Trump facing blowback from GOP pols terrified of his critique of judge as ‘Mexican’

The list of Republican politicians rushing to condemn the remarks of Donald Trump about Judge Curiel’s alleged bias against him is long and growing.  Trump has touched the third rail of American politics, ethnicity, and framed what is actually a good case for bias and conflict of interest in a careless, shorthand way.

Trump promised to be a non-politician, and he is proving the point.  Nobody schooled in the least in the sensitivities of modern-day ethnic politics would have said the judge can’t be fair because he is a “Mexican.”  Not just wrong on facts, because the judge was born in Indiana, but wrong on logical and political grounds.

The two senior party officials, the leaders of the House and Senate, both condemned him:

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made that case explicitly in an interview on Fox Business Network Tuesday.

"Well, he uttered a series of outrageous and unacceptable statements over the last week, and I addressed them at various points during the week. I think the less said about all that the better. What he ought to be working on is unifying the party and getting ready to try to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall," said McConnell.

House speaker Paul Ryan echoed those sentiments during a press conference in Washington Tuesday morning. Ryan's aides expressed frustration that questions about Trump distracted from Ryan's press availability unveiling a new GOP anti-poverty project. But Ryan, in response to those questions, said Trump's comments on U.S. district court judge Gonzalo Curiel was "the textbook definition of a racist" attack. But, he added, "I believe we are far better off…with his candidacy than Hillary Clinton's candidacy."

Republican Illinois senator Mark Kirk has revoked his endorsement:

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said Tuesday that Donald Trump "does not have the temperament" to hold the job of president, saying he "cannot and will not support" the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

An Iowa state legislator has quit the GOP, employing his own version of careless rhetoric:

Iowa state senator David Johnson became the first elected official to leave the Republican party over Donald Trump on Tuesday, likening the presumptive nominee’s campaign to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Trump has come as close as he ever has to making an apology:

It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.

No question about it, Trump has enraged the media and the GOP establishment.  But is that really new?  True, the Republican Party was coalescing around him, and that process has halted for now.  But with his statement and the emergence of evidence supporting the contention that Judge Curiel has a conflict of interest via his lifetime membership in a group boycotting the businesses of Donald Trump while judging a case involving one of those businesses, Trump can move forward.

Trump has increased his unpopularity.  The only question is whether his unpopularity will eclipse that of Hillary Clinton.  Steve McCann is correct: this election is like no other in American history, with the winner being chosen as the lesser of two evils.

The list of Republican politicians rushing to condemn the remarks of Donald Trump about Judge Curiel’s alleged bias against him is long and growing.  Trump has touched the third rail of American politics, ethnicity, and framed what is actually a good case for bias and conflict of interest in a careless, shorthand way.

Trump promised to be a non-politician, and he is proving the point.  Nobody schooled in the least in the sensitivities of modern-day ethnic politics would have said the judge can’t be fair because he is a “Mexican.”  Not just wrong on facts, because the judge was born in Indiana, but wrong on logical and political grounds.

The two senior party officials, the leaders of the House and Senate, both condemned him:

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell made that case explicitly in an interview on Fox Business Network Tuesday.

"Well, he uttered a series of outrageous and unacceptable statements over the last week, and I addressed them at various points during the week. I think the less said about all that the better. What he ought to be working on is unifying the party and getting ready to try to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall," said McConnell.

House speaker Paul Ryan echoed those sentiments during a press conference in Washington Tuesday morning. Ryan's aides expressed frustration that questions about Trump distracted from Ryan's press availability unveiling a new GOP anti-poverty project. But Ryan, in response to those questions, said Trump's comments on U.S. district court judge Gonzalo Curiel was "the textbook definition of a racist" attack. But, he added, "I believe we are far better off…with his candidacy than Hillary Clinton's candidacy."

Republican Illinois senator Mark Kirk has revoked his endorsement:

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said Tuesday that Donald Trump "does not have the temperament" to hold the job of president, saying he "cannot and will not support" the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

An Iowa state legislator has quit the GOP, employing his own version of careless rhetoric:

Iowa state senator David Johnson became the first elected official to leave the Republican party over Donald Trump on Tuesday, likening the presumptive nominee’s campaign to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Trump has come as close as he ever has to making an apology:

It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.

No question about it, Trump has enraged the media and the GOP establishment.  But is that really new?  True, the Republican Party was coalescing around him, and that process has halted for now.  But with his statement and the emergence of evidence supporting the contention that Judge Curiel has a conflict of interest via his lifetime membership in a group boycotting the businesses of Donald Trump while judging a case involving one of those businesses, Trump can move forward.

Trump has increased his unpopularity.  The only question is whether his unpopularity will eclipse that of Hillary Clinton.  Steve McCann is correct: this election is like no other in American history, with the winner being chosen as the lesser of two evils.