"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Point, Counterpoint

Remember Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim soldier who lit into Trump at the Democratic convention? Well, Trump responded, in typical Trump fashion:

Of course Donald Trump was going to go after Khizr Khan, the bereaved father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. He had to, because Khan stands for everything anti-Trump. Patriotism, sacrifice, and integrity. Oh, and Khan is Muslim.

Trump did not disappoint, telling ABC News Saturday that he had "made a lot of sacrifices" by employing "thousands and thousands of people," and having "tremendous success."

Somehow, having tremendous success defrauding thousands of people doesn't strike me as much of a sacrifice. But he didn't stop there:

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” he rambled.

What a stupid thing to say. In their interview with Lawrence O'Donnell Friday, Mrs Khan explained that she can't even bear to go into the room where his picture is because the loss is still so utterly fresh for her. She didn't trust herself to maintain her composure so she let her husband speak. He, in turn, said that without her at his side he wouldn't have made it through the speech.

The Khans had more to say:

Khizr Khan continued: "Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect Gold Star families and [a] Gold Star mother not realizing her pain. Shame on him! Shame on his family! He is not worthy of our comments. He has no decency. He is void of decency, he has a dark heart."

Ghazala Khan said: "Sacrifice -- I don't think he knows the meaning of sacrifice, the meaning of the word. Because when I was standing there, all America felt my pain. Without saying a single word. Everybody felt that pain."

Let's face it -- Trump is a clod. A loud, obnoxious clod.

Josh Marshall has an observation that I think is, unfortunately, very much on the mark:

I confess I struggle with the emerging back and forth between Trump and the Khans. It's good for the country because it shows what Khizr Khan aptly labels Trump's "dark heart." But I have no doubt that notwithstanding the well-wishes of so may the Khans will now be vilified, scrutinized and smeared by Trump's supporters.

We've already had one example of that, from a woman who has no right to comment.

I wish the Khans strength -- which they already seem to have in good measure, along with grace and courage. Pity the Republicans can't seem to entertain those qualities.

Footnote: Compare and contrast: Hillary Clinton's statement on the Khans:

Clinton issued a statement on Saturday that said, “I was very moved to see Ghazala Khan stand bravely and with dignity in support of her son on Thursday night. And I was very moved to hear her speak last night, bravely and with dignity, about her son’s life and the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country.”

She continued, “This is a time for all Americans to stand with the Khans, and with all the families whose children have died in service to our country. And this is a time to honor the sacrifice of Captain Khan and all the fallen. Captain Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them.”

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