GOLD STAR FAMILY DEBACLE CONTINUES: DAY 7 AND STILL COUNTING
AND IT’S NOT BECAUSE DONALD TRUMP IS “THIN SKINNED”
August 2, 2016
August 2, 2016
Donald Trump has spent two consecutive days being so vile that reporters are struggling to keep track of individual incidents. This has overshadowed the continued malevolence of his surrogates, many of whom are either among the stupidest people to grace our television airwaves or the most dishonest—as always, the lines are blurred.
Trump spokesperson Katrina Pearson did not, apparently, get the campaign memo urging surrogates to perhaps stop saying horrible things about the Khan family and their son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq. She took to news shoutlet CNN to spin a new tale.
Pearson: It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost [Capt. Khan] his life. So I don't understand why it's so hard to understand why Donald Trump was confused about why he was being held responsible for something he had nothing to do with while Hillary Clinton had everything to do with.
Wolf Blitzer: Katrina Pearson, as usual, thanks so much for joining us.
Capt. Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004. This would be four years before Barack Obama ever took office, and five years before Hillary Clinton became U.S. Secretary of State, observations that CNN host Wolf Blitzer did not choose to offer.
Trump himself is not eager to let the moment pass. He offered up his thoughts again tonight on Fox News, during another Bill O'Reilly interview. Khizr Khan, O'Reilly offered, "was obviously hired by the Clinton campaign" to "go after" Trump.
It is dark times, in the Trump camp. He has turned to another commonplace conservative conspiracy theory now, the one promoted by Republican governors seeking to put each new round of restrictions on the right of even non-white Americans to vote.
“If the election is rigged, I would not be surprised,” Trump told The Washington Post in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “The voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times.”
Those comments followed Trump’s Monday claim, to an Ohio audience, that “the election is going to be rigged.” That same day, in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, he beseeched Republicans to start “watching closely” or the election would be “taken away from us” through fraud.
Donald Trump is not, for all our mockery of his incoherent anger, living in his own alternate reality. It is one that has been crafted carefully and ceaselessly, by the party’s restless base, long before he ever took the stage; he merely dipped his toes in, then his ankles, and now claims it as his own. It is the conservative reality in which Barack Obama was president in 2004, and there can be no such thing as a patriotic Muslim father, only someone hired to play the part, and the bright orange racist cannot lose this next election—it can only be stolen from him. Stolen, specifically, by minority voters casting illegitimate votes. Trump invented none of this. He merely grasped the paranoias of the conservative base, and wrapped himself in their desires, and declared himself their king.
NOTE: You can legitimately dismiss Katrina Pierson’s comments since the only reply she has to any question put to her begins: “Hillary Clinton is a lying, untrustworthy…….” Or every once in a while “Obama is the cause ……..(fill in any issue you like here) when the Hillary slam gets too repetitive.
But it’s not Donald Trump’s “thin skin” that is the motivation or the cause for his off-the-wall bigoted comments or his quirky Presidential campaign that seems to be sliding into total chaos and misanthropy. No. For me, it’s his inability to even consider, much less accept, that he could be wrong. This is not the result of being “thin skinned” but rather his belief that he just knows better than anyone else, knows better about virtually anything that might fall under his radar whether we are talking about his success as a businessman or his foreign policy acumen. As a result, he has no need to ponder, to analyze, to weigh the factors in anything he says, simply because he, Donald Trump, is always right, can say or do no wrong.
And it’s why he and his surrogates continue to flog the dead horse that is the Khan controversy. Objectively, there is no controversy. The Khan’s rightly presented themselves as a patriotic, Gold Star, Muslim family who had made the ultimate sacrifice to the United States through the death of their Army son in Iraq. Now, how they wound up in front of millions of us at the Democratic Convention might be a topic for discussion. But that’s not where Trump and his surrogates have gone. He and they have attacked the Khan Family for attacking Donald Trump. And the reason that The Donald hangs on to all his losing counterattacks – the Khans, Melania, Megan Kelly, Trump U, Russia connections – points directly to The Donald’s total inability to admit a mistake, to admit that he was wrong. It's as if even if one misstep enters his consciousness, he will simply be shattered into a million pieces never to be put back together again.
These are examples of more traditional political responses to what is perceived as lack of loyalty in the political process. But they too key right into Trump’s undying view of himself as an inviolate purveyor of rock solid truth. He’s right; Cruz, Ryan and McCain are wrong.
This inability to apologize, to admit a mistake, to think that only he is right as the Presidential campaign continues, will be his ultimate downfall. Imagine, if you will, the Presidential debates where Trump will continue to defend his anti-Muslim rhetoric and proclaimed policies (as he surely will since he can admit to no wrong) or his misogyny against women (he’s already defended his vile statements about Kelly, Clinton and other women) compared to Hillary Clinton who admits to mistakes (if reluctantly) acknowledges that her views can change over time as conditions change, compared to the “I’m Never Wrong” response to anything and everything. By any analysis, it's just a catastrophe waiting to explode.
It’s hard to imagine how Donald Trump will gain the Presidency since he does not seem to be able to expand his appeal (or want to) to those who are not already in his camp and have been since gaining the Republican nomination. At most and at best, the Trumpettes represent no more than 40% of the electorate. In fact, it appears that his wildly inappropriate attacks on everyone who disagrees with him is beginning to peel off existing supporters and has increased the percentage of folks who now will simply not support him. Another "fact" that The Donald simply cannot recognize.
PS: Kudos to Emirates Airlines and the crew who managed to evacuate over 300 passengers from the Boeing 777 that originated in Trivandrum, India before exploding into flames and pieces upon landing at Dubai international Airport.
Great Job Folks!