Jun 20, 2016

Trump Trump

Here are a few lines from Frank Rich, our favorite we-told-you-so artiste, about Donald Trump, in a Q&A:



Donald Trump's renewed call for a ban on Muslim immigration after the Orlando shooting not only drew condemnation from President Obama and Hillary Clinton, but appears to have deepened the gap between Trump and Establishment Republicans: Paul Ryan responded with a statement of support for Muslims, while Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn have refused to talk about their party's candidate to the press. Will there be any fallout for Trump within the GOP?

No. We’ve just passed the first anniversary of Trump’s declaration of his presidential campaign, and the dynamic within the GOP has never changed. We know the drill: Trump says something outrageous or hateful. A few GOP leaders timidly say that what he’s said is racist, misogynistic, “not what the Party of Lincoln stands for,” whatever. Then those leaders fall back in line. The dynamic will not change now, and for a simple reason. The GOP elites are frightened of Trump and frightened of their own party’s voters, who overwhelmingly supported Trump in the GOP primary.

What Trump has been saying post-Orlando, it should be added, is not inconsistent with what many other Republican politicians have been saying for years. When he claims that Obama is secretly allied with terrorists, he is echoing Sarah Palin’s charge that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” when she was on the GOP ticket in 2008. When Trump purports that failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” is tantamount to surrender, he is following a time-honored Republican script. (I would hope that when he trots it out in a debate Clinton will ask him whether “radical Christian terrorism” should be applied to the fringe Christians who have, among other acts of terrorism, murdered abortion doctors or bombed abortion clinics.) Trump’s hate campaign against all Muslims, smearing an entire religion for its fanatics, is also nothing new in the GOP. It’s of a piece with the 2010 Rudy Giuliani–Fox News–led campaign against the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” (which was, in fact,a proposed cultural center, and not at Ground Zero).

Even so, Trump doesn’t care that his Muslim ban wouldn’t have stopped Omar Mateen, an American citizen born in New York. Nor did it matter to him that his Mexican wall would not have thwarted the Indiana-born federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Spewing bigotry is its own reward for Trump. We have to hope that the American electorate will end his political career in November. But surely, a year in, there’s no point in hoping that feckless Republican elites can or will do anything to stop him.


Continues here: Frank Rich

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