Friday, July 8, 2016

With Ball Set on Political Tee This Week, Trump Whiffs

This week should have been a good one for Donald Trump.  While the FBI report issued by Director James Comey did not recommend criminal charges for Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, Comey did indicate that Hillary Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information"  in handling the nation's secrets.  (Note: not sure how "extremely careless" is different from "grossly negligent" the threshhold for a criminal prosecution under the applicable statute.)  As CNN reported, Comey's "explicit criticism of Clinton's conduct offered her enemies a trove of fresh ammunition for their assault on her character, honesty and trustworthiness — one of her biggest vulnerabilities."

Of course presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used the occasion to drive
the point home about Hillary's dishonesty and poor judgment?  Well, in fairness Trump did mention that in passing at a rally in North Carolina that followed the FBI announcement.  But what garned headlines out of the rally was Trump again talking about his controversial anti-Clinton "Star of David" retweet (a tweet that originated on a white supremacist website) and praising former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

A day later, Trump met with House and Senate Republicans.  At the House meeting, Trump was asked about how about as President he would go about protecting Congress' Article I powers.  The issue is near and dear to Republican lawmakers who have felt President Obama consistently encroached authority.  Trump though apparently didn't know what Articles were or confused Articles with amendments.  Trump said he would protect Article I, Article II (which outlines executive power), and Article XII.    There is no Article XII of the Constitution - they stop with Article VII.  Trump's lack of knowledge about the Constitution he would be sworn to defend as President caused considerable concern among several House members.

But Trump's meeting with Senate membership went even worse.  Trump got into it with Arizona Senator Jeff Flake,  The Washington Post reports what happened:
When Flake stood up and introduced himself, Trump told him, “You’ve been very critical of me.”
Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that,” Flake responded, according to two Republican officials.
Flake was referencing Trump’s comments last summer about the military service of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero because he was captured.
Flake told Trump that he wants to be able to support him — “I’m not part of the Never Trump movement,” the senator said — but that he remains uncomfortable backing his candidacy, the officials said.
Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the sources said.
Flake was not the only Senator Trump attacked during the meeting.  Trump also referred to Senator Mark Kirk as a "loser," which is ironic since the Republican Kirk won a state six years ago - Illinois - that Trump has no chance of winning this Fall. 

Apparently Trump thinks the way to persuade in politics is by bullying elected officials with threats and engaging in schoolyard name-calling.  All that does is reinforce the (very accurate) view of Trump as someone who is lacking in temperament and unfit for the Office of the Presidency.


Dave Crutchfield said...

I can't say I'm enchanted with the possibility of Donald Trump for President. It's as bad a Presidential choice as I can recall. But I have greater fear for abandonment and corruption of separation of powers, and dissolution of journalism.

Congress and Supreme Court rulings on Obama Care and gay marriage represent an inability of separation of powers to do their job: Don't fund what shouldn't be and interpret the Constitution to prevent abuse by other branches. They're not supposed to be swept away by societal trends, abandon principle for political calculation, and "leave it up to the voters". I cherish my gay friends, but I believe stakes are higher with the abandonment of limited government.

Given their Constitutional protection, there's an implicit obligation of journalism to investigate and report both sides, not regurgitate what a defacto press agent of their ideological leaning feeds them. I don't buy that journalism is out of money- they can't make a phone call to hear the defacto press agent of the other side?

I defer to resident legal reference, but I thought the FBI was to investigate whether laws were broken? If it's not clear, isn't the matter to be referred to a grand jury versus a recommendation that makes it clear we officially live in a caste system?

Dave Crutchfield
Plymouth, MI

John Accetturo said...

Why do you have to kiss butt of elected officials to get elected?

leon dixon said... It does not appear that Trump was the only whiffer. I like it that Senator Cruz was asked about SC appointments-a subject he is well versed in. And, his being a confirmed speaker at the Convention probably means that he isn't the unicorn that Will and Paul are looking for. Yet, he is a good speaker and people with interest in matters political will tune in. Might be the best speech since Pat Buchanan's?
So, with this new ball being teed up by Trump and the hour glass running low on sand, will Paul hang it up and don a clothespin like all the other good little Indiana Elephants? At least, after Trump is nominated by acclaim can we cease helping the totally corrupt tyrant who would be Queen?

Pete Boggs said...

Wow- they're calling Bayh's run a "comeback" when it's actually a political tourniquet...

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...


So you're okay with a King Trump, someone who has zero respect for our Constitution...not that he even has a high school civics understanding of it. Bottom line is Trump simply isn't qualified, isn't fit and lacks the temperament to be a dog catcher, much less President. No, I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump. EVER.

I was never a big fan of Cruz and would definitely prefer someone with conservative credentials (which Trump clearly does not have) that is also more electable. Not sure why Trump people always assume if you don't like Deadbeat Donald, it must be because you like Cruz. Trump people simply cannot accept that people (indeed about 70% of the voters) can't stand him.