The ‘Mr. De­plorable’ prize goes to ...

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Eu­gene Robin­son Colum­nist Eu­gene Robin­son is syn­di­cated by the Washington Post Writ­ers Group. His email ad­dress is eu­gen­er­obin­son@ wash­post.com.

WASHINGTON >> If Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign were one of his beauty pageants, in­stead of a “Miss Con­ge­nial­ity” con­so­la­tion prize there would have to be a “Mr. or Ms. De­plorable.” Ac­cord­ing to my scorecard, the win­ner is Rudy Gi­u­liani.

Trump is the master of cer­e­monies, so he’s in­el­i­gi­ble. The com­pe­ti­tion among his en­ablers — to see who can most thor­oughly squan­der cred­i­bil­ity and rep­u­ta­tion — has been fierce. There are so many wor­thy can­di­dates for the De­plorable sash that it’s a shame only one aide or sur­ro­gate can win.

Be­gin with Mike Pence, a com­mit­ted Chris­tian, who disin­gen­u­ously tells au­di­ences that his run­ning mate — known to be a bully, a bigot, a misog­y­nist and a lib­er­tine — is “a good man.” Pretty de­plorable.

Then there’s Reince Priebus, chair­man of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, who let Trump steal his party and then be­came one of Trump’s vas­sals. Al­low­ing the tra­di­tions and honor of the party of Lin­coln to be so hor­ri­bly de­based is def­i­nitely de­plorable.

Chris Christie might get some points for his self-in­flicted dou­ble hu­mil­i­a­tion: First he got em­bar­rassed by Trump in the pri­maries, then he be­came the first also-ran to give the usurper his en­dorse­ment. Christie is smart; he must see Trump for the dan­ger­ous ig­no­ra­mus he is. He has told friends he hoped Trump could be taught and molded. What­ever his mo­tive, his­tory will judge Christie’s role among Trump’s in­ner cir­cle as both cyn­i­cal and de­plorable.

And of course there is Kellyanne Con­way, Trump’s cam­paign man­ager. She has a kind of ge­nius for as­sem­bling ran­dom words into very long sen­tences, which she wields against jour­nal­ists’ ques­tions the way a Jedi knight uses a light saber to de­flect in­com­ing fire. Some­how she is serenely un­fazed by di­rect con­tra­dic­tion. After the first de­bate, for ex­am­ple, she said Trump had dis­played the “pres­i­den­tial virtue” of re­straint by not men­tion­ing Bill Clin­ton’s af­fairs. But when Trump brought Clin­ton’s ac­cusers to the sec­ond de­bate, well, she said that was pres­i­den­tial, too. Con­stant dou­bletalk, how­ever charming, is de­plorable.

Se­ri­ous con­tenders, all. But my run­ner-up for Mr. De­plorable is the inim­itable Newt Gin­grich. His over-the-top grandil­o­quence puts him in an­other league.

One re­cent il­lus­tra­tion came Satur­day when Trump went to Get­tys­burg and de­liv­ered a much-hyped “ma­jor” speech — mostly a repack­ag­ing of pre­vi­ously an­nounced poli­cies. The only real change, far as I could tell, was that now he ex­pects the U.S. taxpayer to pay for his promised bor­der wall, with Mex­ico later dunned for re­im­burse­ment. And the head­line was that Trump, dis­grace­fully, had used such a hal­lowed set­ting to threaten law­suits against the women who say he groped or forcibly kissed them.

The ir­re­press­ible Gin­grich tried to spin this de­ba­cle into some­thing for the ages. “Trump’s most im­por­tant speech, maybe the best re­form speech since (Ron­ald) Rea­gan in 1980,” he called it. That’s not hyper­bole, it’s hal­lu­ci­na­tion.

On Tuesday, Gin­grich haugh­tily be­rated Fox News host Megyn Kelly for sup­pos­edly giv­ing too much cov­er­age to Trump’s al­leged sex­ual pre­da­tions — and not enough to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s email prob­lems. Kelly pa­tiently ex­plained that the ac­cusers’ sto­ries are clearly news­wor­thy. “You want to go back through the tapes of your show re­cently?” Gin­grich de­manded. “You are fas­ci­nated with sex and you don’t care about pub­lic pol­icy.”

Yes, the Gin­grich oeu­vre of de­plorabil­ity is rich and deep. But for sheer mean-spir­ited lu­nacy, it is Gi­u­liani who de­serves to wear the Mr. De­plorable tiara.

He all but sewed up the ti­tle at the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion with a speech that was nei­ther spo­ken nor shouted, but shrieked. The for­mer New York mayor, who showed such in­spir­ing steadi­ness and re­solve fol­low­ing the 9/11 at­tacks, de­scribed a na­tion cow­er­ing in fear of ji­hadist ter­ror­ism and rapidly sink­ing into ut­ter ruin.

“There’s no next elec­tion,” he screamed. “This is it! There’s no more time left to re­vive our great coun­try!”

When FBI Direc­tor James Comey de­cided “no rea­son­able prose­cu­tor” would file charges against Clin­ton over her emails, Gi­u­liani — a for­mer fed­eral prose­cu­tor him­self — went bal­lis­tic. On Wed­nes­day, he had a ver­bal brawl with CNN’s Chris Cuomo about that sub­ject. Gi­u­liani in­sisted on a con­spir­a­to­rial the­ory about Clin­ton’s ex­on­er­a­tion that is hard to briefly sum­ma­rize; suf­fice it to say his sce­nario re­quires ei­ther clair­voy­ance or time travel.

Gi­u­liani called one ram­bling Trump ad­dress “the best speech that any Repub­li­can, at the least, has ever given,” which I guess in­cludes Lin­coln. He has re­peat­edly claimed, with zero ev­i­dence, that Clin­ton suf­fers from some se­ri­ous undis­closed ill­ness. He has even de­voted time and en­ergy to feud­ing with Bey­once.

You win, Mr. Mayor. Con­grat­u­la­tions are not in or­der.

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