Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Trumpf Has The Vocabulary Of A 4th Grader But He's Outsmarted All The GOP Establishment Brainiacs


No one would doubt that Trumpf is cunning and manipulative but people might argue if you called him "intelligent." Yesterday in one of his childish twitter tantrums, he referred to right-wing journalist Jennifer Rubin as a person with a "low IQ." I have no idea what her IQ is, although she never struck me as particularly brilliant. But neither has Trumpf... and I don't know what his IQ is either, although he claims 156. Gary Denton's analysis, though, rings true:
He was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, not Wharton. He took some undergraduate classes at Wharton. He does not have an MBA from Wharton. He has a BA from UP. He did not graduate with honors from UP, it would have been noted in the graduation ceremony. He had transferred into UP after two years at Fordham university after meeting with a friendly admissions officer who knew his rich family.

An analysis of the first Republican debate showed Trump was speaking at a third or fourth grade level, very low even for that debate.

I would estimate IQ at 120-130.
As for Denton's claim that Trumpf "was speaking at a third or fourth grade level" during the first GOP debate, well... that isn't debatable. According to a post from Politico at the time, Trumpf uses the vocabulary of an elementary school child. "Run through the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level test, his text of responses score at the 4th-grade reading level. For Trump, that’s actually pretty advanced. All the other candidates rated higher, with Ted Cruz earning 9th-grade status. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker scored at the 8th-grade level. John Kasich, the next-lowest after Trump, got a 5th-grade score.
Trump’s low grade at the debates wasn’t a fluke. His comments from an August 11 news conference in Michigan earned only a 3rd-grade score.

Flattening the English language whenever he speaks without a script, Trump relies heavily on words such as “very” and “great,” and the pronouns “we” and “I,” which is his favorite word. As any news observer can observe, he lives to diminish his foes by calling them “losers,” “total losers,” “haters,” “dumb,” “idiots,” “morons,” “stupid,” “dummy” and “ disgusting.” He can’t open his mouth without bragging about getting the Clintons to attend his wedding, about how smart he is, the excellence of his real estate projects, the brilliance of his TV show, his generous donations to other political campaigns and so on. In a freakish way, Trump resembles that of Muhammad Ali at his prime-- except the champ was always kidding (even when he was right) while Trump seems to believe his claims (and often is wrong). Or perhaps he is afflicted with binary vision disorder, which renders all within his eyeshot either great or rotten.

It’s obvious that Trump’s verbal deficit, as grating as it may be on the ears of the educated class, has not caused him much political pain. The media has noted the opposite: Trump’s overreliance on sports and war metaphors in his public utterances, his reductionist, one-dimensional policy prescriptions-- including nuanced geopolitical arguments such as get tough with China and Mexico, which are killing us!-- inspire trust in many rather than distrust. Trump’s rejection of “convoluted nuance” and “politically correct norms,” mark him as authentic in certain corners and advance his cred as a plainspoken guardian of the American way. By not conforming to the standard oratorical style, he distinguishes himself from the pompous politician. Less is more when you’re speaking Trumpspeak.

...[D]on’t interpret Trump’s low scores as a marker of low intelligence. Trump’s professional history indicates a skill at dealing and deceiving, inspiring and selling, and such attributes would likely qualify as a types of intelligence in Howard Gardner’s book. The role Trumpspeak has played in Trump’s surging polls suggests that perhaps too many politicians talk over the public’s head when more should be talking beneath it in the hope of winning elections.
He's certainly outsmarted all the "big brains" in the Republican Party establishment so far-- and without breaking a sweat from all appearances. Yesterday Jonathan Martin, writing for the NY Times talked about the progress, or lack thereof, of the GOP's Anyone-But-Trumpf crusade. What it all seems to boil down to, though, is that all these cowards are too sacred it take him on, fearful that when you wrestle in themed with a pig, you get a little pig poop on your wingtips. And then there's the fear that if Trumpf is done away with the GOP is stuck with something many view as even worse-- Texas' neo-fascist senator, Ted Cruz. What the GOP Establishment is freaking out over, of course, isn't that they're going to lose the presidency again-- they already know that-- but that they're going lose the Senate and some governorships, a couple dozen House seats (albeit-- thanks to Pelosi's incredibly incompetent DCCC-- not control of the House) and hundreds of state legislative seats-- and all the jobs that come along with all that. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

First and foremost are Republican-held Senate seats in Ohio, Illinois, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Arizona, Missouri... even blood red bastions like Louisiana, Indiana and Arkansas! McConnell's 4 seat majority could turn into a 6-plus majority for the Democrats. On top of that, the GOP probably isn't looking forward to seeing Roy Cooper replace Pat McCrory as governor of North Carolina, a distinct possibility which would turn into an absolute certainty with Trumpf on the top of the ticket. As Martin put it, "Many leading Republican officials, strategists and donors now say they fear that Mr. Trump’s nomination would lead to an electoral wipeout, a sweeping defeat that could undo some of the gains Republicans have made in recent congressional, state and local elections... [M]any of the party’s top operatives believe that there is no way even the strongest Senate candidates could overcome the tide if Mr. Trump were leading the ticket... The National Republican Senatorial Committee has cautioned its incumbents in blunt terms not to let themselves be linked to him."
In states with some of the most competitive Senate contests, the concern is palpable, especially after weeks in which Mr. Trump has made a new series of inflammatory statements.

“If he carries this message into the general election in Ohio, we’ll hand this election to Hillary Clinton-- and then try to salvage the rest of the ticket,” said Matt Borges, chairman of the Republican Party there, where Senator Rob Portman is facing a competitive re-election.

Pat Brady, the former state Republican chairman in Illinois, where Senator Mark S. Kirk is also locked in a difficult campaign, was even more direct. “If he’s our nominee, the repercussions of that in this state would be devastating,” Mr. Brady said.

Another Republican strategist in Ohio replied to an email asking about Mr. Trump’s effect in the state by sending a link to a Wikipedia page on the 1964 congressional elections, when Barry Goldwater’s presence atop the Republican ticket led the party to lose 36 House seats.

...“Senator Portman is a great example I like to use when talking about this,” said Brian Walsh, a Senate campaign veteran. “He’s very well prepared, has tons of cash in the bank, and he got his campaign organized and up and running early. But if we nominate a bad presidential candidate like Trump, senators like Portman or Kelly Ayotte aren’t going to be able to outrun Hillary by that much. And there goes the Senate.”

...“It would be an utter, complete and total disaster,” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, himself a presidential candidate who has tangled with Mr. Trump, said of his rival’s effect on lower-tier Republican candidates. “If you’re a xenophobic, race-baiting, religious bigot, you’re going to have a hard time being president of the United States, and you’re going to do irreparable damage to the party.”

Mr. Graham recounted separate phone calls with two of the party’s most sought-after donors last week, people who he insisted not be named but who give tens of millions of dollars to Republicans every election year. He said they had expressed alarm at Mr. Trump’s durability and asked what could be done.

“I said, ‘If you care about the future of the Republican Party, and you want to have a viable Republican Party, you better start moving,’” Mr. Graham said. “If they don’t push back, they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves.”

“There is not a bit of confusion among our members that if Donald Trump is the nominee, we’re going to get wiped out,” a prominent Republican senator said about Mr. Trump’s effect on Senate races in states such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Pleading for an outside group to run ads highlighting, for example, people who lost their jobs because of some of Mr. Trump’s business deals, the senator warned, “Until somebody with A, the money, and B, the incentive to step up comes along, I worry he kind of glides along unmolested.”

But the same reason the senator insisted on anonymity explains why, just two months before the Iowa caucuses, there has been no such ad campaign: To step up in that way would be to invite the wrath of Mr. Trump, who relishes belittling his critics.

Two of the most potent financial networks in Republican politics, that of the hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer and another led by the industrialists Charles G. and David H. Koch, have each had preliminary conversations about beginning an anti-Trump campaign, according to strategists involved. But Mr. Trump has already mocked Mr. Singer and the Kochs, and officials linked to them said they were reluctant to incur more ferocious counterattacks.

...But beyond sheer intimidation, some members of Congress worry that if the party’s establishment went after Mr. Trump, it would only fuel his anti-Washington appeal.

“I think it would play into his hands and only validate him,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee. “A ‘Stop Trump’ effort wouldn’t work, and it might help him.”

And some Republicans repelled by Mr. Trump feel little urgency to attack him because, they say, he is preventing what they see as an even less desirable standard-bearer-- Senator Ted Cruz of Texas-- from consolidating the votes of hard-line conservatives.

“He’s keeping Cruz where he is,” Scott Reed, a veteran Republican strategist, said of Mr. Trump.

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At 4:34 PM, Blogger Frank Warnock said...

tRump. That's what he is. What a friggin' arsehole.


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