Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quick Hits: Volume CXXVI

- For far too long, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has allowed the boorish Donald Trump to embarrass and degrade the party. Yes, I know. The GOP "establishment" has blood on its hands with the way they've conducted themselves in the past, which is part of the reason a Trump campaign has resonated. Please spare me that tedious, asinine and unoriginal narrative. Even if the GOP "establishment" has failed us in the past, a Trump-ish "cult of personality" is not a solution.

Given Trump's larger-than-life persona, party officials have been hesitant to call him on his misinformation campaign, specifically Trump's flat out erroneous assertion that "party bosses" are attempting to steal the nomination from him. Chairman Priebus rightly laid out the rules that whichever candidate secures 1,237 delegates before the July Republican National Convention is the presumptive nominee. Period. But if no one reaches the 1,237 threshold, there will be a second ballot at the RNC where delegates are allowed to vote for whomever they desire. But WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin rightly points out that Priebus needs to take it a step further and call out Trump's erroneous statements and boorish behavior. 

Priebus continues to passively allow Trump’s torrent of deception, threats and out and out lies wash over the party, treating him as just another candidate. It was this attitude that sent Priebus scurrying to Trump Tower with the pledge, now shown to be entirely worthless. Priebus’s collapse into moral relativism led him to forgo speaking out against the vast majority of Trump’s outrageous comments, and to only cryptically frown on violence in the race, which Trump alone has instigated and condoned. Worse yet, without an operative moral compass, Priebus again and again praised the entire field and provided assurance that no matter who got to 1,237 delegates, the entire party would get behind him. In short, he offered Trump carte blanche and now stands accused of running a corrupt and undemocratic outfit. You would think he would show a smidgen of indignation.

Legit GOP presidential candidates like Marco Rubio and Scott Walker didn't really go on the offensive against Trump until it was too late. With that in mind, RNC officials can't afford to continue to let Trump control the narrative. It's easy for Trump's spin to play given the media would much rather run with a "Trump was cheated story" than take a few minutes to lay out the simple process of how an open convention works.

- So Tuesday was "Equal Pay Day." The purpose of this was to call attention to women apparently not receiving the same pay as men. The most common statistic I've seen is women only make 71 cents for every dollar a man earns. Suppose for a minute that is an apples to apples comparison (it's not, but work with me here). Why would a company ever hire a man if they could pay a woman nearly 30% less in salary for the same work?

- Former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed in an apparent road rage incident in New Orleans last weekend. He was only 34-years old. With emotions still pretty raw, Sean Payton, Smith's head coach with the Saints, went on an anti-gun tirade.

In the aftermath of the senseless shooting Saturday night that left former defensive end Smith dead – and Smith’s wife, Racquel, wounded -- amid a beef linked to a traffic accident, the New Orleans Saints coach is pleading for more gun control.

He isn’t merely talking about tighter laws. If Payton had his druthers, we’d live in a country without guns.

“Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ “ Payton said. “The idea that we need them to fend off intruders … people are more apt to draw them (in other situations). That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging on to.”

Look, gun control demagoguery is hardly a new thing in light of a tragic shooting. Unfortunately, misstatement of facts is also commonplace.

“We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.”

Since this interview with Payton was conducted in less than 48 hours after Smith's death, I'm willing to give him a pass.

With that said, it would behoove any gun control zealot to listen to Arizona Cardinals CB (and New Orleans native) Tyrann Mathieu on what could be done to alleviate that city's violent crime rate. Hint: Banning all guns certainly won't eliminate the major issues the city endures.


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