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Trump's long walk to a long fall from glory.

 FORMER US president Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Ohio ahead of the midterm elections last month in support of Republican candidates.  (photo credit: Gaelen Morse/Reuters)
FORMER US president Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Ohio ahead of the midterm elections last month in support of Republican candidates.
(photo credit: Gaelen Morse/Reuters)

Denouncing antisemitism is a no-brainer. Or should be. It takes some longer than others, especially Republicans, and often only when pressed. The real test isn’t denouncing antisemitism – it’s denouncing the antisemites.

That’s the lesson of Donald Trump’s post-Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of Hitler admirers like Kanye West (aka Ye) and Nick Fuentes. They hate Jews and are proud of it. So must Trump, since he has avoided condemning antisemitism, which his friend Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has been urging him to do this week. Trump may be reluctant because he’s in denial and knows there’s a political price to be paid.

It’s a price some of his followers no longer want to pay, but too few. While some key Jewish financial backers have had enough, Republican Party leaders, including top congressional leadership, continue to serve as enablers of the man millions of Americans consider a misogynist, racist, Islamophobe, xenophobe, transphobe, homophobe, white supremacist, pathological liar, admirer of fascists and authoritarians, inciter of insurrection, admitted adulterer, sexual predator and antisemite. All charges documented.

Add to that this week’s call for “termination” of the US Constitution.

This is a man who began his bid for the presidency seven years ago by attacking Mexicans, Muslims and immigrants, and dove deeper into the muck from there.

 Then US-president elect Donald Trump and musician Kanye West pose for media at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, US, December 13, 2016.  (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY) Then US-president elect Donald Trump and musician Kanye West pose for media at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, US, December 13, 2016. (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

The poster boy for this exercise in cowardice is Kevin McCarthy, the Republican who would like to be the next speaker of the House if he can appease enough of his party’s wing nuts.

After listening to several days of condemnations of Trump’s dinner – intentionally held in the public area of his golf club so his rich friends could see his celebrity guests – McCarthy offered a generic denunciation of bigotry but was obviously too terrified of his vengeful leader’s temper to mention him by name.

“I don’t think anyone should have a meeting with Nick Fuentes, and his views are nowhere within the Republican Party and within this country itself,” McCarthy said, trying to grant his leader absolution. The would-be speaker, who has his own history of antisemitic tropes, claimed Trump didn’t know Fuentes and “denounced” him “four times.” Not true. Not even once.

McCarthy, like many in the GOP, never mentioned Trump’s name or even suggested he’d done wrong. In fact, several members of the House and Senate have indicated they’d vote for him again. Those afraid to condemn Trump and his bigotry are his enablers.

SENATE REPUBLICAN Leader Mitch McConnell – he and Trump despise each other – said anyone advocating antisemitism and white supremacy is unlikely to be elected president. He didn’t mention Trump by name. Trump replied by calling him a “loser,” a label more befitting the acerbic Florida government pensioner following a string of defeats in courts and the midterm elections.

Last week, McConnell appeared to back off, at least partially, from his earlier statement that he would vote for whoever is his party’s 2024 nominee.

Even after the Duke of Mar-a-Lago called for “termination” of the Constitution so he can be restored to the White House, McCarthy and party leaders were unwilling to say the disgraced, twice-impeached former president is unfit for any office, not just the presidency. Maybe that’s because they have other more important matters on their minds, like Hunter Biden’s laptop.

As they tremble in fear, they should consider changing their party’s symbol from an elephant to a jellyfish. Or else own up to what so many suspect: that today’s GOP is officially the party of white supremacists, antisemites and xenophobes.

One of the few who has shown the courage to speak truth was Trump’s former ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who told his friend and client “you are better than this” and to “throw those bums out.” Trump’s reply was an angry phone call.

The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal is divorcing Trump. “He isn’t going to change” it wrote and predicted “many more such damaging episodes” that will lead the party to “disaster in 2024.” Word apparently hasn’t filtered to its cable-network talking heads.

A few others have condemned the dinner as well as the host by name. Dov Hikind, a former New York assemblyman and longtime Trump supporter, said he’d never again support the former president. Former vice president Mike Pence was explicit, although he said he doesn’t believe his former boss is an antisemite. Ditto former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Among the cowards willing to attack antisemitism but not the antisemitic host are candidates hoping Trump will disappear and open the way for them to get their party’s presidential nomination.

A favorite defense of such behavior is “whataboutism,” the game of pointing to offending Democrats (far fewer and less pervasive), as if that gives absolution to Trump and his band of bigots.

A growing number of Jewish supporters are speaking out, some with their wallets.

TRUMP LIKES to boast about what he’s done for Israel, although he seems loathe to condemn antisemitism. His “favors” for Israel were not bids for the Jewish vote, which traditionally is overwhelmingly Democratic, but as he’s admitted, for the support of the far more numerous and influential Evangelical voters.

This Mar-a-Lago dinner and calls to tear up the Constitution tell Jews that the GOP is no place for them. It shows why years of outreach to Jews by the Republican Jewish Coalition and GOP have consistently failed.

Jewish voters may mean little to Trump, but Jewish money is something very different. And that could be a big problem.

His biggest contributor, Miriam Adelson (widow of Sheldon), announced she’s not giving to Trump or any others; she’s sitting out the 2024 primaries. Billionaire Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress and longtime battler against antisemitism, said no more money for his longtime personal friend. Two other Jewish mega-donors won’t be MAGA donors in his 2024 campaign, Steve Schwarzman and Andy Sabin

The Republican Jewish Coalition “strongly condemn[s]” antisemitism and his “vile, repellent” dinner partners but not Trump, who days before had addressed their annual Las Vegas meeting where the rich Republican Jews gather to interview presidential wannabes.

Apparently, they were so dazzled by the great man’s Zoom call that they thought he was only talking about Jewish Democrats, not them, when he repeated some of his favorite antisemitic tropes, like referring to Israeli officials as “your leaders” and accusing Jews of dual loyalty by not giving him all their votes.

Trump’s leading Jewish organizational supporter, the far-Right Zionist Organization of America, was perplexed. Its president, Mort Klein, issued a bitter denunciation of Jew-hatred but absolved Trump, declaring him a “philosemite.” Wrong, Mort.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which spent millions to help elect election deniers who back Trump’s lies, seems unfazed, judging by its silence.

Where are the voices of Christian clergy, pro-Israel Evangelical leaders and black ministers? asks Prof. Gilbert Kahn of Kean University.

President Joe Biden pegged them all: “Silence is complicity.”

The scourge of antisemitism – and hate-mongers of all sorts – is growing and spreading, and tongue-clucking and pious generic criticism won’t make it go away unless the top enablers are rejected as well.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel declared, “White supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and do not have a home in the Republican Party.” Has she bothered looking at the picture on her wall showing the leader of the party and principal purveyor of prejudice?

Anyone hoping the neo-Nazi dinner and call to shred the Constitution will finally lead to Trump’s downfall should recall predictions in 2016 of how the Access Hollywood tape would sink his political career.

The writer is a Washington-based journalist, consultant, lobbyist and former AIPAC legislative director.