Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 5:16 AM

Republicans Bewailing Trump as Their Nominee; Democrats Hailing Hillary as Theirs

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I hereby pledge anew that this will be my last commentary on this presidential horse race (i.e., on how candidates fared in latest caucus or primary), until Republicans and Democrats choose their respective nominees this summer.

(“New Hampshire Primary Proved One-Third of Republicans Are Gullible Fools,” February 12, 2016)

I honored my pledge. And I did so with enlightened indignation.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 10.18.07 AM

President Obama is probably the only other person in America who pledged to refrain from commenting on this horse race. But Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have now secured the nomination of their respective parties. Therefore, you might think that, as is reportedly the case with him, I am champing at the bit to jump back into the fray.

But I still couldn’t possibly comment. Not least because The Donald and Hillary have already demonstrated their intent to campaign on little more than mutually assured character assassination.

gettyimages-501494050_wide-b524e50f5d54316a69117164491e1bc91054679c-s900-c85Granted, it hardly helps that they are universally regarded as the most flawed standard-bearers for their respective parties in U.S. history. Senator Lindsey Graham threw this into sharp relief for Republicans only yesterday, when he called on party leaders to rescind their endorsement of Trump. He cited their nominee’s racist, anti-Mexican rant against the American judge of Mexican descent – who is presiding over the now infamous Trump University fraud case:

This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy. If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it. There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.

(New York Times, June 6, 2016)

Mind you, a Republican damning Trump for spewing racist bile is rather like a historian damning John Wilkes Booth for interrupting the play….

What’s more, it might be instructive to note that Republican hatred of Obama has trumped love of country from day one of his presidency. Here is how Obama himself decried this during an address in Philadelphia on the eve of midterm elections in 2010:

So [Republicans] spent the last 20 months saying no—even to policies that they had supported in the past…

If I said the sky was blue, they said no.  If I said there were fish in the sea, they said no.  They figured if Obama fails, then we win.

(White House.gov, October 10, 2010)

Only this explains the reflexive obstruction Republican leaders have mounted to every salutary measure he proposed, the welfare of the country be damned. “What’s past is prologue“?

Screen-Shot-2014-12-24-at-8.33.26-AM-300x218In fact, their abiding hatred of Obama is such that they are even refusing to grant a Senate hearing to his nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. I commented on this unprecedented obstruction in “Obama Presents Consensus Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland,” March 16, 2016.

Not to mention that Graham is appealing to hopelessly compromised Republican leaders. After all, they spent the nominating process accusing Trump of displaying all kinds of disqualifying traits, notably those of a “racist [and] Islamophobe,” a “pathological liar,” a “con artist,” a “dangerous narcissist,” and a “wannabe dictator” – who, among other things, has threatened to punish his media critics if he’s elected president. Which means that, like the sensible “Never Trump” members of their party, they should never have gotten on the Trump bandwagon in the first place.

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Except that their hatred of Hillary is such that – as soon as plainly uninformed and gullible voters elected him the nominee of their party – these same leaders turned on a dime and endorsed Trump, love of country be damned. Now they’re all over TV twisting themselves into intellectual and political pretzels, trying to no avail to justify their endorsement.

They’ve allowed the angry-mob faction of their party to ensnare them into a shotgun marriage with Trump. Now they’re stuck trying to honor their vows by supporting him as their standard-bearer — no matter the damage to their party or danger to the country Trump poses.

Apropos of which, nothing portends more trouble in this respect than Trump’s pathological inability to admit mistakes and duly apologize for them. I mean, this man’s Nixonian ideations are such that he felt no compunction about informing his hopelessly compromised Evangelical boosters that he has never had any reason to ask God for forgiveness … for anything.

But Republican leaders would do well to remember that Nazi leaders endorsed Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s, notwithstanding his disqualifying traits – notably those of a genocidal anti-Semite. We all know how that turned out and, more to the point, how history judged those leaders. These Republican leaders are sheepishly running the risk of being judged in similar fashion….

In any event, I presaged Graham’s lament in numerous commentaries, including “Republicans Send ‘Mutinous’ Letter to Iran,” March 17, 2015, “Success of Obama’s Policies Confounding, Vexing, Defying Republican Critics,” December 29, 2014, and “S&P Downgrades U.S. Credit Rating,” August 11, 2011.

For their part, Democrats are voicing fears about the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicting Hillary for her reckless handling of classified e-mails as secretary of state … and then lying about it. But, as reckless as she undoubtedly was, I would be shocked if the DOJ intervenes, so decisively, in this presidential election. Yet, only hoping against hope that it does explains Bernie’s reluctance to give up the ghost, reasoning that he would be the default choice if the Democrats’ fears come true.

Meanwhile, Trump is heading into this general election campaign with a dark cloud of racism hovering over his head; Hillary, with a Damoclean sword of federal indictment over hers. Frankly, coupled with all of the muckraking to come, it’s all enough to make you want to cover your ears and scream.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 11.33.42 AMAll the same, I would be remiss not to commend Hillary on her historic nomination.

Hillary Clinton further cemented her status as the first woman to presumptively win the nomination of a major American political party on Tuesday night, when the Associated Press projected her the winner in New Jersey’s presidential primary…

Clinton’s victory came just three days after the 97th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. It also was eight years to the day after Clinton conceded the 2008 Democratic presidential primary to Barack Obama with a speech in which she famously declared that her supporters helped her put ‘18 million cracks’ in the ‘glass ceiling.’

(Yahoo! News, June 7, 2016)

Congratulations, Hillary!

Incidentally, in “Dude, I ‘Feel the Bern’ Too. But…,” May 21, 2016, I admonished “Bernie-or-Bust” Democrats to get on the Hillary bandwagon, after taking a few days to lick their wounds. I hereby reiterate that admonition, and urge Bernie to emulate the way Hillary helped “Hillary-or-Bust” Democrats get over her loss in 2008 to support Obama, wholeheartedly.

I would rue ever feeling the Bern if he persists in willfully pissing on Hillary’s parade and providing gratuitous fodder for Trump’s character assassination. Not to mention that this would expose him as nothing more than the self-righteous, self-centered, grumpy old man Larry David caricatures.

With that, I shall sit back and enjoy the greatest spectacle on earth: the 2016 campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to be elected president of the United States.

God help America.

Related commentaries:
Mutinous letter
Success of Obama policies
S&P downgrades
Supreme Court nominee
Bernie Sanders
New Hampshire
Feel the bern

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