Why Republicans Still Defend Him

Donald Trump’s indefensible appeal to would-be assassins in his audience has its defenders. Those defenders are called Republicans. You can see them on TV today if you want, or you can find them all over the Internet. Doesn’t matter where you look. You will find Republicans defending the indefensible. You will find Republicans talking about Clinton’s emails, about how much she hates cops, about how much she loves the father of the Orlando killer, about Benghazi.

And that was just this morning. Just think what they will come up with when they have more time to rationalize away the fact that their candidate for president of the United States just confirmed how much of a fascist he really is.

Trump’s remarks began with an utter lie—“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment”—went on to express future despair—“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks”—then suggested a bloody remedy to the despair—“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

Which is worse? Trump’s desperate suggestion of “Second Amendment remedies” or Republican leaders’ desperate defense of Trump? The truth is the former couldn’t happen without the latter. So, is it worse that the Republican candidate is, in his Trumpy way, suggesting the murder of a future President Hillary Clinton, or is it worse that the Republican Party hierarchy is standing by him when he does? You tell me.

Imagine, if you can, what would have happened back during the 2008 campaign if a very different Barack Obama—an aggrieved and angry Barack Obama—had suggested that his aggrieved and angry black voters—who suffered mightily because of the economic meltdown—might avail themselves of their own Second Amendment remedies if John McCain became president.

Imagine if, in 2007-2008, Obama had spent a lot of time talking about how people, especially black people, had an unfettered right to buy guns under the Second Amendment. Imagine if he suggested that folks walk down the streets with guns hanging on their shoulders or stuffed in their pockets, saying there shouldn’t be “gun-free zones.” Then, imagine if he said the following at a rally in North Carolina filled with African-American voters:

John McCain wants to essentially abolish the Thirteenth Amendment. He wants to bring back slavery. If he gets to pick his judges, nothing you can do, my brothers and sisters—although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.

What would have happened? After some people expressed outrage at Obama’s remarks, would Breitbart have published a story titled, “Media Launches a Full Frontal on Obama, Gun Owners“? Would the kooky conservative media focus on protecting the rights of angry black people to keep and bear arms? Would the NRA spend three million bucks defending Obama?

Or would the focus suddenly be on those angry black people with millions and millions and millions of guns? And on an angry black candidate encouraging those angry black people?

Come on, we all know how that would have played out.

The truth is that, as nutty as he is, Donald Trump represents angry white people. Let’s face it. He is speaking for pissed-off palefaces who think their country is being stolen from them by less worthy folks.

And that is what Republican leaders are essentially defending when they defend a disturbed Donald Trump and his crazy and increasingly dangerous remarks. Because those Republican leaders need those pissed-off palefaces in order to stay in power.

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  1. Kevin Holmes

     /  August 10, 2016

    Once again Randy, WELL SAID!


  2. ansonburlingame

     /  August 10, 2016

    Trump, like it or not, is a product of “democracy”. An American goal is to spread democracy around the globe. Egypt elected a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Care to imagine what Syria might elect next? How well has democracy worked in Iraq? How can military power even begin to make the “world safe for democracy”? Ask Hillary!

    So the reality is “democracy” blew up in the face of the GOP. What next? Why not endorse what Ted Cruz said at the GOP convention? Admit a mistake on the part of “we the people” and tell everyone to simply vote their conscience!! But while doing so be sure you “good GOPer’s vote down ballot to make sure Hillary cannot to “everything” she proposes to do. God help us if that is the case!

    More important however is that Hillary clearly knows that 40% or so of the American voting public will even vote for a …….. in opposition to her Presidency. What can or should be done NOW to “reach out” to such people.

    Why don’t you, Duane, write a blog about the speech you would give to ME to solicit MY vote for your candidate. Don’t tell me why I should not vote for Trump. Instead tell me why to vote for Hillary. Can you do so without “pissing off your base?”

    Bud Morgan wrote his view of Trump’s SOTU address for the Globe. Great LTTE and I ROFLMAO.. I wrote one for Hillary but did not submit it as I was “taking a break”.



    • Trump is a product of democracy, in the sense that our primary process is open to people voting, freely, for any candidate on the ballot. But there is another sense in which the responsible people in our democracy, in this case Republican leaders, failed to stand up, early on, and warn people about electing someone so unstable and unfit. They all knew it. Most of them ignored him because they thought he’d get soundly defeated in the end. But they underestimated how much damage they have done to their own Republican electorate, with their cynicism and phony outrage at President Obama’s “imperial” presidency. They didn’t see in time that their base voters actually bought the cynical de-legitimization of Obama those same leaders have been selling for 8 years, as opposed to caring anything about, say, supply-side policy prescriptions.

      As to your suggestion that I try to persuade you to vote for Hillary Clinton as opposed to voting against Donald Trump, I don’t see the point. You and I both know he is completely unfit for the office. That alone ought to be enough to make sure he doesn’t get elected. And logic dictates that the best way to prevent that is to help elect Hillary Clinton, flaws and all. At least her flaws are not ones that disqualify her from actually handling the responsibilities of the job, no matter what you think of her policy positions or goals.



  3. ansonburlingame

     /  August 11, 2016

    Pardon my double dipping but I observed an excellent critique of Trump last night on the PBS News Hour. General Hayden (former CIA, NSA, etc.) was one of the 50 people signing the “don’t vote for Trump” letter of recent fame. His negative critique of Trump was short, clear, decisive and brilliant and he pulled no punches. His opposition was the Kansas Secretary of State who could only stutter in disagreement.

    The best part of his remarks was to hasten to add that his views in no way were a “brief for Ms. Clinton”. While he did not attack her it was clear that he had grave reservations about the possibility of a Hillary Presidency.

    His analysis and remarks are by far the best I have heard from any pundit seen on TV in regards to presidential politics over the last year or so.



    • General Hayden was on TV again this morning. He said about the same thing he has been saying for awhile, which you noted. He also made clear he doesn’t much like Clinton, although one gets the impression that in his mind there is no real comparison between the two, in terms of temperament for the job.

      The problem with Hayden and others like him is that it took him too long to get to this position. I have been watching his many appearances on MSNBC’s Morning Joe for months now, particularly earlier in the GOP primary, when Trump could have been stopped. As I recall, Hayden did not get too worried about Trump’s ridiculous statements, which demonstrated to all of us just how unstable he is. In fact, February of this year–in February, Anson–Hayden was asked, by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, if he would serve in a potential Trump administration. His answer:

      Wow. That would be a really tough question.

      So, although I am grateful that General hayden has now seen the light, it might have helped if he had seen it much earlier, when there was still time to stop Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. ansonburlingame

     /  August 12, 2016

    Good discussion, again.

    I would point out that about 15 GOP “leaders” (all other candidates) warned America for a year why to not vote for Trump. Even McCain and Romney, the past nominees, spoke out during the primaries against Trump. The ones holing back were Congressional GOP leaders and the “leadership” of the GOP national committee and had they told it like it was do you believe Trump would have lost the primaries? I doubt it as at least 40%; of GOP primary voters built up a head of steam and by the middle ground of GOP debates Trump had created a steamroller.

    Simply stated, Duane, is there is a large bloc of Americans that are angry, confused, and ready to lash out because of their perception of national and international conditions. Call them “rednecks” if you like and disparage them all you like.

    However there is another large bloc that could be describe with a similar paragraph. Call them “Black Lives Matter/Socialists” if you like.

    The reality, or at least my perception of such reality, is that some 80% of America voters fall into those extreme categories, one side or the other. Is it an exaggeration to suggest that 40% are ready to vote for Hitler and another 40% ready to vote for Lenin?

    The ultimate challenge for any new President is to acknowledge the extremes of American politics today and tell us how he/she will resolve such a huge political divide in the next four years in a presidency.

    Keep in mind a statement made by Hillary in a primary debate last year when all candidates were asked “who or what was the greatest enemy”. Hillary replied that it was “Republicans”. She will win a presidency with such views today, as long as “Republicans” are identified as all Trump supporters. But how in the hell can she expect to lead those people in the right direction once elected?

    The answer is she will not even try to lead 40% of the American people and will only concentrate on her “base” if her 25 plus years in national politics is any indication of her intentions. Hillary is not in any way, nor is Obama, a “strategic thinker” (what is the right thing to do while ignoring party politics?). They are however good “tactical thinkers” (putting dominant force at the point of attack) in a political sense and right now are political winners in America, tactically.

    Is that too “military” a thought process?



    • Anson,

      In order:

      1. I’ll give you Romney, for sure. He called out Trump in clear terms. Kudos to him as a proud and worried American. But I won’t give you McCain. Unfortunately, he’s more worried about his political hide. He has disgraced himself in order to keep Trump supporters behind him in his highly competitive race. Trump insulted POWs and McCain himself and, well, let’s just say John wasn’t exactly mad about it in public. He, like he did after the Bush team attacked him in 2000 (remember he fathered a black baby, they said?), decided that his pride wasn’t worth as much as his Senate seat. I ask you: If Barack Obama had said the things that Trump has said, would McCain be so relatively docile? Come on.

      2. If GOP leaders, early on, would have said that Trump was a dangerous man, using that adjective over and over again, perhaps that would have had an effect. But they were, as usual, unable to see what was happening and were, cynically, hoping Trump could gin up some anger that they could use. Some farsighted leaders they are.

      3. I don’t agree that there is “a large bloc of Americans that are angry, confused, and ready to lash out because of their perception of national and international conditions.” There is a small group of those voters who support Trump. The larger group of Trump supporters are white people worried about a future in which brown people will, uh, rule.

      4. You conflate “Black Lives Matter” and Bernie voters (socialists, you say; but there is an important distinction, historically, between socialism and democratic socialism). There is some overlap between BLM  and Bernie-bots, but just some. They have two different agendas. One is to see to it that the culture makes changes that would ensure that black people get treated the same by the agents of government force, the police. The other is to ensure that all people get treated with economic respect.

      5. Hillary was right to say that her enemies are, mostly, Republicans. Always have been, are now, and will always be.

      6. I don’t identify all Republicans as Trump supporters. There are, to date, around 20 to 25% of Rs who don’t support Trump. But, in the end, I suspect 85% or better will support him because she will continue to get demonized by a) conservative PACS spending lots of money and b) the mainstream media who won’t let go of the email thing despite the fact that, so far, there is no there there.

      7. We don’t know how Hillary will govern, should we win. So, I won’t comment on that. But we do know how Obama tried to govern, from the stimulus package up until 2013. He tried to appeal to Republicans, who said to him, “Go get fucked.” He finally learned that they had no interest in letting him govern like a normal president (read: Judge Garland, for the latest example). He finally became what you call a “strategic thinker,” using force at the point of attack.

      8. And, no, your thinking in military terms doesn’t bother me. In some useful ways, it is illuminating at times.



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