The official organ of conservative journalism, the Wall Street Journal, has published an Editorial Board opinion which drips with contempt. They make no effort to conceal it and it is hilarious. Imagine an actor like John Houseman uttering the following words in utter disgust. At least, that is the image that I derive. Let us proceed.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is barely two weeks old, and already it has his trademarks of bad company and bad judgment. Both were on display Tuesday evening when he hosted the rapper Kanye West (who now goes by Ye) and some comrades for dinner at Mar-a-Lago. One of the hangers-on was 24-year-old Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist who mocks the Holocaust. […]
Others have lambasted Mr. Trump for hosting Mr. Fuentes, including David Friedman, who was ambassador to Israel during the Trump Presidency. Mr. Trump’s failure to vet visitors is an example of his usual lack of organization and discipline, especially given that Mr. West has also been spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
But worse is that Mr. Trump hasn’t admitted his mistake in hosting the men or distanced himself from the odious views of Mr. Fuentes. Instead Mr. Trump portrays himself as an innocent who was taken advantage of by Mr. West. This is also all-too-typical of Mr. Trump’s behavior as President. He usually ducked responsibility and never did manage to denounce the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, or others who have resorted to divisive racial politics, or even violence as on Jan. 6, 2021.
The piece goes on to say that Trump isn’t going to change and expect “many more such damaging episodes” in the future.
It ends with, “Republicans who continue to go along for the ride with Mr. Trump are teeing themselves up for disaster in 2024.”
Well, that is not ambiguous at all, now is it?
So where does this leave Trump? Evidently, he’s got to depend upon the base to deliver him to the White House. That’s who he’s got left, the hard core extremists, the ones Hillary called “the deplorables.” And he can’t win without more than that. He needs to appeal to moderates and to Independents and to a great many other groups who do not approve of Holocaust deniers, anti-Semitism, misogyny, all the bad things that Nick Fuentes is the poster child for.
Even Mike Pence told Trump he was wrong to give Fuentes “a seat at the table” and he needed to apologize. And Pence was not alone. A number of GOPers, although not nearly enough, came out in force today to beg Trump to do the right thing. Axios:
Driving the news: Former Vice President Mike Pence today became the most prominent Republican to condemn the dinner, telling NewsNation that his old boss should “apologize.”
- “I don’t believe Donald Trump is an antisemite,” Pence added, however. “I don’t believe he’s a racist or a bigot. I would not have been his vice president if he was.”
In Congress, where Republicans returned from break bracing for the media onslaught, the chorus of condemnations was near universal. A sampling:
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.): “Well, that’s just a bad idea on every level. I don’t know who was advising him on his staff, but I hope that whoever that person was got fired.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah): “There’s no bottom to the degree which he’s willing to degrade himself and the country for that matter. Having dinner with those people was disgusting.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.): “President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites. These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party.”
That’s a smattering, a mere handful. The rest of them are as silent as the grave. Cassidy may say, “This is not the Republican party,” but until the rest of the party, or at least the lion’s share of them, shows up and chimes in, it will be concluded that yes, that is exactly who the Republican party is. How could it be otherwise? A few token senators and a former v.p. are not going to cut it.