Sunday, December 27, 2015

Herr Trumpf's Barrage Against Trey Gowdy Isn't Really About Rubio Being A Threat


Will Herr Trumpf schlong the Republican Party?

Herr Trumpf fired a warning shot-- a heavy calibre one-- over the bow of congressional Republicans. So far not a single member of the House or Senate has endorsed him. And some-- like Bob Dold (IL), David Jolly (FL) and Carlos Curbelo (FL)-- have actually said they won't vote for him if he's the party nominee. His opponents, however all have congressmen and senators coming out for them. Herr takes those endorsements as rebukes. Previously Trumpf didn't seem to care that much. He didn't even react to Curbelo pointing out that he's a "fraud," "an opportunist," a "farce, "a clown," a "liar," and "an embarrassment to our country" followed by a statement that if he were the GOP nominee, he wouldn't support him. But he flipped out this morning when he found out that the Rubio campaign had announced that Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is endorsing Rubio and coming to Iowa to campaign with him.

The funny thing is, Trumpf should be happy Gowdy, who he once touted as someone he could see as his Attorney General, endorsed Rubio and not the real threat to his candidacy: Ted Cruz. The most recent CBS poll of likely GOP caucus participants doesn't paint Rubio, who has virtually no organization in Iowa, as a serious contender:
Cruz- 40%
Herr Trumpf- 31%
Rubio- 12%
Dr. Ben- 6%
All the other candidates are rutting around within the margin of error... and Dr. Ben has been sinking like a stone and will be down there with the Jebs and Christies and Fiorinas and Huckabees momentarily. Yet this was the Trumpish twitter tirade about the endorsement Sunday morning:

It really wasn't about Trey Gowdy or Marco Rubio. It was about other Republican congressmen and senators getting ready to unload on Herr Trumpf. He's signaling them that he-- and his ragtag army of angry miscreants-- will not let it go unavenged. Conventional-conservative journalist Byron York may be wringing his hands over the Trumpf reaction and the reaction of the lo-info Trumpf fans-- but Herr is really trying to do here is prevent a waterfall of endorsements by trusted Republican elected officials for his opponents.

Trumpf would do well to take under advisement what Pennsylvania Democrat Matt Cartwright has said about politician to politician endorsements. (Keep in mind, virtually the entire Democratic establishment endorsed Cartwright's Blue Dog opponent, Tim Holden, when Cartwright, an outspoken progressive, primaried him. Cartwright won-- in a landslide.) "What matters is your message," Cartwright told us, "and making sure you have the means to get it out there. Those kinds of endorsements worked 40 or 50 or 100 years ago; I think we are at a point now where a candidate's collecting endorsements of other politicians at best is a waste of time, and at worst is actually counterproductive. It's definitely a waste of time, because nowadays in high-profile races information on candidates is so readily and directly available that voters don't depend on party bosses and ward-heelers to tell them who to vote for. It can even be counterproductive, because the politicians bestowing their endorsements may in fact be individually or collectively despised. In my own experience with a hotly contested primary contest, I was a complete political neophyte in my first election; my opponent was a 20-year incumbent congressman. You could count my endorsements from elected officials and local party committees on one hand; my opponent's list of endorsements was gargantuan. I just focused on raising enough money to get my message out. Since I was able to do that, I did get my message out. Since the voters liked my message more than the other guy's, nobody paid any attention to all those other politicians' endorsements, and I won... by a lot."

Does anyone really care what Trey Gowdy has to say? Aside from media windbags, no... probably not even in Greenville, Spartanburg and Cowpens in his little corner of northwest South Carolina. And, again, Herr Trumpf's rival in South Carolina is not Rubio; it's Cruz. Again, both the most recent polls of South Carolina Republicans show a Trumpf-Cruz contest with Rubio a very distant third. The CBS poll has Herr at 38%, Cruz at 23% and Rubio at 12% (with no one else in contention) and the Augusta Chronicle poll has Trumpf at 28% with Cruz nipping at his heals with 21% and Rubio at just 12%, still having to contend with Jeb and Dr. Ben at 10% each. Gowdy is actually doing Trumpf a favor by endorsing a not-Cruz candidate!

All that stuff about Gowdy being "widely admired as a principled conservative fighter" is a bunch of hogwash, especially among Trumpf fan boys. When Gowdy proclaims that "Marco is a rock solid conservative and a strong leader we can trust," it just sounds like total irrelevant politician-speak that will sway exactly no voters anywhere. And when he adds that "I look forward to campaigning in Iowa with him and introducing my good friend across the state," who gives a damn anywhere?

By attacking Gowdy, though, Trumpf has served notice on other GOP congressmen and senators that there may be a price to pay if they butt in. There are 42 Republican congressmembers representing swing districts who could, potentially, lose their seats if Trumpf supporters stayed home on election day. That's a lot of seats. And if Trumpf decided to really go for the jugular in states with Senate elections like Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, possibly even Iowa and Kentucky, he could absolutely kill the Republicans' chances not just of holding onto the Senate-- but of even any chance to win it back in 2018. Trumpf senses he has an even bigger problem with the GOP establishment now, as they move to prevent his supporters from being able to vote in primaries. Minutes ago he was tweeting about unfair treatment by the Virginia Republican Party... and, ominously, blaming the RNC.

Neocon comedy

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