Republicans agree: Donald Trump is reckless, dangerous, and divisive. https://t.co/fUkISvxMmc
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 5, 2016
Some of my friends here, to my amazement, think Donald Trump will be just another nominee, business as usual. For instance, Doug said this yesterday:
It’s funny to watch liberals react to Trump the way conservatives responded to Obama. Same level of hate, righteous indignation, hyperbole….
I responded, rather excitedly:
The way liberals reacted to BUSH compared to the way the right reacted (to) Obama. Are you really incapable of seeing that this is COMPLETELY different from that, that we have entered unprecedented space, a situation that is qualitatively unlike anything we’ve seen before? Or are you just acting like it to yank our chains?
And what’s this “liberals” stuff? I’m a liberal now? … Lindsey Graham and that Koch brother are liberals?…
Hold on while I catch my breath… But Doug isn’t alone; others have tried to normalize this alien from Planet Reality TV. Politics as usual. (Bud, still suffering from BDS after all these years, has insisted numerous times that Trump is nowhere near as outlandish as the guy we elected president in 2000 and 2004.)
Let’s examine one aspect of this phenomenon: The assertion that Trump’s detractors are just “liberals” acting the way the right did over President Obama.
At first glance, the video above would seem to support the theory: After all, it comes from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Here’s the thing, though: Those are not actors pretending to be Republican stalwarts trashing Donald Trump. Those are Republican stalwarts — actual, dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, as opposed to the newbies who presume to call real Republicans RINOs — trashing Donald Trump.
Maybe for the general election Hillary should just stay off the campaign trail and let her campaign amplify what Republicans think of her opponent. This, as a foretaste, is pretty devastating.
But that stuff is weeks and months old. Let’s look at what some “liberals” have had to say about the presumptive GOP nominee:
- Former President George H.W. Bush — Does not plan to endorse Trump, and will not attend the national party convention that will nominate him.
- Former President George W. Bush — Ditto on both points.
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — Asked whether he’ll endorse Trump, he said “I’m just not ready to do that at this point.” Why? To give some cover to GOP House members who need to disassociate themselves from this nightmare, to keep from sinking his own future prospects by association with such an albatross, and in general to try to save the Republican Party.
- Former GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney — You knew already he was appalled by Trump, and did what he could to stop him. Praising his former running mate Ryan, Romney said last night, “I am dismayed at where we are now, I wish we had better choices…”
- Sen. Lindsey Graham — “I absolutely will not support Hillary Clinton for President.” At the same time, “I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”
- Former GOP Presidential Nominee John McCain — “If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life.” (That said, I’m disappointed to report that McCain plans to support the nominee. Arizona’s other senator does not. See below.)
- Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake — CNN quotes him as saying”some of Trump’s positions” make it “very difficult for me” to support him.
- Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — “I vehemently oppose our nominee.”
Then at the extreme end — among those ready to back Hillary Clinton — there’s former McCain aide Mark Salter:
the GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.
— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) May 3, 2016
And finally, Ben Howe, editor of RedState blog:
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 3, 2016
I am a fiscal conservative and I am a social conservative. That will not change. But I will not vote for an egomaniacal authoritarian. Nope.
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) May 3, 2016