The Sneezing Opossum
This is the most up-to-date column I have ever written. Every day there is another example of patriotic Republicans putting principle before party and doing everything they can to sabotage Donald Trump.
When Melania Trump’s convention speech contained passages plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s speech eight years earlier, I never thought Melania actually wrote her speech. My immediate suspicion was that someone with an ax to grind with The Donald slipped the plagiarized passages in to publicly embarrass her (and therefore him).
Instead of copping to the patently obvious, Trump surrogates insisted these were common phrases and dismissed the plagiarism charges as “absurd.” Every college professor on CNN looked like their talking heads were about to explode, pointing out that students would be kicked out of school for doing what she did.
When Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails, within minutes Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, called for Russia to be held accountable for any involvement in the DNC hack, which is sort of the opposite of what Trump was saying.
Rudy Giuliani, as rabid an attack dog as you can find in Republican ranks, made an even stranger argument. Giuliani did not insist that Trump’s message to the Russians was sarcasm, but claimed it was essentially a brain fart. Giuliani reminded the liberal press that President Obama once said there were “57 states,” and nobody made a big deal about that.
Giuliani did not point to when Trump misspoke and said Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, was a terrible governor of New Jersey. It was Virginia where Kaine did so horrible a job as governor that they sent him to the U.S. Senate. Instead of drawing that obvious comparison, Giuliani insisted it was just a brain fart. Donald Trump’s brain farts are clearly way bigger than anybody else’s.
When Obama called Trump a “homegrown demagogue,” Pence slammed the president: “I don’t think name-calling has any place in public life.” Think how dense you have to be not to have noticed that Trump personifies name-calling: Lyin’ Ted Cruz, Crooked Hillary.
Giuliani, who was Time’s Man of the Year in 2001, did the biggest nudge-nudge wink-wink of all, when he declared there were no terrorist attacks in the U.S. during the eight years before Obama was elected in 2008.
Katrina Pierson (a Trump surrogate in a class by herself) accused Obama for the death of Humayun Kuhn. When it was pointed out that Khan died while Bush was president, Pierson pivoted to blame Hillary Clinton because she voted for the war. Not Bush or the Republicans or other Democrats who voted for the war. Just Clinton.
When it was pointed out to Trump that Pence also voted for the war, Trump insisted that Pence had been lied to. But the same excuse does not extend to Hillary because... oh, hell, just pick a reason: She’s a monster, she’s unhinged, she short-circuited, she’s corrupt, whatever.
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen actually demanded to know what polls show Trump is losing the election. When told “All of them,” Cohen just stared into the camera waiting for America to get the point.
What has become clear in all this is the true extent of Hillary Clinton’s power. This is a woman who dictated foreign and domestic policy to Barack Obama, got the Commission on Presidential Debates to schedule two of the debates opposite N.F.L. games, wrote Khizr Khan’s DNC speech, arranged for Trump to be stuck in an elevator in Colorado Springs, and still had time to co-found ISIS with Obama (but you know it was all her idea).
Republican Florida State Representative Carlos Curbelo wonders if Trump’s whole campaign is a Democratic plot to make the Republicans look bad. Wow. Is there nothing Hillary cannot do?