President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on Capitol Hill in November 2016.  (Alex Brandon/AP)
Opinion writer

In many cases, President Trump’s voters don’t have the excuse of economic hardship. “Using panel survey data from 2012 and 2016, political scientist Diana Mutz found ‘little to no evidence’ that declines in family income or local economic indicators increased support for Trump. Indeed, places with higher median incomes became somewhat more Republican. As Mutz noted, that’s ‘precisely the opposite of what one would expect based on the left behind thesis.’ ”

There’s no excuse for a policy that relies on sanctioning our allies. “I’m sympathetic towards opponents of the Iran Deal because I didn’t think it was really a good deal. The framework seemed more palatable to me because it appeared to have a bit more teeth than the final one. The fact it did not go through the Senate as a treaty — which it should have done — also irked me to no end. Yet pulling out of the deal seems like a bad idea, and imposing sanctions on countries abiding by it is shortsighted policy. It might get support from Republicans and Trump’s base, but it’s not good policy.” Bingo!

They use criticism of their conduct as an excuse to play the pity card. “Matt Schlapp Defends ‘Victim’ Kelly Sadler in Tense New Day Clash Over McCain Remarks.” Pathetic, especially for a party that used to tout personal responsibility.

Partisans excuse behavior on their own side they’d never tolerate from opponents. Jake Tapper at the commencement ceremony for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst: “I realize that the nation right now is not exactly getting a crash course in exemplary behavior. I realize that we’re in a time where nastiness and mockery and meanness sometimes seem as if they’re spreading like a contagion. . . . Mean is easy, mean is lazy, mean is self-satisfied and slothful. You know what takes effort? Being kind, being patient, being respectful, telling someone how you feel politely, instead of just avoiding them for six weeks.” Indeed.

Decades after the world accepted that Israel isn’t going to disappear, the Palestinians’ excuse for refusing to recognize Israel seems increasingly bizarre. “Palestinian media, schools, and mosques, routinely reinforce the message of denial. According to the prevailing Palestinian narrative, the Jews are pathological liars who have invented their history, thieves without rights to any part of the land — ‘a foreign body,’ as Abbas put it. Among the fabrications in this narrative: that there was no ancient Jewish presence here — that’s a Zionist lie, too; the massive archaeological findings attesting to that presence were all faked; no temple stood on the Mount; and the Holocaust was a Zionist invention intended to extort Western support for a Jewish state.”

HBO’s John Oliver points out that big corporations have no excuse for giving Michael Cohen gobs of cash. “Now, we probably don’t know the full significance of these payments but I would argue that, at heart, these companies got exactly what they paid for, because they wanted to understand how the Trump administration worked, and think about it: They put their trust in a political novice who turned out to be a total moron and was actually just bilking them for personal gain. So, you wanna know how the Trump administration works? Congratulations, you just got a f—— master class.”

Candidates can plead economic ignorance, but what’s the excuse for right-leaning think tankers to make these outrageous claims? “Republicans facing a tough midterm election season are pointing to the strong economy as proof their new tax law is working its magic. But as campaign ads tout swelling payrolls and lawmakers spotlight companies handing out employee bonuses, there’s little evidence the tax cuts are already having an impact across the economy, which was already humming even before the law was enacted.”