You don't have to think Donald Trump should be elected president to think those assailing some of his supporters are sometimes just plain out of it.
To be sure, they were right that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich bested Trump at his worst - that's a lot - when he talked on Fox News of deporting American Muslims who believe in Sharia law. Here's a once bright, energetic, knowledgeable and mostly benevolent guy who maybe should himself take a trip to a distant land, returning home after certification of recovery.
But then we get to the Republican National Convention. We get to a fiery speech by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He covered lots of ground, and the critics excoriated him on every point he made. But let's talk about just one of them - when Giuliani spoke proudly of what his administration achieved through extraordinary police innovations in making the city safer from crime.
The pundit response on the left was that the city started getting safer before he was elected and that other cities started getting safer nationwide at the same time. Well, yes, there were a few other factors in the downturn of criminality that got going before the new police methods jumped in. But then New York went ahead and got safer than any other large city in the nation.
What those methods did was deter crime. What many other city police forces did was get better at catching criminals after crimes were committed. The wrongdoers would then get sent to prison, resulting nationally in mass incarceration. What New York did was send fewer to prison, resulting in better lives for thousands.
Let's next look at a speech by Milwaukee County's African-American sheriff, David Clarke Jr., who said "blue lives matter," that our safety was crucial and that all Americans should back rule of law, even Hillary Clinton. He also criticized Black Lives Matter as anarchic, getting himself blasted as unfair to people who have had difficult experiences and just want justice.
But some have also chanted about killing policemen. One group leader who teaches at Yale has equated looting with legitimate political speech. The demented sniper who killed five Dallas policemen spoke of sympathy with Black Lives Matter when talking to a police negotiator.
While a few chants by a few people do not size up a movement that has been peaceful even if it has illegally obstructed traffic, it is worth mentioning how some on the left blamed conservative Sarah Palin in the Arizona shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Palin, you see, had put crosshairs on an internet map of Democratic members of Congress she wanted defeated. She was speaking metaphorically, as any fool could plainly see. What is more, the crazed shooter of Giffords had actually been left-wing at one time and did not pay attention to news. The police murderer obviously did, though maybe that is not crucial. A bigger point is that all the protest has coincided with less proactive policing and a rise in crime in major cities.
Then we come to the speech of Melania Trump, the wife of the now official nominee. It was extraordinary - positive, caring, lots of loving praise for her husband and a testament to strong values. It turned out to have a couple of short paragraphs very much the same as a couple of graphs in the speech Michelle Obama gave on behalf of her husband at the 2008 Democratic convention.
This was not a question of critics going after someone, but of a press still interested in interesting stories. The matter could have been solved easily. Among the many politicians accused of plagiarism, one has been President Barack Obama. He immediately admitted it, attributed it to a carelessness and the story was finished. Trump could have quickly done that on behalf of his wife or a speech writer - it took almost two days for a staffer to take the fall - but his crew played the game of denial. That's how he has responded with mistakes he has made almost daily since the start of this campaign.
He needs to start living up to the best of his supporters.