- - Thursday, October 13, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s nothing quite as sad as watching grown men racing for the tall grass in the face of difficulty and danger. The Republican elites panicked by the disclosure that Donald Trump said something gross — even if not necessarily as gross as some of the things attributed to JFK and LBJ and Bill Clinton — should remember what Donald Rumsfeld, who was then the secretary of Defense, said during the first Gulf War. “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

The nation is saddled with two imperfect candidates, and this makes some Republicans say and do goofy and foolish things. The traditional Republican marketing mantra — “Vote Republican, we’re not as bad as you think” — rarely wins elections, but, with all due respect to President Obama, neither does trying to lead from behind. The Republicans should recall the lines from Rudyard Kipling, unfashionable though he may be in certain quarters, that “if you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,” you won’t bear the shame of running to hide.

Donald Trump is not the perfect nominee; his manifold shortcomings are writ large enough. But neither do the Republicans comprise the perfect party, and the party faces a foe who has never been accused of being the perfect nominee, either. The war goes on, nonetheless.

Democrats and the mainstream media, as it likes to think of itself, are positively giddy watching House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans cut and run, embracing the self-preservation mode, and imagining that the party is tumbling “toward anarchy,” as The Washington Post puts it. The Republicans might find a little wisdom in an unexpected place, Hillary’s campaign slogan, “Stronger together.”

Why is it not sufficient for these panicked Republicans to scold, reprove, rebuke, spank, chide and berate the Donald for his “locker-room talk,” as any decent person would, and move on? Why the compelling need for the self-righteous chorus of these ladies who begin to protest too much? We live in a trash culture, as everyone can see, and if Donald Trump is making it worse, he didn’t create it. Perspective is the responsibility of grown-ups.

A second Clinton presidency would surely come with all the corruption and cronyism of the first, but this time with an openly far-left agenda that will be a third term for Barack Obama. The tax, spend and regulate agenda promised by Hillary is as obscene as anything Donald Trump has said of his grimy erotic fantasies. Eight years of socialism not-so-lite is more than enough.

The plain-spoken Mr. Rumsfeld has the proper perspective. “For me, it’s not complicated,” he says. “I put on a scale ‘who do I agree with most,’ ‘who do I disagree with most,’ and ‘who do I think would be the most damaging to our country.’ There’s no question that four more years of the Obama-Clinton approach to government, and the corruption we’ve seen, the kinds of people who would be put in government or on the Supreme Court make it not a close call for me, despite any differences I may have with Mr. Trump.”

No tall weeds for him.

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