Wednesday, August 3, 2016

President Obama Gives Them An Out

I have to hand it to President Obama, when he makes a political move to try to sink the GOP, he does it well.  Building on last night's story about GOP Rep. Hanna saying he's voting for Hillary Clinton in November being the first pebble in an avalanche, as Chuck Pierce notes, the president did everything he could to jump up and down on the rocks.

"The question they have to ask themselves is: If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?" Mr. Obama said at a news conference at the White House. Mr. Obama said that in addition to Mr. Trump's comments about the Khan family, the Republican nominee had demonstrated that he was "woefully unprepared to do this job." The president said Mr. Trump lacked knowledge about Europe, the Middle East and Asia. "This isn't a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily," Mr. Obama added. "There has to be a point at which you say, this is not somebody I can support for president of the United States, even if he purports to be a member of my party. The fact that that has not yet happened makes some of these denunciations ring hollow."

Ouch.  Just brutal.  Pierce weighs in:

I sometimes think this guy is going to leave office without enough people appreciating what a truly great partisan politician he is. Of course, he came to prominence with his speeches about how we, as Americans, can transcend our political differences and ride off together in glory. I cheered those speeches, too, although I thought he was dead wrong. There was all that "reaching across the aisle," and rumors of the Grand Bargain early on in his administration. But, for going on four decades now, I've studied several breeds of partisan politicians in their native habitat here in the Commonwealth (God save it!), and I never have seen one with the kind of perfect timing the president has
Look at what he just did, standing there with the president of Singapore, who must be baffled as to how this country ever came to the prominence it did, what with the kind of unmoored yahoos who can get nominated for high office. The president deftly dropped the harshest overhand right an incumbent president can drop on a contender—and this after a weekend in which said contender was reeling all over the landscape, yapping about fire marshals. And, at the same time, just at the moment when this reeling and yapping was forcing people like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan into the "deplore-but-not-renounce" two-step, he threw an elbow at them, too. This wasn't the East Room. This was the Octagon. Step up or tap out, boys.

He saw a chance to drop the hammer not on Trump, but the people who enabled Trump.  These are the real villains in our story and always have been, and that's who President Obama went after with a vengeance.  He knows they are smart enough to realize what they've done. I respect that.

And it looks like President Obama has already knocked some more rocks loose.

Calling Donald Trump an "authoritarian character" and a threat to democracy, Meg Whitman, a prominent Republican fundraiser and chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton's White House bid late Tuesday.

"To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character," Whitman posted on Facebook about the Republican nominee.

In an interview with the New York Times, which first reported the endorsement, Whitman said it was time "to put country first before party" and that she would give a "substantial" contribution to Clinton's campaign.

Whitman told the Times that Trump is a "dishonest demagogue" and said that those who look at other failed democracies and believe "it can't happen here" are mistaken.

"Trump's unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more," Whitman wrote on Facebook.

Whitman's endorsement is the latest from a string of business leaders who have moved to back Clinton in recent days, including other high-profile Republicans.

Clinton reached out to Whitman personally about a month ago, according to the Times report. Her campaign also courted former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who delivered an endorsement speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week.

Understand that like Michael Bloomberg, Meg Whitman isn't just voting for Clinton, she's helping her raise money as well.  We'll see if this week was the turning point in the 2016 campaign, but if Trump loses as badly as I believe he will in November, the first week of August will go down as the point where Trump's campaign finally broke an axle.

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