For The Cowards in the “Yes, But” Caucus

We’re seeing more and more Republican officeholders saying nice things about the Khans. That’s great. But with a minuscule exception, they all continue to say Donald Trump should be the next President of the United States. As President Obama suggested in his convention speech, we’re at one of those critical moments of choosing as a country. The Ryans and McConnells and Blunts and all the rest amount to a “Yes-But” caucus. Yes, we need to honor and respect the families of those who’ve made the ultimate but we still want Donald Trump to be the next President.

Of course, a single error or screw up, almost no matter how egregious, would almost never be enough for partisans to withdraw their support of their nominee and even tacitly and implicitly help a candidate who disagrees with them on many issues. But that’s the not the situation here. The Khan debacle is simply another confirmation that Trump is someone who will blithely violate the constitution and lacks the most basic elements of a temperament to be the country’s head of state.

In a narrowly partisan sense it’s likely better for Democrats that so many Republican officeholders continue to support Trump. They’re tarred with it forever, long after the current election has passed and the near-miss of Trumpism congeals into another set-piece historical test of the Republic like McCarthyism or Watergate or various others.

We’ve all seen more than enough to know exactly the kind of man we’re dealing with in Donald Trump. You’re either with him or you’re against him. Withdraw your endorsement or it’s just ass-covering and game-playing.

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