Devoting her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Secret Side of Donald Trump" to the "upside of Donald Trump" and scrutinizing his position on health care, Gail Collins concludes:
"The bottom line is that once you really pin him down, Donald Trump is a mail-order conservative Republican, except more trash-talking about Muslims and Mexicans. Surrender hope and be careful not to die in the streets."
Pin Trump down? Actually, it was Trump who pinned Vince McMahon down at the WrestleMania Battle of the Billionaires, thus demonstrating to the world that he has what it takes to be the next American commander in chief. (A pity McMahon didn't pin Trump for the count and shave the Donald's "hair," thereby exposing, once and for all, the secrets of his remarkable coiffure.)
More to the point, I think Gail's opinion piece is too kind. As we are told today in a Washington Post editorial entitled "GOP leaders, you must do everything in your power to stop Trump":
"Now [the Republican Party] is faced with a front-runner who, in the interval between the two Priebus comments cited above, said of a protester, 'I’d like to punch him in the face.' This is a front-runner with no credible agenda and no suitable experience. He wants the United States to commit war crimes, including torture and the murder of innocent relatives of suspected terrorists. He admires Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and sees no difference between Mr. Putin’s victims and people killed in the defense of the United States. He would round up and deport 11 million people, a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot. He has, during the course of his campaign, denigrated women, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, people with disabilities and many more. He routinely trades in wild falsehoods and doubles down when his lies are exposed."
I suppose all of the above effectively counterbalances Trump's rassling techniques. Maybe, just maybe, he is not the person you want with his finger on the launch button of America's nuclear arsenal.
But what about Hillary? Collins tells us what Trump told Scott Pelley on CBS:
"I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody is going to be taken care of."
But regrettably, Collins does not inform us what Clinton told Pelley one week ago:
"PELLEY: You know, in ’76, Jimmy Carter famously said, 'I will not lie to you.'
CLINTON: Well, I have to tell you I have tried in every way I know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the American people.
PELLEY: You talk about leveling with the American people. Have you always told the truth?
CLINTON: I’ve always tried to. Always. Always.
PELLEY: Some people are gonna call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself.
CLINTON: Well, no, I’ve always tried —
PELLEY: I mean, Jimmy Carter said, 'I will never lie to you.'
CLINTON: Well, but, you know, you’re asking me to say, 'Have I ever?' I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever will. I’m gonna do the best I can to level with the American people."
In response to the above interchange, Chris Cillizza wrote in his Washington Post weblog "The Fix":
"I mean, what? W-H-A-T? 'I've always tried to' tell the truth? On what planet is this a good answer for a politician?"
On the subject of lying, Ed Morrissey wrote one year ago in a Fox Nation article entitled "Hillary Fired for Lies, Unethical Behavior from Congressional Job: Former Boss":
"Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the [House Judiciary Committee which was investigating Watergate]. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
'Because she was a liar,' Zeifman said in an interview last week. 'She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.'"
"Conspired to violate the Constitution"? That sounds kind of serious. Hillary's claim that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia pales in comparison.
And so, whereas a capricious, narcissistic Trump poses a potential hazard to the entire world, Hillary only threatens rule of law in the US.
Go ahead, take your pick.