John Plumb, Citizens United, Trump, and Tom Reed—Or The Good, The Bad, and Two Uglies


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Do you find this election season taxing?  Then your name isn’t Donald Trump. He finds almost nothing taxing.  He’s almost as good at dodging taxes as he was at dodging the draft.  Between being a tax dodger and a charity cheapskate, Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself.  He even admitted during a rare moment of truth that “I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy I’ve grabbed all the money I can get.

 

“I’ve grabbed all the money I can get” would be a great title for a movie based on Trump’s life.  And I would make that movie if I had a sizable budget and decent movie making skills.  Alas, I have neither. But I have a script for two commercials based on his life.  If you would like to use my script to make your own commercials, be my guest.

 

You’d think it would be a cakewalk for Hillary to win this election given that Trump makes Lord Voldemort look like a cuddly Tribble.  But it seems like Hillary has the deck stacked against her as she fights an uphill battle against online trolls tweeting support for Trump from Russia, WikiLeaks email dumps intended to sabotage her campaign, and James Comey’s bombshell about emails that he had not yet seen and that Clinton may not have even sent.  Fortunately, we have two things working for us.

 

1) Logic and reasoning based on evidence.  I know, I know. Logic and reasoning will bounce off most Trump supporters like bullets bouncing off Superman’s chest, but logic and reasoning can convince at least some people that there are three good reasons why we should take the WikiLeaks email dumps with a grain of salt.

 

2) The Trump campaign’s gross incompetence in the wake of Pussygate.  We should all express our gratitude to Melania Trump’s lawyer for providing us with comic relief by inadvertently strengthening the claim that Donald Trump groped Natasha Stoynoff. There is nothing funny about sexual assault itself, but the incompetence of the Trump campaign in handling the many accusations against Trump is almost humorous.

 

And thank God for their incompetence.  We need all the help we can get. If Donald Trump is elected, we will be longing for the good old days of Richard Nixon.  Nixon may have had his secret enemies list, but he never made any statements that could be remotely construed by his supporters as a suggestion to assassinate his political opponents.  And he never suggested that he might lose an election because the election was rigged against him.  Yet Trump has done just that, and in doing so he has sowed the seeds for revolution and civil war.  Donald Trump, like no other politician in my lifetime is an existential threat to our democracy. (And I’m an old fart whose first political memory was the assassination of JFK)

 

But that doesn’t matter to my Congressman, Tom Reed.  Reed, as you may know, was one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters.  I published an open letter to him in August in the Ithaca Journal demanding that he renounce Trump or be seen as a hypocrite for bashing both President Obama and John Plumb, his opponent in the NY 23rd Congressional race, for being soft on Russia. There was no response from Reed in August.  And still, despite all that we have learned about Trump since then, Reed has clung to his endorsement of Trump like it was the last life preserver on the Titanic.

 

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised by this.  After all, Reed’s foreign policy has all the substance and gravitas of cotton candy. It is a house built on a foundation of platitudes, not plans. It is as meaningful and deep as a debate over whether Miller Lite beer tastes great or is less filling. And nothing demonstrates the contrast between Reed’s know-nothing approach and John Plumb’s measured experience than Reed’s discussion of how to handle ISIS and Islamic extremists. I watched Plumb when he debated Tom Reed this week.

 

I hope you will read my comparison of Reed’s and Plumb’s plans for fighting ISIS, but in case you don’t have time to read the whole thing, then know this: I wrote to Malcolm Nance, author of “Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe“,  and asked him what he thought of Plumb’s plan.  This was Nance’s response:

 

“It’s a very sound strategy. We are doing quite a bit of it but overall, it’s excellent. I also see he was on the NSC. [National Security Council] That may explain why he has a fight smarter, not harder strategy.”

 

I met John Plumb twice when he was visiting Ithaca and I watched him when he debated Tom Reed this week.  The more I have seen of him, the more impressed I became.  One of Plumb’s top priorities is fixing our broken political system by passing a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.  As far as I know, Reed has never taken a stand against Citizens United. But in 2011 he did meet an almost perfect poster boy for Citizens United–an illustrious multi-billionaire who, two years after meeting with Reed in Israel, declared that he wanted the United States to nuke Iran. Who is this poster boy? Hint: He owned the only major newspaper in the U.S. to endorse Donald Trump as of October 16.   If you still haven’t figured out who our poster boy is then you’ll just have to pop over to my website and read about John Plumb, Tom Reed, Citizens United, and the mystery wannabe bomber.

 

Robin Messing

 

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