The latest NBC/WSJ poll finds that a majority of Republicans are dissatisfied with their party's presidential choice, while a majority of Democrats are satisfied with theirs. These findings are less than surprising, since a majority of Republicans didn't choose Trump, while a majority of Democrats chose Clinton.
Responses to both polling questions are, then, merely affirmations of what we already knew, or rather, of what we just went through: two prolonged primary contests, one of which produced a minority nominee of questionable legitimacy; the other, a majority nominee whose legitimacy is self-evident — as are, to repeat, the responses to both polling questions. One wonders why the pollsters bothered.
Just as predictable, though of enduring interest, is another poll's finding that a majority of Republicans (77 percent) support the Republican nominee whom a majority of Republicans can't stand. This only confirms that to the partisan "conservative" mind there is nothing more simplistically sacred than an "R" before a presidential nominee's name. It makes no difference that this nominee is crawling with creepy personality disorders, that he's a demonstrable sociopath, that he's a gynophobe and a racist embarrassment, that his thought processes are akin to a poorly engineered Rube Goldberg contraption, and that his "policy" ideas are born of whatever sounds good at the expedient moment. As long as there's an "R" slapped on the menacing idiot, he's good to go; he's as valid as an Eisenhower.
In the immediately aforementioned poll, Hillary's support among Democrats is 90 percent, notwithstanding her pervasive "trust" troubles, resurrected Clinton fatigue, and her deficiency in wholesale political skills. On the upside she's knows her stuff; not even her enemies deny her that. She's as wonkish as Bill. Still, there are those negatives. Hence, about her near universal Democratic support, Republicans would say what I have observed about Trump: It's just a partisan thing.
Ordinarily I would agree. Democrats will support any presidential pol with a "D" in front of his or her name — they're as mechanically responsive and electorally robotic as Republicans. But, I would argue, this presidential election cycle is different. Very different.
Clinton's nearly uniform Democratic support is — above all other explanations — in answer to the austere question: What in God's name is the alternative? The answer is resounding: There isn't one — not a rational one.
This, it is to be hoped, answers (for some readers) why I abstain (defensively, it is implied) from tub-thumping and sis-boom-bahing for Hillary. For the answer to that question is as undisguised as the answer above: Please tell me what the alternative is. I have my differences with Hillary — especially in the field of foreign policy — and I've never secreted them. Thus energetic cheerleading for Hillary on my part would be less than ingenuous. Yet the matter of cheerleading or no cheerleading for Hillary is entirely beside the point, for it evades the at once monumental and elementary question: What rational alternative is there to Hillary Clinton?
No rational being could argue there is one, and that, in itself, removes from serviceable discussion whatever shortcomings Hillary possesses. Against the The Donald, they just aren't pertinent. And they'll remain irrelevant until 20 January 2017.