The ‘Stupid Party’ keeps get­ting stu­pider

Repub­li­cans are play­ing into the hands of the left by call­ing Trump a ‘racist’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Stephen Moore

In the last month or so both of the pre­sump­tive pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, Don­ald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton have said stupid and even of­fen­sive things. Mr. Trump as we all know, be­cause we’ve heard it re­peated by the me­dia one thou­sand times, ques­tioned the im­par­tial­ity of a fed­eral judge be­cause he is of Mex­i­can de­scent. Dumb. Even in­de­fen­si­ble.

But Hil­lary a few weeks ear­lier said that she was go­ing to put ev­ery coal miner in Amer­ica out of a job. Mess­ing with peo­ple’s liveli­hoods is ar­ro­gant and smug be­yond be­lief. Ar­guably, much worse than any­thing Mr. Trump has said.

Politi­cians of­ten say stupid things. I’m old enough to re­mem­ber when Ronald Rea­gan called Ketchup a veg­etable. Bill Clin­ton be­came a laugh­ing­stock when he said in 1992 that he “didn’t in­hale.”

What is mad­den­ing about the Clin­ton and Trump gaffes is the re­ac­tion by the brain trusts of their re­spec­tive par­ties. When Hil­lary promised to lay off tens of thou­sands of coal min­ers, the left knew she had stepped in it. But did you hear Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid de­nounce her as an an out-of-con­trol im­be­cile who has just threat­ened the jobs of mid­dle class union work­ers?

Did they clamor that one more of these un­forced er­rors and she would be “dis­qual­i­fied” from the race? Did they rush on MSNBC and CNN and de­mand a re­trac­tion?

Of course, no. No. And No. Never. They aren’t stupid. Like the worker bees, they did every­thing to pro­tect the queen bee. They worked to­gether to change the sub­ject, de­nounce Mr. Trump, re­as­sure vot­ers that Hil­lary re­ally does care about work­ing class peo­ple. She’s even met some.

Nearly ev­ery­one du­ti­fully par­rot­ted the party line: what Hil­lary re­ally meant to say was blah, blah, blah. That’s called dam­age con­trol. The Repub­li­cans are, by con­trast, pa­thetic wimps. They are so ter­ri­fied of and trau­ma­tized by the “racist” charge, that they threw the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee un­der the bus so that the me­dia wouldn’t la­bel them as big­ots too. They foolishly piled on to the me­dia and Demo­cratic at­tack. The me­dia didn’t have to call on Jesse Jack­son or Al Sharp­ton to ex­co­ri­ate Mr. Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan lashed out at Mr. Trump for his “racist com­ment.” Marco Ru­bio and oth­ers did the same. Jeb Bush called for Trump to “re­tract” his com­ments.

They seemed to be say­ing: see how racially pro­gres­sive I am. I just de­nounced Don­ald Trump. He’s the Repub­li­can racist, not me. That’s states­man­ship for you.

Ques­tion: does any­one be­lieve that this strat­egy will bring a stam­pede of black and Latino vot­ers into the party? Do they think this will get the me­dia off my back?

This wasn’t the first time Repub­li­cans have played into the hands of the left. When Mr. Trump was ab­surdly charged with not prop­erly de­nounc­ing a sup­porter who is a racial su­prem­a­cist, even many con­ser­va­tives piled on to the leftist at­tacks. He wasn’t suf­fi­ciently apolo­getic for the lib­eral me­dia, and some Repub­li­cans like the for­got­ten, but not gone Mitt Rom­ney nearly called him a mem­ber of the Ku Klux Klan. This is his roadmap back to po­lit­i­cal rel­e­vance.

All of this is self-de­feat­ing on a thou­sand lev­els. First, don’t these lame­brained Repub­li­cans get it that they hang to­gether or they hang sep­a­rately. Tear­ing down Mr. Trump will mean thou­sands of po­lit­i­cal ca­su­al­ties down ticket. Democrats do get this.

Sec­ond, since when do we judge our can­di­dates based on the left’s warped cri­te­ria? They seem to suf­fer from the Stock­holm Syndrome of seek­ing the af­fec­tion of their cap­tors.

Fi­nally, the Repub­li­can mem­bers of Congress would be wise to stop with the holier than thou strat­egy. These are the peo­ple who’ve blown a hole in the bud­get as big as Texas and so how are they morally su­pe­rior? These are the peo­ple that can’t even de­fund the crony­ist Ex­port Im­port Bank.

In­stead, why don’t Repub­li­cans ever try to seize the of­fen­sive on the race card? Want to di­vide and con­quer the left? Take a school choice agenda into the in­ner city and tell poor mi­nor­ity par­ents that the GOP is of­fer­ing their kids bet­ter schools. Prom­ise to bring safety, jobs, and de­vel­op­ment to their neigh­bor­hoods. Prom­ise to stop putting young in­ner city blacks in jail for drug use.

The great­est vic­tims of Barack Obama’s litany of eco­nomic fail­ures have been blacks and His­pan­ics. Mr. Obama’s no racist, but the im­pact of his poli­cies are. Does it re­ally mat­ter that he means well? Repub­li­cans/Trump can win mil­lions of votes of eco­nom­i­cal­lyleft-be­hind mi­nori­ties in record num­bers this year. But that won’t hap­pen by gen­u­flect­ing to the leftwing civil rights lead­er­ship. And it won’t hap­pen if the GOP’s lead­er­ship is call­ing their flag bearer a racist. Stephen Moore is an eco­nomic con­sul­tant with Free­dom Works.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXAN­DER HUNTER/THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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