Mad Dog on the Loose

First off, let me repeat a point I made some time ago: ¬†The sex tape (Trump boasting in 2005 about how he liked to touch women) told me¬†absolutely nothing that I didn’t already know about Trump, and after all that’s gone down in the course of this past year, it was not automatically obvious to me that this revelation was going to put his campaign into a seemingly irreversible crisis. ¬†It wasn’t that his remarks weren’t shocking for a presidential candidate, just that there had already been so much else that was bad enough already. ¬†Even a year ago, for any serious political officeholder or commentator to call Trump a viable candidate for president was looking for ways to be ludicrous for the sake of being ludicrous, so after a while I got used to the fact that a lot of people had decided that being ludicrous was the way to go. ¬†The¬†New York Post¬†endorsed him last spring predicting that he would “pivot” (in other words, let’s just ignore the person he is and imagine that he’ll change into someone completely different by fall, incredibly stupid reasoning even for a rag like the¬†Post), and New York State Republican Committee Chairman Ed Cox (Richard Nixon’s son-in-law) endorsed him while there were still other viable candidates in the primary race. ¬†RNC national chairman Reince Priebus also announced, after the Ohio vote, that he thought it was time for Ted Cruz and John Kasich to concede to Trump. ¬†Yes, even before he clinched the nomination, some Republicans decided to pretend that Trump was someone different than who he was, that he was in any way fit to be this country’s chief executive.

After he got the nomination, most regular Republicans felt they had no choice but to endorse him, or at last not oppose him.  There were a few exceptions; there were a handful of Republicans in the House and Senate who consistently held themselves up as anti-Trump, which took courage because they were getting tons of peer pressure from the party to conform.  Now, with that new revelation, Republicans are showing various degrees of horror.  Not all are denouncing him; Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, is essentially trying to have it both ways.  But generally speaking, the party at large appears to have lost enthusiasm for him and given up the presidential race for lost.

I got the feeling, on the Saturday when the revelation first broke (October 8), that some Republicans imagined that Trump might step aside for the good of the party. ¬†They might better have imagined that he would grow wings and fly to the moon, but I think some imagined it. ¬†But what’s happening now is quite the contrary: ¬†with the party no longer giving him more than token semblance of support, Trump has declared that he’s unshackled, free to do anything he wants, because it’s the party that’s betrayed him. ¬†Hence my post heading above: there’s a mad dog on the loose.

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice visit with the cousin I’m closest to, a¬†dedicated¬†education professional who follows all the rules of ethics and propriety to a T. ¬†In talking about my own teaching situation now, I mentioned, “I don’t normally tell students my personal opinions about anything, but I’ve announced to all of my classes that I draw the line at pretending to be neutral about Trump.” ¬†He replied, not argumentatively, just matter-of-factly, that if he were teaching about government, he would stay unbiased in talking about Trump even now. ¬†Fair enough, but you know what? ¬†I have to confess this: ¬†I WOULDN’T EVEN KNOW¬†HOW to talk about Donald Trump, in the classroom or anywhere else, without letting it show that I am utterly horrified that this country would let such a man get to where he is now. ¬†The man, right now, is the walking wounded, and being the narcissist that he is, he’s determined to do as much wounding of the people he feels have wounded him as possible, no matter what level of shame he drags the whole country down to. ¬†The man doesn’t care about his party or his country, and members of the Republican Party who treated him as if he did have made total jackasses of themselves and have no choice but to be in crisis management and damage control mode from now until Election Day.

Politico article about the damage he may now do

Politico article about the frustration of the Republicans

Politico article about the sorrows of Speaker Ryan right about now

And, of course, there’s a lot more material in the links to the right of this page, from multiple newsfeeds, regularly updated.

 

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