Scalise shooting – unity and recriminations

It is no surprise to see condemnation of the shooting of the republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise from across the political divide.

CNN: GOP House Whip Steve Scalise remains in critical condition

But there have already been political swipes.

Dan Balz: After the shootings, calls for unity amid recriminations and finger-pointing

In the charged environment of 2017, it took only a few hours for a baseball diamond to be transformed from a peaceful practice field to a horrific crime scene and then to a vivid symbol of the tensions between the angry politics of our time and the better angels of the American people.

From President Trump to congressional leaders of both parties to ordinary citizens came calls for prayers for the victims of the shootings in Alexandria, Va., praise for the Capitol Police officers who prevented an even worse tragedy and, above all, words of reconciliation and unity.

But barely on the edges of those remarks was another round of recriminations and a renewed debate about what has brought the country to a point of such division, what is to blame for what happened on that baseball field shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday and what, if anything, can be done to lower temperatures for more than a few minutes.

Large taps of anger can’t be just turned off, even after wake up calls as serious as the shooting of a politician.

The country has been in this place before, perhaps too many times after violence that has left Americans feeling shaken and insecure. At those times, elected officials have reached across the aisle, embracing one another in friendship and unity. Ordinary citizens have rallied behind those leaders as one nation, vowing to put aside partisanship and recalling what it means to be an American.

The 911 attacks united and galvanised the country, for a while.

Trump spoke as other presidents have done in times of tragedy or terrorism, saying, “We are strongest when we are unified and when we work for the common good.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called on his colleagues to set an example. “Show the world we are one House, the people’s House, united in our humanity,” he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) implored her colleagues to make the Congressional Baseball Game an occasion “that will bring us together and not separate us further.”

But their are too many people in the US with their own entrenched agendas.

But with past as prologue, other voices and other emotions threatened to drown out the words of the nation’s leaders. Six years ago, after the shootings that left then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) badly wounded and six others dead, it was the political right that was on the defensive.

Those on the left charged that the incendiary rhetoric aimed at then-President Barack Obama and his supporters during his early years in office gave rise to a climate that made violence possible.

But the sides have changed.

On Wednesday, it was the political left that became a target from some on the right. The gunman, James T. Hodgkinson III, who was pronounced dead at a hospital after the shootout, was a longtime critic of the Republicans and a particularly harsh critic of the president. His Facebook page included angry and vulgar words aimed at Trump.

Some Republicans viewed the shootings as evidence that the president’s critics have crossed the line of decency in their opposition and fostered a climate that could produce what happened on Wednesday morning.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and a strong supporter of Trump:

Speaking at midday on Fox News Channel, decried what he called “an increasing hostility on the left,” whether from comedians, from artists, from politicians or from ordinary citizens posting their views on social media.

“You’ve had a series of things that send signals that tell people it’s okay to hate Trump,” he said. “And now we’re supposed to rise above it?”

Some major irony there as he justifiably condemns hostility from the left against Trump, but ignores Trump’s own record of hostility against opponents and critics, notably but not only directed against Hillary Clinton – and also Trump’s deliberate efforts to stir up hatred against Clinton and promoting some fairly extreme consequences.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), whose many past statements have inflamed the debate about illegal immigration, was near the Capitol when the shootings took place.

Without referring to the shooter, he said critics of the president have created a climate of hate that threatens the country. He pointed to the massive demonstrations in Washington and elsewhere the day after Trump was inaugurated, and protests that have continued since.

Without referring to the shooter, he said critics of the president have created a climate of hate that threatens the country. He pointed to the massive demonstrations in Washington and elsewhere the day after Trump was inaugurated, and protests that have continued since.

“America has been divided, and the center of America is disappearing and the violence is appearing in the streets and it’s coming from the left,” he said.

Some of it is certainly coming from the left, but division and intolerance has also come from the right as well.

Just last week: Fearing for her life, Iowa Democrat abandons race to unseat GOP Rep. Steve King

The Democratic candidate running against anti-immigrant Republican Congressman Steve King (IA) announced Saturday that she is dropping out of the race for her own safety.

In a Facebook post published Saturday night, Kim Weaver wrote, “Over the last several weeks, I have been evaluating personal circumstances along with the political climate regarding this campaign. After much deliberation, I have determined that the best decision for me is to withdraw my candidacy for the US House race in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.”

She explained that beginning during her 2016 campaign, she has been receiving threats of physical violence and murder, and said that “recent events at my home” were forcing her to re-evaluate her decision to run against King.

“While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern,” Weaver said.

King didn’t mention this when criticising hostility from the left.

Back to the Balz article:

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), whose district cuts across central Illinois to the Mississippi River just above Hodgkinson’s home town of Belleville, was on the baseball field when the shootings took place.

Davis condemned what he called “political, rhetorical terrorism” practiced by both sides. He appealed passionately for everyone to step back and find a better way to hash out and then resolve their differences.

“Is this America’s breaking point?” he asked on CNN. “It’s my breaking point. We’ve got to end this.”

But when it again becomes a blame game between left and right the end looks nowhere in sight.

Wednesday’s shootings can act as a temporary circuit breaker to some of the hostilities, and Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game can become an emotional and poignant coming together.

But will that be enough to prevent a swift return to the kind of debilitating political conflict that has become so accepted as the norm? History shows how difficult that could be.

Some of the reactions to yesterday’s shooting also show how difficult it could be.

 

Big dicks from North Korea to Iran

While North Korean ‘pre-emptive strike’ rhetoric has ramped up the US has added Iran to it’s nuclear targets.

Reuters: North Korea warns of ‘super-mighty preemptive strike’ as U.S. plans next move

North Korean state media warned the United States of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear programme.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, did not mince its words.

“In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes,” it said.

This follows multi-pronged verbal attacks from the US.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, on a tour of Asian allies, has said repeatedly an “era of strategic patience” with North Korea is over.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said during a visit to London the military option must be part of the pressure brought to bear.

Tillerson told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that the United States was “reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang.”

And Tillerson has also aimed similar threats at Iran.

NBC News: Tillerson: Iran Left ‘Unchecked’ Could Follow North Korea’s Path

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the United States will conduct a “comprehensive review” of its policy toward Iran, including the 2016 nuclear deal, which he said had merely delayed Iran’s goal of becoming a nuclear state.

“This deal represents the same failed approach of the past that brought us to the current imminent threat we face in North Korea,” Tillerson said. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear Iran’s provocative actions threaten the U.S., the region and the world.”

Tillerson notified Congress on Tuesday that despite finding that Iran was meeting the terms of the deal, the Trump administration was reviewing whether to break from the agreement, saying in part that Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Iran is closely involved in supporting the Assad government in the Syrian civil war. The US launched a military strike against a Syrian airfield recently.

The US also tried out their biggest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan last week. This didn’t go down well with ex-president Hamid Karzai.

Time: The Former President of Afghanistan Called the Recent U.S. Bombing ‘an Immense Atrocity’

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that the U.S. is using Afghanistan as a weapons testing ground, calling the recent use of the largest-ever non-nuclear bomb “an immense atrocity against the Afghan people.”

Last week, U.S. forces dropped the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb in eastern Nangarhar province, reportedly killing 95 militants. Karzai, in an interview with The Associated Press, objected to the decision, saying that his country “was used very disrespectfully by the U.S. to test its weapons of mass destruction.”

The office of President Ashraf Ghani said following the bomb’s usage that there was “close coordination” between the U.S. military and the Afghan government over the operation, and they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.

But Karzai harshly criticized the Afghan government for allowing the use of the bomb.

“How could a government of a country allow the use of a weapon of mass destruction on its own territory? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, how could they allow that? It just unimaginable,” he said.

Since the missile strike and the massive bomb drop the US has launched a war of words on multiple fronts, from Iran to North Korea.

This is a very risky strategy by the Trump regime. The threats and shows of military force may pay off. They could also end very badly if someone’s provocation (from any side) goes too far.

There’s also risks of perception of provocation and unintended consequences, especially if Korea or Iran or Syria or ISIS or Al Qaeda get reported on Fox News insulting the size of Donald Trump’s ego.

The well being of parts of the world, and possibly the whole world, is dependant on the temperaments and self control of a small bunch of bozos, some of whom (on the US side) have no experience with international diplomacy or military strategy.

Big dicks with big weapons are a worry.

USA – Trump tries political blackmail

 

News or views or issues from the USA.USFlag


I know political threats are probably common, done privately, but Donald Trump is openly threatening Republicans who won’t rubber stamp his agenda.

All is not well in the once Grand Old Party.

Fox News: Trump on Freedom Caucus: ‘We must fight them’

President Trump on Thursday struck back at the House caucus that sunk his ObamaCare replacement bill, threatening their legislative careers if the staunchly conservative members refuse to get on board with the new president’s agenda.

Trump is attacking via Twitter of course.

Later Thursday, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash returned fire in the Republican civil war:

Later, Amash told Fox News that “most people don’t take well to being bullied” and compared Trump’s tactics to those of a fifth grader.

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, however, refused to take Trump’s bait during an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

“We appreciate the president,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to help the president, but the fact is you have to look at the legislation.”

He added: “I’m not here to assign blame to anyone…what I focus on doing is doing what I told the voters we’re going to do.”

And also a public spat between House Speaker Paul Ryan and a Republican Senator.

Ryan and a top Senate Republican engaged in a brief public spat Thursday about comments Ryan made earlier in the morning, seeming to suggest Trump should not try to work with Democrats.

“What I worry about, Norah, is that if we don’t do this, then he’ll just go work with Democrats to try and change ObamaCare and that’s not – that’s hardly a conservative thing,” Ryan told CBS.

Sen. Bob Corker, an avid backer of Trump’s during the presidential campaign who was among those considered to be vice president, shot back on Twitter: “We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem.”

Ryan, during his news conference, dismissed Corker’s remarks.

“They’re not going to help us repeal ObamaCare, that’s my point,” Ryan said of Democratic lawmakers.

I wonder what is going on in private.

Trump versus Ryan

Donald Trump initially blamed the House Democrats when he failed to get sufficient support to progress his health reform bill, despite Congress having a Republican majority.

Now it seems he may be targeting House Speaker Paul Ryan.  On Saturday (US time) Trump tweeted:

Hollywood Reporter: Judge Jeanine Pirro opened her show demanding that Ryan step down for his “failure” over Trump’s health care bill

The Fox News host kicked off her show with her “Opening Statement” segment, which called for Ryan to step down after the GOP’s health care bill failed to gain enough votes to continue.

“Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house,” Pirro said, beginning her show. “The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his health care bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare. The one that he had seven years to work on. The one he hid under lock and key in the basement of Congress. The one that had to be pulled to prevent the embarrassment of not having enough votes to pass.”

“But this bill didn’t just fail,” she continued. “It failed when Republicans had the House, the Senate, the White House.”

The network host assured viewers that she hasn’t spoken with Trump about the subject, but it seemed as though the president knew she would cover the issue on her show.

It certainly looks like Trump knew about this in advance. Of course that wouldn’t require direct contact between Trump and Pirro.

Breitbart have been campaigning against Ryan for quite a while. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Trump try and blame Ryan for the bill failure, he tends to avoid responsibility himself.

How many judges does Fox have on their shows?

Republican base clash with leadership

Adding to Donald Trumps campaign problems is a growing divide between the Republican Party leadership and it’s base, or at least a significant part of it’s base.

The leadership has tried to appease moderate and undecided voters over Trump’s often outlandish behaviour, and they have to try to support the many Republican candidates standing for the Senate, for Congress and for state governorships.

But in doing so they are infuriating their base that has swung in behind Trump. Some are saying they will not vote for other Republican candidates in a backlash against the leadership.

Many are writing about this, including Laura Ingraham at Lifezette: GOP Leadership v. GOP Base:

The Trump betrayal by Republican elites won’t soon be forgotten by his millions of supporters

The vast majority of Republicans want Donald Trump to be president. They’ve repeatedly told the pollsters, they’ve turned out in huge numbers for the GOP nominee’s rallies, they’ve given him a record-breaking number of small donations, and they are trying to help him win. Some of them were for Rubio, some of them were for Kasich, and a lot of them were for Cruz, but they have come together in an effort to save the country from Hillary Clinton.

A small minority of Republicans do not want Donald Trump to be president. They prefer Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately for most of the Republican Party, this small group of angry dissenters includes many of the people at the top of the party — officeholders, major donors, “strategists,” and “conservative” pundits. These people have been able to leverage their connections with the mainstream press to repeatedly attack Trump — even though they refuse to say anything nice about Hillary.

When this election is over, the vast majority of Republicans are going to remember that their supposed leaders — the same officeholders, millionaires, and pundits who told them that they had to “come together” and support John McCain and Mitt Romney — refused to do the same for Donald Trump. They will know that what they have long suspected is true — the Republican Party is led by people who have more in common with the Clintons than with the GOP base. And that knowledge will affect the future of the GOP for years to come.

Whether Trump wins or loses the Republican Party will be in a precarious state after the election.

But right now their turmoil is putting their majorities in the Senate and in Congress in jeopardy, and Trump’s tilt at the presidency looks on very shaky ground.

As does the GOP leadership.

CNN: Paul Ryan facing threats to speakership over Trump flap

Speaker Paul Ryan is facing backlash from House Republicans over his flap with Donald Trump — and his own job may be on the line.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma — a conservative who voted for Ryan last year for speaker— is threatening to pull his support if the Wisconsin Republican won’t fall in line behind the GOP nominee.

“Given the stakes of this election, if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan,” Bridenstine tweeted Wednesday.

Other conservative Republicans have also flashed their anger toward Ryan over his position that he wouldn’t defend or campaign with Trump, raising the specter that Bridenstine could be the first in a crowd of conservatives rebelling against the speaker.

Several angry GOP members on that call pushed back at Ryan, arguing he should continue to stand strongly behind Trump.

Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the speaker is “fighting to ensure we hold a strong majority next Congress, and he is always working to earn the respect and support of his colleagues.”

Trump and the Republicans seem to be doing their best to ensure a candidate seen by many to be seriously flawed and even toxic wins the presidency. They appear to be handing it to Hillary Clinton.

Presidential debate aftermath

I wasn’t able to watch the first presidential debate but I watched all of yesterday’s debate, plus some of the reaction.

Apparently Donald Trump’s performance was significantly better than his first effort, but the bar was set quite low. He avoided answering most questions, the little policy he talked about was vague – somehow he would substantially reduce health costs and make health care much better – and he spent most of his time attacking Hillary Clinton.

As a results Clinton copped a few hits, especially over her email debacle. She also took a few swipes at Trump, especially over his fitness to be a President. She talked a bit more about policies and sounded more knowledgeable on a range of topics.

But Clinton didn’t do anything that would be likely to sway many voters. She seems to be playing a safe campaign, presumably aiming to maintain her lead and let Trump keep damaging his own credibility.

It’s getting to the stage that Trump really needs a game changer and he is unlikely to have got anything like that out of the debate.

One significant aspect of the debate was when Trump said he would instruct ‘my Attorney General’ to throw the book at Clinton and put her in jail – that’s a remarkable threat from a US presidential candidate, and it’s remarkable that it was just one thing mentioned after the debate and not a major scandal.

I tuned into two different planets afterwards to see reactions.

On Fox, on Hannity in particular, they thought Trump was marvellous, made excuses for his worst behaviour, and Clinton was the pits.

On CNN the reactions were more mixed but were more critical of Trump and said Clinton did ok in parts.

CNN had a poll which put Clinton ahead in the debate from memory about 58-38. But a focus group of ‘undecideds’ run by Frank Luntz was heavily in favour of Trump 18-4.

As a result I can’t see the debate changing support for either candidate much. Trump needs a swing in his favour so he would have lost out if it was a neutral outcome.

Of more concern for Trump is the continued bleeding of support from his own side.

Meanwhile Trump’s running mate Mike Pence seems to be distancing himself from Trump.

Mike Pence Cancels NJ Fundraiser

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has called off a fundraising event in New Jersey on Monday, stoking concerns of a divide on the presidential ticket after the Indiana governor publicly denounced Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women.

But not ditching him.

 CNN: Pence: I never considered leaving Trump ticket

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Monday that he did not consider leaving Donald Trump’s presidential ticket, saying it’s the “greatest honor of my life” to be nominated by the Republican Party as Trump’s running mate.

“You know I’ll always keep my conversations with Donald Trump and my family private. But it’s absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket,” Pence told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota in an interview on “New Day.”

Pence was then asked if evidence surfaced that Trump had groped women, like he described in 2005, would he drop off the ticket. But he deflected to accusations against Bill Clinton.

“Alisyn, he said last night very clearly that that was talk, not actions. And I believe him and I think the contrast between that and what the Clintons were involved in 20 years ago — the four women that were present last night — was pretty dramatic,” Pence said.

Trump contradicted Pence on Syria policy in the debate, signaling a divide on foreign policy issues on the GOP ticket.

One of the most prominent post-debate headlines was from the Republican House Speaker.

CNN: Paul Ryan said he won’t defend Donald Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan dealt his own party’s presidential nominee a withering blow Monday, telling fellow Republicans he will no longer defend Donald Trump and will instead use the next 29 days to focus on preserving his party’s hold on Congress.

“The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities,” Ryan’s spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said in a statement.

The move — highly unusual in US political history — laid bare the seemingly intractable divisions now seizing the Republican Party with a month left before the presidential vote. Support for Trump among the GOP establishment, already weak amid disagreements over policy and tone, has now eroded to new lows.

In a conference call with members Monday morning, Ryan told lawmakers, “you all need to do what’s best for you and your district,” according to someone who listened to the meeting.

“He will spend his entire energy making sure that Hillary Clinton does not get a blank check with a Democrat-controlled Congress,” said the person on the call — an implied acknowledgment that Trump no longer appears able to capture the White House.

Reaction to Ryan’s decision illustrates the schism currently splitting the Republican Party. A person who listened to the call said the reaction wasn’t entirely positive — and that Ryan’s comments angered more conservative GOP members who believed the speaker was essentially conceding the presidential contest to Clinton.

With this short of fracturing amongst the Republicans it’s going to be an uphill struggle for the Trump campaign.

Clinton just needs to stick to her political knitting and hope Wikileaks doesn’t damage her too much. Trumps claims against her can’t get much worse than they already are and he is still trailing.

Trump versus Republicans

Although  Donald Trump seems assured of the nomination for the presidential election the rifts and concerns in the Republican Party are apparent.

Enemies within could be a bigger hurdle for trump to overcome than Hillary Clinton.

NY Times: Donald Trump Seeks Republican Unity but Finds Rejection

Donald J. Trump’s moment of triumph this week quickly gave way to a trying and even humiliating test of his standing as a Republican leader, as a phalanx of the party’s most respected figures shunned the man anointed as their presumptive presidential nominee.

Hoping for a moment of party unity, Mr. Trump had scarcely declared victory in Indiana when the cascade of rejection began…

  • …starting with the announcement by George Bush and his son George W. Bush, the only former Republican presidents still living, that they would not back his candidacy.
  • on Thursday night, Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee, said he intended to hold to his earlier pledge not to vote for Mr. Trump
  • House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the nation’s highest-ranking Republican elected official, delivered an embarrassing blow to Mr. Trump, declaring that he had not yet proven himself worthy of an endorsement

Ryan’s unwillingness to back Trump has created the most attention.

In a Fox News interview Friday morning, Mr. Trump said he had been unsettled by Mr. Ryan’s rebuke.

“I was really surprised,” Mr. Trump said. “By the way, many other people were surprised by it, and some were really surprised by it, and not happy about it.”

The Republican camp does not seem to be a very happy camp.

ABC News ANALYSIS: Paul Ryan Battling Donald Trump for Soul of Republican Party

Donald Trump has used tweets to insult women and ethnic groups, and to drive news cycles over everything from his late-night TV choices to his midday food options.

But he escalated his feud this morning with House Speaker Paul Ryanin a profound way, with implications and ramifications that extend far beyond November.

“Paul Ryan said that I inherited something very special, the Republican Party,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Wrong, I didn’t inherit it, I won it with millions of voters!”

Many or most of those who matured under traditional conservative ideas, shaped by opinion-makers and even presidents, have never been able to accept the idea of Trump as the nominee because he gave so little care to what they have considered core to the party’s ideals.

But that’s where Ryan and a handful of other prominent Republicans come in. The speaker’s unusual decision to hedge on his support for Trump at this moment – to declare that earning millions of more votes than any other candidate isn’t enough to earn the support of the Republican speaker of the people’s House – is a move that will be felt for years, perhaps decades.

“This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp,” Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday. “What a lot of Republicans want to see is that we have a standard bearer that bears our standards.”

Traditional Republican Party standards?

Or power via popular vote and Trump at any price?

This could be a serious stoush within the party.

Deportations to begin in US

boston_globe_trump_2

This is a front page of a fake issue put out by the editorial board of the Boston Globe aimed at revealing where a Trump presidency might lead the US if he becomes president.

The Boston Globe editorial – The GOP must stop Trump

DONALD J. TRUMP’S VISION for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American.

It is easy to find historical antecedents. The rise of demagogic strongmen is an all too common phenomenon on our small planet. And what marks each of those dark episodes is a failure to fathom where a leader’s vision leads, to carry rhetoric to its logical conclusion. The satirical front page of this section attempts to do just that, to envision what America looks like with Trump in the White House.

It is an exercise in taking a man at his word. And his vision of America promises to be as appalling in real life as it is in black and white on the page.

They paint an ugly picture.

But then nothing about the billionaire real estate developer’s quest for the nation’s highest office has been pretty. He winks and nods at political violence at his rallies. He says he wants to “open up” libel laws to punish critics in the news media and calls them “scum.” He promised to shut out an entire class of immigrants and visitors to the United States on the sole basis of their religion.

The toxic mix of violent intimidation, hostility to criticism, and explicit scapegoating of minorities shows a political movement is taking hold in America. If Trump were a politician running such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the US State Department would probably be condemning him.

And they call on the Republican Party to do everything they can to prevent Trump from getting their nomination.

For now, Republicans ought to focus on doing the right thing: putting up every legitimate roadblock to Trump that they can. Unexpectedly, a key moment in American democracy has snuck up on the GOP. When he denounced Trump, Romney said he wanted to be able to say he’d fought the good fight against a demagogue. That’s the test other Republicans may want to consider.

Action doesn’t mean political chicanery or subterfuge. It doesn’t mean settling for an equally extreme — and perhaps more dangerous — nominee in Ted Cruz. If the party can muster the courage to reject its first-place finisher, rejecting the runner-up should be even easier.

The least worst is seen as a bad option (whoever that is).

The Republican Party’s standard deserves to be hoisted by an honorable and decent man, like Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, elected on the convention floor. It is better to lose with principle than to accept a dangerous deal from a demagogue.

Mitt Romney was nominated and then beaten by Barack Obama in 2012 by 332-206 electoral colleges and by 51%-47% of the popular vote.

Paul Ryan is the current Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives (Congress).

PDF: A front page in Trump’s America