— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) June 3, 2016
Earlier this month Rachel Maddow put out the above tweet, remarking on how Donald J. Trump—presumptive nominee of the Republican party—is nowhere to be found on the GOP website. I decided to expound on that thought looking at how the party’s website, Chairman Reince Preibus, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have communicated about Trump, their standard bearer.
Turns out you can count those Trump references on one hand. In my decidedly unscientific analysis of two months of tweets (many of which I’d like to un-see), my estimation of Trump mentions:
Flying to Dallas now with @realDonaldTrump…Reports of discord are pure fiction. Great events lined up all over Texas. Rs will win in Nov!
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) June 16, 2016
- Chairman Preibus: 5 times (including one yesterday)
- Speaker Ryan: 0 times (save for a lone People magazine retweet that I’m not counting)
- Leader McConnell: 0 times
And then there’s the website splash page:
It’s been nearly two months since Trump became the likely GOP nominee, and he’s nowhere to be found. No picture, quotes, proposals or ideas—nothing. A quick breakdown of other GOP.com content:
- Clinton “scandal” mentions: 5
- Number of creepy “We Believe” evangelical slogans: 1
- Chances to buy George H.W. Bush socks: 1
- Times Donald Trump appears: 0
So, honest question: Where’s Donnie?
Trump appears to be yelling from a sparsely populated island. And given the stark lack of unity and “standard bearer” language coming from top brass, it’s my assertion that the GOP isn’t going to nominate Trump at its convention.
Is that purely speculation? Yes. Is it speculative on the facts at hand rather than conjecture? Also yes. I’ve been saying all along that Trump’s campaign is a national ego trip and not a serious presidential candidacy—and I might yet be vindicated for that stance.
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) November 24, 2015
Paul Ryan has put out more marketing for himself as president than any effort to support Trump’s candidacy. McConnell has issued “no comment” so many times you’d think he’s turned mute. Reince Preibus has been conspicuously mum on defending Trump, too, when the Donald says something doltish.
When a political person claims “there’s no discord!” in a tweet, it usually means the exact opposite.
Trump just doesn’t strike me as a legitimate nominee, because he doesn’t appear to be taking it seriously. Which is an interesting point, but it may only be that. See some pieces below that are talking about that very thing.
- “Is Donald Trump losing the GOP?” (Politico)
- “Is Donald Trump’s Endgame The Launch of Trump News?” (Vanity Fair)
- “Why I’m starting to doubt Donald Trump even wants to be president” (Charlie Pearce/Esquire)
- “Why is John McCain, of all people, supporting Trump?” (HotAir)
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) June 16, 2016
cut to present day when the leading GOP candidate is doing that same demonizing all on his own.
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) June 16, 2016
The mass shooting in Orlando was devastating all the way around. I’ve already covered the event with earlier posts—on the hypocrisy of “Kill the gays” preachers; my on-the-ground reporting of the LGBT peace vigil in Atlanta; and artists like Conan O’Brien and James Corden rallying in support of Orlando.
The one little update I’ll add: as of this writing Equality Florida’s GoFundMe page is nearing the $5,000,000 funds-raised mark—a record for the crowdfunding site.
— Ida V. Eskamani (@ida_v_e) June 16, 2016
Events in Orlando have sparked a national conversation about guns in america—not to mention the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans. Just yesterday Democrats in the Senate launched a surprise filibuster of a standard bill to force their GOP colleagues to come to the table for a vote (see “Disruptors” below). Apparently, after 13+ hours, it worked.
TheAVClub: ICYMI: Journalist Igor Volsky exposes the hypocrisy of the GOP’s “thoughts and prayers” … pic.twitter.com/HhpvEhDHIZ
— Facebook Bychkov (@FacebookBychkov) June 14, 2016
— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) December 3, 2015
If you follow anyone in the aftermath of Orlando it should be Igor Volsky. He’s been sticking it to the politicians who issue mechanical statements about “thoughts and prayers” but who really only “think and pray” about gun control. Many if not all of those same politicians receive generous campaign donations from the National Rifle Association. And Igor is on it.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Politicians are quick to tweet out that sentiment, but when it comes down to it, you might as well throw those words in the trash because they mean nothing. Actions are the only true measure of a politician. Speaking of which…
This week I’m launching a new department called CrankyYank’s Disruptor of the Week. And it’s a good week to start, too, because Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) led a 15-hour filibuster in the Senate chamber to bring gun-control measures to a Senate vote. He closed the filibuster with this observation on bravery from Newtown.
Sen. Murphy actually had the unimaginable stamina to continue doing interviews on shows throughout. Will it pass? Probably not. Would the legislation be perfect? Definitely not. Was it worth the effort in the end? You bet it was.
Sen. Chris Murphy is our Disruptor of the Week. He’s leading the charge to change the paradigm of the way guns are handled in this country.
“I don’t have to change who I am to count as a human.” This sentence has been bouncing around my head all week since the shooting in Orlando. “Pulse,” written and performed by Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie, is dedicated to all the victims and their families, and it’s required viewing. Beautiful message written on the fly, and in my opinion, should win awards.
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) June 14, 2016
Back in April I introduced you to Sammie Clemmey, my goddaughter, who gave John Kasich all sorts of the business with the question on sexual assault on campus. Well, Sam has penned an op-ed on the Orlando shooting that you simply must read. “What We Need To Remember About The Orlando Attack” is a great post that talks about reducing the spread of hate. From the piece:
“While this act was one of hate, we cannot spread the hate more to members of a certain religion because of the fact that this terrorist was one of the same religion. It is not only wrong but morally incorrect to associate members of the faith with violence and hate. By spreading more hate ourselves, the problems will only get worse.”
- Special Report: Orlando Mass Shooting & ‘Kill the Gays’ Hypocrisy
- #LoveWins: LGBT Atlanta Rises in Support of Orlando [PHOTOS]
- Comedians, Singers & Artists Rally Around Orlando
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 15, 2016
Prince William became the first British royal to appear on the cover of a gay publication, which would make Diana very proud indeed (NBC News)… Whole Foods has been dinged by the FDA for “insanitary conditions” that are “injurious to health” at a Mass. food-processing plant (NYTimes)… In the Top 10 American cities for dogs, Atlanta comes in at No. 9 (Realtor.com).
— realtor.com® pro (@realtorpro) June 16, 2016
We have a tie this week. I couldn’t decide between these two Orlando-related Calming Capsules below, so I figured—let’s run both. The first is a piece from BBC News on the Orlando shooting, and it needs absolutely no set-up.
The second is a segment I caught last night from NBC News’ Joe Fryer; the piece’s lede says it all. “It’s a reality we’ve come to expect at mass shootings. A gun is fired one second, acts of kindness are born the next.”
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 16, 2016
Florida REALTOR Christian West Howard donated his office space to help victims’ families—who were descending upon Orlando for funerals—find places to stay. “Angels are at work here,” he told Fryer. The frenzy began when Howard posted a few of his rental properties as places to stay for those family members.
To day, West-Howard’s small army of volunteers have placed more than 200 people in housing across Orlando.
“It’s amazing to get our and information out there,” he told me in a Facebook message. The message, and the kindness, most certainly have. WTG Christian.
BIG NEWS: We’re going to be expanding the #CureYourCrankies department in to its own feature, led by guest blogger, my dear pal and all around feisty Mama Hag Penny Frulla. She will be leading discussions on how to make the world a better place, one solution at a time. Tune in to CrankyYank.com on Tuesday for a discussion on gun storage: What are some of your best strategies and ideas on how to safely store handguns at home?
Make sure to subscribe at the link below for immediate updates!
That’s a wrap guys—it’s certainly been a long week of heartache. Remember to love each other and take absolutely no one for granted. We’ll see you back here next Thursday at 2 p.m., and #CureYourCrankies debuts next Tuesday.
Will Pollock is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on retail, real estate, travel and human interest. He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.
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