Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Free Pass For Trump

The headline on Chris Cillizza's Washington Post column on October 11, 2016 read "Donald Trump's new attack ad on Clinton's health is brutal. It will also fail."  Notwithstanding the bad prediction, Cillizza accurately noted the ad showed Mrs. Clinton

coughing, needing assistance up steps and then, finally, having to be pulled into her security van after nearly fainting at the service last month in New York City. “Hillary Clinton doesn't have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world," says the ad's narrator over the Clinton fainting footage. “She failed as secretary of state. Don't let her fail us again."

The ad mirrored coverage from the mainstream media. Earlier this year, Paul Waldman reminded us

Hillary Clinton Is Set Back by Decision to Keep Illness Secret” said the front-page headline in the New York Times the next day. On that day, the cable TV networks ran a total of 13½ hours of coverage of Clinton’s health. Fox News went into paroxysms of speculation about the varieties of brain ailments Clinton might be suffering from. Politico published a photo gallery entitled “Hydrated Hillary: 9 times Clinton quenched her thirst,” just to show her bizarre water-drinking behavior that surely must have been concealing something.

Two days after the episode, the campaign revealed that Mrs. Clinton had been diagnosed two days earlier with pneumonia, which did not impede a poll asking whether voters believed the candidate's explanation (which most did not).

Yet, there was no such survey after Donald Trump sniffed his way through the first two debates with his Democratic opponent.  It might have been from medication, though no such claim has been made. One researcher in sociology claims "sniffling can be a way for a speaker to indicate a shift from personal to professional opinions and vice versa. I have called this ‘the emotional sniff’ as personal statements are allowed to be more emotional."

The sniffling may also be indicative of cocaine use. There is little evidence of this, although it does at least pass the Law of Parsimony/Occam's Razor test compared to "emotional sniffing." We may never know because Mr. Trump's medical records have never been released, only stolen, by a Trump Organization thug from Dr. Harold Bornstein's office in February 2017.

This issue should be a scandal, not only because it is preferable not to have a president under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, but also we simply don't know what- if anything- is wrong with a president whose behavior would be of intense concern to a family member of anyone as mercurial and erratic as he is.

There may be no drug problem and there may be no psychological problem. However, it should have been of more than passing interest when in May 2017 we learned

President Trump chose to ride in a golf cart while his foreign counterparts took a walk through Taormina, Sicily, on Saturday during the Group of Seven summit.

The Times of London reported the six other world leaders — from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — walked 700 yards to take a group photo at a piazza in a hilltop town. The U.S. leader decided to wait until he could get a golf cart.

Yesterday, President and Mrs. Trump were to join the GW Bush family at Blair House, at .2 miles less than a  five minute walk from the West Wing of the White House. Instead, the President decided to take a motorcade for what is roughly a 16- minute drive.

Even aside from ideology, were this a President (Mrs. or Mr.) Clinton exhibiting any behavior remotely similar to what we've become accustomed to the past 2-3 years, there would be widespread calls from Republicans- and not a few from Democrats- for resignation of the President.

Trump's refusal to release his medical records should have sent up a red flag. Given statements, tweets, and all manner of actions in his first 23 months in office, the health of the President of the United States of America must arouse far more concern than it has. In what should be a frightening thought, the prospect- actually, threat- of a Mike Pence presidency should do no less.

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