New York Times former editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, perhaps the most self-satisfied liberal on a Times staff that’s not exactly running short of them, was in rare form on the eve of the Republican Convention, going after multiple “racist” and bigoted GOP targets. First, he compared Donald Trump to various notorious dictators in a Friday column.
Donald Trump can be a lot of things: outrageous, bigoted, mercurial, funny, unthinking and relentless. But in this long presidential campaign he has not been dull -- until, that is, he selected Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running mate.
It’s relatively obvious why Trump picked Pence, a Midwesterner and one of the Republicans who turned the House G.O.P. caucus into a right-wing fringe movement dominated by politicians who want to make their version of Christian values the driving force in government. He is, as he once put it, “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
Rosenthal compared Trump to infamous overseas dictators.
Presumably Trump and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, thought that picking Pence would please Midwesterners, Christians and hard-core conservatives. Certainly, Manafort knows a crazy right-winger when he sees one. He made his Washington bones lobbying on behalf of dictators like the Angolan butcher Jonas Savimbi, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine.
Rosenthal joined the Times’ “Good, Bad and Mad” podcast on Thursday and went off on “openly racist” Rudy Giuliani and (take a breath) the “racist, xenophobe, homophobe sexist with no known qualifications,” Donald Trump.
Podcast host Susan Lehman cued up Rosenthal to bash Giuliani, Trump, and Republicans in general:
...and then there were the straightforwardly racist reactions, like the one from Rudy Giuliani, the failed former Mayor of New York and honestly one of the worst candidates for president in modern history, if not ever. He said that the term Black Lives Matter is inherently racist. Wrong. His comments are not inherently racist, but openly so....and we cannot pretend that there’s not racism at play here. It’s not racial hostility, it’s not white people who don’t understand why they’re not doing better. It’s just straightforward racism, and the Republicans, sadly, have been playing this card for decades...Sadly, you’re going to see more of this next week, when the Republicans gather in Cleveland, and pretend that they’re not nominating -- and I’m sorry for this litany -- but a racist, xenophobe, homophobe sexist with no known qualifications.