Watching the orange-haired assassin, Donald Trump, is like eating pizza and ice cream. Great fun at the time, but I hate myself afterwards. It’s too indulgent, and it does me no good. But the temptation of seeing one Republican nutjob devour other Republican nutjobs, and then those nutjobs turn on the Donald, is sometimes irresistible. Right-wingers, who have for decades gotten away with taking reckless, unsubstantiated and mean-spirited potshots at everyone on the left, are now having to eat their own mudpies. And they have no one to blame but themselves.
Timothy Egan, contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, succinctly explains why Trump’s toxic bombast is just an outgrowth of years of GOP hatred now turned inward:
“Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout ‘You lie!’ at their commander in chief.
“It was fine when all this crossing-of-the-line was directed at President Obama or other Democrats. But now that the ugliness is intramural, Trump has forced party leaders to decry something they have not only tolerated, but encouraged.
“Consider Trump’s swipe against McCain’s military service, and by extension all veterans who have been involved in the fog of combat. Republicans were apoplectic at Trump’s claim that McCain was no war hero.
“‘All of our veterans, particularly P.O.W.s, deserve our respect and admiration,’ said Jeb Bush. The Republican National Committee was quick to lay down a similar principle, saying, ‘There is no place in our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.’
“No place except a presidential campaign, that being the 2004 attempt to destroy the honorable Vietnam service of candidate John Kerry. Where was Bush’s ‘respect and admiration’ when his brother was benefiting from a multimillion-dollar smear of a Navy veteran with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart?
“The wise men predicted Trump’s demise after he demeaned a former prisoner of war. But polls posted late this week showed Trump still in the lead. How can he get away with bashing combat veterans? Simple: The party he now wants to represent wrote the playbook on it.”
Someday, sooner rather than later, a real journalist will finally ask Trump a substantial question about foreign policy or corporate welfare or gun control or nuclear war with Iran, and he will be exposed for the bloviating charlatan that he is. The junk food binge will end, and I’ll have to return to a sensible diet of Hillary, Bernie and Elizabeth lambasting ruthless, greedy and corrupt extremists like Scott, Jeb and Marco. Until then, though, I can’t say I won’t snack on the empty calories of The Orange Orator taking down one of his fellow blowhards—maybe that fat guy from Jersey?