Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stop Helping, Rick

Even though the Trump folks are really good at keeping a controversy alive long after it should have rolled out of the headlines, sometimes their friends can’t help coming back to take another whack at the hornets’ nest.

Case in point: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry who having embarrassed himself twice on the national stage by stumbling through two primaries and face-planting in Olympic proportions, goes back almost a month to revive the campaign’s attack on the Khans, the Gold Star family who spoke at the Democratic convention.

Trump has refused to say whether his relentless attacks on a Gold Star family were a “mistake,” but said that the matter had been “put to bed for a long time” and did not merit further discussion—a memo his supporters seem to have missed. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Perry charged Khan with striking “the first blow” by speaking at the convention.

“In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you,” Perry said.

He cited Khan’s remarks as a justification for the fiery response from Trump and his supporters, saying that Khan “politically used his time on that stage to go after Donald Trump” and therefore should not get a “free ride” in response.

“Because he had a son that was lost in this war against terror,” Perry asked, “that gives him a free ride to say whatever he would like against a candidate that he is not for? That is not proper. That is not correct.”

What gives Mr. Khan the “free ride” to say whatever he would like is a little thing called the First Amendment — he happened to have a copy right there — and it is eminently proper.  And as digby points out, there were plenty of people at the RNC, including this person who laid into Hillary Clinton and called for her to be jailed, and yet there was no retaliation from the Clinton campaign or questioning her motives.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up.