Littwin: Will Trump lose bigly, or just lose?

If the polls are right — and, while they’ve been wrong before, they’ve never been quite this wrong — the only remaining question in the presidential race is how badly (or, if you will, how bigly) Donald Trump will lose.

This matters.

It matters on so many levels. I remember when George Will wrote that it was the duty of true conservatives to ensure that Trump, the usurper, would lose to Hillary Clinton in all 50 states. Well, that won’t happen. But he could lose Arizona. He could even lose Utah. Polls say the race is close in demographically-ripe-for-change Georgia. Polls say the race is even close in Texas. In fact, in the Real Clear Politics poll of polls, Texas is now listed as a toss-up state.

But the size of the defeat is not about some liberal revenge dream, in which, say, a humiliated Trump is consigned to wake up each post-election morning to the sound of Elizabeth Warren telling him what nasty thing a bunch of nasty women are going to do to him that day.

It’s not even about Democrats rolling up the score so they can win back the Senate and make inroads on the Republican majority in the House.

A Trump defeat is about the future of the Republic, and no less than that. But the size of the Trump defeat is about what America has learned — if anything — from the terrifying fact that someone like Trump has come so close to actually winning. Not that there isn’t some danger in a complete rout. A humiliation of Trump’s true believers could simply reinforce the the idea that the election, and everything else, is rigged against them.

We won’t list all the reasons Trump is unfit for office. The big ones are as plain as the sign on any Trump-licensed building: the demagoguery, the misogyny, the bigotry, the Putinry, the media conspiracy, the international bankers’ conspiracy, the whole schmear.

In the latest would-be outrage — at some point, we passed the point of actual outrage, which is truly outrageous — Trump has been openly rooting for America and its allies in Iraq to lose the battle of Mosul, calling it, as he often does, a total disaster that makes us look dumb because, in Trump’s close reading of the military situation, we tipped off ISIS that we were going to attack. This man who is so close to getting his hands on the nuclear codes shouldn’t even be trusted to play a round of Risk, the game of global domination.

In another time, in another election, in a former America, all of this would be disqualifying. But this is this time, when the intersection of celebrity and 24-hour cable TV and run-to-your-corner websites are ready-made propaganda tools and a Trump-like figure, we can now see, was all but inevitable. And running against the Clintons, whose very existence has been central to the rise of right-wing conspiracy media, just made it that much more clear. Certainly, historians will be working on this case for generations to come.

This time is also when a wide swath of the so-called white working class, as George Packer writes in a brilliant piece in the New Yorker, has been lost by Democrats and exploited by Republicans and now represents an identity-group that someone other than Trump must champion. He wonders whether Clinton can be that person.

As Packer put it, the term “working class” once “suggested productivity and sturdiness. Now it means downwardly mobile, poor, even pathological.” He points to Sarah Palin’s visit to Greensboro, North Carolina during the 2008 election, where, she said, she found “the real America.” In fact, by that time, there had been what he calls the “great inversion.” Cities were once again the hot properties where the creative classes had clustered and the areas around places like Greensboro were “hollowing out, and politicians didn’t seem to notice.”

Trump either noticed or just lucked into it. It doesn’t matter which. But he found an abandoned America, which also found him, and together they would make America great again. Add the mix of race — eight years of the first black president, the rise of Black Lives Matter — to Clinton’s being female (you know, weak, no stamina) and suddenly you have at least 12 years of America that doesn’t look like America looked whenever it was that America was great. No wonder the alt-right deplorables and David Duke and rest came on board. No wonder they’re ready to stick with the election-is-rigged theme after Nov. 8.

But here’s an interesting point. For Trump to make it close, that means that typical Republicans will vote for Trump because that’s what we do. We have divided into teams. Don’t be fooled by the growing number of independents or unaffiliated, which is more about the fall of institutions than anything else. We have picked teams, and the question now is whether one team is ready to stick with Trump.

According to the recent CNN/ORC polls, only 57 percent of Trump supporters — yes, of his supporters — now expect him to win. This means that for those voters, the vote is a freebie. If they’re voting for Trump because of the Supreme Court, their vote won’t matter if Trump loses. If they’re voting for Trump because they don’t like Clinton, again, that vote won’t matter if Trump loses.

For many Republicans (see: Ryan, Paul), the question has been party vs. country. If Trump is going to lose anyway, it’s only about country — and how many people really think Donald Trump is fit to lead ours.


  1. Courage, like writing, is not one of Mr. Littwin’s strengths. Pat Tillman he ain’t.

    He has yet to offer a single reason voters should elect Mrs.“What-difference-does-it-make” Clinton other than the implied, well, she’s not Donald Trump. Instead the (what’s a nice word for gutless?) timid Mr. Littwin has chosen to hide behind repetitive, boorish, banal, ad hominem attacks on Mr. Trump.

    After describing Donald Trump as “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.” there’s not too much left to say and yet Mr. Littwin has somehow found a way.

    This childish approach adds nothing to the political discourse that should accompany a presidential election—- making Mr. Littwin part of the problem—- but it does provide a lot of red meat for most of his readers. However, his refusal to offer even one reason to support Mrs. Clinton demonstrates perfectly how little he thinks of her. And while he’ll never actually admit that, as Nobel laureate and Littwin fav Bob Dylan would say, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.

    It’s difficult to believe that at one point Mr. Littwin decried the level of political discourse in America but you could look it up.

    Here’s what Mr. Littwin said about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in April, 2011:

    “I doubt Trump will be around long enough to make it to the Iowa caucuses,………”

    If that sounds familiar, it should. Here’s what Mr. Littwin said about Mr. Trump in July, 2015:

    “Which brings us to Part 2, The Donald, who (I’m reasonably sure) will never make it to the Iowa caucuses.”

    I guess you can’t plagiarize yourself and, in Mr. Littwin’s case, who would want to. But it does prove that Mr. Littwin has nothing new to say about Mr. Trump and this column—-as if more proof were needed—-proves it.

    “You don’t have to know a 2 Corinthians from a Second Corinthians to know that pre-tape Trump is exactly the same as post-tape Trump except now we have Trump on tape boasting about grabbing women’s crotches, only using a word that I’m not comfortable writing.” Mike Littwin

    That sentence earned Mr. Littwin the Sanctimonious Sack of Scat award. The reality is there are only two words Mr. Littwin is not comfortable writing: Laquan McDonald.

    Heather MacDonald writing in the City Journal describes the overwrought and over dramatized responses from progressives this way:

    “The sudden onset of Victorian vapors among the liberal intelligentsia and political class at the revelation of Trump’s locker-room talk is part and parcel of the Left’s hypocrisy when it comes to feminism and sexual liberation. A routine objection to Trump is that he makes, in the words of the New York Times, “gutter attacks on women.” But why should women be exempt from Trump’s gutter attacks on anyone he wants to humiliate? Trump’s gratuitous nastiness to men and women alike, kicking  people when they are down, unfits him to serve as the premier civic role model for the nation’s children. But the feminists can’t have it both ways: declaring that women should be equal to men in all things and then still demand a chivalric deference to female’s delicate sensibilities. Either women are the same as men or they’re not. It is particularly galling to see the selective resurrection of Victorian values from the same crowd that has been pushing transgender locker rooms on the world, in an effort to destroy the last shred of girls’ innate sexual modesty.”


    “The FBI is probing new emails related to Hillary Clinton, FBI Director James Comey said in a Friday letter to lawmakers.

    Those new emails were discovered during an FBI investigation in which the devices of former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Clinton aide Huma Abedin were seized, The New York Times reported.” – CNBC

    “We don’t know what this means yet except that it’s a real bombshell. And it is unthinkable that the Director of the FBI would take this action lightly, that he would put this letter forth to the Congress of the United States saying there is more information out there about classified e-mails and call it to the attention of congress unless it was something requiring serious investigation.” Carl Bernstein

    “Hillary (Clinton) hasn’t suffered — (Camille) Paglia continues — because she is a woman. She has shamelessly exploited the fact: ‘It’s an outrage how she’s played the gender card. She is a woman without accomplishment. “I sponsored or co-sponsored 400 bills.” Oh really? These were bills to rename bridges and so forth. And the things she has accomplished have been like the destabilisation of North Africa, causing refugees to flood into Italy… The woman is a disaster!’”

    “Hillary and Bill Clinton are asking for a third term in the White House, and voters who want to know what this portends should examine the 12-page memo written by a Clinton insider that was hacked and published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. This is the cold, hard reality of the Clinton political-business model.

    Longtime Clinton aide Doug Band wrote the memo in 2011 to justify himself to lawyers at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett who were reviewing his role and conducting a governance review of the Clinton Foundation at the insistence of Chelsea Clinton. In an email two weeks earlier, also published on WikiLeaks, Ms. Clinton said her father had been told that Mr. Band’s firm Teneo was “hustling” business at the Clinton Global Initiative, a regular gathering of the wealthy and powerful that is ostensibly about charitable activity.

    Poor innocent Chelsea. Bill and Hillary must never have told her what business they’re in. If she had known, she would never have hired a blue-chip law firm to sweep through the hallways of the Clinton Foundation searching for conflicts of interest. Instead of questioning Mr. Band’s compensation, she would have pleaded with him never to reveal the particulars of his job in writing.

    But she didn’t, and so Mr. Band went ahead and described the “unorthodox nature” of his work while emphasizing his determination to help “protect the 501(c)3 status of the Foundation.” That’s the part of the tax code that has allowed the Clinton Foundation to remain tax-exempt on the premise that it is dedicated to serving humanity.
    Mr. Band graciously copied John Podesta, then adviser to the board, who would eventually become Hillary’s campaign chief. His helpful reply was to suggest that Mr. Band “strip the defensive stuff out” and later “go through the details and how they have helped WJC” [ William Jefferson Clinton].” – Wall Street

    “A fresh poll from Seton Hall surveyed 841 adults across the U.S. Each respondent was asked to identify seven separate factors as a reason for the NFL ratings drop, allowing them to answer “yes” or “no” for each of them. The leading factor, according to the poll, was the national anthem protests, which scored “yes” at a rate of 56 percent.” –

    “Donald Trump has gained on Hillary Clinton during the past week, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, solidifying support among core Republican groups as well as political independents.

    Roughly 6 in 10 still expect Clinton to prevail, while the poll finds shrinking concerns about the accuracy of the vote count and voter fraud in the election.” –

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Veterans Day – November 11, 2016

  2. Trump fan boys are something else. This is not an ad hominem attack: “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.”

    It is a pretty fair dictionary definition of someone who has said exactly the words that Trump has said over and over again.


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