The Corner

Politics & Policy

Reince Priebus Thinks I’m Being ‘Stupid’ and ‘Idiotic’ — Here’s Why He’s Wrong

Last night, while appearing on Trump spokesperson Sean Hannity’s Trump infomercial Fox News program, RNC Chair Reince Priebus took strong exception to my Wednesday piece — specifically this excerpt:

The party of Lincoln is in ruins. A minority of its primary voters have torched its founders’ legacy by voting for a man who combines old-school Democratic ideology, a bizarre form of hyper-violent isolationism, fringe conspiracy theories, and serial lies with an enthusiastic flock of online racists to create perhaps the most toxic electoral coalition since George Wallace. Then — to add insult to injury — multiple GOP leaders bulldozed the ashes by issuing nauseating calls for unity, foremost among them Reince Priebus . . . Reince, you should resign rather than spending one more ounce of personal energy supporting a reprehensible man.

Priebus called this a “stupid, idiotic statement” and claimed that I’m trying to profit from disunity (where are my checks?)

To be clear, I’m not calling for Reince to resign because I hold him responsible for Trump’s rise. I’m saying that he shouldn’t use his God-given talents to advocate for a man like Trump. If the powers-that-be at National Review told me to use my meager gifts and influence to advocate for Trump, I’d respectfully decline. And as much as Priebus might want to call my argument stupid or idiotic, I’d defy him to rebut a single one of my factual assertions about Trump.

Does he advance “old-school Democratic ideology?” As a big-government protectionist, he absolutely does. Further, he’s fond of spouting Democratic talking points about the Iraq War, 9/11, and Planned Parenthood. In fact, he goes even farther than Hillary Clinton in attacking the previous Republican administration for both Operation Iraqi Freedom and 9/11. That’s our presumptive Republican nominee.

Is he a “hyper-violent isolationist?” On the one hand, he repeatedly promised that he’d order American forces to commit war crimes — including torture and killing terrorists’ families — while on the other hand pledging to enact a foreign policy that would endanger our relationships with allies and create even greater power vacuums than those created by the Obama administration. He once advocated using Exxon as a key part of an anti-ISIS strategy. He’s like a dorm-room libertarian high on napalm.

Is he a fringe conspiracy theorist? Is this even a question? He just spent the last few days promoting a National Enquirer story that tried to tie Ted Cruz’s father to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Yes, he really did. And let’s not forget — let’s not ever forget — that in a February debate he loudly and proudly trafficked the completely discredited “Bush lied, people died” narrative of the Iraq War:

Trump: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I wanna tell you. They lied.

John Dickerson: Okay.

Trump: They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Is he a serial liar? I actually think the man has lied more than Hillary Clinton this election cycle, and I previously believed she’d retired the championship belt for deception.

Finally, if anyone doubts that Trump has attracted a flock of racist supporters (most aren’t racist), just try opposing him in any public forum. The alt-right trolls will descend upon you with a vengeance, and if your family happens to be mixed-race, then the racism quickly gets grotesque. Trump retweets these people. 

That’s your man, Reince Priebus. That’s the person you will be spending hour after hour, day after day, trying to put into the highest office in the land. You think it’s stupid and idiotic to refuse to promote a person that reprehensible. I think it would be honorable. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

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