By: Jennifer Rubin , Columnist
Convention week got off to a miserable start for Republicans. I don’t just refer to the whiny first appearance by President Trump, who launched a rambling, incoherent and fact-free rant on Monday, wherein he lied by saying “They’re trying to steal the election from Republicans. Just like they did it last time, with spying.” (This is, of course, based on the crazy, false allegation that the Obama administration “spied on him.”)
The bad-news avalanche started even before the Republican National Convention roll call’s resembling a hostage video — a far cry from the uplifting video trip around the country put on by the Democrats last week. And, yes, it started before Vice President Pence hilariously promised to “Make America Great Again, again” (because they sure have wrecked things since 2016?).
For starters, Trump is deeply unpopular. A new Associated Press-NORC poll shows his approval down to a paltry 35 percent, and approval for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic even worse at 31 percent. While the president repeatedly hypes a phony figure of more than 90 percent approval among Republicans, this poll pegs it at a mediocre 79 percent. Moreover, the poll found that “just 23% think the country is heading in the right direction, while 75% think it’s on the wrong path. . . . The federal government as a whole has also taken a hit with the public, with approval down from 38% in March to 23% now.” For a party banking on a cult of personality, it might want to find a more popular personality.
Moreover, the sleaziness of the Trump world is on full display. Last week, former Trump campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon was arrested on charges of defrauding Americans in connection with a private build-the-wall scheme (Bannon has pleaded not guilty). We then learned of yet another investigation into Trump’s finances.
The Post reports that New York Attorney General Letitia James “is investigating whether President Trump’s company misled lenders and taxing authorities by improperly inflating the value of his assets, according to a court filing on Monday.” James’s investigators are looking into “Statements of Financial Condition” that Trump sent to lenders in summarizing his assets and debts and have tried to subpoena Trump’s son Eric Trump, who has refused to show up. More from The Post: “ ‘The Trump Organization has stalled, withheld documents, and instructed witnesses, including Eric Trump, to refuse to answer questions under oath,’ James wrote on Twitter. ‘That’s why we filed a motion to compel the Trump Organization to comply with our lawful subpoenas for documents and testimony.’ ” Eric Trump is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the Republican convention.
The Post reports that implicated in this investigation are three Trump properties: a golf course in Los Angeles, an office building on Wall Street in Manhattan and a country estate known as Seven Springs in Westchester County, N.Y. The charges appear to stem from his former attorney Michael Cohen’s allegations that Trump provided phony evaluations of properties. The Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten, said in a statement that “The Trump Organization has done nothing wrong.” This is separate, presumably, from yet another investigation overseen by New York City District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Meanwhile, Trump is increasingly isolated. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is departing (she says to attend to her family), and a tape of Trump’s sister attesting to Trump’s untrustworthiness and cruelty has emerged. (His niece, Mary Trump, similarly released a tell-all book in an effort to warn Americans not to reelect a narcissistic and toxic personality such as Trump.)
More than 20 former Republican officeholders have signaled their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while former Arizona senator Jeff Flake, a rock-ribbed Republican, spoke eloquently as to how Trump has trashed conservative ideals and why he now supports Biden:
Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Link To Trump Is Far More Troubling Than His Sex Scandal
One thing Flake did not mention was the deterioration in the GOP’s adherence to supposed “family values.” With the resignation from Liberty University of Jerry Falwell Jr., an early Trump supporter, as the result of a sex scandal, we are once more reminded that the GOP really does not stand for much of anything.
To sum up, the Republican Party has dropped any pretense of a policy platform, throwing its lot in with a racist, xenophobic and compulsively dishonest man who creates chaos and dysfunction and is the subject of multiple investigations relating to his finances. Many decent Republicans are abandoning him in favor of his opponent. This is not five-dimensional chess. It’s a multicar pile-up.
THE Washington Post
Update : Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Link To Trump Is Far More Troubling Than His Sex Scandal video