Tuesday, August 02, 2016

EDITORIAL >> GOP dumps its nominee

“There’s only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect. Capt. Khan is a hero. Together, we should pray for his family.” — Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich

“Every American (should) speak to Gold Star families tenderly and with respect and even love.” — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

“All Gold Star parents deserve our respect and care, and both major candidates for President would do well to honor the service of our fallen heroes, apologize to their families, and pray for their comfort and peace.”

— Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.)

When presidential campaigns go bad, they fall apart quickly: Michael Dukakis in his goofy helmet looking out of a tank. President George H.W. Bush checking his watch during a debate with Bill Clinton. John Kerry windsurfing.

There have been so many low points in Donald Trump’s campaign in the last two weeks, you wonder how low he’ll sink: Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s eight-year-old speech, his assault on a Muslim Gold Star family, his continued defense of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, his attack on a retired general, a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, who spoke at the Democratic convention, but there’s so much more.

On Friday, Trump was rescued from a stuck elevator in Colorado Springs, Colo., where firefighters cut open the top so Trump could climb up a ladder to the next floor. What an appropriate symbol for a floundering campaign. He later accused the fire chief of keeping his supporters out of an overfilled auditorium.

On Monday, Trump suggested women who are harassed at work should switch jobs. On Tuesday, Trump asked a young mother whose baby was crying to leave his rally in Virginia. At first he said he didn’t mind the baby crying, but then changed his mind. “Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here,” he shouted as the audience applauded.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) is the first Republican member of Congress to endorse Clinton for president. He said Trump was “unfit to serve” after he attacked Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, immigrants from Pakistan, whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq when he stopped a vehicle packed with explosives outside a military compound.

“I was stunned by the callousness of his comments,” Hanna said. “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?”

A dramatic drop in the polls comes after several Republicans, from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), denounced Trump for his callousness toward the Khans. Sally Bradshaw, a former senior adviser to Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), said she has quit the Republican Party and will vote for Hillary Clinton.

Expect more Republicans to jump ship in the runup to November, unless Trump gets a medical discharge and quits before then.