Monday, June 13, 2016

Has the Republican Party humped itself?

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Thank you, Jake Tapper! “Jake Tapper asked Donald Trump if his judge attack was racist — then followed up 23 times” [Callum Borchers, Washington Post, June 3]. Excerpt:
There’s persistent ... and then there’s Jake Tapper.
    The CNN anchor posed the following question to Donald Trump on Friday:

Let me ask you about comments you made about the judge in the Trump University case. You said that you thought it was a conflict of interest that he was the judge because he is of Mexican heritage, even though he is from Indiana. Hillary Clinton said that that is a racist attack on a federal judge.
    Actually, Tapper didn’t quite get to form a question. Trump interjected to talk about Clinton's emails. So Tapper tried to steer the conversation back to whether Trump’s complaint about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was racist. Trump deflected again. Tapper tried again. And again. [read more]
“Lord of the Lies ” [Timothy Egan, NY Times, June 9]. Excerpt:
Professional truth-seekers have never seen anything like Trump, surely the most compulsive liar to seek high office. To date, the nonpartisan PolitiFact has rated 76 percent of his statements lies — 57 percent false or mostly false, and another 19 percent “Pants on Fire” fabrications. Only 2 percent — 2 percent! — of his assertions were rated true, and another 6 percent mostly true. Hillary Clinton, who is not exactly known for fealty to the facts, had a 28 percent total lie score, including a mere 1 percent Pants on Fire.
    The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has dinged Trump with 30 of its Four Pinocchio ratings — lying 70 percent of the time. Trump cares so little about the truth that when the Fact Checker reaches out to him for an explanation, he never responds, the paper noted.
    Trump got his start on the national political stage as a liar, playing to the birther fantasies of Barack Obama’s worst haters. One of the questions he might be asked in the three fall debates is what, exactly, he discovered when he claimed his investigators “cannot believe what they’re finding” in Hawaii five years ago.
    With Trump University, he created a business model built on a house of lies. An executive called it “a total lie,” and a sales manager said it was a “fraudulent scheme” designed to bilk vulnerable clients, according to court testimony. It was that class-action lawsuit that got Trump into his present caldron of lies — calling the Indiana-born judge in the case a “Mexican.” By that standard, Trump is a German, with a grandfather from Kallstadt. [read more]
“How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos , but Still Earned Millions” [Russ Buettner & Charles V. Bagli, NY Times, June 11]. Excerpt:
Mr. Trump boasts of his success at the Jersey Shore resort, but regulatory reviews, court records, and security filings indicate otherwise. And others paid the price. [read more]
“Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ attack leaves fellow Republicans squirming (again)” [Matea Gold, Karoun Demirjian, & Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, June 10]. Excerpt:
It was a bad time for Sen. Cory Gardner to be caught in an elevator with a reporter. Donald Trump had just referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as ­“Pocahontas” – again – and the Republican freshman from Colorado was struggling to figure out how to respond.
    “I think people need to be treated with respect, and that’s what we’ve demanded from everyone,” he offered.
    But was it racist?
    Gardner clammed up. He politely referred further questions to his press secretary. [read more]
“The Unity Illusion ” [David Brooks, NY Times, June 10]. Excerpt:
The Republican Party can’t unify around Donald Trump for the same reason it can’t unify around a tornado. Trump, by his very essence, undermines cooperation, reciprocity, solidarity, stability or any other component of unity. He is a lone operator, a disloyal diva, who is incapable of horizontal relationships. He has demeaned and humiliated everybody who has tried to be his friend, from Chris Christie to Paul Ryan.
    Some conservatives believe they can educate, convert or civilize Trump. This belief is a sign both of intellectual arrogance and psychological naïveté.
    The man who just crushed them is in no mood to submit to them. Furthermore, Trump’s personality is pathological. It is driven by deep inner compulsions that defy friendly advice, political interest and common sense. [read more]
“The Indelible Stain of Donald Trump ” [Peter Wehner, NY Times, June 10]. Excerpt:
The Republican Party’s politically lethal embrace of Donald J. Trump is very nearly complete. [read more]
“Dump the G.O.P. for a Grand New Party” [Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, June 7]. Excerpt:
If a party could declare moral bankruptcy, today’s Republican Party would be in Chapter 11....
    ...Today’s G.O.P. is to governing what Trump University is to education — an ethically challenged enterprise that enriches and perpetuates itself by shedding all pretense of standing for real principles, or a truly relevant value proposition, and instead plays on the ignorance and fears of the public.
    It is just an empty shell, selling pieces of itself to the highest bidders, – policy by policy – a little to the Tea Party over here, a little to Big Oil over there, a little to the gun lobby, to antitax zealots, to climate-change deniers. And before you know it, the party stands for an incoherent mess of ideas unrelated to any theory of where the world is going or how America actually becomes great again in the 21st century. [read more]
Grateful for correspondence, Morris Dean

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