If you remember the elections of 2000 and 2004, you will probably recall talk of Karl Rove and his mastery of "political jujitsu." It was generally discussed as if it were some sort of mystical Jedi mind trick that allowed Rove to make strings into weaknesses and weaknesses into strengths. Mainly, it came down to the realization that most reporters would respond to obvious lies with straight faces and no follow-up questions.
In 2004, I remember Republican operatives making the argument that George W. Bush's military record compared favorably with that of John Kerry. Just to review, Kerry was a legitimate war hero in terms of courage, sacrifice, and effectiveness. On the other side of the ledger, even if we push aside all of the accusations and contested points about favoritism and completion of requirements, there is a relatively cushy stint in the National Guard.
These and other clearly untrue statements were usually allowed to stand largely because this was a symbiotic relationship. It was in both the source's and the journalist's interests to keep this relationship going and not to push the boundaries in either direction.
The lies we've been hearing recently are not necessarily that much more blatant, but Trump and associates are no longer observing the social conventions that traditionally went with them. If a reporter asks about your candidate's military service and you reply by saying all sorts of nice things about the National Guard, that reporter can move onto the next question without looking like a complete moron. If you look reporters in the face and tell them that twice cheating on then dumping your wife for a younger, more glamorous woman qualifies as a sacrifice, you leave the reporters looking like asses just for letting you get the words out of your mouth.
Which brings us to (from TPM):
Khizr Khan, the father of the Muslim soldier, said in his speech at the Democratic convention last week that Trump had "sacrificed nothing." And Trump hit back over the weekend, saying that he's "made a lot of sacrifices," like creating jobs."Creating jobs" normally implies actually paying the people who do work for you, but we can save that for another day.
During a CNN panel discussion Sunday, Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes defended Trump's comments.
"Mr. Trump was responding to the fact of sacrificing. Nowhere ever did he ever say that his sacrifice was equivalent or more or even close to what the Kahn’s had given up," she said.
CNN host Fredricka Whitfield then asked, "Is creating a job considered a sacrifice?"
"You know what, creating jobs caused him to be at work, which cost him two marriages,” Hughes said in response. “Time away from his family to sit there and invest.
Clinton surrogate Bernard Whitman jumped in to say, "infidelity cost him."
"No, actually being away from his family, he’s admitted it,” Hughes insisted. "That is the spin of the media and ongoing bias."
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