Friday, March 11, 2016


All the candidates at last night's Republican debate weighed in on the violence at Donald Trump rallies. Trump, of course, didn't acknowledge that what's going on is a problem, but, as Scott Lemieux notes, every other candidate ducked the question. All refused to condemn Trump, and all of them pivoted from the subject of thugs in Trump's audiences as quickly as possible.

Ted Cruz's pivot:
Listen, I think for every one of us, we need to show respect to the people. We need to remember who it is we’re working for. You know, we’ve seen for seven years a president who believes he’s above the law, who behaves like an emperor, who it is all about him and he forgot that he’s working for the American people....
John Kasich's:
Well, I worry about the violence at a rally period. I mean, it’s -- you know, elections are important but the unity of this country really matters.

Jake, here’s what I think is happening. There are people out there who are worried about their jobs. They’re worried that somebody is going to come in and tell them they’re out of work and they’re 54 years old and they don’t know where they’re going to get another job....
Marco Rubio's:
... A couple of points. The first is, I’m concerned about violence in general in this society. And by the way, the first people that are facing that violence are our law enforcement officers....
Trump has lowered the standard for acceptable behavior, and Trump is now the most powerful Republican in America. As a result, it's now conservatively incorrect to condemn violent goons at his campaign rallies.

Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott of Florida apparently believes it's conservatively incorrect to challenge Trump's blanket condemnation of Islam.
Things got awkward on Morning Joe [yesterday] when the show’s guest, Florida Gov. Rick Scott refused to answer a yes-or-no question about whether he thought Muslims hated America....

“Would you tell your friend Donald Trump that he should walk back his statements that Muslims — that Islam hates America and Islam hates us,” Scarborough asked.

Scott only said that after the terrorist attacks in Paris, he asked for the federal government to halt “certain refugees,” adding he’s still “fairly certain that the U.S. government’s not vetting them.”

Scarborough then pushed further and asked whether Scott thinks generally, if Muslims hate Americans.

Scott refused to answer, instead talking vaguely about Florida “heading in the right direction.”

“I want to know what’s going on in your head, governor,” Scarborough said. “We’re friends. Do you personally think that Islam is a religion that hates America?”

When Scott again side-stepped the question, Scarborough’s co-host, Mika Brzezinski could be heard saying, “wrap it.” She then added, “No, no. That’s not answering any questions.”

“Rick, I know you and Joe are friends and this is kind of awkward, but can you answer the question, or should we scoot,” Brzezinski asked.

Scott again failed to answer the question, prompting the hosts to cut his mic and move on to the next segment.

Trump and his fans condemn "political correctness," but Trump is creating a variety of his own. It used to be seen as political suicide on the right to say anything bad about Rush Limbaugh -- challenge him and you'd be forced to apologize within 24 hours. Now the guy on the right you can't cross is Trump. Increasingly, he'll be the one who decides what other Republicans can and can't say, because nobody wants to alienate his voter base. If that's not "correctness," what is?


retiredeng said...

The sooner the GOP decides to write off the "base" the better we all will be. None of them have any balls to do it. Otherwise, the GOP is toast at the national level and maybe soon at the state level as well.

jsrtheta said...

Why wouldn't there be thugs in Trump's crowds? The biggest thug is commanding the stage.

Never Ben Better said...

Trump rally in Chicago cancelled amid security concerns. Angry crowds of protesters, angry crowds of Trump supporters clashing in the hall and out in the streets. Be interesting to see how the media play the story, who they lay the blame on.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Left agitation is forcibly suppressed while right-wing domestic terrorists are coddled and encouraged by the media.

Unknown said...

Joe Scarborough is way too cozy with his Republican guests to be an objective journalist.

oaguabonita said...

"Conservatively incorrect" is very good. Its complement "conservative correctness" has great promise, too. (Expect me to steal it. I'll try remember to give credit when I do.)

The obsession with what they consider "political correctness" by rightwingnuts has been laughable for a very long time, given that there's no bastion of actual PC anywhere that can rival Rightwingnuttia.

But there's also long been a need for a succinctly analogous term for mockery of this rightwing PC.

And now we have one! Thanks, Steven.

(Of course there's still the long-standing problem of acquiescing in the common, but grossly inaccurate usage of "conservative" to label people and ideas who are everything but conservative (think of the oxymoronic "conservatives against conservation", which is a core "principle" of modern [faux-]"conservatism").