Sunday, October 2, 2016

Only himself to blame

Squirrel-Hair is the architect of his own sinking.

Michael Goodwin at the New York Post is a good example of someone whose principles are reasonably in order but for some unfortunate reason developed an enthusiasm for S-H, but is now having to publicly express his frustration.

Dude, you're the one who writes this in your column today. Are you really holding out for your man to get serious before November?

n less than four months, a new president will take the oath and swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Among potential supporters gobsmacked by Trump’s latest screwball turn, some believe it proves he doesn’t want to win the White House. Their theory holds that the possibility of victory must terrify him, so he is intentionally making himself unelectable.


As evidence, they point to his habit of self-destructing just when things look best. Then as now, Trump pushed the race to almost even before taking a detour to wage a fight that made no sense.
And it's not just Twitter. The guy carried it to television:

On Tuesday, Trump called into Fox News to essentially repeat the behavior Clinton had raised: He said Machado "gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem." 
On Wednesday, Trump went back on Fox to tell Bill O'Reilly that Machado should thank him for demanding she lose a few pounds: "I saved her job," he said. 
On Thursday, Trump's own campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told "The View" that she had personally reprimanded him for his language regarding women, even as she defended him over the Machado story. 
Another S-H water-carrier is publicly nervous about all this:

"You can't tweet at 3 o'clock in the morning. Period. There's no excuse. Ever. Not if you're going to be president of the United States," former Speaker Newt Gingrich, another of Trump's most prominent supporters, said on Fox News.
And while the argument can - should - be made that our nation's tax code is too convoluted and driven by the leviathan's confiscatory zeal, given S-H's various types of mouthings-off about his and others' tax behavior, the New York Times's October-surprise release of his tax returns causes him problems of his own making:

The New York Times story alone, which both reported that Trump declared he had lost a staggering $916 million in 1995 tax forms, and that experts believe that loss could have allowed him to pay no federal income taxes for up to 18 years, fed into three lines of attack that Hillary Clinton had used to needle him in Monday's debate. 
One: That his refusal to release his taxes suggested he was concealing something important. Two: That his returns might show his business acumen was overstated. Three: That he paid little or no taxes despite his vast wealth. 
And it lent credence to her larger argument that Trump is a heartless scrooge who left a trail of financial destruction on his path to wealth, and who according to the Times even refused to check off a box on his tax form to donate to a veterans' memorial fund. 
As if that wasn't enough, Trump has a long history of both bragging about his efforts to avoid paying taxes while shaming others for paying too little.
And it's not like the Machado business and the tax revelations are the only bad turns he had last week:

There was a Newsweek expose that alleged Trump's businesses had illegal dealings in Cuba — some details of which Trump's campaign manager appeared to confirm on television. There was Trump's rambling debate answer on nuclear weapons, where he seemed to announce what would be a historic shift towards a "no first use" policy only to contradict himself in the next sentence, alarming national security experts days later. 

The Washington Post continued its investigation into Trump's charitable foundation. The Post has already found compelling evidence Trump previously violated the law by using the foundation to settle lawsuits against his private businesses. 

All the while, an array of old comments by Trump about women over the years, from ogling and hiring a teenage waitress to promising his then-17 year old daughter he wouldn't date anyone younger than her, resurfaced in various outlets. As did a lawsuit alleging he demanded unattractive women working at one of his golf resorts be fired and replaced with prettier women. 

USA Today, the country's widest circulation newspaper, broke with its 34-year policy of neutrality in the presidential race to declare Trump "unfit for the presidency." Several historically Republican newspapers endorsed Clinton outright, along with an editorial board member at the arch-conservative Wall Street Journal, Dorothy Rabinowitz

Meanwhile, Forbes downgraded Trump's net worth by $800 million dollars
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I can have at least a paltry degree of respect for conservatives I know to be principled who have decided to rally around the S-H candidacy since he became the official candidate of the Pubs. They're wrong about that decision, but they are still people with basic clarity of vision. It's the ones who had long assumed a conservative mantle, but beginning in the summer of 2015 made very high-profile displays of giddiness about a rising populist / nationalist wave - and even turned on their supposed brethren at National Review, RedState and the Weekly Standard for not getting on board - for whom I harbor nothing but scorn.

It is they, not any NeverTrumpers, who brought us to this nightmarish juncture.

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