If I was still doing an “Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day,” it certainly would have qualified. Here is Trump, blathering on, as usual, at a rally about the case that is currently pending in federal court regarding the alleged charges that Trump University was a scam:
The trial, they wanted it to start while I am running for President. The trial is going to take place sometime in November. There should be no trial. This should have been dismissed on summary judgment easily. Everybody says it, but I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curial. And he is not doing the right thing. I figure what the hell? Why not talk about it for two minutes. Should I talk about it? Yes? [cheers and applause] so we should have won. . . .
I am getting railroaded by a legal system, and frankly they should be ashamed. I will be here in November. Hey, if I win as president, it is a civil case. I could have settled this case numerous times. But I don’t want to settle cases when we are right. I don’t believe in it. When you start settling cases, do you know what happens? Everybody sues you because you get known as a settler. One thing about me, I am not known as the settler.
And people understand with this whole thing, with this whole deal with the lawyers, class action lawyers are the worst. It is a scam. Here is what happens. We are in front of a very hostile judge. The judge was appointed by by Barack Obama – federal judge. [Boos]. Frankly he should recuse himself. He has given us ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative. I have a top lawyer who said he has never seen anything like this before. So what happens is we get sued. We have a Magistrate named William Gallo who truly hates us.
The good news is it is a jury trial. We can even get a fully jury. We are entitled to a jury, and we want a jury of 12 people. And you are going to watch. First of all, it should be dismissed. Watch how we win it as I have been treated unfairly. . . . So what happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe Mexican, which is great. I think that is fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs. I think they are going to love it. I think they are going to love me. . . .
A lot of people said before you run you should settle. I said I don’t care. The people understand it. And they use it. So when I have 10,000 people, and when we have mostly unbelievable reviews, how do you settle? And in fact, when the case started originally, I said how can I settle when I have a review like this? Now I should have settled, but I am glad I didn’t. I will be seeing you in November either as president. And I will say this. I have all these great reviews, but I will say this. I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself. I think it is a disgrace he is doing this. I look forward to going before a jury, not this judge, and we will win that trial. We will win that trial. Check it out. Check it out, folks. You know, I tell this to people. November 28. I think it is scheduled for. It should not be a trial. It should be a summary judgment dismissal. . . .
It is a disgrace. It is a rigged system. I had a rigged system, except we won by so much. This court system, the judges in this court system, federal court. They ought to look into Judge Curiel because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. Ok? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case? Where everybody likes it.
Ok. This is called life, folks. . . .
Now, we are told, “legal experts” are concerned that this rant “signals a remarkable disregard for judicial independence.” Freaking out entirely, Washington Post writer David Post (I guess he’s the paper’s son?) wrote..
“No, this is called “authoritarianism.” It’s what Berlusconi sounded like, what Chávez sounded like and what Perón sounded like — for that matter, it’s what Sulla and Caesar and the others who helped destroy the world’s first great republic sounded like: I am bigger than the law, I AM THE LAW.”
I have searched and I have searched, and darned if I can’t find Post expressing similar horrors when President Barrack Obama attacked the Supreme Court of the United States while misrepresenting its decision in Citizens United to its face, during the televised State of the Union address in 2010. The New York Times Adam Liptak, however, wrote at the time,
Before he began his attack on a Supreme Court decision not yet a week old, Mr. Obama added a few words that had not been in the prepared text. The new preface — “with all due deference to separation of powers” — seemed to acknowledge that he was aiming unusual rhetorical fire at several Supreme Court justices sitting right in front of him…Peter G. Verniero, a former justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, said…
“The court’s legitimacy is derived from the persuasiveness of its opinions and the expectation that those opinions are rendered free of partisan, political influences,” Mr. Verniero said. “The more that individual justices are drawn into public debates, the more the court as an institution will be seen in political terms, which was not the intent of the founders.”
Obama’s attack wasn’t a rambling, free-association muddle of half-finished thoughts and sentences, like Trump’s. It was a direct and pointed assault on the Supreme Court and the Rules of Law. It wasn’t at a local rally. It was in a nationally televised speech that pre-empted all other programming. Obama wasn’t a “presumptive nominee” at the time. He was President of the United States. And this wasn’t a one-time aberration, for Obama has repeatedly tried to bully the court.
As the Supreme Court was deliberating King v. Burwell, the case that nearly, and perhaps should have, ended Obamacare, Obama used the “bully pulpit” to delegitimize the court’s decision before it came down. “This should be an easy case.” he said in one speech. “Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up. It seems so cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people.” As he often does, Obama was misleading the ignorant. The case had to be taken up, because it was badly and sloppily written, and there were persuasive and legally reasonable arguments that it forced economic conduct using a penalty, which would be an abuse of Congressional power. Obama, an alleged Constitutional scholar, know that the Court’s job isn’t to take away health coverage of provide it, but to see that the president and Congress follows the Constitution.His suggestion that a Constitutional breach should be shrugged off because insurance coverage of “millions of people” was too high a price to pay for following the Constitution was an unambiguous attack on the rule of law.
Yet few left-leaning pundits and journalists—that is, almost all journalists–saw nothing wrong with Obama’s trying to abuse his power and strong-arm the judiciary while undermining their credibility in the eyes of the public, or if those pundits did, they stifled their criticism. After all, they like Obama. They approve of Obamacare. So even though what Obama said (and did, for Presidential words equal Presidential conduct) was far, far worse than Trump’s spontaneous rant, and much more consequential, nobody, certainly not David Post, compared the President to Chávez, Perón, Sulla and Caesar. They should have. Barack Obama legitimized what Trump was doing on a grand scale, just like he meddled in the justice system by declaring Trayvon Martin’s death a race-based killing.
When Harry Truman tried to use his office to bully a Washington Post music critic, it was immediately and correctly flagged as crossing the line. The news media, however, allowed Barack Obama to cross a more important line, so now there is no line.
Trump’s rant? It was inappropriate in every way. Of course it was. It was also, as all of his verbal diarrhea is, silly and barely coherent. Highlights:
I figure what the hell? Why not talk about it for two minutes. Should I talk about it? Yes? [cheers and applause] so we should have won.
And people understand with this whole thing, with this whole deal with the lawyers, class action lawyers are the worst. We can even get a fully jury. We are entitled to a jury, and we want a jury of 12 people. And you are going to watch. First of all, it should be dismissed. Watch how we win it as I have been treated unfairly.
So what happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe Mexican, which is great. I think that is fine. You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs. I think they are going to love it. I think they are going to love me. .
Check it out. Check it out, folks. You know, I tell this to people. November 28. I think it is scheduled for.
Caesar? Chavez? Their heirs should sue David Post. If either of these orators were this garbled even when drunk and in the throes of a stroke, they would hurl themselves off a cliff in shame.
If a journalist want to use Trump’s rant as reason 889, 753, 442, 901 why Donald Trump is a fool, a bully, narcissist and a buffoon obviously unfit to be national leader, that’s dandy. Be my guest. This is not, however, the rattle of a dictator, but the fumes of an idiot. Trump just talks. He doesn’t know what he’s going to say until he says it; he’s undisciplined and lacks basic social inhibitions. I especially love the part when Trump’s free-association causes him to say that that the judge is Mexican (You know he just as easily might have said, “he’s really short,” “he has just one single, bushy eyebrow,” or “he talks with a lisp, like Daffy Duck”), and a bell goes off and he thinks, “Crap, I shouldn’t have said that,” so he goes full Seinfeld (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”) and says, “Which is great!”
Naturally, the news media immediately accused him of racism for this: saying a Mexican-American is Mexican is now racist (but calling a Mexican-American who shot a black man a white Mexican American, which is what the news media did to George Zimmerman, wasn’t–rules are rules, now, get them straight!) The Post called the statement “racially tinged.” The man isn’t a racist; he’s a child. Racists have been effective Presidents on many occasions. Children shouldn’t be President. No, even less so than liars and felons.
Somebody explain this to Paul Ryan.
What this episode tells us about Donald Trump is that he has no idea how a national leader should act, and has no clue about what are and aren’t appropriate topics to discuss. We knew that, right? The man has already discussed the size of his penis, speculated on Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle, and mocked a handicapped reporter. This was just one more, and relative to the rest, trivial.
Trivial, unlike Barack Obama’s attempt to do in earnest what Trump just blundered into. What the episode tells us about the news media and how they will cover the presidential campaign is that it will be applying double standards and guided by bias, to an even more unethical extent that it did in 2008 and 2012.
I guess, come to think of it, we knew that already, too.