Jennifer Rubin: Only one grown-up in presidential race

By Jennifer Rubin comment

Hillary Clinton has stolen a jump on Donald Trump - whose campaign team has never got up to speed - and obliterated one of Trump's talking points.

Clinton gave a tough-minded foreign policy speech and she specifically identified "radical jihadism or radical Islamism" as the ideological basis for terrorism.

She also vowed to put identification of lone wolves at the top of her anti-terrorism to-do list.

Speaking in the swing state of Ohio, she declared this a politics-free day, but of course it was all about politics as she seized the opportunity to demonstrate her own maturity and Trump's unfitness to be commander-in-chief.

Before she began, Trump had gone a long way toward confirming the latter.

With his own conspiratorial-minded loneness in full view, Trump suggested President Barack Obama was perhaps Muslim or otherwise sympathetic to Islamist terrorists.

It's the kind of fodder to get his birther base revved up but in a general election context reminds voters how grossly incapable he would be of performing his duties as president.

He ominously suggested on NBC: "There are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it ... (who) think maybe he doesn't want to know about it - I happen to think he just doesn't know what he's doing - but there are many people who think he doesn't want to get it. He doesn't want to see what's really happening."

On Fox News, he was even more inflammatory: "We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind".

This is vile stuff, unhelpful and indicative of a floundering narcissist in way over his head.

It's not clear whether this will rekindle concerns among Republicans as to his fitness to be their nominee. It should. As with his attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, Trump reveals he is incapable of conducting himself with any semblance of propriety.

By contrast, speaking about the Orlando mass murderer, Clinton asserted that the "virus that poisoned his mind remains very much alive" and talked bluntly about "jihadists," calling for stepped-up efforts to stop the flow of fighters back and forth to the United States and an "intelligence surge". (It is not clear if she would undo recent restrictions imposed on the NSA). She added in calls to stop the money flow to terrorists (would she include keeping Iran, the largest state sponsor of terror, out of dollar-backed transactions?).

She of course threw in a call for limiting high-powered weapons. And to the LGBT community, she declared: "You have millions of allies who will always have your back. I am one of them".

Most startling was her praise for the way former President George W. Bush handled the aftermath of 9/11, refusing to paint all Muslims (as Trump now does) with a broad brush. Trump of course had bizarrely blamed Bush for 9/11. It may well be that the Bush 43 vote goes to Clinton this election.

Republicans smirked when she asserted that anyone under FBI questioning shouldn't be allowed access to a gun. But aside from her own predicament, the dilemma of what to do about those who have spoken but not acted on jihadist ideology, travelled back and forth to hotbeds of religious extremism and come in contact with other radicalised Muslims - all of which the Orlando, Florida, killer did - remains. With First and Second Amendment rights at issue, when should those with vague indications of radicalisation be monitored? How do we prevent them from stepping over the line from protected speech to action? There are no easy answers.

Clinton can be faulted for going too long before bursting Trump's "she never says 'Islamic terrorism'" bubble, but now that she has said it and come across as sane and relatively focused on the real problem (getting peaceful Muslims domestically and in Muslim countries to help in the war against Isis), the focus should turn back to Trump.

What he is proposing is not only unhelpful (inflaming all Muslims) and naive (if only nightclub attendees had weapons) but counterproductive and dangerous.

- Washington Post

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