In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama famously disparaged middle America at a San Francisco fundraiser, calling them bitter people who “cling” to their guns and religion. Obama’s opponent, John McCain, did not defend these Americans. Instead, his campaign reined in the feisty Sarah Palin. In debates with the cocky community organizer McCain muttered about “bipartisanship.”
After the election, the gun-and-religion bitter clingers organized into tea parties in an attempt to stem the Obama transformation of federalized health care, education, and the auto industry. They further sought to stop “stimulus” funds for cronies’ failed solar power plants, sidewalks that went nowhere, and education “standards” that further stupefied kids. In response, many were harassed by the IRS when applying for nonprofit status. Republicans in Congress called hearings, endured lies—and did nothing. Then, when patriotic opponents to these lawless actions responded with outrage, they were smeared by the Left and the obedient Right as redneck “extremists” and “racists.” Republicans distanced themselves.
In a 2012 presidential debate, the meek and patrician Mitt Romney seemed to think it beneath him to defend Americans killed in Benghazi. This March, however, Romney dutifully reemerged to lecture Americans about the “con man,” Donald Trump.
Many Republicans joined Leftists in calling Trump supporters “Trumpsters,” “Trumpistas,” or “Trumpkins,” and accusing them of racism, xenophobia, and stupidity. Some embrace Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” label.
In March, when a number of Trump-supporting Americans were prevented by mobs from attending a rally in Chicago, “constitutionalist” Ted Cruz blamed Trump’s “rhetoric.” So did Marco Rubio, the Gang of Eight member, elected to the Senate on the promise to the tea party that he would stem immigration.
I went to a Trump rally in Rochester, New York, in April, to see for myself. I saw optimism, patriotism, and a concern for Americans hurt by trade deals, illegal immigration, and lawlessness. A local talk show caller choked up the next morning in describing Trump’s recognition of Rochester.
Donald Trump is no polished pol. But my admiration for Cruz’s mellifluous rhetoric ended on March 10 and my admiration for Trump rose as he embraced relatives of people killed by illegal aliens and terrorists in Benghazi.
While establishment Republicans broke public promises to support the people’s choice in the primary, Trump followed advice and held back politely during the first debate with the smug Hillary Clinton. Their advice turned out to be about as pathetic as it was for their litany of failed candidates.
Two days before the second debate, an eleven-year-old recording of Trump’s crude sexual braggadocio emerged.
Trump has been criticized for never apologizing but in this case he did immediately and publicly. He also was prepared for the debate. After apologizing, he pushed past “moderators”—unlike Romney. He hit back point by point, attacking Hillary again for her smears.
He brought forward real people, women victimized by Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults and then re-victimized by Hillary’s vindictiveness. In addition, he brought out a woman who had been raped at age 12 by a man Hillary gleefully defended. The tape of her laughing about getting him a light sentence has been circulating on the Internet. I know of no other Republican who has spoken out about this.
In the wake of that performance, Trump ought to have awakened to a shower of praise from conservative pundits and Republicans. But instead, he was treated to an ongoing onslaught of nonsense about the tape and an announcement from the feckless Paul Ryan that he would no longer campaign with him.
It now appears Romney and Ryan, our 2012 candidates, were involved in the releasing of the tape and timed it to ensure that it would hit with maximum impact and dislodge the news about more leaked Hillary emails that reveal her dishonesty in the primaries and her subordinates’ antipathy toward Catholics. While Trump attacked the Catholic-bashing from Hillary, the Catholic Ryan said nothing.
Obama brags about ruling with his pen and his phone. Ineffectual Republicans have overridden only one presidential veto, the 9/11 bill, about which they are now having second thoughts! They swiftly acceded on Obama’s onerous Every Student Succeeds Act, ignoring pleas to make the 1,061-page bill available for public reading. The IRS, FBI, Justice Department, Immigration, and Department of Education now enforce presidential diktats. Scapegoats are thrown into prison to cover up State Department malfeasance.
The attacks continue: Trump lawn signs are stolen and property is damaged; pro-Trump messages are condemned as hate speech on campuses; mobs assault Trump supporters in public, while police ignore them.
Welcome to the world that Obama and quisling Republicans have created.