Monday, February 22, 2016

Herr Trumpf Says Stupid Things But His Strategy Is Far From Stupid


Do you think Herr is astute and knowledgeable about politics? He can't just be a fatuous buffoon who touched a nerve and is stumbling into the presidency, can he be? Or a Bill Clinton plant giving Hillary her only reasonable pathway to the White House? On State of the Union yesterday, Jake Tapper asked him if he's concerned that the GOP establishment will be able to steal the election away from him at the convention. "I don't think we're going to have a brokered convention," he told Tapper. "I think it's unlikely." And on Fox News Sunday he told Chris Wallace that it would be "highly highly unlikely" that he'll be launching a third-party campaign; obviously. He sees himself as the candidate of the second party so why would he be thinking about a third party? Even though he recognizes that the RNC is plotting against him, he said he "signed a pledge. I'm a Republican. I'm the leading Republican by a lot and that's where I want to be. I don't want to run as an independent. I'm not going to be doing that."

The only Republican demographic that Herr Trumpf hasn't cracked yet is the college educated. With total consistency, polls have been showing that GOP college graduates preferred Rubio and even Dr. Ben and Fiorina, to Herr Trumpf. For the most part, the under-educated Republicans of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina were Herr's base of support. Unlike any other candidate from either party, he understands how to talk to them in their own language-- and that is exactly what he does. He doesn't sound as stupid on "the shows" (except Morning Joe) as he does on the stump. (Sometimes he seems a lot smarter than Republican intellectual retreads.) But college graduates aren't buying the public carnival barker persona. They didn't in Iowa, New Hampshire or in South Carolina. Suburban professionals are turned off to his messaging, his unserious, even absurd, proposals and to his grotesque personal style.

On ABC's This Week yesterday Herr told George Stephanopoulos that Rubio may not be eligible to run for president. He's "not sure... I think the lawyers have to determine it... I’m not really that familiar with Marco’s circumstance." He just wanted to "start dialogue," he said. On the surface it sounds insane. Rubio was born in 1971 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami and unless Herr Trumpf's fan boys can't distinguish between Beirut and Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Rubio's eligibility should be seen as a done deal. But when Herr wants to "start dialogue," he's testing the waters for attack lines and planting the seeds of doubt. On March 1 do you think any uneducated voters still not fully committed to Team Trumpf in Alabama or Arkansas or Georgia, perhaps in Oklahoma or Tennessee might say to himself, "Gee I keep hearing Chris Matthews say how attractive Marco Rubio is but Herr Trumpf is worried he may not be American. Maybe I better vote for Herr?"

Trumpf knows how to shape and manipulate conventional wisdom. Just ask anyone what "low energy" describes. His marketing techniques have been successfully mowing down one Republican after another. Even South Carolina evangelicals abandoned Cruz-- who wants to vote for the biggest liar in the world?-- and if "sweaty" isn't enough to turn people off to Rubio, leave it to Herr to find the silver bullet. The Clinton Machine isn't quote as good at it-- less focused and less able to ignore the possibility of being seen as deranged by the mainstream media-- but they're trying to re-define Bernie as a racist, sexist gun nut. I think Hillary even accused him of taking Wall Street PAC money but that went over badly for her.

Writing for This Week Friday, Paul Waldman lasered in on another aspect of Trumpfism-- and hit it right out of the park. "Whether it's because he did a careful study of the Republican electorate," he wrote, "or because he has an intuitive sense for how to find and ride the fury of an angry crowd, Donald Trump has tapped into something other Republicans thought you had to be subtle in order to exploit. Yet as usual, he's doing it with no subtlety whatsoever; indeed, that's part of his genius. While I would never say Trump is "honest" given how often he just makes things up and then continues to repeat them even after they're shown to be false, he has a straightforward candor that his opponents can't match. And it has seldom been more clear than when the subject of torture comes up, as it has again in recent days."
[T]here are no winks with Donald Trump. He doesn't care what is and isn't defined as torture, and he doesn't care what the law says. In a recent debate, Trump said he'd "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding," and hearing the grunts and shouts of approval from his fans, he has kept it up. Now he doesn't wait to be asked about the topic, telling crowds that he's ready to use it because "Don't tell me it doesn't work-- torture works." This follows up on his previous proposal to kill terrorists' families, just to show 'em who's boss.

You surely heard that Trump called Ted Cruz a "pussy" at a rally last week, but what you might have missed in all the oh-my-gosh-did-he-really-say-that coverage was what led Trump to that attack. It was the fact that at the previous night's debate, Cruz hadn't endorsed waterboarding with enough full-throated enthusiasm. This, then, is the measure of manliness: Are you willing to order prisoners to be tortured, or are you some kind of girly-man?

...Trump's comments, as abominable and wrong as they are, have the benefit of stripping away the euphemisms and the justifications, laying bare the conservative id in all its glory. You'll notice that Trump's opponents didn't condemn him for explicitly supporting torture. That's not only because they don't have much of a problem with it, even if they'd never put it in the same stark terms Trump does. It's because they can hear the cheers of the crowd.
So... how does the Party-- and all the nervous nellies down ticket and the people dependent on them for their livelihoods-- get rid of this crackpot before he destroys the GOP entirely. Can Rubio and Cruz do it? Short answer: no. But maybe, just maybe, a combination of all the candidates plus sone favorite sons and the GOP version of the super-delegates-- you won't find any of them offering voters what Alan Grayson is-- can keep Herr away from the 51% of delegates he's needs for a first ballot win. That means a deadlocked, brokered convention, just what Herr Trumpf told Jake Tapper Sunday won't happen. But there's an explanation why Romney didn't endorse Rubio, despite the rumor that swept political elites this weekend. Is he still holding out for the brokered convention and his Badger state heartthrob Paul as more establishment figures try to accomplish for Rubio what the Benetton Three-- Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Trey Peckerhead-- did for Rubio in South Carolina? Did for Rubio?
Herr Trumpf- 32.5%-- 50 delegates
Rubio- 22.5%-- 0 delegates

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At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Herr Trumpf may be pretty bad, and his statements in defense of torture are almost criminal but his foreign policy positions are less of a threat to our continued existence than those of the fascist harpy, whose foreign policy is based on defense of war crimes in Syria and Libya and the threat of nuclear war with Russia in defense of el qaeda interests. While Sanders is the best candidate (or Stein if you are a purist, Trumpf is definitely the lesser evil in comparison with Hillary.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you are nuts!


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