Saturday, July 18, 2015

Can this please be the beginning of the end of the Donald Trump boomlet?

Iknow that some of my readers are irritated with me for criticizing Trump. Many people like his supposedly forthright style and are thrilled that he's expressing their concerns about our nation's immigration policies. I think he's a deceptive big mouth who isn't a true conservative. He's not even someone who has consistently spoken out against illegal immigration. He's just glomming onto an issue that gains him notoriety. And he has the name recognition and the ability to gain media buzz in order to get a pop in the polls. It's been very discouraging to see much more honorable candidates crowded off the public stage because of his boastful bluster.

I would like to think his latest disgusting comments about John McCain's years as POW will awaken people to what a disgusting blowhard he is who will say anything when he gets going in order to pump himself up and denigrate his critics.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. Sarcastically, Trump quipped, “He’s a war hero because he was captured.” Then, he added, “I like people that weren’t captured.”
And this is the man who questions other Republicans' IQs.

Whatever one thinks of John McCain, that shouldn't interfere with honoring him for his years as a POW suffering torture so he wouldn't given in to the North Vietnamese. Remember that McCain, as the sone of an admiral, could have gotten released earlier, but he refused to jump ahead of those who had bee prisoners for longer. How many of us could show similar honor?

I would think that only a worm would criticize him for having been a prisoner. But Trump went there. And now that there is a major kerfuffle on social media of people criticizing him for his remarks, he's issued a fatuous statement that only someone of his monumental ego would think was at all exculpatory. Trump blames McCain for not having done enough for veterans. Really? How are the problems in the VA the fault of MCCain who has always been a strong advocate for veterans. And what has Trump done for veterans? And how does a man who had three student deferments and a medical deferment for a bone spur get off criticizing a man who spent five and a half years being tortured? I don't mind someone of that era taking every opportunity to avoid serving in Vietnam, but at least he could have the grace to shut his mouth in criticizing someone else's service.

Pete Hegseth, leader of Concerned Veterans of America, reminds us how long McCain has worked for veterans' needs.
"What a dumb thing to say--to steal a favorite phrase from Mr. Trump. It's certainly painfully ironic that a guy with four student deferments during Vietnam would say such outrageous things about a legitimate war hero. It boggles the mind and is the height of arrogance.

"Mr. Trump's popularity has been tied to his ability to say what people are thinking and feeling; tapping into the near-universal concern about the direction of our country. In this case -- he said the opposite of what people, especially conservatives, think. John McCain is a war hero, plain and simple. Moreover, he has taken the lead -- for years -- in trying to give veterans real health care choices and holding the VA accountability. Trump's assertion that McCain has 'done very little for veterans' is patently false, ill-informed and unhelpful in every way."
But why would Trump speaking off the cuff to say something ridiculously untrue surprise anyone? Maybe he should go back to his birther rumblings. He had as much foundation for his blustering accusations then as he has criticizing McCain's war service and record on veterans.

Jesse Walker at Reason points out that Donald Trump is just following in the path of Al Franken in making fun of McCain's time as POW. This is what Franken wrote for Salon back in 2000 when Mccain was running in the GOP primaries against Bush.
I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.
Ha ha. I guess that's an example of liberal humor. Somehow, following Al Franken's example doesn't seem like a great model for a GOP presidential candidate.

Stephen Hayes reminds us about the torture that McCain suffered and describes how Trump blustered his way through questions about why he would say he likes "people who weren't captured."
At a testy press conference after his performance, and as the real-time scorn for his comments dominated Twitter, Trump doubled-down. He pretended that his criticism came because McCain “has not done enough for veterans in this country…I see the veterans. I’m with the veterans all the time. Some of these people wait four or five days just to see a doctor.”

Of course, if Trump had even passing knowledge of the current controversy over care for U.S. veterans, he would understand that some veterans wait literally months before seeing a doctor – not just four or five days. But fact-checking Donald Trump is like picking up after a dog with diarrhea; there’s just not much point.

I asked Trump if he was blaming John McCain for his capture, as his comments implied. “I am saying John McCain has not done a good job,” Trump responded, dodging the question.

When I repeated the question, Trump said: “I am not blaming John McCain for his capture. If he gets captured, he gets captured.”

“Why would you say you like people who don’t get captured?”

Trump: “The people that don’t get captured I’m not supposed to like? I like the people who don’t get captured and I respect the people who do get captured.”

Why would you say that in the context of John McCain: “Excuse me, excuse me. I like the people that don’t get – you have many people that didn’t get captured. I respect them greatly. You’ve got people that got captured. I respect them greatly also. Why – I’m not supposed to respect the people that don’t get captured?

Are you suggesting that John McCain did something to lead to his capture?

Trump: “Of course not.”

Why would you say what you said?

At that point, Trump turned and answered a question about China.

Later, I asked Trump if he would apologize to McCain. “No, not at all.”

And after that, I asked Trump if he had ever read any accounts of McCain’s time in captivity before he suggested McCain is not a war hero.

“It’s irrelevant.”
What a jerk. How anyone could think that he has the character to be president is just beyond me.

Beyond my disgust at Trump, I have the hope that those conservatives who have been thrilled to hear Trump take on the GOP establishment as well as the media will pause and listen to what the guy is saying. I thought conservatives honored veterans and those who have suffered in their service to this country. Maybe remember Reagan's 11th Commandment about criticizing other Republicans. Just listen to the man and look at his quite non-conservative record. Is this really the voice you want speaking for you? Do you really imagine that he would be a success against any candidate the Democrats might put up? Do you really want someone representing you who has so insulted all veterans by trying to use them for a political attack on a critic?

Just imagine that a Democrat had said the same thing about John McCain. I bet that Trump's cheerleaders would have been outraged if one of the Clintons or Obama had said the same thing. Well, you should be similarly angry when Trump is the one who said it.