Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump pointing...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Like Voldemort or Candyman, Republicans fear that mentioning Trump by name will summon him forth. Lindsey Graham dared mention he-whose-name-can-only-be-in-giant-gold-letters on Wednesday, earning himself a personal attack on Thursday morning.

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Of course Donald Trump didn’t say there was moral equivalency. Because moral equivalency is a phrase Donald Trump couldn’t use without someone to whisper it in his ear. All he did was to say …

What about the alt-left that came charging at the—as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? … You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. … you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. 

See. The words “moral equivalency” don’t appear. Trump also made a point of saying that Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson were just like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, a point his lawyer reinforced on Thursday with a fresh heap of we didn’t say moral equivalency. 

Trump didn’t stop himself with an attack on Graham. He also went straight for another Republican who had failed to bend the knee.

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How classy is the candidate that Trump is promoting in this tweet? So classy that she called for John McCain to resign after his surgery so she could take over his seat.

Said Ward: “As a Christian, I know there can always be miracles. But the likelihood that John McCain is going to be able to come back to the Senate and be at full force for the people of our state and the people of the United States is low.”

Well, bless her heart. That statement followed an earlier radio interview in which Ward said she hoped McCain’s advisors would urge him to “step away.” Where Flake issued a series of tweets against racism following Trump’s off-the-rails “fine people” speech, Kelli Ward retweeted Trump’s statements and followed them up with an “I agree.”

In her 2016 race against McCain, Ward used an ad that Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama in 2012, altering nothing but putting in McCain’s name for Obama’s and her name for Romney’s. It was an act so blatant that Mitt Romney’s lawyers contacted Ward and ordered her to take the ad down. Ward is also a “chemtrails” conspiracy theorist who, as a state legislator, held a town hall to reveal this insidious threat to her constituents.

Overall, it’s easy to see why Kelli Ward is Donald Trump’s favorite new candidate.

Many Republicans issued statements on Wednesday in an attempt to distance themselves from Donald Trump’s claims about the “very fine people” to be found among white supremacists and the “troublemakers” who fought them. But for the great majority of those statements, there was one big thing missing—and mention of Trump. Even Jeff Flake’s statement stopped short of naming Trump.

Paul Ryan called white supremacy “repulsive,” but didn’t mention Trump or his statements.

Dean Heller bravely stood up to “racism, hatred, and violence” without mentioning why.

Orin Hatch said “We should call evil by its name” and then still didn’t name Trump.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is still chuckling with coming up with “Flake Jeff Flake.”

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.