Monday, July 20, 2015

Trumping Trump

I’ve had my say about Donald Trump. This morning the WallStreet Journal Editorial Board has its say about what it calls Trump's "inevitable self-immolation." Strangely enough, the Journal and I are in basic agreement.

The Journal finds it dispiriting that conservative editors are cheering on Donald Trump. They understand, as everyone should, that inflating his ego increases the chance that he will run as a third party candidate. It would be useful to think through the consequences of one’s actions and not just follow one’s bliss.

The Journal writes:

All too many conservatives, including some magazine editors, have been willing to overlook his hucksterism as he’s risen in the polls. They pretend that he deserves respect because he’s giving voice to some deep disquiet or anger in the American electorate.

It adds that this is not new in American politics:

But America has rarely lacked for demagogues willing to exploit public discontents. 

As for the notion that Trump is standing up for principle, the Journal refutes it nicely:

As a standard-bearer for conservative ideas, Mr. Trump would likewise be a catastrophe. His only discernible principle is the promotion of his personal brand. His main message seems to be that because he’s rich and doesn’t care what anyone thinks, he can afford to tell everyone to go to hell. Some Americans may find it satisfying 16 months from Election Day to tell pollsters they’d vote for him, but that doesn’t mean conservative elites should validate this nonsense.

Obviously, Trump is not a man of ideas. One does not expect it from a plutocrat and one does not get it from Trump. As noted on the blog, Rick Perry has stood out as one of the few who has been willing to call out Trump.

In the Journal’s words:

So full credit to Rick Perry, the former Texas Governor, who led the pack in saying even before the weekend that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament to be Commander in Chief. Several other candidates have now said the same.

Among those who have not, Ted Cruz. According to the Journal, Cruz has thereby demonstrated his lack of political character.

Worth mentioning also is the simple fact that Donald Trump’s mouth has driven the recent Planned Parenthood story from the media spotlight.

Trump’s supporters would do well to think before they leap.


Ares Olympus said...

re: The Journal finds it dispiriting that conservative editors are cheering on Donald Trump. They understand, as everyone should, that inflating his ego increases the chance that he will run as a third party candidate.

The Journal doesn't mention the possibility of Trump running as an independent, and I hadn't thought about that possibility. When you can fund your own campaign with billions, anything is possible. Can his ego get any bigger?
"Everybody asks me to do it. ... And I think ... I'd get a lot of votes," he said. "But the best way of defeating the Democrats, and probably Hillary — I think it's going to be Hillary — is to run as a Republican."

I suppose a fair test of his earnestness is whether he has endorsed past GOP candidates for president....

Yes, for 2012:
Fri February 3, 2012 - Celebrity business magnate Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president Thursday, telling reporters he will not mount an independent campaign if Romney is the Republican nominee.
"It's my honor, real honor, to endorse Mitt Romney," Trump said, with Romney and his wife standing nearby. Calling Romney "tough" and "smart," Trump said, "he's not going to continue to allow bad things to happen to this country."
During an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" in April, Trump criticized Romney for eliminating jobs while in the private sector.

"He'd buy companies. He'd close companies. He'd get rid of jobs," Trump told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I've built a great company. My net worth is many many times Mitt Romney."

Asked what changed since then to bring his endorsement of Romney, Trump told CNN later Thursday that his past comments were "political talk."

"That was a long time prior to my getting to know him," Trump said of Romney. "But I have gotten to know him and he's a terrific guy. I don't know if he really comes out like he really is in person. He's a warm, smart, tough cookie and that's what this country needs. We need somebody that's tough, that will stop China and OPEC and all these other nations from just ripping us up. And i think he can do it."

And even McCain in 2008:
Real estate mogul Donald Trump is endorsing Sen. John McCain: “I’ve known him. I like him. I respect him. He’s a smart guy and I think he’s going to be a great president,” Trump said Wednesday night on CNN’s Larry King Live. “I endorse him.”

Trump also had praise for McCain’s decision to pick Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. “I think she’s made a tremendous impact. The impact that she has had on rejuvenating almost the Republican Party, it’s been unbelievable.”

Trump also confided that he did not know who Palin was before McCain asked her to join him on the GOP ticket. “As soon as we got to see her and watch her, everybody’s impressed,” said Trump. “That really is to John McCain’s credit. What he did in this choice is amazing. . . . It was a courageous choice.”

So he sounds like a "team player" once he's had his say and feels heard and understood and appreciated and all that. Just be nicer to him, give him some space to be disappointed, and he'll come around again, right?

Anonymous said...

People like Trump because he sounds like a real man.

All the others sound like cuckservatives.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

"sounds like" is not the same as "being."

Kaiser Derden (aka TDL) said...

if Trump running a third party is to be feared ...

which way would cause that to happen

1) inflating his ego
2) insulting him and his supporters

Come on Stuart ... this should be right up your wheelhouse ...

Obviously insulting him and his supporters is the chosen path of most of the GOP and you as well Stuart ...

Do you really think thats the best way ?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Trump has spent a lot of time and energy insulting most of the other Republican candidates. How should they respond? Even if they choose to turn the other cheek, after a while you run out of cheeks. When people refuse to respond to Trump he keeps going at them. There comes a time when failing to respond looks like weakness. Besides, his snide attack on McCain, and, by implication any soldier who had been captured, has surely lost him support. One might well say that McCain provoked Trump by saying that his talk had brought out the crazies, but I still see Trump as a major threat to the Republican chances for taking the presidency. True enough, insulting Trump's supporters is not a great idea, but when Trump makes it inevitable, who is really to blame?

Ares Olympus said...

Okay, here's a statement Trump might run third party, if the GOP doesn't start treating him fairly.

Interestingly he also implies Hillary isn't the Lefty that Conservatives pretend she is. Warren and Sanders are the real social liberal. 7/23/15
Pressed on whether he would run as a third-party candidate if he fails to clinch the GOP nomination, Trump said that “so many people want me to, if I don’t win.”

“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump said. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”

“I’m not surrounded by all sorts of pollsters and PR people,” Trump said. “I speak the truth. Our country is in big trouble, and I know how to turn it around.”

“Competence” and “leadership” are what voters are looking for, he says.

He said he’d appoint judges to the Supreme Court with a “conservative bent,” praising Justice Samuel Alito and criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts.

“Jeb Bush was the one that pushed Roberts through his brother, and Roberts gave us ObamaCare,” Trump said. “Roberts was a terrible choice. We wouldn’t be talking about ObamaCare right now if we didn’t have Roberts.”
Trump said he agreed with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in opposing President Obama’s trade policy.

“You know the funniest thing about Bernie Sanders? The one thing we agree on is trade,” the billionaire said with a smile. “He knows the country is ripped off. And I know the country is being ripped off. The difference is that I can do something about it and he can’t. He’ll never be able to negotiate with China.”

He said that Sanders is a sort of “duplicate” of liberal favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who he said has pushed Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for 2016, to the left.

“She’s had a huge impact on Clinton,” Trump said. “Hillary is going way left, and I sort of laugh because I know Hillary very well. ... The interesting part about Hillary is that her donors are all the hedge fund guys and the business guys and the real estate guys. And they’re all saying, ‘Do you think she means it?’ And I say, ‘Of course she doesn’t mean it — you know her.’ ”