Mild-mannered Senator Mike Lee let the Hulk loose last night on Newsmax host Steve Malzberg, who asked the Senator why he wouldn’t just get on the Trump train already. It is an infuriating question Trump supporters insist on asking constantly, a demand for allegiance they make non-stop. Senator Mike Lee has had just about enough of that, it would seem.
Malzberg says “I don’t understand why you’re not out there, you know, trumpeting Trump!” That’s when the magic happens:
We can get into that if you want. We can get into the fact that he accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the fact that he’s made some statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant. We can get into the fact that he’s wildly unpopular in my state, in part because my state consists of people who are members of a religious minority church. A people who were ordered exterminated by the governor of Missouri in 1838. And, statements like that make them nervous.
Lee says he hopes he can get over these “concerns” and that “Mr. Trump can help me identify them,” he says. “But don’t sit here and tell me, Steve, that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump.”
Then Malzberg cloyingly presses again, sniffing at the idea that Lee should care about Trump’s lunatic JFK conspiracy theory about Ted Cruz’s father and making the same pathetic argument every Trumper makes, which, at its most eloquent, is “b-b-b-but HILLARY you guuuys!!”
Lee lets Trump have it again.
What I am saying is that Donald Trump can still get a lot of votes from a lot of conservatives like me, but I would like some assurances on where he is going to stand his ground. I’d like some assurances that he’s going to be a vigorous defender for the U.S. Constitution. That he’s not going to be an autocrat, that he’s not going to be an authoritarian, that he’s not somebody who’s going to abuse a document to which I have sworn an oath to uphold and protect and defend. I’m sorry sir, but that is not an unreasonable demand.
Like every Trump fan, and Obama fan before them, Malzberg is genuinely mystified that people won’t just line up and bend over for his particular Christ-figure. So the reaction from solid conservative and defender of the Constitution Mike Lee catches him wholly off guard. Trump’s apologists excuse any behavior, literally anything at all, from dear leader, ostensibly because “not Hillary” but in many cases, let’s be honest, it’s because when he yells at people their weak knees get all shaky.
Sen. Lee will now be branded a RINO or a “traitor” because to Trump fanatics, loving Trump is loving America, and not loving Trump is hating America. As with other conservative leaders who despise Trump, and there are plenty, Lee’s career and achievements and positions and successes mean nothing to them in the face of “must love Trump” single-mindedness from these Johnny-come-latelys to the actual movement and activity of politics.
Mike Lee is frustrated. He should be. We all should be. That’s why, as Erick says, we need more of this.