Opinion

Donald Trump’s angry GOP seeks to step backward

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Donald Trump gets officially nominated despite #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes. In New York, a yuuge GOP voice, Fox News’ Roger Ailes, reportedly gropes his way toward the exit. Justice Antonin Scalia opines from the Republican Party platform. Erwin Chemerinsky sticks up for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Westboro Baptist Church and Black Lives Matter add to growing turmoil outside the Republican National Convention. And Nicolle D. Wallace has a good question for her Republican brethren.

Take down

Beset by sexual harassment claims and an internal investigation, 76-year-old Roger Ailes, the former Republican operative who built Fox News into a mighty conservative organ, is said to be negotiating his exit as chairman with the network’s parent company. Big news for the right, (and just icky for Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson and others), if the reports in the New York media are true.

But Ailes has his defenders. And Jessica Valenti writes in The Guardian that Fox News is a cesspool of sexism and firing Roger Ailes won’t fix that.

Neil Mullin, one of Carlson’s lawyers, says in a letter to The New York Times that the U.S. Supreme Court should do something about the secrecy in sexual harassment lawsuits, a result of confidentiality imposed on arbitration.

Wired’s Jason Tanz says Ailes’ power was already waning, as shown by his failure to quash Trump and his Twitter-fed army.

Of course, as Melania Trump learned after she was caught delivering a speech partly plagiarized from Michelle Obama, Twitter, too, can turn on you.

Take that

At the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s campaign manager, went to a Log Cabin Republican Club and told the gay Republicans that they are “important to the fabric of this party.”

“I encourage you to keep fighting for what you believe, because the day is going to come,” Schmidt said.

Yes, their day came, in part when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land. A majority of the population now believes the issue is settled and that all consenting adults have the right to marriage.

But the Republican Party platform takes a step back.

“Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values,” the platform says.

The platform condemns the 2015 Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality, quoting Justice Antonin Scalia’s line that it reduced the legal reasoning “to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.” This from a party led by a man on his third marriage.

Take cover

That relative calm that enveloped Cleveland and the Republican National Convention on Monday? It vanished Tuesday as protesters took over a large downtown plaza for a series of tense standoffs.

For hours, police struggled to keep groups of protesters separated with bicycles and officers standing shoulder to shoulder. Later, officers on horses also showed up. Racial epithets were thrown and shoves were delivered. Some reported people carrying water guns and spraying other people with urine.

The Westboro Baptist Church, which had gotten permission from the city to speak, taunted protesters. Black Lives Matter activists protesting police brutality mixed with people shouting about the awesomeness of Donald Trump and the rights of police.

The chaotic scene represents the toxic mixture of dissent that has descended upon this city. Police may have their work cut out for them today and Thursday, when Mike Pence and Trump take the stage. Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith

Take a number: 35

The Republican Party’s platform for the 2016 presidential campaign mentions abortion 35 times, none of them supporting a woman’s right to control her body.

In 2012, when Mitt Romney was the nominee, the platform mentioned abortion 19 times. The 2008 platform when John McCain was running mentioned 12 times.

Donald Trump’s platform includes a section on the Fifth Amendment clause saying no one can be “deprived of life, liberty or property” and saying “the unborn child has a fundamental right to life.”

The platform urges adoption of a “human life amendment” and legislation “to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.” For good measure.

Our take

Editorial: What we’ve learned so far about the Trumps

Editorial: Some things a UC rule change cannot fix

Erika D. Smith: It’s Mike Pence’s time to shine

Moira Szilagyi: Foster youths deserve good health care, wherever they are

Deborah Hersman and Daniel McGehee: With advanced technology, drivers still control safety

Their take

UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has nothing to apologize for in her criticism of Donald Trump. That’s what our own Shawn Hubler said.

Debra J. Saunders of The San Francisco Chronicle: Police are guilty until proven innocent or even if proven innocent

Dallas Morning News: Just because open carry is legal doesn’t mean it’s always smart

Miami Herald: Dear Melania, Nice speech! Stunning dress! ... Love ya, Michelle

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, deserves a big share of the blame for the debacle

Des Moines Register: Mike Pence has taken humiliating and punishing women to new levels in his home state

Michael Tanner of The National Review: Donald Trump isn’t yet the official Republican nominee for president. And already, he has managed to reinforce many of the most serious concerns about his candidacy

Syndicates’ take

Trudy Rubin: Turkey must prove that cleric was involved in the coup

Dana Milbank: The crazy face of Trump’s GOP

David Brooks: Trump getting even Trumpier

Ruben Navarrette: Pence’s perplexing pivot to Trump

Kathleen Parker: Melania Trump left in the lurch

Quote of the day

Nicolle D. Wallace @NicolleDWallace, formerly an aide to Republican Assemblyman Bill Leonard, to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Morning Joe: “Do you even want to win with just white men voting Republican? I’m embarrassed.”

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