DES MOINES REGISTER GETS IT WRONG

The Des Moines Register recently wrote an editorial wherein they called for Donald Trump to bail out of the Presidential race. They said:

[“His comments were not merely offensive, they were disgraceful. So much so, in fact, that they threaten to derail not just his campaign, but the manner in which we choose our nominees for president. By using his considerable wealth, his celebrity status, and his mouth to draw attention to himself, rather than to raise awareness of the issues facing America, he has coarsened our political dialogue and cheapened the electoral process”.]

The Chicago Tribune paints Trump as an outlier in the flock of GOP candidates running for office, but they don’t call for his head. The paper reported on Trump’s remarks concerning John McCain and the comments of other contenders:

[“Responding to a question, Trump said, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

That comment earned him prompt, unequivocal rebukes from rivals, including Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham. The Republican National Committee said, “There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”]

It is not clear whether Trump’s antipathies towards immigrants and McCain are merely ephemeral, and that less dramatic positions are forthcoming, but it is plain that he should stay in the race, and he will. The Register seems to ignore the fact that Trump has many supporters, as the Tribune notes:

[“What his unscripted comments reaffirm is that Trump is running a campaign unlike any other and that, along with his singular force of personality — is completely dominating the Republican campaign.”]

And even apart from diverging views, and the first amendment right to make them, Trump is not the first politician to make light of McCain’s proffered military heroism status; the last person to make an almost identical comment was a Democrat named Al Franken when he said in his book, “Lies: And the lying liars Who Tell Them”:

[“Hey, I like John McCain. And I really think he’s courageous. I mean, his stance on campaign finance reform and tobacco. Wow. That takes guts. But this whole ‘war hero’ thing — I don’t get it. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, he sat out the war. I mean, anyone can get captured! Am I wrong, but isn’t the idea to capture the other guy?”]

Although Franken is a comic, and old comedians never die, they just fade away, his anti-war, and other liberal stands on military issues in general, lend credence to the argument that he meant the words, and his comedic predisposition  hardly vitiates such “disgraceful” intent under “The Register” analysis.

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