Commander-in-Chief Stakes

We’ve had a week in which we learned many people are not ready for prime time. Matt Lauer was roundly panned for devoting a third of the Hillary portion of the Commander-In-Chief forum to her emails without soliciting anything new, and for failing to hold Trump to account as he indulged in his usual mix of lies and fantasy. But if Lauer couldn’t deal with the NBC politics surrounding Ann Curry, how did anyone expect him to be able to get in the ring with heavyweights?

So all we learned, again, was that Hillary is incapable of explaining her email and foundation debacles clearly and plausibly. She was also faced with hostile questions from an audience of military veterans, not exactly her natural habitat. To be fair, she at least seemed familiar with foreign policy issues and emitted a hint of embarrassment or even shame at having been stupid, greedy and egocentric enough to have gotten herself in the server and speaking fee messes in the first place.

That put her one up on Trump who boasts of his stupidity, greed and egomania. In fact, these are the basis of his act. Are people really this desperate for a change? God help us.

In the course of thirty minutes, Trump admitted his secret plan to defeat ISIS was to give the Generals thirty days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. These would not be the present Generals, however, since they’re going to be fired. He announced that they are rubble, having sold put to Obama. He’s going to get himself some new and improved Generals who would have stood up to Obama but will not stand up to him.

Perhaps they’ll be Russian Generals since the Trump lovefest with Vladimir Putin continued. The invader of neighboring countries, cleanser of ethnic minorities, killer of political enemies, jailer of journalists and kleptocratic enabler of the oligarchic looting of his country is Trump’s kind of guy. He may even be the role model for a Trump administration since the candidate pronounced him a superior leader to our president.

Trump also managed to defame the CIA whose briefers, he alleged, revealed (by their body language) that the agency believes the foreign policy of Obama, Hillary and Kerry has been a “Dis-As-Tah” and that all three refused to heed the advice of the agency whose guys are really smart. They know all about Iraq and Syria and Russia and other places, Trump said with amazement. If Trump is that adept at reading volumes in body language, he must be horrified by what 65% of the people he meets think of him. “Off with their heads,” as the Queen of Hearts said.

Best for last, Trump continues to promise to defeat ISIS by having U.S. Troops and oil companies annex Iraq’s oil fields and steal their oil. Perhaps he’s channelling ex-Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, but whatever the source for this idea it is a blast from the colonial past. Maybe he also intends to steal spices from the Far East, bananas from Central America and slaves from Africa.

When it was suggested that he might be a bit light on actual foreign policy knowledge, Trump characteristically pooh-poohed the need for information or study. He said he’d been too busy running a Yuge Business and campaigning to swot up a lot of facts about the planet we inhabit.

Apparently libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has also been out of touch, as his “What is Aleppo?” remark revealed. The supporters of darkest-of-horses, candidate Evan McMullin, saw an opening, claiming his years as a CIA spook meant he had an unparalleled mastery of geopolitics. This would be more persuasive if the agency hadn’t failed to predict the fall of the USSR, detect the threat of the 9/11 attack, anticipate the unravelling of Iraq post-Saddam or warn of the rise of ISIS.

In the days after the Commander-in-Chief Forum disqualified everyone running for president from assuming the position, Mika Brzezinski may have spoken for many. A clip on “Morning Joe” showed Joe Biden delivering a stem-winding speech in support of Hillary in Rust Belt Pennsylvania. In it he suggested Trump was the least likely person on the planet to understand the plight of the working man or come to his rescue. Mika gazed wistfully into the distance and said, “I wish he was running.”

Maybe pneumonia will come to our rescue, otherwise the choice before us was on display in the Commander-In-Chief Forum, Glum and Dumbest.

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