Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 7:49 pm | Fair with Haze 60º

 
 
 
 

Susan Estrich: Hillary’s the One

Can I say I was right? OK, half right. I was right about Bernie Sanders but not about Donald Trump, which is really too bad, because Trump is a whole lot scarier than Sanders.

After all, Sanders has been a working and productive member of the U.S. Senate, while Trump emerged into the political spotlight by confusing Hawaii (where President Obama was born) with Mexico (whose residents, according to Trump, are rapists and criminals).

In Donald Trump’s America, there are, presumably, no Mexicans and no Muslims; other groups should wait to hear. 

It is a ”revolution” (call it that if you're trying to get ratings) for angry white men out there, which is why Juan Williams’s Fox co-hosts jumped all over him when he took The Donald to task for not denouncing David Duke (or not until after the SEC primaries, anyway).

How dumb does Trump think we are? Pretty dumb, apparently. 

But we‘re not actually dumb enough to elect a loose-lipped hater as president. At least, I hope not.

I can see the emails coming now. “What about Hillary Clinton, the email hider? What about her husband, previously notorious for womanizing and now convincingly playing the role of supportive spouse?”

To which my answer is simple: What about him? I don’t know how he counts as anything but a positive on the Clinton side. I certainly haven’t heard anyone yearning for a return to the Bush years. I bet Jeb Bush would agree on that.

So is it over on the Democratic side? 

Yes.

That doesn’t mean Sanders drops out. He has a message, and there are Democrats who agree with him, who want to push the “platform” (having written three of them, I think I’m qualified to say that the platform rarely matters unless it pushes the party on such issues as civil rights or reproductive freedom, which is how Democratic platforms have been meaningful in the past).

He may win some big primaries. He will have delegates at the convention. 

But based on Tuesday’s returns, the number of superdelegates Clinton already has lined up and the ones that will line up soon and the crushing schedule of primaries to come, I think Democrats who want to win above all else can breathe a sigh of relief. Only one party is on the verge of committing suicide.

That’s the Republican Party, which is hurling toward disaster: Their only choice is to nominate a candidate who cannot win any votes among such key groups as African-Americans and Hispanics and who cannot win many votes among women.

If the GOP doesn’t nominate Trump, then they really will have an out-and-out civil war between now and the convention.

The fact that Trump is doing so well in these Republican primaries and caucuses tells you as much about how unrepresentative they are as it does about how appealing Trump is. 

It’s not that Trump isn’t appealing. His outspokenness is refreshing when it’s not offensive. If we were picking a game-show host, heck, even a talk-show host, instead of a president, I’d vote for Trump.

But it’s just too easy to ridicule the guy — with the stupid things he’s said, his insults of almost everyone, multiple bankruptcies on his properties, millions lost by investors, the wife who posed nude, the other two wives. He is a negative-ad maker’s dream.

There are so many bad and stupid things he has said and done, including his latest remarks about David Duke, and even more that people don’t know about yet. 

Could Hillary Clinton be beaten? By Ronald Reagan, maybe. But not by Donald Trump. Or Bernie Sanders.

Susan Estrich is a best-selling author, the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the USC Law Center and was campaign manager for 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. Click here to contact her or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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