Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Trump is out of control!

For the last couple of days, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate has been out of control. To define that, I mean a candidate who cannot be controlled by the party he represents nor can he be controlled by the politically trained and savvy staff surrounding him. And, in all likelihood, he cannot control himself! It’s not a pretty picture.
by Charlie Leck

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made a couple of very serious political errors in the last several days that are biting him back very viciously. His staff tried to step him back to correct his error, but the candidate raged against both the idea and, according to several reliable news reports, against his staff.

It all comes down to a matter of the separation of powers doctrine in both the United States Constitution and in the long standing traditions of politics in America. Republican U.S. Senator from Maine, Susan Collins, has been particularly sharp in her attack against Mr. Trump’s faux pas and his stubbornness about backing away from his miscue.

“I continue to hope that Mr. Trump will rethink his position,” Senator Collins said for the record, “and take back those words and show respect for the separation of powers doctrine that is enshrined in our Constitution.

You all know, by now, vaguely anyway, what has happened, but I’ll review it here as factually as I can.

Dahlia Lithwick, reporting for Slate, explains the law suit this way: “… two class-action lawsuits filed by former students against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s Trump University. The “University” and Trump are on the hook for allegedly using predatory marketing practices to sell worthless real estate classes.”

Mr. Trump has been suggesting very publically lately that the judge, because he is of Mexican descent, will not be fair and neutral in his judgment. Even though the judge, Conzal P. Curiel, was born in Indiana and educated at Indiana University and the Indiana University Mauer School of Law, Mr. Trump continues to refer to him as a Mexican. Plenty of people, with no ox of any kind to gore, have called Mr. Trump’s attacks on the judge both racist and a threat to the American concept of an independent judiciary.

A couple of weeks ago, the judge ordered documents about the case, which would apparently would be embarrassing to both Mr. Trump to his efforts at TU, released to the public.

Mr. Trump suggested that the appropriate people ought to take a look into Judge Curiel. When that didn’t stick or get a response, Mr. Trump went further by arguing that Judge Curiel had “an absolute conflict.”

Why? What is the conflict? It is “…because he is a Mexican!” The judge also happens to be a member of an association of Latino lawyers. Why is all this relevant?

“Because I am building a wall,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest!”

Mr. Trump has had many opportunities to walk the statement back or to make clearer what he is saying. He’s babbled some, but he can’t make these comments come out any better. They are very damaging. What Mr. Trump is realizing is that he has said many foolish and racist things about the ethnic backgrounds of a number of people and he is suggesting that anyone of such background could not hear a complaint about him without prejudice.

Our American judicial system is being insulted and attacked by Mr. Trump. We have a great tradition in this nation of protecting the judiciary from such attacks.

In all of this, Mr. Trump has gone more than a bit too far.

Evidence that he is out of control are displayed in the way he has reacted to his political staff’s suggestions that he step this whole matter back a bit and show more restraint in such attacks. There are several very credible reports that Mr. Trump has displayed a great deal of anger and displeasure with his advisors (the most solid report has been presented by Bloomberg News).

Only yesterday, Mr. Trump publicly expressed displeasure that former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, called his remarks “inexcusable” and inappropriate.

Mr. Trump’s reply was: “I saw Newt. I was surprised at Newt. I thought it was inappropriate what he said!”

Donald Trump is having a hard time handling “the racism thing,” as he has called it. Only last week he pointed to someone in his audience and referred to the fellow as “my African-American over here!”

A New York Times editorial on June 7, 2016, expressed shock and dismay at Mr. Trump’s remarks. Mr. Trump saw nothing to worry about it what he said.

“Federal judges have repeatedly and emphatically refused to recues themselves from cases because of their (the judge’s) race or ethnicity. These rulings were driven by two realizations: Ethnically based challenges would reduce every judge to a racial category, which would be racist in itself. And such challenges would make judges vulnerable to recusal motions — for reasons of race, ethnicity, gender or religion — in every case that came before them.
“In other words, once these challenges were allowed, there would be no end to them.
“The gravity of this matter has clearly eluded Donald Trump, who has cast aside the Constitution and decades of jurisprudence by suggesting both ethnic and religious litmus tests for federal judges. These pronouncements illustrate that Mr. Trump holds the rule of law in contempt.
“…Mr. Trump is essentially arguing that his own bigoted attitude toward Mexicans has disqualified a respected jurist from hearing a court case in which he is a defendant. Under that bizarre logic, he could rationalize ruling out judges from every demographic group he has insulted or happens not to like. At the rate he’s going, there would soon be no person in the land left to judge him. Fortunately, the American legal system doesn’t work that way.”

In an interesting side story, the NY Times points out that this is not the first time Mr. Trump and his lawyers have used such a strategy. His attorneys argued the same thing between 2008 and 2010 in an attempt to remove two judges who were hearing cases against Mr. Trump – one of African American descent and another a white woman. (You can read this June 6, 2016 story by Michael Barbara and Megan Twohey here!)

I’ve been arguing here for weeks that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President of the United States – he’s not bright enough and he’s not fair enough! His ego is too out of control and his sense of judgment is warped! The Republican Party ought to do something to shed this candidate (but, you know, they are afraid of the certain law suit that would follow).


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