Friday, April 1, 2016

"A Large Blob of Sheer Dumb Grossness"

Donald Trump has not had a good week. In Trump terms, that means he had a great week and that everything is going according to plan. His motto should be: never let reality get in the way of a good story.

Trump continues to embarrass himself and his supporters, but no one is deterred. Some of his most prominent supporters, like Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich, are beginning to waver, but one suspects that after a couple of good primary election nights they will be running back into the Trump fold.

This morning Peggy Noonan analyzed the Trump phenomenon. Since her views are close to mine, I am happy to pass them along.

Obviously, Noonan had to address Trump’s flubbing the question of whether or not a woman should be punished for having an abortion. Christ Matthews asked the question aggressively and  since Trump is not used to having anyone get in his face or talk back to him, he got flustered and flubbed the question. It’s what happens when a bully gets bullied.

Noonan explained her view:

I guess it’s still new to Donald Trump, and so unexamined, un-thought-through. Yes, he walked back or clarified his stand on punishment, and yes, Chris Matthews badgered and browbeat him on MSNBC. But presidential hopefuls, especially Republican ones, are routinely badgered and browbeaten. You have to deal with it. It’s part of how you earn the big job.

Of course, we know that Trump is beyond embarrassment. We know that his followers are missing an embarrassment gene. Everyone else on the right side of the political spectrum is horrified at the mistake, not only because it makes the candidate look like a rank amateur who is out of his depth, but because his befuddlement and his hostility toward women is dragging the Republican Party into oblivion. You might think that it’s the best thing that can happened to the GOP, but still, would it not be better if the Party lost on the issues, and not for nominating someone who is manifestly unfit for the presidency.

Trump is far more comfortable when he is insulting people and especially when he is insulting women. A bully who cannot stand his ground against a man, but who constantly manifests hostility toward women is a coward. 

The list is too long to review, but, the pattern is becoming clearer. Trump is a caricature of the way Democrats and liberal progressives have always seen Republicans. If your purpose in life is to give aid and comfort to the Democratic Party, to ensure that Paul Krugman continues to believe that he is always right, then Trump is your man.

Worse yet, Trump is unprepared. He is unprepared to take tough questions from a journalist. He is unprepared to discuss the central issue of the campaign. He has not thought through the issues. He has not reflected and considered and studied them. He has not debated them. The more he appears in public the worse he sounds… except to his true believing cult following idolatrous supporters. They are the ones who should really be embarrassed by it all.

The weakness and the ignorance appear more blatant now because there are so few candidates. When there were ten or so people on the debate stage, Trump could get away with banalities and platitudes, with slogans and tough talk. Now that there are only two candidates, people are tiring of the shtick the questions are becoming more pointed and he is floundering.

If you expected otherwise, you were not paying attention.

John Cassidy tells about Sam Nunberg, a former Trump advisor who has decamped for the Cruz team:

Earlier this week, Sam Nunberg, a former political adviser to Trump, endorsed Ted Cruz, saying that his ex-boss lacked the policy substance and intellectual coherence to be President. To be sure, Nunberg isn’t the most desirable of character witnesses. Last summer, Trump fired him after it emerged that he had used racist and derogatory language on Facebook posts. But Nunberg’s comments about Trump’s inattention to detail were in line with the testimony of others who have worked with him over the years. Nunberg said that he began to grow concerned last fall, when, during a debate, Trump didn’t appear to know what the nuclear triad was. “I was concerned but I figured that he would bulk up on policy,” Nunberg told Politico. “He has not. I do not see a candidate who takes these issues seriously.”

If Trump were seriously preparing for the upcoming campaign and the presidency, he would be boning up on these issues. If he is not, he is showing that he knows something that his followers do not know: that he is not a winner.

For her part Noonan believes that an accumulation of gaffes-- not a single error-- will doom the Trump candidacy… will doom it now or will doom it in November. She writes:

It’s been going on for four or five weeks, and you can take your pick as to the tipping point. Maybe it was when he threatened to “spill the beans” on another candidate’s wife, or when he retweeted the jeering pictures of her and his own wife. Maybe it was his inability to clearly, promptly denounce the KKK; maybe it was when he hinted at riots if he’s cheated out of the nomination. Maybe it was Corey Lewandowski’s alleged battery of reporter Michelle Fields. Maybe it was when Mr. Trump referred in debate to his genitals, a true national first.

It has all added up into a large blob of sheer dumb grossness. He is now seriously misjudging the room. The room is still America.

Trump ought, at this time, to be consolidating his gains and bringing the party together. He is not. He is doubling down on offensive and embarrassing:

At this point it is his job to keep the support he has and persuade those who don’t like him to give him a second or third look. To do that he only has to be more thoughtful, stable and mature in his approach—show he may be irrepressible and fun and surprising, even shocking, but at bottom he has within him a plausible president.

Instead, he is stuck at nutty. Rather than attempt to win over, he doubles down. In the process he shows that what occupies his mind isn’t big issues, significant questions or the position of the little guy, but subjects that are small, petty, unworthy.

Instead of reassuring potential or reluctant supporters, he has given them pause. Instead of gathering in, he is repelling. This is political malpractice on a grand scale.

Noonan might be grasping a little too hard, but she suggests that perhaps Trump is unworthy or his supporters:

Maybe the sadness here is that Mr. Trump’s supporters are earnest and full of concern for America and he isn’t worthy of them. Maybe he only harnessed their legitimate anger but can’t do anything with it because he’s not as serious as so many of them are, but a flake, a dope with poor impulse control.

What happens to Trumpism—his stands on illegal immigration, trade, entitlements—when Mr. Trump is gone? Does he have any sense of responsibility for what he leads?

What is going on here? I have offered some of my own views on the matter. Others have made similar remarks. They have either been saying that Trump is self-sabotaging or that he does not really want it or that, as I suggested, he never really thought he would win it.

John Fund offers this opinion:

No one knows how the Trump drama will play out, but if indeed he contributes to his own loss of the nomination the consequences for politics will be, to borrow a Trump word, sad. The legitimate anger and cynicism toward Washington that is felt by many of his supporters may be channeled into unproductive behavior and their alienation only enhanced. Far from Making America Great Again, Donald Trump might wind up leaving his supporters even more powerless and feeling like Trump’s Chumps.

John Cassidy has a thoughtful assessment at The New Yorker. Obviously, Cassidy does not belong to the conservative commentariat, so he is far less torqued by a candidacy that is conspiring to put Hillary Clinton in the White House and to deliver American politics to the progressive left for a generation.

Even if he is cheering Trump on, his views merit attention.

Obviously, Trump mishandled the Lewandowski manhandling incident. Again, it is not a good thing for a man, or, should I say, a thug, to manhandle a woman. For Trump and his supporters, beating up women is OK. They have been beating up and blaming Michelle Fields-- it's so much easier than answering questions from Chris Matthews or Anderson Cooper. Now, as if on cue,  Trump supporters have been threatening Michelle Fields, to the point where she has had to move out of her apartment. Another victory for the Teflon Don! 

Cassidy explains what a serious leader would have done, if he did not want to start hemorrhaging female votes:

After Tuesday, when police in Jupiter charged Lewandowski with battery and released a security video that showed him grabbing Fields’s arm and turning her around, the situation became very different. (Lewandowski denies the charges.) Practically any other candidate would have fired Lewandowski, or at least severely reprimanded him; said sorry to Fields; and tried to move on. Far from doing any of these things, Trump sought to deny the evidence provided by the video. Not only that, he defended Lewandowski’s actions, on the grounds that Fields might have represented a physical threat to him. “She had a pen in her hand which the Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb,” he said on CNN.

At some point someone should have apologized. Trump says that it would have done no good, but he does not know if he has never tried it. Serious leaders know how to apologize. Only a god never has to apologize.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I'm really starting to find all this upscale anti-Trump animosity to be very funny. They say "Ooooooh... why is our politics so ugly?" Even Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz thinks it's bad, so it must be bad. Another tripe-shot iced soy latte, please. I suppose we could really blow the sophisticate mindset by telling then a good chunk of this country doesn't even know what that order is about or even means. You know, the peons out in the Districts.

Everyone is shocked, SHOCKED! that the Donald is not ready for the big scene. This is supposedly... shocking.

He isn't. He never was. That is his appeal.

So now we have all the people in the Acela corridor rolling in the aisles that this nincompoop billionaire wasn't able to effectively answer a law school hypothetical from a uber-bloviating pseudo-journalist who used to be chief of staff for the Democrat Speaker of the House. And every sophisticate talking head, of all political stripes, just finds this terrible. Mini-Me George Stepshapolous must be salivating.

Y'all just don't get it. You just don't get it.

You've been smugly saying all along what the problems are with Trump, and people haven't listened. Now you're smugly saying Trump has problems. Fools.

He's not a politician. That's his appeal. People who are politicians don't satisfactorily answer law school hypotheticals about whether to punish women who've had abortions. In fact, even smug longtime politicians can't answer such questions and avoid them.

I guess Trump was too stupid to avoid one of those clever questions, eh? So many sophisticated people think he was totally unqualified for the office in the first place, so now I suppose he's more totally unqualified because he doesn't know how to deal with criminal women who've had illegal abortions that are never going to be illegal.

And the Capitol throng cheers: HAHAHAHAHA! My, what fun. Maybe now Rachel Maddow should ask Trump if he still beats his wife.

It's unwise to ridicule the vast majority of people in middle Anerica who are being screwed. There speaking through the ballot box and being ignored an marginalized because they won't choose Cruz or Kasich. What a worthless rabble. And guess what? My iPhone spellchecker no longer changes Kasich's name to Katich. Wow... he's a real player now. Even Apple likes him!

And after all this fear of Donald Trump, after all the wailing and hyperventilating and disbelief, the GOPe and Washington establishment will not mention (much less address) critical issues:
- Illegal Immigration
- Islamic terrorism and totalitarianism
- "Free" Trade Agreements
- U.S. national Debt
- ObamaCare
- Fed policy

Continued below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Continued from above...

The sophisticated, professional political crowd has been unwilling to address these key national issues. Why? Because they are cowards. They are unwilling to stand up to the donor class that wants the economic benefits, and they're unwilling to stand up to the mealy-mouthed multiculturalists who spend every moment of every waking day calling Americans a bunch of bigots. That's today's Republican Party... a bunch of linguine-spined dopes who sit idly by and watch Democrats gerrymander this country, all while hiding so they don't get called rich racists. And Donald Trump -- the reality TV star! -- had the temerity to call them out on it. Gosh golly, I hate him already. What a jerk.

Give me a break. You don't have to like Donald, but it's not about Donald anymore. The only reason why we're even hearing these issues in the Republican primary season is because he is Donald, and he can gain that attention. He is doing an invaluable public service.

So by all means, let's use any means necessary to get this snotty sonofabitch so we can go back to business as usual -- as a party, people, and nation -- doing what we now do best in the good ol' US of A: LOSING.

All because there's a possibility that we might elect someone who don't speak so good. Well, we elected a guy twice who speak good, and he's a complete unmitigated disaster. Couldn't do much worse...

Oh, that's right... Trump is an egomaniac, narcissistic demagogue. And that's different than today's entire ruling class... how?

Got it. Noted. Thanks.

Dennis said...

I am always amazed at the "media" and Nyers' reaction to Trump because he is the example of how they treat other people. When they look at Trump they are only looking at themselves in the mirror. I would suggest that is why so many of them are fascinated and repelled by him. Trump is them.
The real losers here are the large number of citizens who see themselves ignored by their government and lied to by both parties. Here they help to give the republicans the Congress and Congress does nothing with the power of the purse to control a leftist ideologue who is hell bent on transforming everything they hold dear. Even the judicial branch seems to have forgotten the Bill of Rights and seems to think the amendments are subjected to penumbras and emanations that are not a part of the Constitution. It seems not to recognize that they need to stay out of certain issues and let the people figure it out through their own states.
What most of these betters miss, and Trump has glommed on to, is that these people are the real foundation of the country. Their government is now more an enemy of their freedoms than a protector of their freedoms. I am always interested in the fact that the people who are the country are the first forgotten by the establishment.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

One last thing, given a number of stories I've read in the news lately about the Republican and Democrat establishments...


(1) If you tell candidates that they can run and win a plurality of delegates and not even be CONSIDERED for the nomination, fewer candidates will run in the future. The candidates you do get will be plain vanilla, and inspire nothing with voters. People will not vote because they will come to see it as pointless. You'll have mindless party loyalists voting for empty candidates according to orders, and the election process will quickly become a farce.

(2) If you tell voters that it's the American way, and that they can vote for whomever they want, and it will not make a difference in the outcome, fewer people will vote. This will cause a great gnashing of teeth amongst political scientists, journalists, concerned politicians, etc. "What does this mean for our democracy?" they will desperately ask. Well, it means that people don't exercise their citizen franchise because they realize that it's worthless, and they could spend the time doing something more worthwhile.

So we'll get lousy candidates, and fewer voters. Because it's pointless. Kind of like voting in communist states.

I've noticed this over the last couple decades regarding ballot initiatives. Concerned citizens come out to vote for specific ballot initiatives, and the outcome is overturned in court. This is "empowering" the people through the political process. Until it's not.

Unless it's all by design. And then we'll really have to think about what's going on, and what it means for our future. This is what happens when elites get used to controlling everything, and then don't get their way. They question elections, because they're a distraction to the real concerns of "the people," a nuisance. So we end elections, because they are dangerous. Problem solved.

But when people want change and no one is listening to them, and they realize their votes are worthless, they don't have a lot of good choices left, do they? What happens when you don't teach history to show this is what actually happened in the wake of disenfranchisement in Rome, Colonial America, etc.? When you teach that colonial Americans were a bunch of white spoiled brats who owned slaves and had the lowest taxation rates in the Western world, the students don't get the point or the context. They just learn that American colonists are bad. And they conclude that maybe we should've stayed with England. After all, then we'd have single-payer healthcare. That's how politically-motivated teaching corrupts society.

People aren't stupid. The more you think they are, the more they surprise you.

Scullman said...

BRAVO-ZULU, Ignatius!! And thanks for putting it way better than I could.

"He is unprepared to take tough questions from a journalist."

Hey, Stu baby, I'm starting to wonder if you're a "psychiatrist" the same way Chrissy Matthews is a "journalist"?

Marsh said...

Bravo, Ignatius! Well said!

Stuart, if I hire an assassin to kill my husband, only the assassin should go to jail, right? The idea that I, an emotionally stressed woman, should also be punished is out of the question.

I'm disappointed Trump walked back his punishing women comment. Why shouldn't they be held accountable if they break the law?

Trump doesn't have someone perfecting his answers before he goes on these shows b/c he wants to answer questions honestly. His supporters don't care that they are not perfect. We actually like it.

We're tired of the perfect politician, who gives poll tested answers. They are full of crap. They don't mean what they say. B/c once in office they ignore the unwashed masses and vote the way the donor class tells them to vote.

Ted Cruz is supposed to be pro-life, and yet, he attacked Trump for his punishing women comment. Why? I thought pro-life people believed that women having illegal abortions would have to be punished. Eye opening.

You accuse Trump supporters as idolaters, but both Ignatius, Ann Coulter, and I have criticized Trump. We don't think he is perfect, but we do believe he is not a globalist or bought by one. And that's all we care about right now.

As far as Miss Fields goes, she may get her day in court to prove that Cory did more than tug on her sweater for a full 2 seconds.

Marsh said...

Scullman, I know, that comment was laughable. When did Ted Cruz do a sit down w/ Chris Matthews? Or any republican candidate, who claimed they wanted to broaden the republican base?

Marsh said...

Here's an excellent interview Ann Coulter did AFTER her interview w/ Milo. She was asked if she was losing her affection for Trump b/c of what she jokingly said to Milo.

And she said, "I've gone from supporting Donald Trump to furiously supporting Donald Trump."

So the idea that Coulter is wavering in her support for Trump is nothing more than wishcasting.

PS: You lose all credibility when you say something like this, " For Trump and his supporters, beating up a woman is OK." You think Fields was beat up? LMAO.

Marsh said...

Here's a great video detailing the Michelle Field's story.

Scullman said...

Nancy Dickerson, Margaret Bourke-White, Liz Trotta, Jessica Savitch, Carol Simpson, Marlene Sanders, etc. Can you imagine any of these women crying about being elbowed out of the way in a scrum?

Fields couldn't carry their dirty laundry as a reporter or blogger, or whatever the hell she calls herself. She's a joke, and Andrew Breibart would laugh in her face over this crap.

Marsh said...

Here's a few more links on Miss Feilds..

Read those, Stuart, and then tell me again how she had to flee from her home.

Marsh said...

Marsh said...

Fields has a history of pushing herself into the story that cant be denied.

Dennis said...

I cannot get over the feeling that many people, especially Trump supporters, are going to be given the same treatment that the TEA party was given by the establishment of both political parties. Given the Super delegates of the not so democratic party and the not so republican parties desire to change the convention rules it would appear that the people of this country are being exposed to a fraudulent primary voting scheme.
I suspect that both parties' establishment believe that outsiders are like paranoids who think someone is actually paying attention to them. I suggest that if one is a Trump, Cruz, Sanders supporter that one should start now to create a revolution at each party's convention.
One of the givens when dealing with democrat hacks with a byline in the media is to NEVER answer hypothetical questions. These questions are almost always meant to get the candidate to say something that can be used agains't them. NEVER allow yourself to be hustled into answers. THINK and Understand that the media is not your friend. I am not sure who is preparing Trump for debates and media questions, but they are not doing him any favors.
Sadly the abnegation of child bearing and emphasis on abortion at any time during pregnancy is the ultimate expression of nihilism. If no generation succeeds us everything we do is in vain for no one will be there to remember what we did or benefit from our labors. One might ask the question as to why anyone would support their own degradation as a human being.
Unfortunately we are allowing both party' establishment to ignore and marginalize us by not getting together with the supposed "outsiders," which is the vast majority of this country's citizens, and wrest power from them. We have to see those outside the government as people just like us with varying views on how to get things done. We have always had the power, but have been lead to believe that we do not . If one is going to change the world then one is going to have to create allies vice enemies. We are a great people who have now exceeded the poor and incompetent governments we now let control us.

Ares Olympus said...

Marsh, personally, besides the offensive infantilization of women, I actually think women's feelings are very important. At least as an imagined 7-week old fetus I might prefer to be nonspontaneously aborted by a mother who doesn't want to be a mother. If souls are real, I'd rather take my chances with another incarnation.

On Trump's punishment question to mothers, I'd consider one appropriate punishment is forced sterilization for a women who want an abortion. At least that offers some perspective to what "choice" means. So abortion would only be a choice once per woman, and it would only be "family planning" if she was SURE she'd never want another child later.

OTOH, black markets can still rule, and then women will go to underground abortion doctors without public records, if they aren't ready to be sterilized, and most will feel very self-righteous in their law-breaking. And some women will even publicly confess their secret abortion after the fact and challenge the police to arress her into a forced sterilization, and see how serious society really is to control her body.

So to avoid that ugly power struggle I respectfully withdraw my suggestion and I'll magnanimously allow women be responsible for their own body and their own conscience.

Anonymous said...

ahh the smug, asshat world of Mr. Schneiderman.

Abortion is only a symptom of a greater problem.

Michelle Fields, sigh.