Saturday, July 18, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 29

I sometimes feel like writing about the Presidential election could be easier if I were to simply be able to write whatever popped into my head, instead of keeping it limited to just once a week, but something like this is more structured than what Twitter or Facebook would be, even if my comments might at times seem disjointed.

Much has happened this week, and much of it not good for the country. I still remain optimistic though about next year's Presidential election and the opportunity to try to correct what is wrong and defend what needs to be defended.

I could go on and on about the news of the week related to the United States giving into Iran in various ways in regards to their nuclear weapons program. I feel this is a disaster in the making, and that Iran is dangerous and cannot be trusted. The Obama Administration is acting in a way that will embolden a terrorist regime and endanger the United States, the Middle East region, and especially the State of Israel. The Democrat candidates, especially former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are supporting the deal, although many Democrats in Congress, especially several Jewish ones will wind up voting against it. Politically though, it only needs one third of Congressional support to sustain a Presidential veto of a rejection. All of the Republican candidates came out strongly against the deal, even Rand Paul, who parts ways with his father. This will present a contrast in the eventual general election, and I hope people will vote accordingly, especially my fellow Jewish-Americans who care about the survival of Israel.

Limiting my comments on Iran, the horrible tragedy this week in Chattanooga, Tennessee also has to be mentioned in which four Marines and one Sailor were murdered at two military related locations by a gunman, who was also killed. All evidence points to it being an act of jihad, and possibly directly inspired by ISIS, although the Obama Administration has done their best to downplay that, as they are apt to do. I criticized those who did not recognize the tragedy in Charleston earlier this summer as being white supremacist terrorism and I will do the same for those who want to ignore this act of Islamic extremist terrorism. May the families of the victims be comforted by the prayers of the nation and may we dedicate ourselves to be even more vigilant to protecting our country around the world, and especially at home. That should be the number one issue of the 2016 campaign.

Moving on to the current crop of candidates, we have seen the multitude of campaigns continue. This weekend saw all the current Democrat contenders and a majority of the Republicans converge in Iowa for events sponsored by state Democrats and by a religious conservative organization.

Anything that any of the candidates said this weekend, was overshadowed by Donald Trump, a professed Republican candidate for the White House. He has continued to receive the lion's share of media attention this summer, and his rhetoric, both from his own mouth, and from his Twitter account have been the main reason why.

To summarize, last Saturday, Trump held a big anti-immigration event in Arizona that was attended by nearly 20,000 people. This week, that state's Senator, John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, expressed disappointment and said that Trump had "fired up the crazies." That led Trump to fire back on Twitter, falsely, that McCain finished last in his class at Annapolis (I believe it was fifth to last) and that he was a "dummy" who deserved to be defeated in a primary for his Senate reelection next year. Whatever one thinks of what McCain said about Trump's supporters, attacking McCain for his service academy scholastic record is a bit ludicrous, especially after what McCain went on to to do in the service of his country in the United States Navy.

That was put to Trump today by interviewer Frank Luntz at the big social conservative event in Iowa and Trump, who pointed out that he supported McCain in 2008, but considers him a loser for losing that election, actually said that McCain was "not a war hero." He then immediately said he is considered a war hero because he was captured and "I like people who are not captured." Some in the audience applauded, but many gasped. I know I gasped watching it live on television.

Other parts of Trumps performance before the religious conservatives were panned saying he failed to effective connect with that key constituency in Iowa, but what Trump said about McCain dominated the news cycle today. Many GOP candidates, as well as past nominee Mitt Romney, immediately took to Twitter to defend McCain. Some of them were harsh on Trump, online and later at the event, especially GOP candidate and veteran Rick Perry who called for Trump to exit the race and unfit to lead the country based on that disrespect for a genuine war hero. I think it was the finest moments of Perry's two Presidential campaigns thus far. He himself had feuded with Trump this past week. A good friend of McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham also took Trump to task in Iowa during a presentation that for other reasons I considered quite moving. I will not support Graham for the Presidential nomination, and do not consider him a major contender, but my respect for him as a human being and as a leader is profound.

I wonder if Sarah Palin, the political figure who owes her national prominence to a decision by John McCain, and who has expressed support recently for Donald Trump's activities, will feel the need to say anything.

Even conservatives who do not particularly care for McCain, or some of the things he has said, have reacted in outrage today to Trump, who has doubled down, as he is apt to do, saying that McCain has done nothing for veterans. They feel that his attack on McCain's war record, in which Trump inferred that McCain was at fault for being shot down over Vietnam, was just beyond the pale. I will note that back during the 2008 campaign, this line of thinking was frequently expressed on lefty blogs such as Daily Kos, and by people such as former Presidential candidate and Clinton associate Wesley Clark. Trump stayed out of military service during the Vietnam era due to several deferments. When asked today, he did not know which foot was injured enough to keep him out. I would suggest he put both of them in his mouth today.

Many are saying that Trump's remarks on McCain are a turning point that is going to begin to sink any positive momentum he had in his reactionary and demagogic Presidential campaign. The RNC issued a statement criticizing the remarks, while not mentioning Trump by name. There is going to be much talk about how this effects Trump and his standing in the first Presidential debate, especially if he does not apologize to McCain. Many are now wondering if the other candidates will say they will refuse to appear on stage with Trump. I happen to think that they could effectively use him as a foil, but as a matter of principle, and for the dignity of the office they are seeking, they probably should not want him on that stage. I happen to believe that the RNC should make any debate hopeful sign a pledge stating that they will not seek the Presidency under any other party or entity other than the GOP. Trump is saying he is unwilling to agree to such a pledge, but the RNC has yet to do anything related to what I just suggested here.

The next week will tell a lot regarding Trump's standing in this race, but I think he is going to start losing support, at least gradually. A psychologist could have a field day analyzing the man's ego and mental state. I have stated many times that I think he got into the race as a plant on behalf of Democrats.

To conclude, John McCain, whatever one thinks about his politics in any regard, gave more to his country every single half hour he was held in captivity than Donald Trump has or could ever hope to in his entire life. Any American who thinks that a candidate such as Trump, who would attack any veteran in such a way, especially one who was killed or wounded while wearing the uniform,  is fit to be Commander in Chief, should be ashamed of themselves.

As for Donald Trump, who bragged today in front of church goers, that he has never felt the need to ask G-d for forgiveness; after today especially, he should begin making up for lost time.


At 6:44 PM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

Corey, my Top 5 includes the following:
1.) WI Governor Scott Walker (R)
2.) Former FL Governor Jeb Bush (R)
3.) United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
4.) Former TX Governor Rick Perry (R): my homestate's governor for 14 years!
5.) NJ Governor Chris Christie (R)


Post a Comment

<< Home