Moulitsas: Trump stands alone

Moulitsas: Trump stands alone
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Last Thursday, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Monica Lewinsky responds to viral HBO intern's mistake: 'It gets better' Virginia governor's race poses crucial test for GOP MORE gave a highly touted address on foreign policy. But it was less an overview of the Democratic presidential front-runner’s own policy agenda than it was a vicious dismantling of the insipid, incoherent nonsense masquerading as Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE’s foreign policy. 

Clinton’s speech was a multipronged attack, portraying Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, as a madman who could blow up the world because of his “very thin skin,” an untrustworthy buffoon who claimed he knew “more about [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] than the generals do, believe me,” and a dictator-loving autocrat who has praised strongmen like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — though Clinton charitably “[left] it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.”


As newsworthy as that speech was, what happened next was even more remarkable. 

There was no rapid response from the Republican Party. None. Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus was silent. The RNC website featured no rebuttal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory Graham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' MORE (R-Ky.) had no response, nor did Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNow we know why Biden was afraid of a joint presser with Putin Zaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power MORE (R-Wis.). No senators came to his defense, nor did Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or anyone else in the conservative foreign policy community. 

Sure, it’s hard to defend the indefensible, but that’s never stopped conservative punditry before. 

Heck, go to the RNC’s website right now, www.gop.com, search for “Donald Trump” and be amazed at the response: “Showing results — 0 of 0 for ‘Donald Trump.’ ”

Even Trump himself, never shy about using Twitter to spew his message of the moment, was rendered into stupefied silence after Clinton, in her speech, mocked his preferred approach: “We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table — bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets — I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.” One minute he was spewing multiple tweets accusing Clinton of looking unpresidential and lying as she literally used his exact words against him; the next there was blissful silence. The time stamps don’t lie. 

Clinton, the most hated figure in conservative circles other than the current president, had just taken a sledgehammer to Trump’s persona, and not a single Republican could be bothered to return fire while their standard-bearer attempted to pick himself off the ground. At that moment, it became quite clear that as hated as the former first lady might be, Trump trumps that hate. Why go to the mat for a guy certain to lose this November? Republicans seem to prefer keeping their powder dry for a 2020 campaign, when Clinton might be weighed down by incumbency and 12 years of Democratic rule. 

It’s not as if Trump doesn’t have any surrogates. On Monday, the billionaire held a conference call with his loyalists, including former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, demanding they defend his racist attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, the judge overseeing the Trump University fraud case. When Brewer noted that Trump’s own campaign had circulated a memo telling surrogates to refuse to comment on the case, he angrily responded, “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”  

In other words, his direct message to what few surrogates he has was that his campaign was staffed by stupid people sending stupid information. The kicker? Two of those supposed “friends” on the call leaked the call to Bloomberg News. 

Trump really is on his own. With friends like those, who needs enemies? 

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.