I’ve been on vacation.  What did I miss?

Donald Trump remains Donald Trump.  He seems to be toying with establishment Republicans and the media, offering the promise of a pivot that will never (and can never) materialize.  He is like a cat with a mouse.  The mouse, feeling it may be safe, ventures out cautiously, only be to swatted back.  And the mouse, just like the GOP, is desperate to believe it can survive this.  But neither the mouse nor the GOP will emerge from this unscathed.  The pivot is a feint.

What else?

Hillary Clinton remains Hillary Clinton.  Her errors are unforced.  Given the option between secrecy and openness, she always chooses secrecy.  And whatever error in judgment she tries to conceal inevitably pales in comparison to the error in judgement of attempting concealment.  The Democratic party holds its breath, praying that no new scandal will emerge- especially in October.  Democrats rightly fear that Hillary Clinton may snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

That Trump is behaving badly is no surprise.  However, I find myself continually surprised by the degree to which he has degraded our civic discourse. Attacking the families of fallen soldiers used to be grounds for political banishment. Making thinly veiled threats of assassination used to lead to immediate condemnation and rebuke.  In the age of Trump and Fox and Brietbart etc., nothing is off limits. Nothing is out of bounds. Democracy, decency and the country itself can be sacrificed on the alter of party loyalty.

Nor am I surprised to find myself uncomfortably defending Hillary Clinton against overblown Republican attacks.  The rhetoric and endless investigations of her emails do not fit the “crime.”  There has clearly been a history of lax email security at the Department of State.  No one has called for the execution of Colin Powell for his email usage as far as I know.  And yet, because the attacks are so over-the-top, I end up defending her in spite of my discomfort with the way she handled things.  It is something I am all too familiar with having grown up a Democrat in the age of Clinton.

I continue to believe that Hillary Clinton is extremely qualified and would be a fine president.  I still believe that she is a progressive and that she will pursue policies and appoint judges that align with the inclusive values I hold dear.  I know that Trump and all he represents is unacceptable and that he would be a disaster for our country, its citizens and indeed, the entire world.  But I wish my choices were different.

So- I didn’t really miss much.