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Trump Criticism Still Verboten...

What's worse than having to write one item about Donald Trump's dinner partners? Having to write two items about Donald Trump's dinner partners. But what can we say? When the news breaks, we fix it.

As we noted yesterday, Trump had dinner last Tuesday with Ye (nee Kanye West). And Ye brought along several friends, among them antisemite, white supremacist, and all-around deplorable Nick Fuentes. When this news broke, Trump first denied that the dinner happened, and then said it happened but he had no idea who Fuentes was, and then said that it didn't matter about Fuentes because he (Trump) was just trying to help his good (Black) buddy Ye. (As a sidebar, all the attention has been on Fuentes, but let us note that Ye is also a terrible human being and also someone that a would-be president should not be dining with.)

Trump's fellow Republicans have now had plenty of time to respond to this news (and every Republican in Congress has been asked about it by reporters), and their responses have been... interesting. Take a look at the headlines from Politico and The Hill:

The headlines say
'Trump takes sharp GOP criticism over meeting with white nationalist' and 'GOP lawmakers mostly decline to condemn 
Trump over white supremacist meeting'

These headlines tell very different stories. And yet, if you read the stories (see here and here) they both rely on the same quotes from the same people (mostly U.S. Senators). The reason for the variance is that while a fair number of Republicans have expressed "concern" (guess who?) about Trump's dinner companions, very few of them are willing to directly criticize or condemn Trump. So, from one vantage point, they're saying a lot. From another vantage point, they're not saying anything at all.

Anyhow, the reason we write it up is this: Not only did Trump blow the midterms for the Republican Party, but he also spent the weekend consorting with a pair of unapologetic bigots. Yet still, most Republicans are just too frightened to challenge the throne. It's a results-based business, and the poor midterm results might have broken his hold, with the white supremacist dinner giving Party members an excuse to make the break. But, once again, it's not happening. And that, in turn, means that even if they don't want him to run for president, they're not going to do a damn thing to try to stop him from getting the nomination. And all he really needs is for the pooh-bahs and the muckety-mucks to sit on their hands. (Z)

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