Friday, August 26, 2016

Hanging Donald out to dry

Hillary Clinton gave a dynamite speech on Wednesday exposing Donald Trump as a would-be emperor with snow white clothes. (That's one way, my way, of calling Trump a racist.) She cited his own words, words disparaging African-Americans, for example.

Who rose to Trump's defense? Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) calls our attention to the answer: not the Republican leaders. The silence of no defense was deafening. Even leaders of the political party now headed by Trump know, as they certainly should by now, that Clinton spoke truth to politics.

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent weeks about the possibility of Republican Party officials cutting their losses and giving up on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. Whether or not the chatter leads to action remains to be seen, but the possibility remains quite real.

Yesterday, for example, Hillary Clinton delivered a pretty brutal indictment of Trump and his role as the standard bearer for racists, xenophobes, and the extremist, paranoid fringe. It was the kind of speech that, ordinarily, Republicans would respond to by defending their party’s presidential nominee. Except in this case, as NBC News’ Chuck Todd noted this morning, GOP leaders said nothing.

“Hillary Clinton called the Republican nominee [Donald Trump] a racist, and all these Republicans … not a word. No Republicans outside the campaign said, ‘How dare you, Hillary Clinton, call the Republican nominee a racist.’ The sound of silence among mainstream Republican elected officials yesterday is stunning.”

It is, indeed. Part of the value in being in a political party is benefiting from institutional support when under fire. But instead of having Trump’s back, Republicans reminded the political world again yesterday that they’re content to hang the presidential hopeful out to dry.

RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer appeared on MSNBC earlier, and host Stephanie Ruhle asked the Republican if there was anything Hillary said that was untrue. Spicer didn’t answer directly.

Actually, he didn't answer it at all - in spite of persistent repeats of the question by Ruhle. Here is the video clip of Ruhle's interview with Spicer.

"Hanging Trump out to dry" is one metaphor for the reluctance, or inability, of Republican leaders to defend Trump. Another would be "rats leaving a sinking ship." Andy Borowitz (The Borowitz Report) tells us that Mike Pence jumped ship and ran away from the campaign bus, but campaign officials recaptured Pence.

News that Pence had vanished touched off a panic in Indiana, where residents feared that he might return to resume his political career.

After forty-five minutes of searching, however, campaign officials located a bedraggled and dazed Pence walking along Virginia State Route 287, where the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee was attempting unsuccessfully to hitch a ride.

A confrontation that Trump aides characterized as “tense” ensued, after which a sobbing Pence returned to the bus.

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