the_dallas_morning_news_logoApparently no one at the Dallas Morning News was fired for calling Donald Trump a dumb ass. Really. I checked.

And this morning, again no one was fired for issuing a half-assed endorsement of Hillary Clinton, their first endorsement of a Democrat for president since FDR before World War 2 (but not during).

OK, so they didn’t exactly call him a dumb ass, but they did say, “Donald Trump is not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote,” and certainly gave lots of examples why.

That was the final line of their editorial. But here’s where they were wrong. Their headline proclaims, “Donald Trump is no Republican.”

Their headline implies it was someone else who nominated him as the choice to head the party ticket. Despite lots of defections from the party by elected Republicans to the Hillary camp, the majority rallied around Trump, nominated him and are supporting him — at least to some extent.

Here’s what didn’t happen: Lots of Democrats crossed over to vote in the Republican Party in order to nominate the most unqualified person to head a national ticket since, well, ever. Really. Didn’t happen. I even checked. I called Jay Narey, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. How many of his members voted for Trump. With certainty, he said none. The Democratic Party recorded a record number of primary voters, not an exodus to cross over and stick the Republican Party with Trump.

Here’s what did happen. A lot of Republicans voted for Trump. More Republicans voted for Trump than for any of the candidates the Dallas Morning News thinks are better Republicans.

The DMN editorial says these are the beliefs Republicans have had for generations: A belief in individual liberty. Free markets. Strong national defense.

Really? Individual liberty? Is that why the Republican-led Texas Legislature refuses to remove 21.06, the Texas sodomy law, from the state constitution, even it was declared unconstitutional in 2003?

Wasn’t it their choice for Texas Attorney General who advised county clerks to disregard a U.S. Supreme Court ruling about same-sex marriage? Isn’t the right to marry an individual liberty issue? The one Texas county clerk who took the AG’s advise, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang, ended up owing a gay couple $40,000 for legal fees after she followed his advise. Or does individual liberty end with the rights of Republican county clerks to refuse the rights of LGBT people?

At least the Morning News does draw some lines. My right to marry wasn’t an individual liberty issue to them, but banning Muslims from the U.S. does cross the line. At least we agree there.

Over the years, the newspaper has endorsed lots of Republicans who have moved the party farther and farther to the right. My favorite was its endorsement of Stephen Broden, who was running against Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. The paper had to rescind its endorsement when he said armed insurrection isn’t out of the question if he loses. Ah, true democracy in action.

But these editorials weren’t aimed at their Democratic readers whose stomachs collectively turn at a majority of their editorial opinions. It was aimed at their Republican readers using a device Republicans love doing most: quoting Saint Ronald Reagan.

The editorial says, “Trump doesn’t reflect Republican ideals of the past; we are certain he shouldn’t reflect the GOP of the future.”

So let me speak their own language to them. To quote Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”

Trump is certainly a Republican of today. His signature issue, to build a wall, is absolutely not a Democratic issue. Building a wall is a great issue for Trump. He knows a lot about building crappy structures. When he says, “We’re not going to pay for it,” believe him. He’ll create another corporation to build it, hire Mexicans to do the work and when it’s time to pay the workers who built it, he’ll declare bankruptcy, keeping his promise that Mexico — at least the Mexicans he hires to build it — will pay for it.

So maybe the Morning News believes in the Republican Party that freed the slaves and established the National Park System. Eisenhower’s Interstate highway system created the cities of today. They endorsed Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agency and opened diplomatic relations with China.

But that’s not the Republican Party of today. The idea Trump — who’s just Sarah Palin with bad hair — came out of nowhere is totally delusional. You may not have left the Republican Party, but yes, the Republican Party left you.