Parsing Kelly Quelette’s Hymn to The Donald

Kelly Quelette is a blogger and her justification for voting for The Donald has gotten a fair amount of circulation on the Web. WC thought it would be interesting to parse her argument rationale for accuracy, logic and evidence.

Three-quarters of her first paragraph is spent acknowledging The Donald’s conduct is appalling and inexcusable. But let’s look at her claim that Secretary Clinton is worse:

Hillary Clinton has done MUCH more to contribute to that than Donald Trump. As an attorney, she has reduced the jail time of rapists. She has helped cover up the abuses done by her husband while he was President. Actions like this have MUCH more of a ripple affect [sic] than the derogatory comments and actions of Donald Trump.

The claim that she reduced the jail time of sex offenders is nonsense. Judges sentence criminals, not defense counsel. And there is exactly one case where, over her objections, Clinton was appointed to defend a sex offender. Snopes has thoroughly debunked the claim she reduced the sentence or laughed about it. Clinton was ordered to defend that sex offender, over her objections. The defendant wound up pleading out and no, she never laughed about it. Clinton did stand by her husband through his sex scandals, but then so have most politicians’ wives, including an embarrassing number of Republican politicians’ wives. Ms. Quelette doesn’t offer any evidence that Hillary Clinton “helped cover up” Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades, because there is no such evidence. And, of course, there is strong, corroborated evidence that The Donald has and does live out his bragging to Billy Bush. Grade: C+ for honesty about Trump; F for failure to research the false claims against Clinton before repeating them.

In her second paragraph, Ms. Quelette says,

We are WAY beyond voting for a President based on their character. None of the candidates have shining character – especially not Trump & especially not Hillary. But when November 8 gets here – one of them is going to be elected President. If you stay home and don’t vote – one of them will be elected President. If you vote for one of the other candidates – Trump or Hillary will still be elected President. If you write in your own nominee – Trump or Hillary will still be elected President. You can talk about how much you hate it all you want, but this is REALITY.

When someone claims character isn’t an issue in politics, especially presidential politics, it means they want to avoid discussions of character. Because their candidate would lose. Even Trump’s lawyer and former chief executive describe The Donald as “vindictive and dishonest.” And then we see a false equivalency argument, that Clinton is as bad as Trump or worse. Without discussion of the evidence, the claim is nearly meaningless. But Clinton hasn’t engaged in sexual assault, hasn’t mocked minorities, disabilities and women, hasn’t filed bankruptcy four times, hasn’t routinely stiffed people who have sold him goods and services, and hasn’t betrayed a vast, profound ignorance of world affairs. Donald Trump has. Grade: D-.

Ms. Quelette then launches into four numbered paragraphs which enumerate at least five specific reasons she will vote for The Donald.

National Security – Hillary wants open borders. Are you kidding me? In our lifetime, we have been attacked by terrorists FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. Multiple times.

The first two sentences are a gross distortion of Clinton’s position The third is the tired old Terrorist card. Clinton supports open trade. She has never, ever supported open borders. According to Snopes, he distortion of her position traces to a right wing web site that seriously misrepresented the emails leaked through Wikileaks. Ms. Quelette could have had a look at Snopes, or even at the emails themselves, and found her claim was untrue. And Clinton is a strong – too strong, from WC’s view – supporter of the contiunation of President Obama’s border policies. Grade: F.

In the same discussion of national security, Ms. Quelette veers off into the Second Amendment:

This also includes gun laws. I do think that the screening process should be more intense when you go to buy a gun. But taking guns out of the hands of Americans leaves us completely helpless. People who use guns for the wrong reasons are CRIMINALS. They do not care about laws. They only thing that will change if you take away our guns is that criminals will continue to buy them illegally and more of us will probably die, because we won’t be able to defend ourselves.

Except that Clinton has never advocated anything more than, to use Ms. Quelette’s phrase, that “the screening process should be more intense when you go to buy a gun.” To the extent she is suggesting the Second Amendment is important for national security Ms. Quelette is fantasizing. Organization and structure: D-; fact-checking before making claims, F.

Ms. Quelette next turns to economic stability:

Economic Stability – Donald Trump is a businessman, not a politician. He did not pay taxes under legal provisions. He did not pay people who did not do good work. If he becomes President, America will be his business. He will conduct trades and make deals that benefit US. As he should. Because when you are the President – AMERICA is your job.

The Donald didn’t pay taxes because he managed to lose nearly a billion dollars. He had a loss deduction of $936 million. That means he lost $936 million. And filed bankruptcy four times. WC can’t speak for Ms. Quelette, but in WC’s mind a good businessman is someone who, you know, makes money. Warren Buffet had a $2.4 billion dollar deduction, but his was for charitable donations and, more to the point, he didn’t use it. He paid taxes instead. Unlike Trump. As for the claim he didn’t pay people who didn’t do good work, that’s not what the courts found. He just didn’t pay people. Routinely. You close that paragraph with a paean to trickle down economics. It’s a failed policy. Ask anyone in Missouri. Reasoning: F. Fact-checking: F.

From there, Ms Quelette moved to law.

SUPREME COURT – this is probably the biggest reason I am voting for Donald Trump. Whoever the next President is will likely nominate FIVE Supreme Court judges. FIVE. Even if you hate Donald Trump & everything about him – if you generally identify with conservative policies, then this is CRUCIAL.

Really? Five justices in four years? That hasn’t happened in American history. And can we think about the juxtaposition of “hate Donald Trump” and “this is crucial.” WC wouldn’t trust a guy who can’t take a Saturday Night Live skit about him with parking meter change, let alone appointment of a single supreme court justice. And, at the risk of the obvious, Presidents nominate supreme court justices, they don’t appoint them. The U.S. Senate confirms them. And certainly has used that power to refuse to confirm them. Besides, when an arch-conservative talks about the U.S. Supreme Court they are talking about abortion.

And to prove WC’s last point, in her fourth paragraph, we see her turn to a woman’s right to choose:

Pro-Life – this is plain and simple. The amount of abortions in our country is horrifying. Hillary believes that even minutes before delivery, a baby does not have constitutional rights.

The claim that Clinton believes any unborn child has no constitutional rights is a complete fabrication. She supports Roe v. Wade, and she believes that later term abortions might be appropriate in extreme cases to save the life of the mother. But Ms. Quelette uncritically accepts Trump’s position on abortion. Which has flopped around like a gaffed halibut. As recently as April 2015, he said he was pro-choice. And Ms. Quelette finds this to be a compelling reason to vote for Donald Trump? Logic: F; Research F.

Near the end of her post, Ms. Quelette says, “I refuse to be distracted by the social issues that the media continues to put in the forefront of the coverage of this election.” But they aren’t “social issues.” They are character issues. The media, limited as it may be, is pointing to the differences between what Trump says and what Trump does. How else can we judge  person’s character besides comparing what they say and what they do? And the character issues are deeply, profoundly troubling for any thoughtful person. By saying you “refuses to be distracted” you are saying that you are putting on blinders to those grave problems because he “supports” so-called “pro-life” positions? Ms. Quelette promises to vote for a racist, misogynist, spoiled bully because he plays the Christian card. That requires her to abandon her critical thinking skills. Logic: F.

In a postscript, Ms. Quelette says,

Another reason I am voting for Trump is because of who is running with. Mike Pence is a man of character, faith and integrity. And if this is the first person Trump has “hired,” I have a lot of hope for who else might surround him as he serves his term in the White House.

WC thinks Mike Pence is a dangerous prig. WC supposes reasonable minds can differ. But Ms. Quelette is forgetting former vice-president John Nance Garner’s observation that “the vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm spit.” He wasn’t selected because of his integrity and character; he was selected for his faith. He must regret his decision to accept the nomination every time The Donald opens his mouth. Pence was selected because his faith and the hope it would attract the Christian right to the ticket. It seems to have influenced Ms. Quelette. But there are two problems with the tactic. First, Vice President Garner was right as to the importance of a vice president. And second, the idea that Donald Trump will share power with anyone is laughable.

WC doesn’t expect this post will change Ms. Quelette’s mind. WC’s post is based on logic and reason; Ms Quelette’s, not so much. If WC were still grading student’s tests, she would fail. And WC notes that there isn’t a single link to support any her claims about either candidate.

If this is the best the Right has to offer, it’s no wonder The Donald is trailing Clinton by 10 points in national polls.