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The GOP’s New Troika: Trump, Christie and Duke

It is a message of redemption and forgiveness and it speaks volumes about Donald Trump and only a few pages less about Chris Christie.  It speaks to a magnanimity that one would expect from aspirants to high office but not from lesser men.  Their generosity of spirit and willingness to let bygones be bygones, serves as an example to us all.  Lesser men would hold grudges, refuse to shake hands when encountering each other in public places, and would speak snidely of one another to mutual acquaintances.  They would never be seen in a manly hug in front of an array of television cameras. And all of that offers proof, were proof needed, of what a magnificent team they would make, should the world’s highest offices be thrust upon them and they were to become the president and vice president of the United States.  Although it is hard to determine which of them is more magnanimous, the winner is probably Donald Trump. That is because Governor Christie said more hateful things about Mr. Trump than Mr. Trump said about Governor Christie, so Mr. Trump had the most to forgive in accepting the governor’s endorsement and support.  Consider just a few.

It was less than one month ago that Governor Christie heaped scorn on Mr. Trump’s ability to deal with crisis situations by saying that a crisis for Mr. Trump is “when his favorite restaurant on the Upper East Side isn’t open.”  In response to a statement from a man at a campaign stop in Iowa that he couldn’t imagine Mr. Trump as president, the governor said:  You’re feeling my pain right now,” suggesting he, too, found that difficult to imagine. Commenting on Mr. Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country, the governor said Mr. Trump was “dead wrong.” On the same subject, when being interviewed on a radio show in December, the governor said of the Trump proposal that:  “This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

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In discussing the hallucination Mr. Trump had when he thought he was watching thousands of Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering as they watched the destruction of the World Trade Center, the governor said: “It didn’t happen, and the fact is, people can say anything, but the facts are the facts and it didn’t happen in New Jersey that day and it hasn’t happened since.”  Speaking on Fox news in August, the governor said of Mr. Trump, “I just don’t think that he’s suited to be president of the United States.  I don’t think his temperament is suited for that and I don’t think his experience is.”  Commenting on Mr. Trump’s statement that he could “shoot somebody” on the streets of New York without losing his loyal supporters” the governor said that: “If he really does think he can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still keep voters, I think that’s a little bit too much for most voters in the United States.”  In making the last comment, the governor was absolutely right.  It’s just that Governor Christie is not most voters.  He’s an ambitious governor turned sycophant.  He’s bound to enjoy his new found status.  It will be a good learning experience for him since he is more accustomed to being adored than adoring.

Governor Christie’s decision to fawn over Mr. Trump required him to overlook far fewer insults tossed at him by Mr. Trump than Mr. Trump had to overlook in deciding to accept the adoration of the Christie.  Mr. Trump made a big deal out of the George Washington Bridge scandal saying (albeit without presenting facts, a minor impediment when Mr. Trump trumpets about the activities of others) “he knew about it.” He then said that Mr. Christie could not win because of his past involvement with the bridge.  In a tweet Mr.Trump asked how the governor was running the state when he was spending all his time campaigning in New Hampshire.

Mr. Trump was delighted to have Mr. Christie go from harsh critic to lavish endorser.  It took away a bit of attention from the fact that Mr. Trump couldn’t remember who David Duke was. And here follows a bit of irrelevant trivia should Mr. Trump need more information about David Duke.  David Duke was not only the National Grand Wizard of Knights of Ku Klux Klan and the founder of the National Association for Advancement of White People.  Like Donald Trump, he, too, aspired to high political office.  In 1999 he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives to succeed Louisiana’s Bob Livingston, who had been slated to become the Speaker of the House but, instead, resigned from Congress when his extra marital affairs became public.  As a result, Dennis Hastert became Speaker of the House and was the longest serving speaker of the House in history, serving from 1999 to 2007 when he retired from Congress.  In 2015 Mr. Hastert pled guilty to one federal felony count related to hush money that he allegedly paid to keep its recipient from disclosing sexual misconduct engaged in by Mr. Hastert when teaching high school prior to entering Congress.

So much for trivia and morality.  David Duke was not elected to the office he coveted.  One can only hope that now that Mr. Trump knows who Mr. Duke is, he will follow in his footsteps.

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