Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Republican Party's Newest War-- Against Megyn Kelly?


Did they make a deal?

I have to admit that I don't know where Fox News is on my television set. I found it-- for the first time-- when they hosted the first Republican debate, but I've forgotten where it is. The debate was the first time I ever saw Megan Kelly too-- although I recall that when Rove was on Fox, still claiming Romney beat Obama on Election Night, she asked him if there was a special Republican math he was using to make himself and like-minded delusionals feel better. 

She used to be an attorney, and I thought she asked some pretty tough questions relative to the softballs I assumed all the hosts would be tossing at the candidates. But I didn't think much about her until Donald Trump launched his now infamous war against her. I remember reading-- on Crooks and Liars, I think-- that she had been making crackpot remarks about how Santa Claus and Jesus were white, and I assumed she didn't need to be paid any attention.

Foolishly-- I think, but who knows how strong the misogynistic impulse is within the Republican primary base?-- Trump couldn't just let it rest after his first dust-up with Fox over Kelly's aggressive questioning of him at the debate. He got right back into it when she returned from her unscheduled vacation, prompting Fox fuehrer Roger Ailes to demand, on Tuesday, that Trump apologize:
Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer.

Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone, and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.
Trump's clownish, childish response was, once again, that Kelly owes him an apology. But now it turns out that the fascist far right of the GOP is rallying around... Trump, not Kelly. The latest attack against her came from Trump's Texas suck-up, Ted Cruz. Soon after Ailes issued his demand for an apology from Trump, Cruz went after her for questioning him (Cruz) about his own extremist position on mass deportation-- and on her insistence that he just answer the question (which he refused to do).
“If you have a husband and wife who are illegal immigrants, and they have two children here who are American citizens-- would you deport all of them? Would you deport the American citizen children?” Kelly asked.

“Megyn, I get that that’s the question you want to ask,” Cruz said after repeatedly listing the steps Congress should take for addressing the issue. “That’s also the question every mainstream media liberal journalist wants to ask. They focus exclusively on 12 million people.”

Kelly then took issue with Cruz’s response, insisting that her question was fair.

“Is it an unfair question?” she asked the Texas lawmaker.

“It is a distraction from how we actually solve the problem,” Cruz responded. “You know, it’s also the question that [President] Barack Obama wants to focus on.”

“But why is it so hard? Why don’t you just say yes or no?” Kelly countered.
He told her he's "not playing that game." No, he has a far more crucial game he's playing-- how to add Trump's 40% to his own 7% in national polling. Cruz's need to stand behind Trump may win him favor from The Donald-- Trump always compliments him, some might say "pimps for him"-- but it could also get Cruz into trouble, not just with Fox News, but, as Greg Sargent pointed out in his Washington Post column Wednesday, with normal voters:
Trump’s GOP rivals should be pressed more on whether they agree with his vow to deport 11 million than on whether they agree with him on birthright citizenship, because the problem of what to do about the 11 million is the core dilemma underlying our impasse on this issue. Most of Trump’s GOP rivals continue to fudge on that core question.

But Kelly is absolutely right to note, in the context of the birthright citizenship debate, that Trump has answered questions “explicitly,” while Cruz won’t. This illustrates, once again, that Trump’s immigration plan, if you can call it that, has had the effect of making GOP evasions on the overall immigration issue much harder to sustain.
As for the right-wing bromance... "Cruz has been methodologically developing Trump’s support. The two candidates have met in person at least five times and talk by phone occasionally."
“In terms of Trump’s civility, if you’re nice to him, he’ll be nice to you. And Cruz has been nice. Cruz is playing the long game and hopes that if he survives and Trump doesn’t, the billionaire will swing to him. He’s the second choice for a lot of Trump voters,” said a source familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign.

“Cruz has been cultivating Donald for some time, declining to criticize him after the immigration flap or the McCain controversy, sending messages through operatives, dropping by Trump Tower when in New York,” the source continued.

The two draw from similar segments of the Republican primary electorate-- sometimes, almost too similar. In the video launching his presidential bid, Cruz made a passing reference to “make America great again,” which has since become the Trump campaign’s slogan. Trump applied for a trademark on the phrase shortly after the 2012 election.

The Texas senator’s use of the phrase, even in passing, prompted the Trump Organization to reach out and warn the Cruz camp in a friendly manner not to use it again, according to a Trump campaign insider.

The relationship has proved to be mutually beneficial for the two presidential candidates, but Cruz stands to benefit the most.

If Trump’s campaign were to flame out, it stands to reason that Cruz would be near the top of the list for potential endorsements. And even without an endorsement, Cruz would likely be a strong contender for Trump supporters looking for a new candidate to support. Cruz’s PAC also received money from Trump: a $5,000 donation in 2014.

“Cruz is being very sly,” the Trump campaign insider said. “[He] attracts the same types of voter. A lot of second-choice voters for Trump are Cruz people… Cruz wants those votes.” 

In Cruz, Trump has a prominent politician who is willing to defend his comments. He may even have, in his mind, a potential running mate.

After Trump said during his campaign launch that Mexican “rapists” and “killers” were migrating to the United States, Cruz stepped up to defend the comments.

“I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth,” Cruz said on Fox News.

UPDATE: Rickie Martin Weighs In On Trump

Latin music superstar Rickie Martin, born in Puerto Rico, is no fan of Trump's. He penned an OpEd, in Spanish for Univision. Here's part of the translation:
The fact that an individual like Donald Trump, a candidate for the presidency of the United States for the Republican party, has the audacity to continue to gratuitously harass the Latin community makes my blood boil.

When did this character assume he could make comments that are racist, absurd, and above all incoherent and ignorant about us Latinos?

From the beginning his intention was transparent: basically tell barbarities and lies to remain relevant in the public opinion, for votes or simply to stay on the media’s radar.

Yesterday’s episode against journalist Jorge Ramos, one of the most beloved and respected Latinos in world media, has gotten to the point of enough is enough.

...This action from Trump doesn’t surprise me, what does surprise me is that as Hispanics we continue to accept the aggressions and accusations of people like him who attack our dignity.

Enough is enough!

If we are united for some things we should be united for others. We have already shown the United States who we are and we cannot allow this behavior.

We have to defeat the power that Trump pretends to have over Latinos, anchored in low rhetoric and xenophobic speech, which his campaign team is convinced works for him.

Let’s show that our Latin race is to be respected, let’s not allow a political hopeful to plant his campaign in insult and humiliation. Let’s demand respect for those first generations of Latinos who came to the United States and opened a path for us. We have fought for every right that we have today.

Xenophobia as a political strategy is the lowest you can go in search of political power.

This is an issue that unites us and we need to battle it together, not just for us but for the evolution of humanity and those to come.
That will probably help the massive voter registration efforts going on in communities with big immigrant communities. This isn't only going to rebound on Trump, either, but damage the entire GOP ticket from top to bottom.

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