Never one for understatement, ex-Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Wednesday night accused Donald Trump of having “casual contempt” for 225 years of American democracy. Regarding Trump’s refusal in the final debate to commit to accepting a loss on Election Day, Fineman contended, “It wasn't just what he said that was shocking, it was the way he said it. There was a casual contempt in Donald Trump's voice for 225 years of American political tradition.”
The Huffington Post editorial director theorized, “If [Trump] can't take something and win something himself, he will destroy that thing and make it impossible for other people to have it.”
Though many conservatives and Republicans disagree with Trump’s hedging on the election, Fineman pretty much uses this type of language about any GOP candidate or conservative. In 2012, he slimed Mitt Romney as a “xenophobe” who appeals to the party’s “nativist” base. That same year, he insisted that the “nasty” Rush Limbaugh is behaving like a “werewolf.”
Earlier this year, he referred to Trump as a “dangerous,” “insane traitor.” Perhaps Fineman was trying to top himself. Back in September, he called Trump’s first debate the “worst” ever.
See transcript below:
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Post Debate coverage
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is three elections in a row, he's threatening to delegitimize. It is a pattern, and it does lead to the suggestion that Robert Costa of the Washington Post said tonight that he will not validate the election results. Pretty scary stuff.
HOWARD FINEMAN: Well, Chris, to me, it wasn't just what he said that was shocking, it was the way he said it. There was a casual contempt in Donald Trump's voice for 225 years of American political tradition. Donald Trump is a force for chaos. He always has been. If he can't take something and win something himself, he will destroy that thing and make it impossible for other people to have it. What he's — what he's really doing tonight, among other things, in addition to challenging the whole system, is saying that if “I can't have the presidency, I'm going to make it not worth Hillary's time to have it.” That's what he's doing.