Michael Gaynor
Wendy Long and Laura Ingraham refute character attacks on Donald Trump by establishment Republicans as foolish as well as false
By Michael Gaynor
June 13, 2016

Presenting character assassination as principled policy difference shouldn't fool any, and won't fool many, registered voters.

Justice Clarence Thomas surely cares about who will be appointed to serve with him on the United States Supreme Court. Recently two of his devoted former Supreme Court law clerks – Wendy Long and Laura Ingraham – took to Twitter to rebuke three prominent establishment Republicans helping Team Clinton and the liberal media perpetuate the myth that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is a racist, a bigot and a misogynist – failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, failed 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader and successful term limits opponent Mitch McConnell, now serving his sixth term as a United States Senator from Kentucky, all of whom are frustrated because the people made Trump the presumptive Republican presidential nominee instead of an establishment Republican.

Long, who hoped that Trump would run for Governor of New York in 2014 and was pleased when he announced his presidential candidacy last year, will be on the ballot with Trump in New York as the United States Senate candidate of the Republican, Conservative and Reform Parties. She served as counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, which supported President George W. Bush's judicial nominations, and the Judicial Crisis Network, which opposed President Obama's Supreme Court nominations.

Ingraham is the host of her own popular nationwide daily radio program, editor of Lifezette and a Fox New contributor currently boosting the tv ratings of fellow conservative Sean Hannity.

Friends and fellow conservatives since their Dartmouth days, Long and Ingraham don't want (1) Hillary Clinton to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will amend the Constitution under the guise of reinterpreting it and (2) disgruntled "rule or ruin" Republicans to keep Trump from making America great again because the people chose Trump instead of an establishment Republican politician.

On June 10, Long (www.twitter,com.wendylongny) tweeted "Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell: America is SO sick of political correctness! America loves all races and @realDonaldTrump!" and "Helping @HillaryClinton: Longtime GOP Backer Says Ryan Hopes Trump Loss Clears Deck For 2020 http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/09/exclusive-longtime-gop-backer-says-ryan-wants-trump-to-lose/... via @dailycaller."

That day Romney was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer and they had this exchange:

"BLITZER: Do you think [Trump] should get a pass if he stops talking about Judge Curiel?

"ROMNEY: Everyone else can make their assessment. He indicated what he believes in his heart about Mexicans and about race by comments he made about Judge Curiel. He may try to distance himself from that today but we know what he believes, and he didn't just say it once, it wasn't a slip of the tongue which he went back and apologized for. First of all, he has repeated it time and time again, and secondly has never apologized for it, so he obviously sticks by what he believes.

"BLITZER: What would he have to do to win your support?

"ROMNEY: I don't think there's anything I am looking for from Mr. Trump to give him my support. He's demonstrated who he is and I decided that a person of that nature should not be the one who, if you will, becomes the example for coming generations or the example of Americans of the world. Look, I don't want to see trickle-down racism. I don't want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following. Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism and bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America. So I'm not looking for Mr. Trump to change a policy that more aligns with my own. This is not a matter of just policy, it is a matter of character and integrity.

"BLITZER: Do you think he is racist?

"ROMNEY: I think his comments time and again appeal to the racist tendency that exists in some people and I think that's dangerous."

Trump is not a racist and what is dangerous is a de facto alliance among strange bedfellows – Team Clinton, the liberal media and disgruntled establishment Republicans – perpetrating a scurrilous myth.

The next day, Ingraham succinctly tweeted "Romney is now effectively working as a Clinton surrogate" and Long boldly tweeted "Romney/Ryan/McConnell, trapped in PC land, KNOW that @realDonaldTrump stands for equal opportunity & justice for all."

No hedging there!

Ingraham and Long are right, and Long publicly rebuking Romney as a liar is especially damning.

In 2007, "Mitt Romney was credited with a political coup last Tuesday when it was announced that Wendy Long has joined his campaign as a senior legal advisor and vice chair of his National Faith and Values Steering Committee. Long is a familiar name to conservatives who follow the courts. She is chief counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, an organization of conservative lawyers that has played a critical role in the confirmation battles for appellate and Supreme Court judges including Sam Alito and John Roberts. She was a litigation partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP and previously a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and to U.S. Appeals Court Judge Ralph Winter (http://spectator.org/45024_judging-mitt/).

Long supported Romney again in 2012 and was on the ballot with him in New York as the Republican and Conservative United States Senate candidate. Unfortunately, Romney essentially wrote of New York except for fundraising purposes and the Democrat candidates running statewide again won easily.

On June 11, Ingraham tweeted "Someone explain how Ryan or Rubio wins in 2020 or 2024 without the @realDonaldTrump voters?" and Long tweeted "And how Ryan wins even his House seat in 2016 without Trump voters after falsely accusing @realDonaldTrump of racism."

What will happen is up to the voters, of course, but those Republican candidates expecting to win the votes of Trump supporters while defaming him (and implicitly them) should get real.

Warning: Ryan is being primaried, The results of that primary, to be held after the Republican National Convention, should send a strong message to Republican candidates supporting, or thinking of supporting, character attacks on Trump of the serious risk that the votes they win with that tactic will be greatly exceeded by the votes they lose from Trump supporters refusing to be taken for granted by political character assassins unfit for office.

In 2008 John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates, publicly disagreed about Alaska energy policy and that principled policy difference did not damage either of them.

Bottom line: Presenting character assassination as principled policy difference shouldn't fool any, and won't fool many, registered voters.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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