Trump and Clinton: Mutual Assured Destruction?

One of the most aptly named strategies of the Cold War era was MAD, or mutually assured destruction.  In geopolitical terms MAD meant that should either the United States or the USSR escalate their longstanding disagreements into war, each would perish. With the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation always looming in the background the rivals would use surrogates around the third world and might even have their naval and air forces play the occasional game of chicken but direct confrontations was mostly avoided.  

I have long thought one of the more specious claims supporters of Donald Trump use is that he alone has the stomach to challenge the Clintons on their unsavory practices.  In fact, Clinton and Donald Trump may be more likely to follow the campaign equivalent of MAD if they are the nominees because each is equally vulnerable to the same charges.  If Hillary has been an incompetent administrator, Trump has presided over several bankruptcies.  If Hillary helped cheat innocent vacation home buyers in Whitewater, Trump lent his name and did promotions for both the scam called Trump University and ACN, Inc, a multilevel marketing firm that many consumer watchdogs see as a pyramid scheme designed to separate gullible new members from their money. If Hillary has sold political influence, Trump has bought political influence. If Hillary is a creature of the big government far left, so is Trump, at least until recently.  If Hillary lies, Trump lies just as often and as risible.

Perhaps the 50 megaton dance step in this lame political pas de deux between narcissistic aging Baby Boomers whose ambitions exceed their talents is that of equally sleazy personal lives. It is common knowledge that Bill Clinton is a horn dog.  It is also common knowledge that before the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky came along there was the tabloid triangle of The Donald, first wife Ivana and concubine Marla Maples. Supporters of both the Clintons and Trump will carp that this is all old news and nobody cares.  But there is one new twist. About the only sexual perversion that still has the power to offend our completely jaded culture is the sexual abuse of minors. And both candidates could end up locked in a MAD embrace on this issue because the equally rapacious Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have both socialized with reclusive financier and political donor Jeffery Epstein, a collector of expensive houses, including what is said to be the largest private residence in Manhattan, a Palm Beach estate and  compound on a Caribbean island. Jeffrey Epstein also collected Nobel Laureates and the occasional member of royal families from the Windsor to the Ibn Saud.  He is also a convicted sex offender who is the subject of ongoing litigation from at least a dozen of his then-underage victims, some of whom claim they were regularly offered as entertainment to prestigious guests at Epstein's residences. 

Donald Trump almost sounded envious in his admiration for Epstein in 2002.   

"I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy, He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

In 2010, Epstein pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked by a lawyer representing one of Epstein's victims about his relationship with Donald Trump:

Q: Have you ever had a personal relationship with Donald Trump?

A. What do you mean by "personal relationship," sir?

Q. Have you socialized with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Yes?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you ever socialized with Donald Trump in the presence of females under the age of 18?

A: Though I'd like to answer that question, at least today I'm going to have to assert my Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendment rights, sir.

While it is possible that Epstein’s lawyers could have advised him take the Fifth Amendment for any questions involving underage girls, the wording of his answer does makes it look like Epstein was specifically avoiding having to answer the question about Trump.  This plays into the likelihood that Trump and the Clintons both wish to avoid the issue of the sleaze factor in a general election campaign.   For while there isn't stronger evidence against Clinton than there is against Trump, both men did seem to have more than a passing acquaintance with Epstein, plus there are Trump's own words that the girls around Epstein were "on the younger side."

Trump was subpoenaed in one of the civil cases and his staff claims that Epstein was banned from his club at Mar-A-Lago after the 2007 Florida conviction. Trump seems to now claim that Epstein was just another member of his club.  But as with Bill Clinton, a lot of pesky news stories from before Epstein's criminal investigation state that Trump was socializing with Epstein in one of Epstein's homes.  Plus the FBI is said to have a copy of Epstein's phone book he used to reach out and touch his rich and famous friends.  In its 192 pages there are said to be multiple numbers for Donald Trump. 

Many, including the editor of the American Thinker, were offended by the slap on the wrist Epstein got for soliciting girls as young as fourteen to entertain his friends. One question that has loomed large since Epstein was exposed as a pervert is whether he may have audio and visual evidence that could implicate his high placed friends in his crimes.  All the incidents seemed to have happened on properties Epstein owns and he is said to be a control freak who loves secret cameras. 

The presidential elections of 1828 and 1800 are often considered the two dirtiest in American History.  Each was a rematch of the top two rivals in the election four years earlier, with the 1800 contest having the added twist of a devious vice presidential candidate's attempt to use the poorly drafted Electoral College clause in the Constitution to hijack the presidency for himself.   Should Trump attempt to smear the Clintons, the 2016 election could well make those two campaigns look like brush fires.

One of the most aptly named strategies of the Cold War era was MAD, or mutually assured destruction.  In geopolitical terms MAD meant that should either the United States or the USSR escalate their longstanding disagreements into war, each would perish. With the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation always looming in the background the rivals would use surrogates around the third world and might even have their naval and air forces play the occasional game of chicken but direct confrontations was mostly avoided.  

I have long thought one of the more specious claims supporters of Donald Trump use is that he alone has the stomach to challenge the Clintons on their unsavory practices.  In fact, Clinton and Donald Trump may be more likely to follow the campaign equivalent of MAD if they are the nominees because each is equally vulnerable to the same charges.  If Hillary has been an incompetent administrator, Trump has presided over several bankruptcies.  If Hillary helped cheat innocent vacation home buyers in Whitewater, Trump lent his name and did promotions for both the scam called Trump University and ACN, Inc, a multilevel marketing firm that many consumer watchdogs see as a pyramid scheme designed to separate gullible new members from their money. If Hillary has sold political influence, Trump has bought political influence. If Hillary is a creature of the big government far left, so is Trump, at least until recently.  If Hillary lies, Trump lies just as often and as risible.

Perhaps the 50 megaton dance step in this lame political pas de deux between narcissistic aging Baby Boomers whose ambitions exceed their talents is that of equally sleazy personal lives. It is common knowledge that Bill Clinton is a horn dog.  It is also common knowledge that before the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky came along there was the tabloid triangle of The Donald, first wife Ivana and concubine Marla Maples. Supporters of both the Clintons and Trump will carp that this is all old news and nobody cares.  But there is one new twist. About the only sexual perversion that still has the power to offend our completely jaded culture is the sexual abuse of minors. And both candidates could end up locked in a MAD embrace on this issue because the equally rapacious Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have both socialized with reclusive financier and political donor Jeffery Epstein, a collector of expensive houses, including what is said to be the largest private residence in Manhattan, a Palm Beach estate and  compound on a Caribbean island. Jeffrey Epstein also collected Nobel Laureates and the occasional member of royal families from the Windsor to the Ibn Saud.  He is also a convicted sex offender who is the subject of ongoing litigation from at least a dozen of his then-underage victims, some of whom claim they were regularly offered as entertainment to prestigious guests at Epstein's residences. 

Donald Trump almost sounded envious in his admiration for Epstein in 2002.   

"I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy, He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

In 2010, Epstein pleaded the Fifth Amendment when asked by a lawyer representing one of Epstein's victims about his relationship with Donald Trump:

Q: Have you ever had a personal relationship with Donald Trump?

A. What do you mean by "personal relationship," sir?

Q. Have you socialized with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Yes?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you ever socialized with Donald Trump in the presence of females under the age of 18?

A: Though I'd like to answer that question, at least today I'm going to have to assert my Fifth, Sixth, and 14th Amendment rights, sir.

While it is possible that Epstein’s lawyers could have advised him take the Fifth Amendment for any questions involving underage girls, the wording of his answer does makes it look like Epstein was specifically avoiding having to answer the question about Trump.  This plays into the likelihood that Trump and the Clintons both wish to avoid the issue of the sleaze factor in a general election campaign.   For while there isn't stronger evidence against Clinton than there is against Trump, both men did seem to have more than a passing acquaintance with Epstein, plus there are Trump's own words that the girls around Epstein were "on the younger side."

Trump was subpoenaed in one of the civil cases and his staff claims that Epstein was banned from his club at Mar-A-Lago after the 2007 Florida conviction. Trump seems to now claim that Epstein was just another member of his club.  But as with Bill Clinton, a lot of pesky news stories from before Epstein's criminal investigation state that Trump was socializing with Epstein in one of Epstein's homes.  Plus the FBI is said to have a copy of Epstein's phone book he used to reach out and touch his rich and famous friends.  In its 192 pages there are said to be multiple numbers for Donald Trump. 

Many, including the editor of the American Thinker, were offended by the slap on the wrist Epstein got for soliciting girls as young as fourteen to entertain his friends. One question that has loomed large since Epstein was exposed as a pervert is whether he may have audio and visual evidence that could implicate his high placed friends in his crimes.  All the incidents seemed to have happened on properties Epstein owns and he is said to be a control freak who loves secret cameras. 

The presidential elections of 1828 and 1800 are often considered the two dirtiest in American History.  Each was a rematch of the top two rivals in the election four years earlier, with the 1800 contest having the added twist of a devious vice presidential candidate's attempt to use the poorly drafted Electoral College clause in the Constitution to hijack the presidency for himself.   Should Trump attempt to smear the Clintons, the 2016 election could well make those two campaigns look like brush fires.