Monday, August 1, 2016

Have You no Decency, Sir?

These were the words that ended Joe McCarthy's career. Donald Trump? We can only hope.

“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” Those cutting words, delivered on national television, effectively ended the career of Senator Joe McCarthy. For four years, McCarthy had enjoyed a kind of immunity as he smeared anyone he pleased while on a national witch hunt for Communist sympathizers. But in the spring of 1954, during hearings on supposed infiltrators in the U.S. Army that were broadcast on the new medium of television, McCarthy casually sought to destroy a young lawyer at the firm of Joseph Welch, counsel to the Army, an esteemed Harvard-trained lawyer and fellow Republican. When McCarthy suggested the junior attorney had Communist sympathies, the courtly Welch sank his head in despair, then looked McCarthy in the eye and excoriated him with those immortal words. Tens of millions of new American TV viewers watched in fascination and horror. The senator from Wisconsin never recovered.

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Khzir Khan's question yesterday is of the same type: he asked whether Trump has any sense of empathy. Everything we know about Donald Trump says he has none.

Even the way he treated his own wife after the plagiarism furor: the press tended to blame a speechwriter but ultimately Trump and his team put the blame on Melania herself. Now her website has disappeared. Clearly Trump blames her.

Then he has the nerve to suggest that Mr. Khan abuses his own wife because he's a Muslim. This is the key point. This is what Trump tweeted today:

"This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!"

What is key is that he keeps saying this is about radical islamic terrorism. Why? This was not what it was about at all. It's about a Gold Star family's heart breaking loss.

But Trump doesn't seen a Gold Star family, he just sees a Muslim.

As Greg Sargent says, there is no bottom to how low Trump can and will go.

"Trump kept the story going this morning, tweeting angrily that Khan had attacked him (reminding us that Trump, not the grieving father of a fallen soldier whose religion Trump attacked, is the truly aggrieved party here) and that this story is not about Khan but is rather about “RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM.” Republicans who have long warned their own party against embracing Trump are noting that this episode shows we are only seeing the beginnings of how unhinged Trump’s candidacy could become."

“Trump is inevitably going to get worse, not better, as his poll numbers get worse,” Tim Miller, a former adviser to Jeb Bush and a frequent Trump critic, told me this morning. “When he’s being criticized and his back is against the wall, he’s going to act out and become more extreme and despicable. Every time we think he’s gone as low as he’s going to go, he manages to sink even lower. There is no argument for waiting until he behaves better.”

If you think this is bottom consider what Trump's buddy Roger Stone is doing:

"Trump Ally Roger Stone Pushes Claim That Humayun Khan Was A Terrorist, Father A Muslim Brotherhood Spy #RWNJ"


  1. Unfortunately a large chunk of the electorate has no decency either. A point I make here based on my memory of a Rachael Maddow mini-history segment on the subject:

  2. A lot of these indecent people are to found in the Money Illusion comments

  3. I do think, however, this story hurts him. It has become the biggest news story of 2016 on tv.

    There is a spike on people buying pocket constitutions.