We, on what media likes to call the professional left, often make fun of the GOP and their gaffes and pandering to the madness that has afflicted them since 1980 (but really since 1968). But yesterday, in Iowa, might have been the day the madness reached its nadir or somehow continues unabated. It might be the day the clowns exit the car or the double down and drive it off the proverbial cliff.
This is a fork in the road of their own making. They can, if they are smart, pull back from the brink and become the Party of Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, or they can continue on the path towards oblivion first started by Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Yesterday, in Iowa, Donald J. Trump, a carnival barker, legend-in-his own-mind, said this about John McCain, who spent five years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. “He is not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
He then went on to say this on his Facebook post:
“I am not a fan of John McCain because he has done so little for our Veterans and he should know better than anybody what the Veterans need, especially in regards to the VA. He is yet another all talk, no action politician who spends too much time on television and not enough time doing his job and helping the Vets. He is also allowing our military to decrease substantially in size and strength, something which should never be allowed to happen.
Furthermore, he was extremely disrespectful to the thousands upon thousands of people, many of whom happen to be his constituents, that came to listen to me speak about illegal immigration in Phoenix last week by calling them “crazies”.
These were not “crazies”—these were great American citizens.
I have great respect for all those who serve in our military including those that weren’t captured and are also heroes.
I want to strengthen our military and take care of our Veterans. I want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN especially for those that serve to protect our freedom. I am fighting for our Veterans!”
Yes, OK, Elmer. By disparaging and disrespecting them? Especially John McCain, who spent five years in the Hanoi Hilton? Who is more disabled then many who have been that way their whole lives? A man, who just seven years ago, you supported for President? As another writer of my acquaintance, Barry Friedman, put it on his Facebook page yesterday “Donald Trump has done what John McCain could not do. Get liberals to start defending John McCain again. Bravo, Trump. Your douchebaggery is astonishingly cruel, astonishingly hypocritical, you who did your military service at Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania.”
Yes, son of Fred, not surprisingly, gets the silver medal when in comes to draft deferments during Vietnam. Little Donnie-boy got four. The winner and still champion is Richard Cheney. Up until yesterday, Trump was leading the Republican polls and almost a sure bet to be on the stage in Cleveland on August 6, when the first debate takes place.
That we are even talking about this guy is amazing. He is not a serious candidate, but he is, or was, until the outrageous statement he made yesterday, a serious threat to mount a third-party run, which does seem highly unlikely now. Sixteen months away and we’re already knee deep in the brown stuff.
This all started when McCain condemned Trumps speech in Phoenix last week, saying it brought out the “crazies.” Excuse me, Uncle Fester, but you probably forgot that you were the one who unleashed Sarah Palin on America. But yes, Trump’s anti-immigration speeches since “declaring” as a candidate a month ago and a magazine saying he was taking up Nixon’s mantle of speaking to “the Silent Majority” or the fictitious, coming-unglued newscaster Howard Beale of “Network,” (“I’m mad as hell and i’m not going to take it anymore!!!”) struck a nerve among those who want to blame the “other,” – Jews, blacks, women, Mexicans, hippies, – there’s always someone else to blame for something here in the United States.
There are some in the GOP who said he was a Democratic plant, based on his previous support for Democrats and his personal relationship with the presumed frontrunner, Hilary Clinton. Trump is neither. The owner of a mansion and yacht, who puts his name on everything, but never his money, is nothing but a huge phony and loudmouth. There are serious issues and maybe Trump’s sound and fury signifying nothing and the backlash it’s produced might spell a turning point for the Republicans. Do they, in their quick commendation in the wake of yesterday’s comments, seek to isolate and make Trump a non-factor, or do they continue to hope he goes away on his own. Which he won’t.
We’ve heard this kind of talk before, but nothing’s ever changed. The GOP still plays to the fear and longing of those who hate more than those who accept. Maybe now, it might. Otherwise, they will go the same way of their ideological predecessor’s, the Whigs. Which bring me to the end of this post with a reference from two iconic characters, basically summing up the pickle the Party of St. Ronnie is in:
McCoy: Spock, you haven’t changed a bit. You’re just as warm and sociable as ever.
Spock: Nor have you, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.