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October 26, 2015

Donald Trump: Damn, Those Benghazi Hearings Sure Were Partisan

I imagine we'll have some kind of explanation/walk-back of this soon:


I don't think the statement's quite as bad as Leon Wolf at Red State says; after all, with Democrat after Democrat playing mob lawyer for Hilary, one can read the statement as a simple statement of hard-to-dispute fact, not an endorsement of Hillary's performance when facing a "partisan" lynch mob.

Trump's quotes, taken together, lean slightly more towards the former interpretation than the latter. But only slightly.

"It was very partisan, and it looked quite partisan," Trump said on CNN's "State of the Union." "The level of hatred between Republicans and Democrats was unbelievable."

"You've never seen anything like this."

Trump said the partisanship "hurts both parties" and "hurts the country" because it prevents the government from accomplishing anything.

The GOP front-runner painted himself as a "great unifier."

"Iím going to unify. This country is totally divided," Trump said. "Barack Obama has divided this country unbelievably, and itís all hatred, what can I tell you, I've never seen anything like it. Iím going to unify the country."

Even if you take the comment to just be about the general level of partisanship in the country, it's still not a very good thing. Listen: Chris Christie has repeatedly played the "I'm above partisanship, I reject the partisanship of both parties" card, and he was hated for it, for a simple reason: There happens to be a version of a partisan dispute that is more true true than the other, and to simply say "all of these partisans are fighting over stupid things" is to call passion for a particular version of reality -- that is, a worldview, or a set of facts in dispute -- stupid.

I don't believe " both sides" behaved in a partisan fashion, or, rather, I do, but with this important caveat: Democrats are attempting to obscure the truth because the truth hurts their partisan interests, while Republicans are trying to get to the truth because the truth helps their partisan interests.

I do not think Republicans are all statesmen, boy scouts, or saints when it comes to the truth. But there is a truth about Benghazi, and that truth is that Hillary and Obama deliberately lied about the nature of the attack, and that Hillary denied all of Chris Stevens' requests for more security (or, as she calls him, all of his Email Forward Jokes about security), and the Democrats are lying about this.

And for Trump to offer up an answer which suggests that both sides are "equally at fault" is tremendously problematic, at least for me, considering he'll be running against her if he secures the nomination.

I thought it was strange when Bernie Sanders gave Hillary a pass on her emails and Benghazi; it's baffling when Trump does it. (Who, incidentally, has not shown a great deal of discrimination in buying into conspiracy theories -- why is he discarding this one, one of the few true ones?)

For a powerful accounting of Hillary's freshest lies on Benghazi, see Megyn Kelly's great report. (Also embedded below.)

I imagine Trump will come out with some sort of clarification on this in which he endorses the general lines laid out by Megyn Kelly. But it is troubling to me that he seems starstruck by the Clintons, and continues giving them the benefit of the doubt, as if he were... a Democrat partisan, or a bosom chum of them.

If Trump cannot see what venomous serpents this pair is, and how they will use him and destroy him in their own relentless drive to acquire power, then he's not worthy of being a nomination for any public office.

Trump is selling himself not on what he knows (which isn't that much) but on the strength of his gut instincts.

That starts to be a not-so-great-selling-point when his allegedly killer instincts keep failing him so badly in his first attempt, and he needs to come back up and give his first instincts a polishing and straightening out in his second and third attempts.

Huh. Well now that I've thought about it and written it all out, maybe I do just agree with Leon Wolf after all.


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posted by Ace at 04:55 PM

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