The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?

Column by Douglas Herman.

Exclusive to STR

Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016
Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960.  Alleged vote fraud in Chicago and ballot box stuffing in Texas in 1960 seems pretty mild by today’s standards. Romney vs. Obama seemed downright vanilla compared to the weekly death threats to Trump from unknown gangsta rappers and so-called social justice warriors (SJW).  Put a bunch of entitled college kids together, most of them amassing Yuge student debt, and chalk the word Trump somewhere on campus, and suddenly you have Kabuki YouTube Theater at its finest for The Selfie Generation.
The New York Post, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, endorsed local boy, Donald Trump. No one seemed surprised. This on the heels of Trump’s triumph in the Empire State, together with the fraudulent removal of 100,000 Democrat voters in the Big (rotten) Apple and the subsequent Clinton win and the Dem Party playing Dumb and Dumber. Prospective Sanders voters were denied a chance to vote and had their votes stolen, say election critics. The removal occurred in Bernie’s home borough of Brooklyn, but did anyone expect anything different? Integrity, perhaps?  Good luck with that in 2016. Nothing to see here, claimed overpaid New York election officials; move along.
Tabloid 2016! Feel the Burnout!  
Long before the NY primary, Clinton vs. Sanders seemed more like a family feud, between a genial gramps and a shrill maiden aunt. Granted, a shrill, demon-possessed old aunt with scores of skeletons in her closet, one under investigation by the FBI.
Before that, we witnessed repeated attacks of self-proclaimed Bernie backers at Trump rallies.  Some said they were paid Craigslist posers. Some bloggers archived the ads to prove it. But getting punched in the face or pepper-sprayed seemed above and beyond the call of duty. In Tucson, Arizona, Bryan Sanders (no relation to Bernie) said getting cold-cocked by a Trump supporter was worth it to stop Trump.  The lithe, lovely young girl in the makeshift Klan hoodie trotting behind Sanders quickly removed her headgear. Getting slugged in the head by an angry black Air Force serviceman on national TV might have been beyond her pay scale. All part of Tabloid Sixteen, as America morphs towards an inevitable banana republic, said many astute observers on the Internet.
But then came New York and all bets were off, as well as the gloves. Sportsbooks had liked Sanders' chances and lowered his odds to win the nomination. Hillary’s Super Delegates must have panicked, because the NY primary revealed the true depth of corruption in the Big Bad Rotten Apple.
Personally, I didn’t have a horse in this dog & pony show, but I did bet a fellow Alaska fisherman that Hillary would win it all.  Why? As an old sports bettor, I can smell a rigged game long before it happens.  Not that I wanted the Democrats' unindicted war criminal to win, but many of her fellow sociopaths are backing her with billions. So I wagered $100 and gave Dave the rest of the candidates and backed the heavy favorite. If the big sportsbooks had Hillary, then I knew she had the right people in her camp--Wall Street and the mainstream media sort of people. And all those so-called Super Delegates, those bought and paid for powerbroker bigshots. Not to mention Hollywood millionaires, ready and willing to fork over millions more.
Speaking of sportsbooks and wagers, I’d be willing to bet the cast of Saturday Night Live is secretly pulling for Trump to win it all. SNL hasn’t been funny since Dubya and Dick left the White House eight years ago.  While Bernie seems like a geriatric version of Hope & Change, Trump seems a natural for SNL parody, far more so than Hillary Clinton. The Daily Beast calls Darrell Hammond the “Best Donald Trump” so far.  

I imagine eight years is a long time to go without humor on a comedy show. In that time, I could have written lots of funny skits about the Obama family but I probably would have ended up as dead as Michael Hastings or Andrew Breitbart.
Gone, GOP Baby Gone?
Lyin’ Ted and The Trumpeteers would be a great name for a Rock 'n' Roll band, right? But a fractious GOP hardly reassures a nervous Republic.  Ted Cruz made the mistake of trading zinger tweets with Trump, featured Melania, and Trump tweeted Ted’s tarts in the tabloids. Glass houses, guys?  Didn’t seem to matter much.  Cruz carried Utah and was gifted Colorado and Wyoming.  Maybe to the greasy backstage boys in charge of the GOP, Cruz seemed to fit right in as an old school Mormon, with multiple wives.  The tabloids loved it.  No wonder The NY Post endorsed Trump.
Yet the GOP appeared to enjoy Hari-Kari on a national stage.  The aging RINOs – chiefly Romney, McCain and Graham - joined openly in dissent with their party’s leader, losing whatever credibility they had left with the average angry voter.  If Trump loses the nomination, some see the GOP going the way of the Whigs.  And good riddance, say millions nationwide.
Seeking Answers in Alaska
Bernie carried a bunch of western states, including Alaska, by a Yuge margin.  I visited Kodiak, Alaska on fishery business for a week soon after Bernie won.  By chance, both of Alaska’s US Senators were there in Kodiak for a convention called ComFish.  At the local brewery, owned by convivial Bernie backer, Ben Millstein, I introduced myself to Lisa Murkowski, senior US Senator from Alaska.

Over a beer, I asked her what was her impression of the top candidates?  “They seemed to be lacking in some essential decency,” she said.  Earlier she spoke to local reporter Drew Herman at ComFish and said she was “looking at all these guys . . . They all have their flaws, believe me.” 
After flirting a bit with Lisa, I caught up to junior Senator Dan Sullivan at the bar.  Funny thing, neither of these senators had any posse or paid flaks to protect them and coach them.  I bought my last beer and I asked Sullivan what was missing from the primaries?  “Civility,” he replied with a friendly gleam.
In riotous California, about a month from now, Trump will either meet his Waterloo or cross the Rubicon.  Maybe both. While social justice warriors (SJW) from the selfie generation took to the streets in Orange County, we learned of a $100 million lawsuit accusing Trump of statutory rape.  Coincidence, with Trump atop nationwide polls?  The alleged crime occurred more than 20 years ago, but I guess the time seemed perfect to the plaintiffs to finally initiate the lawsuit.
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections continue to get sleazier and sleazier.  All we need now is a busboy with a pair of identical names, someone possessing easy access to a handgun in gun-crazy California.  Some frustrated immigrant perhaps, someone keeping an explicit diary of his grievances and his grudges and, particularly, his violent intentions.  I’m sure a lone gunman is being groomed as I write this.

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @


Paul's picture

This is tailor-made for a Mencken comment:
"Here (in America) the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly, the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat slittings, of theological buffoneeries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villanies, imbecilities, grotesqueries, and extravagances is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage, so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only a person born with a petrified diaphram can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night and wake up with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-School superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows."

I know you like Trump for SNL, but don't overlook the potential of a Clinton presidency. Just think of Bill as First Man. The thought takes one's breath away. No intern will be safe.

This is the best presidential campaign ever. It's made even better since I don't care which side wins.

Too bad it looks like Trump will have enough delegates for first vote (unless I missed something). A busted R convention was getting me drooling, but sadly that is not to be. The tax thing is adding some fun though.

Douglas Herman's picture

 Rob wrote me and said "get the popcorn ready." I'd have to agree, unless HC or DT are suddenly off the ticket.
 Then comes the crying when WeThe People are stuck for 4-8 years with "our" choice.