On Sunday morning's edition of This Week, News One Now anchor Roland Martin summed up Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and his campaign of violence and intimidation in as perfect a fashion as has been achieved thus far. In a panel discussion about Trump's campaign manager manhandling protesters, and more broadly the violence of the Trump campaign, Roland said this perfect thing:
He's not going to condemn it because it is his brand not to backtrack. I mean this is a desire to be thug-in-chief. And so he's not going to criticize them. When he attacked Senator John McCain, when he attacked Carly Fiorina, when he attacks anyone, in his mind, oh, if I say I'm sorry, if I backtrack or I tell people to tamper down, then I'm hurt by it. He's done this throughout the entire campaign, We shouldn't be shocked.
Martin also scored when he stumped the Republicans on the panel by asking if they'd rather lose the election than have Trump win. The pregnant pause here says it all:
It was a weirdly low-wattage booking day for the Sundays, with only one appearance each by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and none by Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz, which mean lots of John Kasich. That's actually a good thing, though, because it provided lots of reminders that he doesn't deserve the "nice guy" or "reasonable" labels the media gives him credit for.
Exhibit A: Asked about the violence at Trump rallies, Kasich made a point of first calling a threat against Trump's family a "disgrace," and the threat of riots merely "inappropriate," clearly a play of footsies with lukewarm Trump supporters:
Exhibit B: Kasich gets all this credit for being, like, "humane" on immigration, but in his interview with Chris Wallace, after he paints a vividly cruel picture of deportation, listen carefully to why he says he doesn't support it. Not because it's morally wrong or horrible, or even that he hates it. It's because Republicans will be mad if he promises it and can't deliver:
The idea that we're going to go into communities and yank people out of their homes, and leave their kids on the porch crying? That's not what we're going to do, that's more promises that will never happen, and the people will become more cynical. I don't make promises, by and large, that I can't keep.
Exhibit C: Kasich also gets credit for aw-shucks "honesty," but after he courageously told Chuck Todd he would consider Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court if he wins the election, he immediately flipped off-camera:
And finally, exhibit D: While also telling John Dickerson that he would "of course" consider Garland, he bragged about confirming "over a hundred judges in Ohio, including a woman" that he appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court. Watch to the end for the real punchline, though:
Speaking of Merrick Garland, the bullshit is getting kinda thick around his nomination. Chris Wallace asked Mitch McConnell to explain his own hypocrisy in no longer believing that presidents deserve an up-or-down vote for their nominees. McConnell flapped his gums for awhile, but never actually got around to saying the password: Ack-blay.
Then, in two sides of the same bullshit coin, McConnell says the Senate won't confirm Garland in a lame duck session even if Hillary wins. Well, not exactly:
I can't imagine...
That's what we in the biz call enough wiggle room to turn a Mack truck around in. Then, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told Wallace that of course, President Obama would stick with his consensus pick even if Hillary wins the general election:
The wiggle room there is built in. President Obama can withdraw Garland any time he wants, and just blame Republicans by saying he doesn't want to put the guy through any more hell. Of course he's not going to let Republicans win a hedged bet. Right?
That's all for now, I'll be covering the rest of the highlights under separate cover. Happy Sunday, folks!
Update: So, Kasich was selling himself long and short when bragging about judges. He did appoint one woman to the Ohio Supreme Court, the only one he chose to brag about, but out of 72 judges (not "over a hundred") appointed by Kasich, 25 were women.