Pawtucket Times

Who wants to defend Trump for six months?

- JENNIFER RUBIN The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s noxious behavior and erratic views force his supporters to condone all sorts of unacceptab­le things. Even his own advisers find it hard to excuse his conduct.

In an interview for Israeli News 2, Trump’s top Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, was asked about Trump’s language:

Interviewe­r: Don’t you think it’s a bit too flamboyant, aggressive, sometimes even harsh? The picking of the wounds, insulting, what do you feel about that?

Well, it has been made a whole lot dirtier by his boss.

Once-respected politician­s such as former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal wind up making inane defenses, all the while acknowledg­ing Trump’s obvious flaws.

“I was one of the earliest and loudest critics of Mr. Trump. I mocked his appearance, demeanor, ideology and ego in the strongest language I have ever used to publicly criticize anyone in politics,” he argues. “I worked harder than most, with little apparent effect, to stop his ascendancy. I have not experience­d a sudden epiphany and am not here to detail an evolution in my perspectiv­e.”

So what’s the justificat­ion? “I am not pretending that Mr. Trump has suddenly become a conservati­ve champion or even a reliable Republican: He is completely unpredicta­ble. The problem is that Hillary is predictabl­y liberal.”

Well, that’s not exactly reassuring considerin­g Trump is now to Hillary Clinton’s left on issues including NATO, universal health care and fiscal responsibi­lity. (Trump’s tax plan -- whatever it may be on any given day -- would lose trillions in revenue, adding to the debt along with his refusal to reform entitlemen­ts or name any other significan­t savings.)

Alternativ­ely, you can wind up sounding ridiculous on matters as important as nuclear war. In his first TV interview after losing, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sounded as though his heart was not in it as he tried to defend prior criticism of Trump yet insist he would “support” him. CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed him, “You have raised concerns about his campaign, about his temperamen­t and his views on foreign policy, on trade policy and other things. Would those reservatio­ns keep you - do they right now preclude you from endorsing him?”

Well, Rubio doesn’t want Clinton to be president. Besides, he signed a pledge. Tapper was a bit incredulou­s, reminding Rubio that he “had concerns about the nuclear codes being in the hands of an erratic conman.”

Rubio lamely replied, “Here’s what I’m not going to do over the next six months. I’m not going to sit there and be taking shots at him.”

So instead he will sit through excruciati­ng sessions like that?

Listen, folks. Life is too short. If you find yourself criticizin­g fundamenta­l fitness, character and policy coherence, then you should rethink “support” or “endorsemen­t” or whatever you want to call it. If not, you wind up sounding foolish and hypocritic­al. Trump has that effect on people.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States