.

Take the few minutes to watch this, folks. It isn’t intended to exonerate Trump, but those wedded to the imbecilic notion of Hillary Clinton as a President who might add any value whatsoever to the lot of women cannot reasonably adhere to such a misguided notion after an exposition of the case against her, laid out with forensic exactitude, such as this.

(That clip is pinned to the top of my Twitter feed, and will remain there until election day in the US; I urge readers who use Twitter to visit me @theredandblue and retweet it to their followers, and to encourage them to do the same).

But more broadly, why are 300 million Americans apparently determined to select a President based on this issue at all?

With the exception of Fox News (and even then, not unilaterally), the bulk of the US press appears singularly determined to simply ignore the shocking record of the Clintons where misdemeanours against women — actual, physical, often allegedly criminal misdemeanours — are concerned.

The complete whitewash of anything remotely negative in connection to Hillary Clinton is reminiscent of the treatment given to Kevin Rudd in 2007 by the Australian press; despite “a rich seam of shit” on Rudd, as I put it to a former senior Liberal frontbencher at the time and which was later validated by events more thoroughly than any of us hoped or believed, the media in Australia had simply decided who they wanted to win that year’s election and proceeded, blindly and unthinkingly, on that basis. The same phenomenon is in evidence in America today.

And without putting too fine a point on it, this election matters, for reasons that far transcend issues of women’s rights and the politically correct railings against an indisputed potty mouth with an apparent penchant for talking dirty.

The warnings by 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney about the resurgent threat posed to the United States by Vladimir Putin’s Russia have proven disturbingly correct, so much so that the very real prospect of nuclear conflict over Syria, or over any move by Russian forces into the disputed Baltic states, is now growing; eight years of abjectly pathetic Democratic management of foreign affairs have signalled a weakening of American prestige and resolve on the world stage, with Iran widely perceived to have walked all over Barack Obama in striking a deal on nuclear security that left it open to developing nuclear weapons, and with a plethora of other international flashpoints — North Korea, Syria, and the scourge of Islamic State — seemingly beyond the capacity of the Americans to deal with.

Domestically, the US faces intransigent challenges in healthcare, immigration, crime, the moribund state of its economy, and the haemorrhaging federal budget: all issues for which Clinton has exhibited a cavalier disregard.

And Clinton’s own record — with unresolved allegations of criminality over her misuse of classified emails, Benghazi, and the supposedly charitable Clinton Foundation, amongst others — is seemingly being overlooked by the mainstream media altogether.

It is instructive to note that Wikileaks — curiously, looking as if it wants to torpedo Clinton — has been unearthing an avalanche of damning evidence against Clinton that is failing to register with American voters, presumably because the mainstream press simply isn’t interested.

But what is equally telling is that the Clinton camp and its adherents — who in the past lauded Wikileaks as a “hero” whenever it took aim at George Bush, or John Howard, or Stephen Harper, or a swathe of other Right-of-Centre leaders — is now letting it be known that the document leaking portal is “a disgrace.”

I don’t resile from my long-held view that Wikileaks is nothing more than a criminal outfit: a front for the commission of treason, sedition, and other violations of the national security of sovereign states. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the only thing protecting Clinton is the apathy of the press, which is relentless in striving to achieve her election as President.

In an ideal world, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and even the independent candidates on the ballot who seem incapable of capitalising on the horrendous choice provided by the major parties would all be absent from this contest; it is the most lacklustre field in living memory, and makes the likes of Barry Goldwater and Walter Mondale appear positively statesmanlike by comparison.

And in a final demonstration of the contemptible double standards of the Clintons, their “outrage” at suggestions by Trump that he “might not accept” the election result if Hillary wins warrants a look no further than the behaviour of the Al Gore campaign — aided and egged on by the Clintons — when it dragged the USA through a protracted legal dispute that lasted for weeks when George W. Bush narrowly triumphed in 2000.

Yet whoever emerges, the tragic casualty is likely to be the truth: and if Clinton is elected, the USA and the rest of the world will soon regret the day she was ever selected by her party to run against Trump, let alone handed the keys to the White House.

Trump may have proven little better than a filthy gnome during this campaign, but that pales in comparison to the actual misdeeds of Clinton, and the genuine threat a second Clinton presidency would pose to international security and to the United States itself.

In this sense, the least worst of the available candidates is, in fact, Donald Trump: something it gives me no joy whatsoever to opine.

Yet unless an outburst of reality and commonsense quickly afflicts the American press — and the tens of millions of voters who depend on it to provide a balanced assessment of all relevant aspects of this campaign, and not just the sanitised PC blather of the Clinton junta — then a Clinton presidency is exactly what America will get.

Should it come to pass, then fair-minded and rational people the world over will have ample reason for alarm.

God help the United States of America.

 

Hillary For Prison 2016: The Indictment Looms

THE PROSPECT of POTUS fancy Hillary Clinton finally ending up where she belongs — in gaol — has drawn nearer, with a key report slamming her misuse of classified material on a private email server. This column has despised the Clintons for decades, with their entitlement mentality and penchant for acting as laws unto themselves. The likely Democratic nominee facing prison as a consequence of her actions would be no less than she deserves.

At some point late today or tomorrow morning, I am going to post a quick review of where our own federal election campaign sits with three weeks down and five to go; for some time I have thought Malcolm Turnbull was on track for a narrow defeat, although the best efforts of the ALP this week to deal the Coalition back into the game just might save Turnbull’s hide. Stay tuned.

But this morning I want to share a report carried by The Australian yesterday from The Times, which moves election season in the United States into some seriously interesting territory; a key State Department report into the unorthodox email management system utilised by Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State — using a private server — has slammed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, finding the arrangement was not officially sanctioned, and was used to handle confidential and classified materials that were at heightened risk of hacking or interception as a consequence.

Clinton, tellingly, has apparently been “sweating” on this report exonerating her of any misconduct.

But in a further excoriation of her behaviour, the report also found that 30,000 emails deleted from the private server included classified documentation: and that not only should they not have been there, but they should not have been destroyed by Clinton either.

It now seems inevitable that Clinton will face charges over the matter, and if found guilty, faces prison: and with decades of history of acting, with husband Bill in harness, as a law unto herself, a stint in a federal penitentiary would seem no less than the one-time First Lady and New York Senator deserves.

THE decades-long endeavour to bring Hillary Clinton to justice may be nearing its conclusion.

This column has never made any secret of its deep loathing of Bill and Hillary Clinton; neither is able to point to any legacy in office of any particular value, and both fit the nauseating stereotype of would-be emulators of the “Camelot” mentality of the Kennedy family with their sense of entitlement, their penchant for doing whatever they like, and the expectation they will always get away with it: and that Americans will and indeed should love them irrespective.

I’m sorry, but even in the insiderish Washington establishment that protects its own at almost any cost, this is simply too much to stomach.

Not least from a woman who — 20 years ago — found herself at the centre of the Whitewater scandal, in which her role was never satisfactorily or convincingly explained; and not from an individual who now seeks arguably the most powerful office in the world, free to dispense patronage and favour to fellow travellers in the Democrats’ insidious liberal Left tradition, and whose ascent to that office could provide sufficient cover to ensure she never faces justice over the alleged misdemeanours of which she now stands accused.

This scandal has been years in the making, literally, and many decent Americans have wondered whether the whole sordid business would be swept under the carpet. In this sense, the release of the State Department’s report, and the obvious signal it sends to prosecutors to indict Ms Clinton, is a refreshing development.

As readers will note, the article I have linked to this morning sets out a likely timeframe for Ms Clinton to be indicted, the charges considered by a Court, and a verdict arrived at; this process will by its nature run longer than the remainder of the presidential election race, giving rise to the very real prospect that Clinton — if elected President — could earn the shame and ignominy of being the first US President to ever be jailed whilst holding office.

This, of course, is no excuse to defer or avoid justice being carried out.

But it adds fresh fuel to the campaign of Donald Trump — who, whether you approve or not, appears likelier by the day to be elected in November, providing the seemingly inevitable march toward the GOP nomination he has all but completed follows its course to conclusion.

And it raises the question of whether the Democrats persist with Clinton, disallow her candidacy on some arcane pretext and substitute her with ageing socialist troglodyte Bernie Sanders, or cut their losses with the pair of them and find a fresh candidate altogether, such as Clinton’s rumoured running mate, Elizabeth Warren.

Personally, I think the Clintons have been allowed to get away with far too much for far too long, and if Hillary ends up in gaol at the conclusion of the State Department’s action against her, it will be exactly what she deserves — and put her precisely where she belongs.

We will follow this issue as it develops, and of course with the nominating contests all but finished, this column will pay closer attention to the presidential race as it cranks up in the rundown to election day in early November.

But if it is decided at law that Clinton has destroyed classified documents (or worse, if it can be established that they have been intercepted) then that isn’t a piffling matter to get away with: it’s an offence against US national security, and should that verdict come to pass, it will be a damnation of somebody who has always held herself up as the “brains” trust in the God-forsaken Clinton sideshow: and a prison term in those circumstances would be a fitting punishment for someone who, on any measure, should have known better — and known better than virtually anybody else in the United States.

I will be back late today or in the morning, as promised, to talk about matters closer to home.

 

US Elections: Iowa Caucuses Resolve Nothing

A VERY short post to acknowledge today’s primaries in Iowa, as the US begins to select a new President; with Barack Obama barred from seeking a third term by the constitution, one of the candidates who featured today will become President of the United States in November. Whilst Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz fared better than expected, today’s results shed little light on who the eventual victor will be.

It really is a short post this evening; operating on ten hours’ sleep in three days, I’m not going to be conscious very long. But I wanted to make some remarks on the first of the nominating contests that took place in the US state of Iowa today (AEDT) as Americans begin the process of selecting a new President.

I have always had a sense that the next President of the United States would be a Republican, but just who that ends up being remains a matter for conjecture; despite the weight of money, Establishment endorsements, and unrivalled name and personal recognition factors all running in her favour, I would be stunned if a majority of American voters could bring themselves to stomach four more years of the Clintons in the White House: and Hillary Clinton, in particular, being in charge.

Today’s vote within her own party sees her make virtually no progress toward sealing the nomination of her party whatsoever; with 49.9% of the votes cast in Iowa by registered Democratic voters, she couldn’t even win outright, which in turn echoes eerily the omen this state delivered on her prospects when she first stood against Obama eight years ago. It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

By contrast, ageing “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders has reason to be pleased; despite falling short of Clinton by just over a quarter of a percentage point of the vote, Sanders has done better than anyone predicted or thought, although the “Anyone But Hillary” camp is every bit as alive and well in her own party as it is over at the GOP.

Some weeks ago I saw a supporter of Donald Trump attending a rally with a T-shirt that proclaimed “Hillary for Prison 2016” (and if anyone knows where I can get one of those shirts, do please drop a note in the comments section): all jokes aside, the Clinton camp is unable to proceed with any confidence that Hillary won’t be indicted at some point over any number of scandals (email servers, Benghazi, preferment, arcane relics from her legal career, et al) and the prospect she may in fact be charged can and should be sending prospective supporters scurrying in almost any other direction but hers.

The bottom line is that of the 44 delegates that were on offer today to the Democratic National Convention later this year, Clinton pocketed 23, and Sanders 21: and how the Clintons make any kind of triumph out of that is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political ledger — and speaking of Donald Trump — conservative republican Senator Ted Cruz topped the polling with 27.7% of the vote; outspoken loudmouth and “anti-candidate” Trump came second, with 24.3%; and in something of a surprise, Florida Senator Marco Rubio came third with a solidly respectable 23.1%, with nine also-rans rounding out the table and collecting a quarter of the votes cast by registered republican voters between them.

For the stats junkies, a link to the results from both the Democratic and republican primaries held in Iowa can be accessed here.

There’s not a great deal of point making any definitive predictions at this earliest of junctures, and quite aside from the fact I’m completely exhausted tonight (and don’t have the energy) this is a theme we will obviously be covering in increasing detail over the next nine months.

I had thought, as far back as 18 months ago, that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush — the “competent” Bush, as some call him — was the likeliest to emerge from the Republican pack with his party’s nomination, and a good chance of beating (as I then thought) Hillary Clinton to follow his father and older brother into the White House.

How politics changes: today, Bush scored less than 3% of the votes from Iowan Republicans; it could be that Americans have “had enough of Bushes” generally (much as many of them are heartily sick of the Clintons); it could be, given Jeb was a mentor as Florida Governor to the GOP’s boy wonder in Rubio, that the apprentice has merely stolen a march on the master.

One thing I am sure of, however, is that today’s results do not spell the end of the Trump campaign: he was always likelier to prevail later this month in New Hampshire than in Iowa, and unlike many of his rivals is flush with cash and enjoys a popular underpinning that none of the other candidates on either side of the ledger enjoy.

One will say, however, that a rash of drop-outs should be expected in the next week on the Republican side: starting with Rick Santorum, whose 1% today embarrassed the almost one-third share he pulled in this state four years ago, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose “endorsement” of Obama three days before the 2012 presidential election arguably swung the result behind Obama, and who must surely be regarded as unelectable after a corruption scandal in his state a few years back and after only polling 1.8% of the vote today.

The only conclusive takeout from today’s result is that despite the overwhelming advantages she arrived at this contest with in her arsenal, Hillary Clinton — one of the most unbackable favourites to win the Presidency in decades — couldn’t even garner half the vote.

This process has a million miles to run, and as it evolves the story will become clearer. But if I were a betting man (which, in small bier, I can be) I wouldn’t be putting any money on Clinton now, and it will be interesting to watch whether voters in other states take their cue from the Iowa result, and now begin to desert her in favour of Sanders.

On that note — goodnight…

🙂

 

 

President Hillary? God Help Us, And God Help The United States Of America

THE WORST PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATE as President of the United States has declared, with an announcement by former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton that she would seek the Democratic Party nomination as President; the development should galvanise conservatives and more reasonable figures in Clinton’s own party, for she would be a domestic liability and international menace if ever elected to office.

At the outset — to answer the charge my trenchant opposition to a “President” Hillary Clinton is motivated by opposition to women, which it most certainly isn’t — I should like to simply observe that there are several capable, high profile women on both sides of American politics who would theoretically make very good Presidents, and that anyone whose politics are dictated by gender rather than a rational assessment of the best candidate for office should identify one of the other women in the field of potential contenders, and get behind her instead.

For Hillary Clinton, to be completely blunt, is just about the worst candidate going around for the Presidency, and should she ever be elected to that office the consequences for both the United States and the wider world are likely to be dire.

For someone who has spent decades at, near, or adjacent to the edifices of real power in the United States, Clinton is someone the US public has gotten to know all too well; there can be no doubt hers would be the most recognisable name on the ballot should she win the nomination of her party as President — which she has now announced her intention to seek — but name recognition and suitability for office are two very different notions.

In some respects, it is possible to feel some admiration for Clinton’s stoic determination; after all, this high-profile liberal lawyer (and no intellectual slouch) was forced to play bridesmaid — literally — to her husband Bill through stints as Governor of Arkansas in the 1980s, two terms as President himself, and what seems to have been a virtual lifetime of dealing with her husband’s philandering and infidelity, with a string of affairs and humiliations an unwanted bequest in life from the contemptible specimen to whom she is married.

I don’t propose today to embark on some forensic analysis of Bill Clinton’s tenure as President, although it is safe to assert it was helpful that it ended when it did, and equally helpful that the Democratic Party was moved on from the White House after eight years lest his deputy — who, among other things, “invented the Internet” and forecast polar ice caps would have melted by last year — be elevated to an unmerited and equally unpalatable stint as the US’ Commander-in-Chief.

Clinton is, to coin an idiom only ever deployed to demean its target, a Washington insider; this scion of the Democratic Party establishment, left-leaning social activist and hypocritical champion of the status of women is synonymous to many Americans with the interests of big business, lobby groups, and not concerned with the lot of the “little guy.”

And I say “hypocritical champion” of women because there is ample evidence Clinton is nothing of the kind; in recent weeks the US has been swept by rumours — neither denied nor, tellingly, responded to by the Clintons, even through recourse to legal proceedings — that Clinton was the enforcer who bullied and harassed and heavied husband’s conquests to keep them from going public; affairs and even rapes are said to have been hushed up and their victims bought off, intimidated, or thuggishly ground into submission.

Clinton has form for this, as we saw last June, as a report emerged in the US press of her boasting and laughing about getting a child rapist acquitted on a legal technicality; this is not conduct becoming of a putative President, and it is to be hoped Clinton’s Republican adversaries make great use of this — and other items from Clinton’s cavalier and wilful past — to explode the myth that she is in any way the candidate for women and families.

But her problems do not stop there.

Her age, for one thing, is a liability that can and should be turned against her; Democrats have form for making merry over the age of some of the candidates their opponents have run for the Presidency (one of the best Presidents in Ronald Reagan not least) and she deserves to be fair game as a 69-year-old by the time Americans vote in November next year.

As I said last year of the Democrats’ age-based crusade against Reagan, also 69 when first elected:

At 69 by the time the election is held in 2016, Clinton will be the same age Ronald Reagan was when he won in 1980, and despite the spectacular successes of the Reagan era, Democrats have spent the 30+ years since lampooning him as a senile gerontocrat whose administration was run exclusively by his wife and his advisers.

What compounds this consideration is the story — again, never denied by the Clintons — that Hillary some years ago suffered a stroke, and whatever recovery might have been made from that event (and be it one of life’s great injustices or otherwise), anyone who has suffered a stroke is literally not fit to serve in the most powerful office in the world with thousands of nuclear weapons at their disposal and on hair-trigger alert.

Foreign policy is going to be important on the watch of the next President, and incumbent Barack Obama — the worst President since at least the thoroughly useless Jimmy Carter, if not ever — has spent the past six and a half years inflaming global hotspots and imperilling the security of the United States and its allies, a track record neatly if sarcastically itemised in Brisbane’s Courier Mail this morning.

As someone who served for four years as one of the most senior members of the Obama Cabinet and who is deeply enmeshed in Democratic Party governance whenever it holds power, Clinton is as culpable in the representative sense for these failings as Obama is, and as President would face the responsibility of dealing with them.

Yet Americans can have no faith she is equipped or willing to do so, and the evidence of this can be found in the track record of her philandering husband, whose own administration (often said to in fact be influenced and run by Hillary) consistently kicked foreign policy challenges down the road to be dealt with by someone else.

It actually matters who wins this election in the US, with a resurgent and bellicose Russia openly threatening nuclear retaliation if held to account for its outrages, the Middle East seemingly erupting in a firestorm with the tacit imprimatur of Obama, and other hotspots around the world seemingly ignored.

Obama has overseen both the world becoming more dangerous and a diminishing of US power, prestige and reach. His country — and the world — cannot afford another of his ilk to follow him, yet like peas in a pod, Hillary would little different to Obama in his mishandling of international affairs, and America’s role in them.

Like most Democrats, there are few signs that Hillary Clinton has any inclination to address the ballooning US deficit and/or national debt, let alone the ideas and/or the backbone with which to do so; as it is, total US debt has doubled during the tenure of the Obama administration, to $US 13 trillion, and with an agenda heavy on left-leaning social spending and expanding public addiction to welfare, Clinton does not present as a responsible or capable economic stewardess.

Other coverage of the Clinton announcement in today’s press may be viewed here and here.

Clearly, this is no subject that can be summarily dealt with in a single article, and the process for electing a replacement for Obama in a little over 18 months’ time is only now sputtering slowly into motion; we will follow the election races on both the Republican and Democratic sides as they unfold.

But although unsurprising, the formalisation of a Clinton candidacy is the last thing the United States needs, and should be regarded as an invitation to better candidates on the Democratic side of the equation to do what Obama himself did the last time Hillary was said to be a shoo-in for their party’s nomination and to oppose, out-campaign and defeat her.

And I reiterate that at this early stage of proceedings, my own support lies with a hypothetical Republican ticket led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as his running mate: we will see how that dynamic plays out.

But a “President” Hillary Clinton?

Should it ever come to pass, then God help us all, and God help the United States of America; this veteran, inveterate Washington hack is just about the worst prospective candidate either side of US politics could dredge up to inflict on an unsuspecting public.

It is to be hoped, in good time, that even if she emerges with her party’s nomination, her only reward for the endeavour will be a humiliating concession speech — ideally to Bush — which would be neither more nor less than she deserved but which, by virtue of the fact they would have enforced its delivery in the first place, be exactly what the citizens of the US most needed after eight years of mismanagement and neglect by Obama that has made her country and the world around it a far, far more dangerous and less secure place.