A fascinating story from the Huffington Post about Republican congressional minor candidate Alex Beinstein. Beinstein’s primary run against incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton didn’t count for much, but a subsequent exchange between himself and Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House he revealed to the HuffPo could make Beinstein more famous than he ever was as a candidate:
Alex Beinstein learned about Donald Trump’s anti-Semitic tweet on Saturday morning. The 28-year-old Colorado Republican, fresh from an unsuccessful but high-profile primary challenge to a sitting congressman, did two things next. He withdrew his affiliation with the GOP. And he contacted the state party chairman, Steve House, who had been a mentor of sorts for the political newcomer.
House had made nice with Trump the day before. Though Trump supporters had sent the GOP official death threats earlier this year over a Colorado presidential nominating delegate selection process they saw as rigged, House said he and the party’s presumptive presidential nominee were beginning to work together.
Beinstein wanted to know how committed House was to that work. “If Trump jokes about lynching black people, are you also still going to support him?” Beinstein asked House. “This is barbarically and disgracefully nuts. Pathetic and horrendous.”
House’s response followed a predictable pattern for Republicans trying to cope with Donald Trump’s nonstop offenses: deflect, deny, run away.
First he deflected.
“Can you clue me in on why you think that is a Star of David? The Star of David has the top point going straight up. I think they were implying it was a sheriff’s badge because they were talking about corruption and implying she should be arrested.”
After Beinstein persisted, House switched gears to citing his “Jewish friends.”
“Alex I ran the add [sic] by several very strong Jewish friends I know and none of them recognized that symbol as the Star of David until I ask them if they saw any resemblance to it and even then they didn’t believe it was anti-Semitic in anyway,” House wrote on July 4, two days after the last time Beinstein had contacted him.
And then, as those who have been following this story know, Donald Trump’s campaign removed the image of the Star of David and Hillary Clinton and modified it:
Hope Hicks, Trump’s influential press secretary, had already given House the campaign’s response. “The change was just because Hope told me that they didn’t want it to offend anyone,” he wrote to Beinstein.
Perhaps the first question is whether this admittedly embarrassing dialogue is really Steve House’s fault. Trump’s campaign is pretty much in uncharted territory at this point in terms of openly appealing to the lowest common denominator. Can any spin be imparted to Trump’s actions that doesn’t come apart under scrutiny? Could the very best PR flack in the world, which we already know Steve House is not, have done any better? After all, as the saying goes, you can’t shine a turd.
Then again, if you run for the office of the state’s head turd-shiner, you also can’t expect too much sympathy.