Thursday, August 4, 2016
The Wrath of Khan
You can argue that the Democrats put the Khans up to this task by inviting them to their convention to deliver what has become the most devastating speech of the election cycle. It's not like they didn't say anything we hadn't heard before. It just seemed more genuine coming out of Khizr Khan's mouth, as he lost a son in Iraq 12 years ago. It is Trump's reaction to the father of a fallen American soldier that has sent the media into frenzy.
No big businessman can stand being berated in public. The First Amendment generally doesn't apply in the corporate boardroom so why should it apply at a Democratic Convention. He was busily tweeting retorts to all the barbs directed against him at the convention, but what Khizr Khan had to say obviously struck a nerve, and he lashed out.
To this point Trump had been very good at using his facile twitterstorms to draw attention away from his many policy shortcomings, but you don't mess with a Gold Star family. The more Trump attacked the Khans, the more backlash he received, including from the Khans themselves, who are now media sensations. Trump has since tried to "pivot," as they say in the biz, but it isn't working. The media isn't willing to let this story go, despite Trump's many attempts to further divert our attention.
He is now lashing out at everyone, including Paul Ryan and John McCain, who were openly critical of his attacks on the Khan family. He now refuses to endorse them in their state primary battles, even though they both still endorse him. This sent Reince Priebus into a tizzy fit, calling Trump HQ and demanding to talk to the supreme leader. Reince was given a list of talking points to push on the airwaves.
For all the talk that Trump is a "blue collar billionaire" in touch with the people, he sure has a strange way of showing it, like accepting a Purple Heart medal from one his veteran fans at a rally. He should know that the military is a sacred cow in this country. You don't attack a Gold Star family and you don't publicly accept a medal like this, literally adding insult to injury. For a man who wants to be our commander in chief he is woefully out of touch with military decorum.
You didn't see Hillary Clinton lashing out at Pat Smith, who the Republicans trotted out at their convention to emotionally accuse Hillary of killing her son in Benghazi. But, here is Trump claiming that Khizr Khan has no right to make the comments he made at the Democratic National Convention.
For their part, the Khans aren't letting go and why should they? Trump has besmirched Muslim-Americans throughout his campaign, even suggesting that they be tracked on a database or carry a form of religious identification. Trump has not only impugned their son but them as well with his character assassination. Trump tried to backtrack a little by honoring Captain Khan himself, but refuses to give Khizr any credit.
Of course the biggest problem here is that Trump refuses to admit any shortcomings. For a man actively courting the evangelical vote this is particularly odd, as he has repeatedly said he has nothing to ask forgiveness for. Spoken like a true corporate leader. Unfortunately for him, Americans expect a small show of humility from time to time.