Graham, McCain on Trump and the Khans


OK, vacation’s over and I’m back in the saddle, and we are in mid-outrage over the latest deeply offensive nonsense from Donald Trump. And, as is so often the case, the most pointed criticism is coming from leading members of the party that nominated him week before last for POTUS:

Already, the party’s leaders in the House and the Senate have distanced themselves from Trump’s remarks, and other Republican figures are attacking their nominee forcefully.
Sen. John McCain issue a very personal statement Mondaay blasting Trump’s comments about the Khans and paying homage to their son Humayun’s sacrifice. McCain noted that his son also served in the Iraq War and the McCains have been serving in the US military for hundreds of years.

“It is time for Donald Trump to set the example for our country and the future of the Republican Party,” McCain said. “While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.

“Lastly, I’d like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Khan: thank you for immigrating to America. We’re a better country because of you. And you are certainly right; your son was the best of America, and the memory of his sacrifice will make us a better nation — and he will never be forgotten.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said in a statement: “This is going to a place where we’ve never gone before, to push back against the families of the fallen. There used to be some things that were sacred in American politics — that you don’t do — like criticizing the parents of a fallen soldier even if they criticize you.”

“If you’re going to be leader of the free world, you have to be able to accept criticism. Mr. Trump can’t,” Graham said. “The problem is, ‘unacceptable’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.”…

As I noted last week (you’ll recall that I did spend most of my evenings blogging despite being on holiday, because I’m just that kinda guy), a lot of the Democratic Convention consisted of fare and themes we normally get from the Republicans — upbeat “Morning in America” patriotism, appeals to fundamental, traditional American values and the like.

Which has to be eating at Sens. McCain and Graham almost as much as anything else. Their values used to be what their party was all about. In recent years, that’s been changing, as ideological loonies have been squeezing them out. It was happening already in 2008, which is why I wrote this column, “Give me that old-time conservatism.” In 2012, the “base” (can an insurgency be called “the base?” Oh, yeah, I guess it can) reluctantly settled for the sane Mitt Romney after spending much of the primary season flitting from one extreme to another.

And this year, of course, it went screaming off the rails, which is why people such as McCain, Graham, Romney, John Kasich and the Bushes did not attend their party’s convention.

25 thoughts on “Graham, McCain on Trump and the Khans

  1. Juan Caruso

    Remember, each time Trump appears to have stumbled with heaps of adverse publicity, something appears about 5 days later that defuses the issue, drops it from headlines, and focuses on what could be problems for Democratichs.

    Was this another Trump publicity set-up?

    The more that Democratich leaders deservedly reproach Trump, the more they indirectly highlight a decorated (Bronze Star Medal) military o’fficers service and sacrifice, which is usually very difficult for Dems to even acknowledge.

    So, their dialogue (in contrast to his Republichan critics) focuses instead on the aggrieved father.

    Can we expect in the near future an expose on Khzir M. Khan, a lawyer, as a promoter of Sharia law in the U.S. and as one who has credited the Muslim Brotherhood ? Time always tells.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Juan, notice that this item isn’t about Democrats criticizing Trump — it’s about Republicans doing all they can to disown what he has to say…

      1. Juan Caruso

        Brad, I am sure your item mentions Trump (in the first sentence). I do not argue with your focus on Republicans, but the FIRST word in Karen Pearson’s comment (below) is Trump.

        Being an avid reader of this blog and the abundance of extraneous and unconnected comments it ellicits, I am amazed you would chose my humble insight worthy of pedantic chastizing. I know you are not chastizing or patronizing me, so that leaves persona non grata.

        Although I doubt Karen reads many of my comments, some of your current readers tell me they do.

    2. Bryan Caskey

      Can we expect in the near future an expose on Khzir M. Khan, a lawyer, as a promoter of Sharia law in the U.S. and as one who has credited the Muslim Brotherhood ? Time always tells.

      Wait, what? You’re saying that that Khzir Khan moves to the US, becomes a lawyer, sends his son to fight overseas and then 40 years later…BOOM, he’s going to install Sharia law?

      Yeah, that sounds like classic Muslim Brotherhood tactics, right there. They’re a wily bunch. 🙂

      1. Juan Caruso

        Bryan C., you are putting words in my mouth – I asked an example question. Please note bene the punctuation: “Can we expect in the near future an expose on Khzir M. Khan, a lawyer, as a promoter of Sharia law in the U.S. and as one who has credited the Muslim Brotherhood ?”

        Now, in turn to put your words in your mouth: “… Khzir Khan moves to the US, becomes a lawyer, sends his son to fight overseas and then 40 years later…BOOM, he’s NOT going to install Sharia law?

        Are you certain Kahn “sent his son to fight oversea? … then 40 years later…BOOM, he’s going to install Sharia law?”

        Finally, here is what CAIR’s national spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, a convert to Islam, said about Sharia in the U.S.:

        “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future…But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education. ” – 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune

        See, he and Khan will not do the volent stuff. Who will? The more violent jihadist immigrants that the U.S. admits are not being vetted, and Democrats want to register to vote.

        Endangered species:

        Kahn was a lawyer before immigrating to the U.S.: Khan graduated from Punjab University Law

        College with a degree in International Trade Law, which he practiced in Saudi Arabia, according to the New York Times

  2. Karen Pearson

    Trump apparently ranks the loss of a child right up there with building a business. I wonder which he’d value more if he had to give up one or the other, that is his son or his business. If I were his son, I might be nervous.

  3. Bart

    Neither my stomach acid or stress levels were enough to tolerate watching and wasting one moment of my precious time left on this earth on the RNC or DNC conventions. The use of a mother or step-mother by the RNC for the emotional appeal or the use of Mr. Khan and his wife to do the same thing by the DNC was in any way the decent thing to do. This is the perception of what we have become if we are to be represented as a country by either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

    And quite frankly, it is my conclusion that the Donald Trump detractors are running for cover as fast as they can to cover their butts come November. But, I think it may be too late and the stench of Trump is all over the Republican party and will remain for a long time to come. We may see a flip of the Senate in November and a weakening of the Republican hold on the House.

    My only observation is one about Mr. Khan. I truly feel for the loss of his son and I know the heartbreak of a mother because I lived with it when my oldest brother was lost in an automobile accident at the age of 20 in 1956. To the day my Mother died in 1989, she still grieved over the loss of her son, our brother. Exploiting the death of a son or daughter on a political platform to me is inexcusable, pandering personal grief and loss and for what purpose in the end?

    Donald Trump did no less than I expected he would, he tried to turn the tables in his favor but he failed miserably. However, Mr.Khan is to a degree as guilty of dishonoring his son as Trump is by making ill-conceived and disgusting comments about the mother. Or his bleeting cry about Mr. Khan “not being fair”. Donald Trump and fair in the public arena are polar opposites. Conservatives and Republicans constantly becry the continued use Obama’s favorite of “Blaming Bush” but can you imagine how bad it would be if Trump actually wins in November?

    Mr. Khan understood the impact his speech would have and he also understood the impact of pulling a copy of the Constitution out of his coat pocket and challenging Trump to read it. From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Khan was the litigation technology manager at Hogan Lovells, LLP, the firm that represents Clinton and handles her taxes. Mr. Khan co-authored an article in 2005 for Legal Times about the use of technology and the power of presenting a case before a jury or in this case, the DNC and viewing audience. He knew exactly what he was doing and the power of the moment with the photo of his son enlarged behind him and the mother.

    FWIW, before the firm became Hogan Lovells, Hogan was Hogan & Hartson, the firm handling the patent for the spam filtering system known as MX Logic and handled the subsequent sale of MX Logic to McAfee in 2009. The same filtering system Clinton used for her private email server. What most may not know is that every incoming email is filtered through the filtering system and a copy is retained and every outgoing email’s email address of the recipient is retained as well. Sometimes the entire email is retained and therefore, the public version that Clinton’s private email server was hacked may not be accurate. It could have been McAfee’s record storage system that was hacked. The other possibility is that an employee may have copied the emails – remember Snowden?

    The other connection is that the firm of Hogan Lovell is on retainer representing Saudi Arabia in the US according to Free Beacon. Saudi Arabia and Friends of Saudi Arabia together have donated between $15 – $30 million to the Clinton Foundation. One of the lobbyists at Hogan Lovell bundled $50k for Clinton’s campaign.

    One cannot make this up unless one is a fiction writer of the first order but truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. The only reason nothing is included about Trump is because just about everything that can be uncovered has been and has been reported by every media outlet and political blog on the internet. The only thing not revealed about Trump is his tax returns and I suspect that the ties he has with Russia and Saudi Arabia rival the ones Clinton has with them.

    The most troubling aspect about this election is that one of them will win and no third party candidate has come forth who is able to mount a challenge of note.

  4. bud

    I really have no more use for John McCain anymore. He’s serving as an enabler for Trump by continuing to endorse him. So any words he speaks or writes chastising the incredibly ill-suited Trump is quite frankly meaningless unless he withdraws his endorsement. Shame on McCain, Christie and Ben Carson for their craven support for this extremely dangerous character. And Brad wonders why I want to take the GOP down. Isn’t it obvious?

      1. Doug Ross

        If Trump somehow manages to win, Lindsey will flip faster than a you can say “Pandering Poseur”. It’s what he does. He’ll say “For the good of the nation, I need to find a way to work with President Trump… and to get back on the Sunday TV shows.”

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Doug, you just don’t get Lindsey, and I don’t understand why.

          Two points:

          — When it comes to being marketable to the Sunday shows, the best role for Lindsey is “prominent Republican who adamantly opposes Trump.” That would be doubly true were Trump elected. He’d be in greater demand than ever.

          — If I were a Republican senator who deeply opposed Trump and he became president anyway, I think I would offer my services, in the vain hope that I could in some small way influence events and lessen the disaster. But in this case, that’s moot. Trump doesn’t want ANYBODY’S advice, especially not that of anyone who has criticized him. And everyone knows this.

          I’ve thought a good bit about that disastrous outcome.

          Personally, I would not be able to leave the country. I couldn’t afford it, and all my family is here. But I’ve speculated what I would do if I were, say, a billionaire (which would make Bernie hate me, but I could live with that) and could just buy a nice island and move all my family and friends there with me.

          I don’t think I would. I couldn’t abandon my country. I realize there’s very little I can do to affect events, but I would have to stay on the distant hope that I could do SOMETHING by being here, even if it’s just as one voice among the millions.

          Also, Trump’s election would be a disaster for the whole world, perhaps every bit as much as much as for this country. Having someone like that with that kind of power would be extraordinarily dangerous internationally. And I’m not just talking about the possibility of war. He is SO ignorant and willful he would wreak all sorts of havoc in all sorts of areas — think, just for one example, of his plan to “renegotiate” U.S. debt, throwing out the full faith and credit of our nation, upon which so much of the international financial order depends.

          I couldn’t make like Prince Prospero in Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” walling myself off from the collapse of the world around me. It would be wrong. And besides, I don’t think it would work any better than in Poe’s version…

          1. Doug Ross

            What are you going to do if it ISN’T a disaster? I mean I know you would be ready to pounce on any misstep as indication of the end of the world, but what if after four years the world doesn’t end and Trump gets voted out?

            What could Donald Trump do that would threaten your life to the point where you would wish you could leave the country? Start a war? We’ve survived wars before… he has no control over the economy so that would be independent of his Presidency. Roll back Obamacare somehow? Kick out some illegals or keep out some Muslims? There have been far worse actions by the U.S. government in the past and we’ve survived them all.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              The very first thing he could do is destroy, or seriously erode, my pride in my country.

              And that would happen on Election Day.

              My love of this country isn’t as dependent upon being proud of the people in it as it is upon the ideas it stands for, although I do think highly of the people in general. This would condemn a majority in my eyes. But worse than that, this majority would have embraced this fool who spits all over the ideas.

              For me, that’s worse than burning the flag. The flag, while a powerful symbol, is a thing. The ideas for which that flag stands are the essence…

          2. Tex

            Half of Hollywood was threatening to leave the country if Bush Jr. was elected. Not one followed through with their threat. Now they’re threatening again, and they’ll all stay here. I wonder what countries they’d move to, and if they’d expect immediate citizenship with that country.

            Besides, how much affect does the President have on how things change in this country? How much has this country changed in the past 8 years? How much of that change can be the result of Obama being President?

        2. Tex

          Graham will do whatever it takes to keep him on the front page and in front of the camera. And we’re stuck with him just like we were stuck with Strom Thurmond.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    Always entertaining when folks are surprised that Democrats are patriotic and love their country.


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