Pat Powers evidently thinks columnist Tom Lawrence is gaining weight:
As usual, Pat’s headline misstates the truth. Tom Lawrence informs me he’s actually shed a few pounds this summer.
Further as usual, Pat’s headline buries the real story. Tom Lawrence likens Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s current campaign of lies and outrages to the despicable and disastrous tactics of Republican Bruce Whalen in South Dakota’s 2006 U.S. House race:
Back in 2006, Whalen’s campaign went down the drain when Breard spread rumors that Herseth was a home-wrecker, breaking up the marriage of then-Texas Congressman Max Sandlin, and/or that she was pregnant by her chief of staff.
The lies were so outrageous, Whalen’s campaign collapsed.
Herseth did marry Sandlin in 2007, but it was years after his first marriage had ended. And Herseth was not pregnant then, either. When Breard was caught pitching those bogus stories to reporters, his candidate’s long-shot chances was ruined, and his reputation shattered.
Some of Trump’s claims have been equally absurd, causing Republicans great distress and Democrats to point to polls and smile. He is trailing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by a large margin in recent polls, and Republicans running for Congress are eager to distance themselves from him this fall [Tom Lawrence, “Political Veterans Leery of Out-of-Control Campaigns,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2016.08.09].
Tom Lawrence perhaps overstates the comparison. Whalen’s campaign, already a wreck, was doomed by the offensive lies spread by his campaign manager. The GOP leaders who found that bad behavior sufficient reason to distance themselves from Whalen in 2006 are not seeking similar distance between themselves and their beyond-the-pale Presidential nominee, whose outrages come directly from his own mouth in nearly every non-scripted public pronouncement. Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and Representative Kristi Noem have explicitly and repeatedly endorsed Donald Trump. Thune has fretted gently last week about Trump’s insulting comments about Khizr and Ghazala Khan. Thune offered similar limp criticism of Trump’s mouth in June after the Orlando shooting, but Trump’s established and unchanging pattern of behavior has not moved Thune or his GOP colleagues away from their endorsement of Trump in any discernible way.
South Dakota’s Republicans certainly haven’t Whalened on Trump the way Maine Senator Susan Collins did yesterday, declaring that Trump’s pattern of behavior shows he’s unfit for the Presidency:
With the passage of time, I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize. But it was his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president [Senator Susan Collins, “Why I Cannot Support Trump,” Washington Post, 2016.08.09].
Pat Powers, of course, can’t even address the comparison of Whalen and Trump. In his usual non-committal evasion that characterizes any post on his party’s indefensible Presidential pick, he suggests Trump’s outrages are just matters of perception and hides behind the assertion that he’s still better than the alternative:
It’s a difficult tightrope candidates must navigate as they walk over political minefields of supporting (or avoiding) candidates who say foolish things. And was no different now than it was back then.
As has been noted several times, as bad as Trump might come off, Hillary is worse. Should the outrageous void any scolding for not being behind “our guy?”
For those making the decision to support Trump or not now, that tightrope is still there, just as it was in 2006 [Pat Powers, “Ton [sic] Lawrence Compares the Campaign of 2006 to the Campaign of 2016,” Dakota War College, 2016.08.09].
Donald Trump doesn’t maybe “come off” bad. He is bad. Donald Trump is Bruce Whalen cubed and unleashed on the national stage. Donald Trump is a threat to American values and security. If Thune and Rounds had the moral acuity to duck public appearances with Whalen in 2006, they should be able to link arms with Susan Collins and disavow Trump now.