Trump's big advantage was supposed to be the media's love of giving him loads of free exposure every single day.
Well, that's not always an advantage, as he's finding out now:
Reuters - Muslim families of fallen soldiers driven to oppose Trump. Quote:
Nazar Naqvi has faithfully voted Republican for more than three decades.And don't think it's just Muslims who are turning their backs on him. A lot of surefire Republican voters will be staying home rather than vote for someone who's this disrespectful.
After Donald Trump's feud with Muslim parents who lost a son in battle for the United States, he has vowed not a single Republican will get his vote.
Naqvi, 69, a retired U.S. government engineer from Newburgh, New York, is a member of a small community of Muslims who are among America's Gold Star families, those whose loved ones were killed while serving in the U.S. military.
His son Mohsin Naqvi, who was born in Pakistan, enlisted in the U.S. Army four days after Sept. 11, 2001, and was killed in 2008 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Trump lashed out at Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Pakistani American parents of slain U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, after they appeared at last week's Democratic convention in Philadelphia to criticize the Republican presidential hopeful for proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.
"I'm going to vote for anyone but Republicans because of this one person, this man who has gone out of his mind," Naqvi said this week. "Not any office should get our vote. He has been nominated not by one person - the Republican Party nominated him."
Naqvi said he was pressing his registered Republican friends to do the same.
It's not just that Trump utterly failed at basic empathy, but that he's letting this story continue to dominate the news cycle.
And as it turns out, Trump's even failing at the basic legwork of campaigning:
MSNBC - Donald Trump does not have a campaign. Quote:
The conflict came to a head in California last week, where Manafort had lined up a raft of endorsements from local supporters ahead of Trump’s tour of the state – but no press releases went out announcing the news. Lewandowski and Hicks, the source said, vetoed draft after draft.An indie rock band promotes themselves better than Trump.
Delegate Jim Lacy boasted to NBC News in May that the campaign would soon host a press conference to unveil a coalition of female businesswomen endorsing Trump. The press conference never came. Instead, Trump referenced the group briefly in a speech in Anaheim, California, describing them only as “women that love Trump” who had met him earlier. The campaign sent out no further details, and the conservative site Breitbart, a hub for Trump backers, appears to be the only outlet that covered the new “Women in Business for Trump” coalition.
And this shows just how badly he's campaigning:
To understand the risks of Trump’s minimalist approach, one needs to understand how a traditional campaign with a typical staff might handle the types of situations confronting him.You've just got to shake your head. And so it's just a gimme right now for people to start questioning Trump's basic mental fitness:
Clinton’s widely covered foreign policy speech, in which she attacked Trump’s qualifications and fitness to be president, was instructive. While the Republican National Committee sent out a research brief, press releases, and a statement from Chairman Reince Priebus ahead of the speech, conservatives eagerly anticipated a counterattack afterward from the Trump campaign questioning Clinton’s foreign policy record as secretary of state on Syria, Libya and Iran. Instead, Trump issued a tweet mocking her use of a teleprompter.
As the hours passed, reporters covering the event waited for a fuller statement rebutting the speech either from the Trump campaign or the RNC, but it never arrived.
The silence after the address left Trump’s supporters, many of whom are already confused by his vacillating positions, with little guidance on how to counterattack. Clinton’s team took advantage of the vacuum, racking up more hits by blitzing the news with surrogates like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
What struck Republican strategist Ryan Williams, who served as deputy national press secretary on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, is that Trump seemed aware of his staffing problem even if he couldn’t locate the cause.
“Do you ever notice that @CNN gives me very little proper representation on my policies,” Trump tweeted ahead of the speech. “Just watched - nobody knew anything about my foreign P.”
In a normal campaign, Williams said, Trump’s staff would have addressed this complaint long before their candidate was left to gripe on social media.
“There’s usually an entire department within the campaign that develops and distributes talking points on your foreign policy, not just to your staff and your official campaign, but to unaffiliated Republican talking heads to make sure everyone knows what your policy is,” Williams said.
NBC News - Trump's mental state now a campaign talking point. Quote:
Joe Scarborough said he's heard similar questions from party insiders. "I fielded calls all day yesterday, from conservatives, from Republicans, from officials, people that the media would call right-wing bloggers ... and everybody was asking about his mental health," the "Morning Joe" host said. "It was all everybody was talking about yesterday ... everybody was calling me saying, 'What's happening to him?', 'What is wrong with him?'"Maybe he's truly nuts:
Added former Obama administration advisor and economic analyst Steven Rattner, "Somebody's gotta do a psychological profile of the guy and find out why he acts the way he acts, and is he really healthy."
Washington Post - Is Donald Trump just plain crazy? Quote:
Finally, there’s ample evidence that Trump is the worst kind of bully. Look at the way he reacted to the powerful Democratic convention speech by Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who was killed in the Iraq War.In a way, this is nice.
Trump initially did not have the courage to respond directly to Khan. Instead he smarmily attacked Khan’s wife, Ghazala, who had stood silently on the stage. “She was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
There’s no need for me to defend Ghazala Khan, who spoke eloquently for herself in a Post op-ed. But tell me: What kind of man has so little empathy for a grieving mother’s loss? Is that normal? Is it healthy?
The presidency comes with far-reaching powers. Not everyone should be allowed to wield them.
The press has given a free pass to previous Republican psychopaths (remember Romney's 47%? Ever listen to the shit Paul Ryan advocates? Remember when Rush Limbaugh libelled a female university student on air for hours?) because... well, equal airtime or something, I have no fucking clue.
But now, the press is finally demanding some minimum level of human behaviour from the Republican presidential candidate. About fucking time. Maybe the days of Breitbart-level trolling from the crypto-Nazi right wing are finally over, and future Republican politicians will need to pass for human once more.
It's so bad that John Oliver's been left superfluous:
Vox - John Oliver loses it over Trump. Quote:
"The main takeaway from these two weeks is that, incredibly, we may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic narcissist that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities," Oliver said. "And I genuinely did not think that that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at."
First, Trump suggested that Ghazala didn’t speak at the convention — only Khizr did — because her Muslim faith stopped her from publicly talking. "For a start," Oliver said, "his wife has explained that she chose not to speak because she gets too upset when she sees images of her dead son’s face, you fucking asshole."