Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Can Any Of The Deep Bench Clowns Match Trumpf's Cunning And Ruthlessness? Cruz?


It was fascinating to watch Trumpf destroying Jeb Bush's campaign in real time-- the classic tricks of a devious, intuitive and manipulative New York marketing expert. But, in the context of a relatively genteel Republican primary, is was breathtaking. The Bush family-- which after all spread lies about McCain's adopted child to smear him as a race mixer in South Carolina-- had never seen anything like it, let alone been the victim of such a slimy and unstoppable mass assault. I actually entertained the idea that Trumpf was doing it for the Clintons! Yesterday at the Daily Beast Ruben Navarrette didn't even touch on how Trumpf wiped the Bush Machine off the face of the political earth in his piece on turning Jeb's top asset-- his ability to win with Hispanics-- into a disqualification, something, obviously no Democrat could-- or would-- ever get near.
[W]ith a series of deft maneuvers, and a little political jujutsu, Trump managed to turn Bush’s asset into a liability that essentially took him out of the race.

When Bush described as “an act of love” the concept of a Mexican immigrant traveling north to the United States—even without proper documents-- in order to reunite with family members or to support a family back home, or when Bush spoke to Hispanic crowds in Spanish and fielded questions from Spanish-language media in the same language, or when Bush told an audience in New Hampshire that he had a “grown up plan” to deal with immigration that combined border security with earned legal status for the undocumented, Trump pounced. And pounced. And pounced some more. In tweets, speeches, and jabs, Trump has learned to effectively use Bush’s own words against him.

On one occasion, the weapon wasn’t Bush’s choice of words but something much more personal: his choice of a life partner.

In July, Trump advanced the theory that Jeb’s moderate views on immigration stem from the fact that his wife, Colomba, was born in Mexico. It started with a tweet created by a third party, but retweeted by Trump’s account, which asserted: “Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.” The tweet was later deleted. Colomba Bush came to the United States legally, and eventually became a U.S. citizen.

...All these things-- that Bush speaks Spanish, supports legal status for the undocumented, married a woman from Mexico—feed the narrative that Trump has pushed to working class whites since he first began attacking the establishment’s candidate: “Bush isn’t for you. He’s for the Mexicans.” ...What Trump did to Bush was evil. Brilliant, but evil.
Correct, very evil... and Navarrette didn't even get to Trump's use of basic negative marketing techniques, like destroying a brand well beyond his racism and xenophobia. How many Americans now think Jeb is too dull, too stupid and too... low energy to be an effective or competent president? Too many. Jeb is not just languishing in 5th place in the GOP primary polls-- the Real Clear Politics national average has him in 5th place at 5.3%, stuck between a neo-fascist freshman senator from Texas at 12.0% and a disastrously failed ex-CEO and aggressively delusional story-teller at 3.7%. The most recent Quinnipiac poll of Iowa GOP caucus goes shows Jeb in 6th place at 4%, behind Trumpf, Cruz, Carson, Rubio and Rand Paul. His scores on shared values (1%), leadership (3%), honesty (4%) and electability (6%) are all in the toilet-- as are his ability to handle every single issue. And when asked "are there any of these candidates you would definitely not support for the Republican nomination for president," it wasn't Trumpf with the worst score (23%) but poor Bush (26%), particularly among those Republican caucus goers who describe themselves as Tea Partiers (39%), evangelicals (23%), very conservative (33%) and without college degrees (26%). Bush's favorable to unfavorable rating among GOP caucus goes in 39/53%, the worst of any candidate. Trumpf, for example, has a positive rating-- 59% favorable, 34% unfavorable.

And the Republican establishment candidates have been largely ineffectual in their attempts to counterpunch Trumpf. Kasich's brilliant emotional ad comparing Herr Trumpf to Herr Hitler doesn't seem to have impressed Republican primary voters in the slightest. Way too abstract for the average Trumpf supporter, who by all accounts, is a very low IQ individual without the mental capacity to comprehend complex ideas. Sunday on ABC's This Week, Kasich refused to say he'd support Trumpf if he were the GOP's nominee. "Well, he's not going to be the nominee, Martha, because, at the end, look, he may have 20% of the vote. But he's got 80% of Republicans who don't support him... Somebody who divides this country here in the 21st century, who's calling names of women and Muslims and Hispanics and mocking reporters, then says I didn't do it but he did do it, it's just not going to happen. And everybody needs to get over it and take a deep breath."

Kasich is deluding himself if he believes that. The most recent Fox poll of national GOP primary voters shows Trump way ahead with 28%, up 2 points, more than the 4 Establishment candidates-- Jeb (5%), Rubio (14%), Christie (3%) and Kasich (2%) combined. And a Washington Post/ABC News poll released the same day shows Trumpf with 32% and the 4 establishment candidates with a combined 22%. An even greater percentage-- 39%-- say they think Trumpf will emerge as the eventual GOP nominee.

Fiorina also took a couple of ineffectual swings at Trumpf Sunday, on Fox. She brought up his gross behavior of mocking a handicapped NY Times reporter, pointing out that the NY bully "only feels big when he’s trying to make everyone else look small... This is the pattern, isn’t it? The pattern is-- he says something insulting, offensive and outrageous; the media pays attention; then he claims we all misunderstood him. This is the pattern, perhaps, of an entertainer. It’s certainly not the pattern of a leader." Her assault on Trumpf is less than a pin-prick. I suppose the Republicasn establishment encouraging all the candidates to gang up on Trumpf thinks-- or hopes-- all these little jabs will add up to something. So far, all they add up to is Trumpf's polling numbers increasing every week. And here he is today saying he's open to over-turning Roe v Wade:

Even fellow and equally hated outsider Ted Cruz is starting to take shots at Trumpf-- kind of. Out on the hustings, Cruz doesn't ever attack Trumpf the way the other candidates do, but he's been trying to win over his voters this week in Iowa in a big way:
I think the reason people got excited about Donald Trump is they're fed up with Washington. And they're fed up with politicians in both parties who lie to us, who don't tell the truth and don't do what they said they would do,” Cruz said. “I am immensely grateful that Donald Trump is running and I think that it has actually been enormously beneficial to our campaign. Why? Because Trump has helped frame the central question of this primary as: Who will stand up to Washington? Now if that's the central question, it leads to a natural follow-up question. OK. Who has stood up to Washington? Who's stood up to not just Democrats but to leaders in our own party? And in that regard my record is markedly different from every other candidate on that debate stage... Our country's in crisis. It's now or never. We are at the edge of a precipice. And four or eight more years going down this road we risk losing the greatest country in the history of the world.
Especially if a power-mad sociopath like Trumpf or Cruz ever becomes president. Much better alternative, regardless of political party: right here.

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