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Hullabaloo


Saturday, February 13, 2016

 
Trump's bad manners

by digby















Can you see what's wrong with this picture?

[In] a campaign that has seemingly tested every political rule, Mr. Trump’s opponents hope his latest provocation will be too much for well-mannered voters in this heavily evangelical Christian state to bear: his use of a vulgar word this week to describe one of his rivals, Senator Ted Cruz.

Mr. Trump’s raunchy language has become unsurprising at his rallies. And the slur against Mr. Cruz was largely overshadowed by the coverage of the next day’s New Hampshire primary.

But in voicing the crude term, Mr. Trump has further polarized a Republican Party already deeply divided about his candidacy, particularly across class lines.

His backers, who polls indicate include many without a college degree, see his willingness to speak coarsely as yet another refreshing example of his resistance to political correctness.

His critics, many of them more affluent, view his language as a particularly vivid sign that he lacks basic decency and is ill suited to the nation’s highest office.

The differing reactions are already playing out on the campaign trail.

Rebecca Sardella, who attended a rally for Senator Marco Rubio this week in Myrtle Beach, said she was offended by Mr. Trump’s language.

“The way he speaks — that doesn’t sound like somebody who really believes in God that much,” said Ms. Sardella, who works for a nondenominational church in North Myrtle Beach. “You want your children to look up at the president of the United States.”

In New Hampshire on Monday, Mr. Trump shared with an audience a supporter’s comment about Mr. Cruz. “She said, ‘He’s a pussy,’ ” he told the crowd.

On Thursday, at a rally in an arena in Baton Rouge, La., Mr. Trump’s supporters treated his remark about Mr. Cruz like the hit song of a touring rock band, pleading with him to let it rip again. “They’re all saying, ‘Do it! Do it!’ ” he told a clamorous crowd of nearly 10,000, acknowledging their chants.

Savoring the response, Mr. Trump prolonged the tease but ultimately prompted jeers from his supporters by declining to repeat the word.

“Because,” he explained, “even if it’s not a bad word, if it’s a little bit off, they kill me.” He vowed he would never repeat the remark again, prompting a cry of “No!” from somebody in the audience.

Whether Mr. Trump holds to that promise or not, his opponents are trying to use his language against him here, where the next Republican presidential primary votes will be cast next Saturday.

I'm sure you noticed that what these people are upset about is that he used a vulgar word. What is left out is that he used that vulgar word to criticize his opponent for being insufficiently enthusiastic about torture. Nobody has a problem with that, not even the genteel Southern Republican ladies of South Carolina.