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.
Talk about uncharted territory, wink wink courting white supremacists is one thing. After all, he's got a good shot at most of the white supremacist/KKK/neo-Nazi vote while Jews are a tiny minority to start with and even normal Republicans never get more than a minority of that minority to vote for them. It at least makes sense on some level.
And if you thought Trump made a pretty weird choice in ignoring the gift Comey dropped in his lap yesterday in favor of devoting most of his "speech" to incoherent rants, mainly about how bad Chuck Todd is and how great that not at all offensive white Supremacist sourced Jewish Star on a field of money meme is and that it should never have been taken down, here's more:
Wow… GOP. The entire world can't believe that this is the person you have chosen to try to make the US Commander in Chief and Leader of the Free World. There's no way to exaggerate the absurdity of the Trump Runs for President reality TV series. The broadest Mel Brookes satire couldn't come close to this reality. "The Producers" with it's premise of a musical about Hitler was, after all, just about an absurd, over the top swindle involving a Broadway Show, not the presidency of the United States. We could enjoy a good laugh over the musical number "Springtime for Hitler". But this is no joke.
So does House still recommend his party and voters support this …. I don't even know what to call him anymore? Seriously?
GOP Chairman Tries to Defend Trump (badly)
As though there is any other way.
Steve House posted an incoherent July 4 speech on Facebook:
So House's points are: 1. Government and people don't trust each other, so there is no representative government. But this is sort of OK. 2. Socialism in America would "undue" upward mobility. 3. The IRS is a socialist entity. 4. Anti-poverty programs don't work. 5. American Exceptionalism will save us, but only if we racially profile Muslims, even if that's "politically incorrect".6. Raising the minimum wage would put people out of work. 7. Stop regulating industry – this will create a "fast moving economy". 8. America.
I don't know why Steve House would have any problem at all with Donald Trump. They're totally on the same page. The only difference is that a) Trump is unable or unwilling to do actual political organizing work, and b) he keeps on saying publicly things that good GOPers only repeat in private.
There's a reason that Piyush Jindal's GOPer campaign never got a wheel off the ground (ok, more than one, obviously, but …). Telling these idiots and their ilk that they've got to stop being the party of stupid was never gonna' resonate with folks who view stupid as their calling, something to aspire to, a god-given birthright, and see Drumpf’s scampaign as some lofty crusade.
Way things are going, Trump likely will be the weakest Republican presidential candidate since Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and that may be an insult to President Hayes.
Let's hope so. As a Dem I do hope the GOP doesn't pull off a coup and give us someone else to run against, though.
I also kind of think not winning the general is his preference, anyway. He can keep his rabid fans stoked for years with tales of how the system is rigged and his rightful election was stolen and how great everything would have been and how sick of winning everyone would have been without ever having to suffer the inconvenience of doing any real work for a piddling President's salary.
Losing is where the money is for The Donald.