Hillary Clinton finally clinched the nomination against a socialist senior citizen, who until the very end kept stealing states from her, such as North Dakota. This sad struggle, which required the establishment to pull her across the finish line while throwing elbows here and there, exposed the depth of her weaknesses in the general election. But she has at least one factor in her favor: an easily frightened GOP elite that is more eager to shoot its own candidate than unload on her.
Cowed by political correctness as usual, Republican leaders rushed to the microphones this week to denounce their own candidate. They were so eager to get a pat on the head from the media for their ethnic sensitivity that they happily twisted Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel into a racist attack. The Democrats don’t even have to put a sinister interpretation on Trump’s words; the Republican leaders will do it for them.
The Democrats never cannibalize their own. When Hillary makes a controversial comment, they form a defensive circle around her. When Trump makes one, Republicans scurry to join the circular firing squad around him. The Democrats give their nominee the benefit of the doubt; Republican leaders doubt the benefit of defending theirs. Living in dread fear of losing the approval of the media, they immediately reinforce whatever demagogic label it seeks to pin on Trump by interpreting his words in the worst possible light.
Hillary, apropos of nothing save the spiteful insinuation that Trump is the second coming of Hitler, mentioned the other day that Trump is “of German heritage.” Could you imagine, say, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi rushing to a microphone to say that “we disavow Hillary’s attack upon German-Americans”? That would never happen. But the leaders of the Stupid Party do the equivalent of that all the time, lest they find themselves on the wrong side of a media-determined culture of vapid and opportunistic outrage. They panic, flee from their own nominee like he is a leper, and then tell the media exactly what it wants to hear. They were so preoccupied with trashing Trump that they let Hillary’s slur pass without comment.
Paul Ryan, who never hesitates to hand a polished apple to the media while letting everyone know about his enlightened bona fides, made the comment, “Saying a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of the textbook definition of racist comments.… I think that should be absolutely disavowed.” Except Trump didn’t take that position. As he has explained, Curiel’s lack of fitness in this case derives not from his blood but from his political views. He belongs to the La Raza council of lawyers in San Diego. What is racist about a defendant whose politics conflicts with the views of that group wondering if one of its members can hear his case fairly?
“It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial,” Trump said on Tuesday.
But Republicans leaders won’t take yes for an answer from Trump and will continue to ratify the media’s oversimplification of his views. They evidently feel that is a small price to pay for appearing sufficiently enlightened. Just look at the eagerness of some of them to say that Trump is indifferent to the “disabled,” all on the basis of one wildly over-interpreted moment in which he may or may not have known that a reporter whom he was criticizing suffered from a disability. The Never Trump movement, in its frenzy to justify itself, has to make Trump into more and more of a monster with each passing day. Yet its bill of indictment is notable for its thinness and demagogic invective. While trashing Trump for his bombast, they indulge in quite a bit of it themselves, working themselves up into a sanctimonious lather about this or that facetious remark made by Trump. We’re told, for example, that he incites violence, all because he once made a jokey comment or two at a rally.
Hillary is the most lackluster Democratic nominee since John Kerry and is eminently beatable. But leave it to the GOP elite to try and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by devouring their own nominee.