The leading candidates for the Republication nomination keep tripping over themselves in bringing the level of discourse in politics to ever-new lows.
After the terror attacks in Brussels, Donald Trump again endorsed the torture technique known as waterboarding, but vowed to do “even worse” if elected President. Torture, even if one can overcome the moral and illegal reprehensibility, has never been demonstrated to be effective.
Ted Cruz, who never passes up an opportunity to criticize Barack Obama for his purported assaults on the Constitution, advocated that the world’s leading democracy should “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Even if terrorists were too dull to avoid Cruz’ “secure” neighborhoods, President Obama placed this dim-witted suggestion in the proper context:
As far as the notion of having surveillance of neighborhoods where Muslims are present, I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which, by the way, the father of Sen. Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free,” he said.
(From Charlie Pierce’s blog.)
If there is a saving grace to this idiocy, this is at least an issue of national import. Not so with the latest battle over the candidates’ wives. It began with a super-PAC supporting Cruz running an ad with a picture of Trump’s current wife from a national publication that was not Foreign Affairs. Cruz, who has been running an odious campaign that befits his odious personality, denied that the photo came from the official campaign. Trump, who is doing for Twitter what FDR did for fireside chats, responded in his usual graceful fashion by retweeting an unflattering photo of Cruz’ wife alongside a flattering portrait of his own spouse.
If there is one top Republican who should have learned to be careful about spouting off, it is Mitt Romney. Romney, whose own wife was the subject of an unwarranted attack in 2012, felt it necessary to jump into this abysmal fray. He noted that Trump’s two foreign wives – a subliminal, albeit disgusting, shot – showed there were jobs Americans would not do.
And to think there are only 236 days until the election.