Editorial 2/23/16

Republican leaders’ silence on Trump is inexcusable — and irrational

ON SUNDAY, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus whether the party would back Donald Trump should he win the GOP nomination. “Yes, we will support the nominee,” the Republican chairman replied. “To me, it’s a no-brainer.” Mr. Stephanopoulos asked if a Trump nomination would split the party. “Winning is the antidote to a lot of things,” Mr. Priebus responded.

Winning can quiet many complaints, it is true. But it cannot and will not be an antidote to the moral poison of Mr. Trump’s campaign. Party leaders who support and celebrate his victory will be accomplices to an attack on the fundamental values of American democracy. Winning will not wash away the stain.

Mr. Trump’s campaign is based on suspicion and unreason. He revels in policy proposals that make no sense. He stirs bigotry against Muslims, Hispanics, Jews, people with disabilities and more. He demeans war heroes. His latest turn is indirectly questioning Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) eligibility to be president, a suspicion rooted in pure prejudice.

Mr. Trump appears to have turned illogic into a virtue for his supporters, asking his audiences, “Who’s going to pay for the wall?” The reply is as enthusiastic as it is bizarre: “Mexico!” How might that happen? The answer, or rather the absence of one, is irrelevant to the candidate. How will he respond when, having reached the Oval Office, his simplistic promises proved unachievable, he encounters opposition in the form of legitimate checks and balances from the courts and Congress? Which ethnic group will he pick on to explain away his failures to deliver? What actions would he take to distract people from his lack of substance?

Like many GOP leaders, Mr. Priebus has shown that he knows that Mr. Trump is a problem. He condemned Mr. Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. But, also like many top Republicans, the party chairman has nevertheless given Mr. Trump a wide berth to run a flamboyant insult of a campaign.

There are several pretexts Republican officials might offer to avoid giving Mr. Trump the public thrashing he deserves: condemnations from “establishment” politicians might only make him stronger; the results of the GOP nominating process deserve some respect, and Republicans must abide by the rules; maybe Mr. Trump would beat the Democrats in November.

None of these excuse silence. Particularly not the third. The argument that any Republican would be better than any Democrat is a depressing reflection of irrational partisanship. Mr. Priebus and everyone else “leading” the GOP are Americans before they are Republicans. They should act like it.

One phrase jumps out at me and sears itself into my brain:  The argument that any Republican would be better than any Democrat is a depressing reflection of irrational partisanship.

This statement is truly an indictment of the American political system.

If Trump gets the nomination from his party, will you vote for him for president?  If yes, does this not terrify you?

Predictions are that after Super Tuesdays, Trump will own the day for the GOP. What can be done?


43 Thoughts to “The Post’s View: on Trump and the GOP”

  1. blue

    “The argument that any Republican would be better than any Democrat is a depressing reflection of irrational partisanship.”

    I agree but only becase the line uses the word “any.” Any Republican – even a moderate Planned Paranthood supporting Republican capitalist (Wharten graduate) would and will be better than the crazed old school socialist running in the Democrat primary or the Felon dynastic phony elitist running as a Democrat in the democrat primary. Where have all the blue dog Democrats, who supported America and the working class gone – to the special interests and the freebie set thats where. In the meantime, we see how the democrats will fight in this election – through name calling – oh, but it was a Clinton functionary’s interview and the WashPost – who watches ABC or reads that paper any more.

    1. In other words, partisan. You just made my point.

  2. Pat.Herve

    Trump will be the Republican nominee – and the GOP has themselves to thank for it. The RNC has not learned from the 2008 or 2012 Presidential election – and I doubt they will learn anything from the 2016 election.

    I also think Trump will be out next President.

  3. blue


    I am not so sure that Trump will make it, but I agree with the rest of your comment. While the Democrats have an excellent history of whipping their members into unified support and voting blocks, the Republicans have a independent streak and history of breaking up their vote. We have not yet seen the Republican establishment pull out all the stops, but the establishment stayed home for Romney and will do so again for Trump. Its gonna be a vote for the Felon socialist or the capitalist – both of whom are self absorbed. The real test is whether or not there really are single issue pro-abortion conservatives or whether that was all BS. Everything else – to include all the racist crap – is all self interest politics.

  4. Steve Thomas

    “If Trump gets the nomination from his party, will you vote for him for president? If yes, does this not terrify you?”

    It’s a matter of which terrifies me least, which is the saddest condition of all. Sanders is a Marxist. Clinton hauls a train of crap behind her that could fertilize the entirety of west Texas. Trump is an ego-maniac.

    As a free market capitalist, the idea that this country would elect a Marxist is terrifying.

    As a patriot who has served this nation as a protector, the thought of electing someone who would put her own greed ahead of our national security, is terrifying.

    Dealing with an egomaniac…least terrifying proposition of all.

    1. I would rearrange the order some. I don’t see Hillary as you do. I also don’t see Sanders as a Marxist. I am just not sure how he proposes to pay for his reforms.

      I would go Hillary, Bernie, Trump. On the other hand, I think Trump is light-years ahead of Cruz and Carson.

      On my sword-falling issues, I actually find Trump the least objectionable of the R candidates. As a human being representing my country…not so much. I think he is reprehensible. He is really a hideous human being in all the ways I have been taught from childhood never to behave.

  5. Pat.Herve

    but the establishment stayed home for Romney and will do so again for Trump. – myth. http://www.redstate.com/dan_mclaughlin/2015/11/26/myth-4-million-conservative-voters-stayed-home-2012/

  6. Steve Thomas

    “but the establishment stayed home for Romney and will do so again for Trump.”

    Someone stayed home for Romney, but it wasn’t “the establishment”, it was 4-million conservatives.

    I do agree that the “establishment” has yet to coalesce around a single candidate, and the longer Kasich stays in, the longer that will take. A big chunk of conservatives are still toying with Trump (which astounds me), or Carson (which astounds me more) and this has hurt Cruz. Rubio has a shot, if Kasich will get out soon enough.

    So, I do think the eventual nominee will be Trump. He continues to defy conventional wisdom, and I suspect this will continue into November. While I do believe that current Clinton supporters (except the very wealthy Clinton supporters) would align with Sanders, I don’t believe the inverse is true. Sanders is doing well, because there is a large segment of democrat voters who have soundly rejected Clinton, and are attracted to a populist message. The only other candidate with a populist message is Trump.

    1. I asked Blue would he consider a third party? If ever there was a season….

      Why did the 4 million conservatives dislike Romney? I disliked him because he did a conservative make over rather than remain a moderate.

  7. blue


    Ugg. Interesting article. Now my head really hurts. Voters vs professional politicians; Blue collar vs the rich; McCain as compared to Romey’s polite, conservatism, the missing evangelicals vs a Morman; Romney’s missing 4 million and Obama’s missing 4 million… OK, maybe so.. But, if the old line party faithful do stay home — again (sic) — and do not join with re-emerging and abandoned blue dogs, it is as if they voted for an expanded, freebie, race based socialism. If we were not already $ 19+ Trillion in debt, maybe it would continue to work for a while, but that ship has sailed. Its just a question of which Democrat puts the match to which fuse. Personally, I am not interested in giving what it has taken 4 generations to modestly build up to some socialist utopian. I can do that on my own.

    1. What on earth will Trump do to you?

      Perhaps you would entertain a third party candidate? If ever there was a year for one, this would be it.

  8. blue

    @Steve Thomas

    Hard to argue with you as we are in general agreement. However, I think Cruz is done; the professional politicos have abandoned him, the trust virus has set in and SC demonstrated that the evangelicals are looking outside the box this year. Rubio may well be done in by all the politico endorsements – its just that kinda year. I want Kasich to hold on. He is an insider and would make a great VP. He has always attracted good people around him, but will never win the nomination.

  9. Censored bybvbl

    Kasich just unnecessarily shot himself in the foot with his attack on Planned Parenthood. He had been the least loony but probably one of the most unelectable in the R. race.

    What this country needs is a third or fourth party – at least one moderate and one possibly libertarian. It would force compromise to get anything done. This would be the perfect election cycle for this to happen.

    Trump has momentum among the disaffected but his negatives are high. Whether he wins will be decided by how many Rs fall like lemmings in line.

  10. blue

    MoonHowler :
    What on earth will Trump do to you?
    Perhaps you would entertain a third party candidate? If ever there was a year for one, this would be it.

    What would Trump do to me? My expectation is that his election – or any Republican’s election for that matter, will improve the markets. That is a good thing for most of us – to include those on public, private and union pensions. I might argue that Sanders and Hillary have already depressed the markets – and if it ever looks like either might be elected get your sale stop orders in in advance of the election. Trump will work with the Congress to create jobs and bring jobs home along with Corporate taxes – Sanders not at all and Hillary not so much.

    As for a third party candidate – I would contribute to one on the democrat side and, frankly, they need one to keep the party viable for the future. Hillary’s legal and trust issues will catch up to her – if for no other reason than to demonstrate that our justice and national security systems still work. That leaves Sanders and that is dangerous to anyone who has tried to live by the rules.

  11. Steve Thomas

    One last thought: The WaPo is trying to shame the leadership of the RNC? I must have missed the stories about where Debbie Wasserman-Schultz commenting on what appears to be one of their nominees in danger of being indicted under either the Espionage Act…or more likely the RICO statute.

    But I guess when the only alternative to this candidate is a Marxist, you have to work with what you have.

  12. Steve Thomas

    “its just that kinda year”

    It is, indeed. Strangest cycle I’ve ever seen. So glad I am no longer in party leadership, or working a particular campaign.

    I think Kasich is on Trump’s short-list for VP. He’s a governor from a swing-state, and a must-win at that. Plus, the compassion image will balance Trumps well. SOOO many R’s and I’s (and a few D’s too) have said they like him, they just don’t think he can win the nomination.

  13. Starryflights

    After Trump wins the nomination, he will revert back to the moderate leftist he has always been. He has already changed his mind about the Muslim ban.

    Concept’ of Letting Migrants In, But ‘You Have To’

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that while he hates “the concept” of letting refugees from the Middle East and north Africa into the US “on a humanitarian basis…you have to” on Tuesday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.

    Trump said, “Well, it’s a serious problem. We haven’t seen anything like it since the Second World War, and it’s getting worse and worse. And I was actually impressed, in one way, but surprised that Merkel in Germany allowed this to happen, because they’re really flowing through all over Europe. And, if you notice, Russia’s not taking, and China’s not taking, and the Gulf states, whether you look at Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, or any of them, they’re taking none, but some of them are, and some of them are actually being very generous. It just — really, I wonder, you know, where all these people are coming from, exactly, and what are they representing. Because, do you have people from ISIS in that group? You know, there’s a lot of security risks with it. But, something has to be done. It’s an unbelievable humanitarian problem.”

    Trump was then asked, “do you object to migrants who are getting out of the Middle East and north Africa, do you object to them coming to the USA?” He answered, “I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening, you have to.”


    I agree with Trump that we have to let some of these Middle East refugees into our country.

  14. Starryflights

    Trump: Israel-Palestine is ‘the ultimate deal’

    Donald Trump called the possible resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict “the ultimate deal” on Sunday.

    “If you’re a deal person, the ultimate deal is that deal,” Trump said on “Meet the Press” on NBC.

    “The hardest thing to do is that,” Trump said, referring to the ongoing, decades-long turmoil between Israelis and Palestinians.

    The Republican front-runner last week declared that he would be “neutral” in handling the matter. That answer defies Republican orthodoxy, which calls for backing Israel first.


    I agree with Trump that we should be neutral about the Israel Palestinian conflict.

  15. Starryflights

    Donald Trump Says He Supports the ObamaCare Mandate
    By: streiff (Diary) | February 19th, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 28


    I, too, support the Obamacare mandate.

  16. punchak

    Are there any INVESTIGATING reporters alive any more?
    Trump gets away with telling the most outrageous lies and makes the
    totally impossible promises, like making bringing industries back from
    overseas, building a wall that Mexico will pay for ……. the promises
    are endless.
    Has ANY reporter ever asked him HOW he plans to do all this? NO !
    Has any of his opponents asked him that same question?
    What in’ell happened to the old time digging for answers?
    What’s the press for, anyway?

    I believe he said that he’d make Atlantic City a GREAT place,
    once he got to build his casinos. Just as he says he’s going to make
    the US better, richer, stronger than it has ever been.
    Reality check, please!

  17. Steve Thomas

    Between Starry’s agreeing with Trumps positions, and his getting a pass on tough questions from the press, I am convinced that Trump is a democrat. Like my favorite TV show, the walking dead, “walkers” never bite one of their own.

    1. I am biting away at him. I don’t know what that means. (Trump, not Starry)

  18. Wolve

    Hope I don’t run out of popcorn.

    1. At some point, I will stop watching. I am so sick of it all now. Imagine in two or three months.

  19. Kelly_3406

    Trump has two primary things going for him. The first is his “David vs Goliath” appeal. The big GOP donors like the Koch brothers cannot stand him. The GOP establishment tries to undercut him. The media denounce him. So he appears to be the one guy willing to stand up to the despised establishment elites for the sake of the common man.

    The second, related thing going for him is his strong stand against uncontrolled immigration. People believe that unskilled immigrants pouring across the border exert downward pressure on wages, increase the cost of social programs, and dilute their votes. Many “establishment” candidates have pledged to do something about immigration, but then they do the opposite when in office (e.g. Rubio and the Gang of Eight). No one believes establishment candidates any longer. Since Trump does not take donations from those who want cheap immigrant labor, his claims that he will build a wall are much more believable.

    As a result of these two factors, a Pope calling out Trump for a border wall and a Washington Post op-ed criticizing him serve only to increase his popularity. If the GOP establishment were to take the Post’s advice to call out Trump, the result would be to ensure that Trump becomes the nominee.

    The only way to stop Trump may be for the Republican establishment and big donors to embrace him as they would any other GOP front runner. This would have the potential to change the narrative so that Trump may be judged like a more conventional candidate.

  20. Steve Thomas

    In reviewing the Nevada returns, Trump continues to defy convention. By taking 45% of the vote, he’s broken the “two thirds don’t support him” mantra, and is now closing on the next hurdle “he needs more than a plurality”.

    I have this weird sense of history rhyming. I remember looking at Obama in 2008, and thinking, “if you peel back all of his soaring rhetoric, he’s just a left-wing radical. How can people be so easily fooled?” Then in 2012, “ok, now we know what he’s really about, how can people be fooled again?”.

    I predict the majority of voters will choose Trump in November. Even if the rigged Democrat nomination process successfully fields Clinton as the nominee, Trump will be the President-elect. The Democrats may find themselves facing total minority status, in a complete reversal of fortunes from 2009. Many of those here who tend to vote Democrat will likely disagree with this assessment. But, I am looking at this as someone who doesn’t want Trump either. In fact I think neither Trump, nor Sanders, nor Clinton would be good for the country. No wishful thinking on my part.

    1. You might be right. Everything defies conventional political thought, it seems. Remember though that there are those of us who aren’t horrified over Obama and who don’t hate Hillary.

      You might actually be grateful for the Clintons. (I doubt it but maybe)

  21. Watching

    I think as a country we will survive a single term President Trump. I believe what comes after that will whipsaw us in another direction, hopefully a better one. I’ve just accepted that this is where we are going. While I find him personally abhorrent, at least he’s intelligent and awake and not a rabid social conservative. The government is broken, and maybe this is what we need to change course and break the gridlock. Yes I am serious, this is my way of coping with reality. He has obviously tapped into something that exists in our current society that is fear-based. How can people not be fearful and angry if they listen to conservative TV and radio? This is the just deserts (and yes that is spelled correctly.)

    1. Meanwhile, I am looking at property in British Columbia and Costa Rica.

  22. Steve Thomas

    “You might actually be grateful for the Clintons. (I doubt it but maybe)”

    What appreciation I have for the way Bill governed during his 2nd term, and especially after he was able (or forced, depending on who you ask) to move back to the center, is overwhelmed by the character (or lack thereof) of Hillary.

    The quality of government we will accept, and the character of those we elect, is a direct expression of the state of the electorate. Looking at the field, I think our problems go much deeper than partisan ideology, or particular self-interest.

  23. Steve Thomas

    MoonHowler :
    Meanwhile, I am looking at property in British Columbia and Costa Rica.

    You know that 3/4 of Canadians polled don’t believe in man-made global warming. Plus BC is wet and cold.

    1. Vancouver Island is warm because of the Japanese current, or at least the part I have been to.

      I really don’t care what they believe. Not going forever. I would probably rent. The exchange rate isn’t as favorable as I would like.

  24. Wolve

    Because of a steep decline in oil revenue, new PM Trudeau has apparently decided to put Canada on the slippery slope of deficit budgeting in order to pay for all those benefits the politicos have promised to the people in order to get elected. We all know where that goes…………………

  25. Pat.Herve

    “You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.” – Dick Cheney, 2004. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney

  26. Wolve

    I suggest Dick got it wrong.

  27. Steve Thomas


    Pat…there’s politics and governance. There’s debts and deficits. I’ll bet you know the difference. If you ran your household finances in the same manner that the government runs the finances of the nation, would the deficit matter? With a GDP of just under 16.7 Trillion (2013) and a total gross income of 17 Trillion (2013), having a debt greater than total GDP is risky. Having a debt greater than GDP and no desire to address the deficit, is a path to bankruptcy.

    “Just as the rich rule the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender”.

  28. Scout

    Of course no one runs household finances in the same manner as governments tend to their financial affairs, or in the same manner as corporations run theirs. There is no particular reason that the financial profiles of these very different entities should be similar. The results for each would be disastrous if they emulated the other. They each have different inputs and limitations and each has different outcomes that they are required or obligated to deliver.

  29. Steve Thomas

    Scout :
    Of course no one runs household finances in the same manner as governments tend to their financial affairs, or in the same manner as corporations run theirs. There is no particular reason that the financial profiles of these very different entities should be similar. The results for each would be disastrous if they emulated the other. They each have different inputs and limitations and each has different outcomes that they are required or obligated to deliver.

    Tell that to the voters. Explain that to them, when their taxes are raised, or when interest rates rise.

  30. I never knew that Chris Christie was such a whore. What could he possibly get out of a Trump endorsement? Oh…a Vice President bid. I see.

    I never felt Christie was a reprehensible human being. Now I do.

  31. Scout

    @ Steve: You’re correct that it is a bit complex. But those who seek office have an obligation to educate and understand public finance themselves and then to explain, educate and lead on these issues. Voters, if properly engaged, are not incapable of understanding that fiscal responsibility sometimes requires taxes to be raised. We are in a prolonged period of very low interest rates, so that one is perhaps a bit more abstract. But responsible candidates seeking public office, whether incumbents or aspirants, need to be willing to take the time to explain these things to the voters.

    I would never want to live in a country so irresponsibly led and organized that its elected representatives thought government should be run and financed like a large private household. Anyone who argues that that is what it is is fiscally irresponsible.

    @ Moon – I don’t know what Christie’s motivations are, but I would have thought that his natural instinct would have been to support Kasich, a fellow governor, who has some understanding of the same sort of problems that Christie has faced.

    1. I think he took the ‘ho road. I have lost all respect for him.
      I find the Trump march to the sea or wherever he is going to be horribly frightening.

      Several of the elected officials here in PWC explain the county budget using families sitting around the kitchen table doing a family budget. They sound like idiots. It’s the same fools who want to reduce the number of administrators in the schools. There aren’t enough as it is.

  32. Ed Myers

    I’m trying to decide if I want to break my tradition on never voting in a primary. As an independent I shouldn’t help choose either Democrat or Republican candidates. I could help out the Republicans (and the country) and vote against Trump, but I don’t want to dirty myself by climbing in that pigpen now that all the good candidates are gone. I guess I’ll just watch the wrecking balls and hope something better comes from the rubble.

    1. I think the American people should get to decide who to run. Both parties chase our votes.

      Why do we only have 2 parties? Clearly their needs to be a third one. Rick Bentley many years ago have some compelling reasons why we should not have them. I wonder what he would say if he was alive today.

      PS RIP, Rick Bentley. Gone but your thoughts and words live on.

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