Trump’s endorsers have made their bed, and now must lie in it.
The astonishing spectacle of a speaker of the House not endorsing a presidential nominee of his own party has been supplanted by the astonishing spectacle of a speaker of the House declaring that the nominee he endorsed said something racist.
Paul Ryan endorsed Donald Trump just in time for the Gonzalo Curiel furor. Ryan unloaded on Trump’s attack on the judge’s heritage — “the textbook definition of a racist comment” — while continuing to back the mogul, in either the most awkward denunciation or the most awkward support ever, or perhaps both. Naturally enough, Ryan’s slap at Trump came during, and overshadowed, an event rolling out the speaker’s thoughtful and creative anti-poverty agenda. In other words, Trump’s heedlessness stepped all over Ryan’s earnestness. It may be an apt metaphor for how the rest of 2016 will play out. The Curiel flap is a window into what is the worst case for the GOP: Trump as a little bit of Todd Akin every day.
Although this potential downside of a Trump nomination was obvious, the Republican establishment barely lifted a finger to stop him in the primaries, gripped by a faux sophisticated fatalism (even at the beginning, it was allegedly too late to stop him) and by an abiding hatred of Ted Cruz. It has reacted in shock and dismay at Trump’s attacks on the judge hearing the Trump University case, as if it were unaware the party had nominated a man whose calling card has been out-of-bounds, highly charged personal attacks on his opponents.
It must have missed it when he took shots at Ben Carson’s Seventh Day Adventism. It wasn’t watching TV that time when he doubted that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. It put it out of its mind that one of his main arguments against Cruz was that he was a Canadian ineligible for the presidency, and that he liked to sneeringly let it drop every now and then that Cruz’s real name is Rafael. And Trump’s birtherism? Hey, who hasn’t harbored suspicions that the president might have been born in Kenya and covered up his secret with a fraudulent birth certificate?Read the rest of Rich Lowry's op-ed HERE.
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