There is usually a lull after the Republicans and the Democrats host their respective conventions, as the nation exhales in unison after the excesses of politics put on their ugliest faces to signal the latest national Presidential campaign has begun.
As with most things reflecting the dueling organizations representing Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, nothing is ever quite what one would expect.
At a time when Trump could have most benefited by keeping his normal absurdities to a minimum, he seemed to feel compelled to spew non-sequiturs on the national stage, directing them for the most part at Khizr Khan, the Muslim attorney who lost his son in the Iraq War fightinght as a soldier in the US Army.
Speaking over the weekend to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Trump questioned why Khan’s wife Ghazala wasn’t allowed to talk. “His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there,” Trump said. “She had nothing to say. She probably—maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” (In an editorial in The Washington Post, Ghazala Khan said her emotions kept her from speaking.)
It was a statement that brought cries of outrage from the GOP. Even long-time supporter Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey called Donald Trump’s statements over the Khan family “inappropriate.”
“We need to honor their sacrifice for our country and we need to honor their son’s sacrifice for our country,” Christie said. “And to focus on anything other than that, to me, is missing the point. That’s what we should be doing, and any comments that we’re making publicly or privately should be with that in mind.”
To many this seems to be a watershed moment with even Republicans saying “enough is enough” with reckless comments and gratuitous insults. Yet, The Donald isn’t even close to getting the message.
That much is obvious in the Republican candidate’s refusal to endorse Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the GOP candidate as Representative of Wisconsin’s first Congressional District. The lack of endorsement is a grudge match that goes back to the time when Ryan refused to endorse Trump as the GOP presidential candidate.
So too with Trump’s lack of endorsement for Arizona Senator John McCain, who is running for a fifth consecutive term.
“It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party,” McCain said. “While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us,” McCain said.
The Senator added a personal “thank you” to the Khan’s for immigrating to America.
“We’re a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation — and he will never be forgotten.”
As the fallout continued over Trump’s behavior, even his own campaign manager joined the conversation. New York Times reporter John Harwood said on Twitter that he learned from an ally of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that Manafort is no longer “challenging” the candidate, and that staff morale has plunged, described now as “suicidal.” CNN reported that Trump campaign staffers “feel like they are wasting their time.”
At a time when it appeared that things could not get worse for the Republican candidate, President Barack Obama spoke out on Tuesday in a plea for Republicans to think seriously about the damage their candidate is doing in the world political arena.
At the White House, Obama castigated Trump on Tuesday as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to serve as president. He challenged Republicans to withdraw their support for their party’s nominee, declaring “There has to come a point at which you say ‘Enough.’”
Extremely uncharacteristic of a sitting President. But unusual times call for unusual measures. This is one of those times.