Ok, I’ll try to keep the set up short for people who haven’t been following the Khizr Khan story.
At the DNC Khizr Khan gave a speech. Khan’s son was an army captain who died in Baghdad in 2004 and, in his talk, he asserted that Donald Trump had sacrificed nothing for the country.
The real meat is in how Donald Trump responded. Here’s John Oliver’s bit on the DNC. You can see Trump’s response to Khan starting at the 14:00 mark (though, I must say, the whole thing is worth watching). Oliver’s response to it is about as good as I’ve seen.
There’s so much wrong with what Donald said, but primarily what’s at issue is:
“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
Ok, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that endeavors designed explicitly to put money in your bank account so that you can live a life of luxury (of which Donald is continuously boasting) amounts to sacrifice. It’s obviously not, it’s obviously self-serving, but let’s assume that it is sacrifice. For whom are these supposed sacrifices made? A soldier dying in war is clearly making a sacrifice for the good of the country. But what of Donald’s “sacrifice”?
Yeah, Donald, you hire people to make you richer, which does amount to job creation, but if it was for the good of the common man rather than for the good of Donald Trump then you’d own less private jets and pay them more money. Hiring people to work in your casinos is a necessary step toward Donald Trump’s bank account growing larger, but now it gets spun into you “making sacrifices” for the good of the country on par with parents losing their son in war. Gag me.
I mean, executive assistants with Trump’s company earn between $31,980 – $56,744. Comparatively, the median salary for that position in America is $50,390 (with the high end being around $72,000). That means that Trump’s best, most long-term employees at that position make slightly above the median income for that job. You can imagine how the lower-level employees of Trump’s company are taken care of. Does this sound like sacrifice? Because, to me, it sounds like paying people as little as he can to ensure that his own exorbitant bank account continues to grow. I imagine if Trump could realistically (or legally) pay his employees less, he would. That’s not sacrifice. And to spin the machinations of wealth generation for Donald Trump as sacrifice for the country (which includes the people Trump underpays) is, in this blogger’s estimation, pretty fucking low.
While Trump’s remarks are certainly deplorable, you’d expect Democrats to seize on them as they always do because it serves their interests. While those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, it does take some of the punch out of the Democrats condemnation in the eyes of the average on-looker. Thankfully, there is a line at which point, to save face for their party, even some Republicans can’t stand behind their nominee and Trump seems to have crossed it with this. The condemnation of fellow Republicans, given their inclination to criticize/block everything out of the Democrat side and defend/pass everything out of the Republican side (recall when George W. Bush, not exactly our best President, had a full Republican Congress letting him do whatever he wanted) regardless of how ill-advised or insensitive, speaks much louder. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader (at least until the next election) Mitch McConnell both rebuked Trump’s remarks:
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued statements that separated themselves from Trump’s relentless remarks about the Khan family.
“Captain Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Capt. Khan and their families have made in the war on terror. All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services,” McConnell said in a Sunday statement. “And as I have long made clear, I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values.”
In his statement, Ryan also reiterated his opposition to a Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States.
John McCain also piled on:
In a remarkable and lengthy rebuke of his party’s nominee, Senator John McCain sharply criticized Donald J. Trump’s comments about the family of a fallen Muslim Army captain, saying, “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.”
“In recent days, Donald Trump disparaged a fallen soldier’s parents,” he wrote of the parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan. “He has suggested that the likes of their son should not be allowed in the United States — to say nothing of entering its service. I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates.”
That last line has a pretty easy rebuttal:
McCain: Trump does not “represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.”
Me: He’s your candidate for President.
— Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) August 1, 2016
I mean, I guess it’s pretty cool he denounces the lack of character in the man he continues to endorse for the presidency.
And, let’s be honest, remember when John Kerry was running for President? The GOP had no problem mocking the military accomplishments of a guy who won the purple heart then. Think about that when pondering how much of this is just damage control.
It’s so damn clear that the people at the helm of the Republican Party hate being stuck with Trump, but they’re willing to put this disastrous man in the White House so their own party can retain power. Which, makes one wonder: if the GOP is willing to inflict Donald Trump on the country so they can retain power, ultimately how different are they from the person who underpays the common man to augment his own wealth?
Predictably, pretty much every group that deals with supporting US troops is unhappy with Donald. For example, here’s the VFW’s statement (and, let’s be frank, the VFW isn’t exactly non-partisan):
But if you thought the Trump campaign couldn’t get any more disingenuous, you’d be wrong. Here’s how Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pearson responded to the question of whether Trump would consider meeting with the Khan family:
When Blitzer asked Pierson a second time if Trump would reach out to the Khan family to thank them for their son’s service, she responded, “Well, Mr. Trump has thanked everyone for their service.”
She added that such a gesture would be “just another opportunity to make headlines and Mr. Trump doesn’t like to do that, particularly with matters of the heart.”
Yes, because if there’s one thing Donald Trump hates it’s making headlines.
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday evening, Pierson said it was “truly unfortunate” that the Democrats put Khan onstage because all it did was deepen division.
Yeah, it wasn’t Trump’s call to keep Muslims out of the country that “deepened the division.” No, no — it was when the father of a Muslim member of the United States military died in its service said (rightly) that Donald Trump hadn’t sacrificed anything that did it. Right.