Last November, Donald Trump suggested banning Syrian refugees from the United States. A number of governors, and Kentucky’s Gov.-elect Matt Bevin, chimed in: “Not in our states!”
I lampooned Bevin, reasoning that he, of all people, ought to have sympathy with impoverished, desperate migrants, since he had adopted children from Ethiopia. (Surely the most admirable thing about the man.)
Bevin responded by publicly rebuking the Lexington Herald-Leader management for promoting my “racist ideology.” This no doubt came as a surprise to our editorial page editor and our publisher, who are both black.
Right-wing hate goons, needing only a prompt from squawk-radio hosts, attacked the paper relentlessly for 24 hours, jamming phone lines, filling in-boxes with toxic, often obscene, vitriol before moving on to a new villain du jour.
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Since then, Trump famously suggested banning Muslims from the country. Silence from the governor.
Trump called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals.” No protest from Bevin.
Trump mocked a disabled reporter. Nothing. Shrugs. Crickets.
Trump declared that an American-born judge of Mexican heritage couldn’t possibly give him a fair shake, which Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called a “textbook case of racism.”
Bevin still had no comment. (Maybe he had decided to pre-accept Trump’s apology for things said “in the heat of debate,” which came Thursday.)
Now, 90 days from the election, Trump has established himself as the least suited temperamentally, the least qualified and arguably the most dangerous major candidate for president in the nation’s history.
Fifty GOP national security experts have signed a letter calling him unfit for the office. A host of prominent Republicans have publicly rebuked Trump, even as party insiders, horrified that he has exposed a sizeable swath of the GOP for what it truly is, fret, stew and try to cut their losses.
But not Bevin.
So, governor, it bears asking: What, exactly would The Donald have to do for you to bail off the bully-boy bandwagon?
Does he have to draw you a picture?