For the last year, we’ve seen top Republicans criticize Donald Trump with a regularity (and a viciousness) that far exceeds their criticism of Democrats like Barack Obama. Even post-primaries, Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and Mark Kirk have – to one degree or another – distanced themselves from the nominee. Some have declared him an enemy to conservatism. Others look like they’re swallowing a spoonful of Robitussin every time they stick up for Trump.
For voters who love Trump – and even for voters who know that the greater threat is Hillary Clinton – this chaos is disappointing. Politically, it is very dangerous to go into a general election with a party divided.
But why don’t we see anything like this on the other side?
Hillary Clinton may not be prone to making controversial comments, but that doesn’t exactly make her presidential material, does it? Let’s put it this way: If you were hiring someone to manage your store, would you rather hire someone who sometimes crosses the line of good taste or someone who had once endangered national security?
The facts are out there. Clinton may not face federal charges, but FBI Director James Comey left no doubt: Hillary lied to the American people. She was careless with government secrets. She did not conduct herself responsibly when serving as Secretary of State.
And the email scandal is only the latest in a very long list of things that make Hillary Clinton unfit for the White House. She encouraged foreign governments to donate to her Clinton Foundation in exchange for State Department favors. Can anyone prove this beyond a reasonable doubt? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The coincidences are too numerous to ignore.
Then there are her lies about Benghazi. Whether or not she is personally guilty of failing to protect Americans in Libya, she is certainly guilty of lying to cover for her boss.
President Obama was facing an election and a coordinated terrorist attack would make him look weak. So a work of fiction was devised. They blamed it on spontaneous demonstrations gone awry. They blamed it on an internet video. A Republican administration would have paid dearly for these lies. Clinton and Obama got a free pass from the media. Like always.
But yet Democrats don’t have to make a funny, pained face when they defend their nominee. You don’t see Nancy Pelosi hedging her support with a million qualifications. You don’t see Harry Reid demanding a better representative of Democratic principles. You don’t see also-rans like Al Gore giving 30-minute speeches outlining all the reasons that Hillary Clinton should not be president.
But slamming these Democrats as spineless misses the point. Rather, we should see it as instructive. You know why they support Hillary while Republicans find it hard to support Trump? Because Hillary is still 100% behind the Democratic Party platform. She’s not going to make waves. She’s not going to shake up the system.
You can get away with almost anything in the eyes of your party. Anything except propose some serious changes to the way business is done in D.C.
That won’t be tolerated.