Brooks: Trump Accusations ‘Kind of Compelling,’ Supporting Him ‘Is Like Supporting Joe McCarthy’

On Friday’s broadcast of “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that the accusations of sexual misconduct against GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump aren’t dispositive, but are “kind of compelling.” And supporting Trump “is like supporting Joe McCarthy, and you will not be fine.”

Brooks said, “I guess we’ve always reached a new low, Judy, every Friday. So, we’re on a weekly basis. His case would be better if he hadn’t bragged about doing exactly what he’s alleged to have done. And so, you know, when you get five or six of these people coming out, some of whom had said things contemporaneously, I don’t know if it’s dispositive, but it’s kind of compelling. And the fact that we’re talking about a major presidential candidate behaving this way, in 2016, is kind of astounding. And the fact that the guy’s still walking and the guy has a lot of support among a lot of decent people, I don’t know what the word is. And so, you just — you’re just gobsmacked, as the British would say, surprised out of your wits end that we’re here.”

He added, “I will say one other thing, you know, oppo research gets a bad name. You shouldn’t go after your opponent, you shouldn’t go dig them up, but if [Sen.] Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeb Bush, or John Kasich had decent oppo research, and had unearthed this in the primary season, it would have spared the country a lot of turmoil, and their own party, a lot of self destruction.”

Brooks concluded, “Well, I mean, things should come up. They had a lot of candidates in that race, and once the Republicans had a lot of decent choices, they could have looked away from Trump to somebody they could have stomached, and it would have been fine. But now — and you watch a lot of Republicans who just feel — you feel like they’re locked in. And then you feel other Republicans who are just in some sort of morally incoherent state. Last week, you had a couple of senators who were calling for Trump to step down, and he didn’t step down, and now, they’re saying, oh, we’ll vote for him, which is morally incoherent. If you want them step down, you can’t vote for the guy to be president of the United States. And then you have a lot of people saying, I’ll just play it cool. I’ll just be with him. I’ll be good Republican, and then when he goes away, I’ll just be fine. That is not the case. This is not like supporting Barry Goldwater in 1964. This is like supporting Joe McCarthy, and you will not be fine. And a lot of the people are just hanging around on the fence, or alienating both sides by being somewhere in the middle, will not be recovering so easily, I do not think.”

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