Sunday, July 31, 2016

Not Winnable

"Ask yourself," Hillary Clinton challenged Thursday night

Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?  Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.  He loses his cool at the slightest provocation.  When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter.  When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.  Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons. 

He "loses his cool at the slightest provocation" such as "when he's gotten a tough question from a reporter" and can be "bait(ed) with a tweet."

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos

Trump appeared to try to brush the speech aside, saying that Khan “was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.”

Trump also said, "If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me."

The Khans were not amused and Saturday Ghazala on ABC News responded "Please. I am very upset when I heard when he said that I didn't say anything. I was in pain. If you were in pain you fight or you don't say anything. I'm not a fighter. I can't fight. So the best thing I do was quiet."  In an opinion piece the following day in The Washington Post, Mrs. Khan similarly stated "My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. "

Beats me.  If the Khans' marital relationship is as Ghazala maintains, it contradicts the thrust of Islamic teachings.. Yet, the Apostle Paul wrote "A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet" and warned "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."  You may have noticed that most Christians do not submit to these Pauline teachings, and so it would be unsurprising if the Khans allow their religious beliefs to be informed by modern realities.

Trump's question, therefore, was legitimate, though the answer is far from clear. What is clear, however, is that the real estate mogul was baited into a fight he cannot win.

When Ezra Klein argues "Trump's slander of Ghazala Khan was cruel" and  "factually untrue," he is jumping to a conclusion no one can come to without an understanding of the Khan's marriage, which only their closest friends- if even they- have. But Klein does understand that the candidate's statement

was also deeply, profoundly counterproductive — a man so angry about being cut off in traffic that he crashes his own car in revenge.

The Democratic National Convention was, by all accounts, a rousing success. What Trump needed to do was move on from it as quickly as possible — get the press talking about something else, get voters thinking about something else.

Instead, he’s managed to not only extend the DNC’s dominance of the news cycle, but to extend the most powerful moment, and the most compelling speakers’, time in the spotlight.

It's never a good idea to get into a public argument with parents of a veteran who has sacrificed his life for his country. But Trump takes his lessons from his business career: punch down.  Instead of focusing on Hillary Clinton or the fellow (whom he now praises) she wants to emulate, Trump- the presidential nominee of a major political party- picks a fight he can only lose.

When Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin challenged Barack Obama to a debate, the President logically did not respond. Although unlikely, the challengers might have "won." If not, they still would have stood toe-to-toe with the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, who would have been diminished in the eyes of the public. Such a debate would be a lose-lose for any President.

Sometimes it's simply time to move on, allow the moment to pass, and focus on your own strengths. Donald Trump won't do that, another reason he won't be elected.

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