Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Declining Fortunes of el Trumpo

Yesterday, we ought to have focused like a laser beam on the FBI transcripts of Omar Mateen’s 911 calls. We ought to have been pondering the fact that the Obama administration tried to cleanse the transcripts of any reference to Islam, to Islamist terrorism and to Allah. And we might even have noticed that this administration does not believe in reality. It only believes in propaganda, in the big lie.

After being embarrassed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, among others, the administration released a less edited version of the transcript, including the references to ISIS but still using God instead of Allah. Obviously, this will offend Muslims, but the administration prefers to blame it all on God, for fear of offending or blaspheming Allah.

Since the administration has long succeeded in imposing its narrative on events—think Benghazi; think the Iran nuclear deal; think the IRS scandal—without paying any price, it makes sense that someone in the bowels of the White House thought that they could get away with this.

Anyway, the culture war is still going on between those who blame the Orlando massacre on ISIS and Islamist terrorism and those who are desperately trying to shift the blame to guns, the NRA, Republicans and Christians. Most importantly, under the Obama administration terrorist attacks have been proliferating. It might be time for someone in the administration to take some responsibility for it all.

Yesterday’s news cycle should have been dominated by these questions. The presumptive Republican candidate should have been front and center directing the blame where it should be directed. Sorry to say, but, in the midst of this crisis el Trumpo was spending his time defining what he really meant when he said that we shouldn’t allow any more Muslims into the country. 

During the previous week, el Trumpo was trying to explain away his derogatory comments about a federal judge, comments that former supporter Newt Gingrich called “inexcusable” and that led Newt to call Trump a “gifted amateur.”

Now that Newt has been dropped from el Trumpo’s veep shortlist, he seems to have found his voice.

Speaking of amateurs, el Trumpo did manage to hijack yesterday’s news cycle by firing his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. You remember the thuggish Corey, a repulsive manhandler who succeeded, against all odds, in making his boss the presumptive candidate for the nomination. While many people were out defending Corey, the Trump spawn were horrified at the man. What a shock!

Naturally, the stories about Corey’s firing were filled with salacious details about the inner workings of el Trumpo’s campaign. People who sagely held back from criticizing the Republican candidate are now opening fire, as one should have expected.

Within el Trumpo Central, drama prevails. The campaign is underfunded and understaffed. El Trumpo only listens to his children. And, Hillary has been ascending in the polls. These are not good signs.

Now, el Trumpo’s supporters will tell you that the genius candidate is simply playing rope-a-dope. He wants the Clinton campaign to dissipate its fortunes in a futile round of attack ads. Then, he will bring out his big guns, that is, his personal fortune and go in for the kill against a diminished and weakened enemy. Surely, the Clinton political machine will exhaust itself attacking el Trumpo, while the Teflon Don awaits his turn.


Remember the time when el Trumpo declared that he would self-fund his campaign because he did not want to be beholden to special interests. He preferred being beholden to his own extensive knowledge of everything that has ever been known to man. Some of us doubted whether he was really as rich as he claimed to be, thus, whether he could come up with enough cash to run a major political campaign. Some of us also suggested that when you insult your opponents and your political party, many of them—and their supporters-- might not be forthcoming with aid and support in the general election.

Naturally, legions of el Trumpo supporters scoffed at these suggestions. They had Scott Adams on their side. But, last week the candidate was out trying to raise money. Hmmm. I wonder what that says about the earlier promises about self-funding the campaign?

Anyway, firing Corey Lewandowski has unleashed a flurry of stories, from left, right and center to the effect that el Trumpo is in trouble. The gifted amateur does not seem to know what he is doing. He did fine fighting it out against sixteen other candidates on the screen. Now he is going mano a mano with Hillary Clinton and he seems like the lesser man. The burning question is: will el Trumpo become the ultimate comeback kid or will he go down as the biggest loser?

Donald J. Trump enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history, placing both his candidacy and his party in political peril.

Mr. Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House. He trailed Hillary Clinton, who raised more than $28 million in May, by more than $41 million, according to reports filed late Monday night with the Federal Election Commission.

He has a staff of around 70 people — compared with nearly 700 for Mrs. Clinton — suggesting only the barest effort toward preparing to contest swing states this fall. And he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Monday, after concerns among allies and donors about his ability to run a competitive race.

The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement since he effectively secured the nomination in May and has not booked any advertising for the summer or fall. Mrs. Clinton and her allies spent nearly $26 million on advertising in June alone, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, pummeling Mr. Trump over his temperament, his statements and his mocking of a disabled reporter. The only sustained reply, aside from Mr. Trump’s gibes at rallies and on Twitter, has come from a pair of groups that spent less than $2 million combined.

Mr. Trump’s fund-raising for May reflects his lag in assembling the core of a national finance team. In the same month that he clinched the Republican nomination, Mr. Trump raised just $3.1 million and was forced to lend himself $2 million to meet costs. Some invitations to Trump fund-raising events have featured the same short list of national Republican finance volunteers regardless of what city the event is held in, suggesting Mr. Trump has had some trouble lining up local co-hosts.

Or, the Wall Street Journal, in an editorial:

Donald Trump seems to be trying to pack as many self-created crises as he can into the 20 weeks until Election Day, and a new installment arrived Monday as he suddenly fired his campaign manager. Campaigns ultimately reflect the candidate and his leadership, or lack thereof, and the shake-up will only make a difference if Mr. Trump recognizes how badly he is harming his own prospects.

Perhaps the termination of Corey Lewandowski,heretofore Mr. Trump’s most loyal aide who was present at the campaign’s creation, is his concession that his operation is dysfunctional. He allowed competing power centers to emerge, with Mr. Lewandowski anchoring one camp and the veteran Beltway operative Paul Manafort the other.

Their divisions over strategy and filling key positions have left Mr. Trump far behind Hillary Clinton on campaign basics like organization, staff, fundraising, digital voter outreach, policy development and much else.

To be fair, the Journal editorial page has not been cheerleading for el Trumpo. In today’s editorial it examines the mindset of the man who still has a decent chance of being the next president:

Mr. Trump appears to be convinced he can win the general election the same way he won the GOP primaries—namely, out of his hip pocket. The last month-and-a-half jump since Mr. Trump secured the nomination should disabuse him of the notion that the White House can be won with only a mass rally a day, free cable media and a lively Twitterfeed.

Instead of driving a disciplined message about the economy, national security and Clinton corruption, Mr. Trump has caromed on his own day-to-day instincts from the federal judge hearing the Trump University trial to his own alleged prescience about the attack in Orlando. He’s neglected to campaign in the battleground states he needs to flip to win, and he told NBC News over the weekend that the race won’t begin until after the Republican convention. That is not how politics works.

And the Daily Beast offers this account of where el Trumpo has been spending the money:

The amount of money raised by Trump, a little over $3 million in May, is dwarfed by the $76.8 million that Mitt Romney and the RNC announced they had collected in the same month of the 2012 campaign.

It’s not just the weak Trump fundraising game that should alarm supporters; the way the money is being spent has also raised eyebrows.

Analysis by MarketWatch suggests that around 20 percent of Trump’s campaign expenditure went directly to Trump-owned businesses or family members.

Trump’s campaign spent $423,371 on catering and renting space at Mar-A-Largo, Trump’s Palm Beach private members club where he also has his own private home.

There are also several payments listed for thousands of dollars directly to Donald J. Trump. One, for $15,000, is marked as rent, the others are listed as “payroll,” although it would be highly unusual for a candidate to pay himself a salary.

The campaign also spent money at Trump Plaza, Trump SoHo, Trump Café, Trump Grill, Epic Trump Wine Manufacturing, Trump Restaurants, Trump National Golf Club, Trump International Golf Club, Trump International Hotel, and Trump Ice.

Even before the latest extraordinary FEC disclosures, an experienced campaign-finance attorney told The Daily Beast that the Trump campaign’s spending pattern is unprecedented.

“It’s very common for candidates to loan money to their campaign. It’s even not unusual for a candidate to have the campaign purchase goods or services, usually rent, from an entity that’s owned by the campaign. But the scale here is completely different,” he said.

For my part I am convinced that this money was well spent on quality items that just happened to bear the name of el Trumpo.

Republican politicians are of course panicked by it all. They do not want to do down with the ship.

The Journal suggests one way out:

But the hard reality is that the problems with the Trump campaign aren’t Mr. Lewandowski’s fault. They are Donald J. Trump’s. If he wants to avoid a historic loss like 1984 or 1972 that costs the GOP its House and Senate majorities, he’ll take more instruction from political professionals.

If he doesn’t, don’t be surprised if unbinding the GOP delegates to choose another nominee at the July convention starts to seem like an urgent and attractive option to a growing number of Republicans.

Unbinding the delegates feels like a nearly suicidal gesture. An alternative is for el Trumpo to drop out of the race before he has to face an ignominious defeat. This feels far too rosy-scenario. Of course, if he wanted to save face he could drop out for health reasons, but that seems too pie-in-the-sky.

If el Trumpo decides that the campaign is like a Mexican prison perhaps, as improbable as it seems, he will find a way to escape.

It is most likely that el Trumpo will be the Republican nominee. Perhaps he will stage a comeback. Perhaps he will not. When you fire your campaign manager it means that you are not doing very well in the polls. For now the only question is: who do American people dislike less, Hillary or el Trumpo?

Whatever happens in the election the Republican Party will have suffered a dark night of the soul. Some of its officials might even conclude that they would have done better to nominate Lucifer himself.


Ares Olympus said...

Don't forget Trump's reversal on his desire for clubs to be filled with drunk gun-toting patrons. Trump's mouth is too much of a loose cannon even for the NRA! Who knew!

Trump on Friday suggested that the Orlando nightclub massacre victims could have stopped the attack or lessened its toll if they had been armed.

“If we had people with bullets going the opposite direction right smack between the eyes of this maniac — if some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting — and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes ‘boom, boom,’ you know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks. That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight.”

But by early Monday, after some very public criticism from the NRA, Trump had reversed course.

"When I said that if, within the Orlando club, you had some people with guns, I was obviously talking about additional guards or employees," he tweeted.

The about-face came after a pair of top NRA officials on Sunday morning took the unusual step of condemning Trump's initial comments.

"I don't think you should have firearms where people are drinking," NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said during an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation." At around the same time, on ABC's "This Week," top NRA lobbyist Chris Cox also rejected Trump's vision.

"No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms," he said. "That defies common sense. It also defies the law. It's not what we're talking about here."

AesopFan said...

The Republican Party had a chance to stop Trump early in the primaries, by having some more acceptable candidate channel the anger of the Trump voters, and again later, after the weak runners started dropping out, but they dithered for too long.
They lost.
These are the consequences.
Politics ain't bean-bag.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
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Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @June 21, 2016 at 5:59 AM:

I am fascinated by how you -- and those who share your views -- have such uniform antipathy for the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment. You view the Second Amendment as some 18th century relic whose only relevance is musketry. That is so foolish. It's about personal self-defense and to ensure freedom from a powerful federal government. This extends to a federal government that tyrannically extends itself into all areas of our lives, and neglects to do what it is specifically chartered for: to protect us. Ask the people on the southern border how well that's going.

I was amused watching the news last night and hearing Harry Reid moan on the Senate floor about how Republicans are beholden to the NRA. Keep in mind that there are 54 Republicans in that body, and 44 Democrats. Yet the legislation -- hastily put together, mind you -- couldn't get the 60 votes for cloture. Funny that nothing got passed... doesn't sound like there's this grand national will to dilute one of our precious rights for the phony promise of preventing Omar Mateens. Democrat legislators living in reality have noticed that fighting against gun ownership is a loser for them, despite the wailing of their Progressive colleagues like Barbara Boxer.

I do not remember every hearing any of you or your ilk getting very energized in those episodes when the Democrats go hard for Planned Parenthood, the human tissue commodity trading company. You know, those tough times when partial birth abortion is up for a vote. I don't remember hearing much complaint from Democrats about the National Education Association or American Federation of Teachers creating these byzantine work rules that make it nearly impossible to get rid of bad teachers. It's all okay to somehow to defend "reproductive health" and/or advocate for those who work "for the children," but the NRA... whoa, what a cabal of cowards and horrible people.

Those terrible NRA people, they advocate for the law-abiding citizen being able to protect themselves and their families, and enjoy the outdoors as a sportsman. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill (with 86% of non-government revenue going toward delivering abortion procedures), and the NEA/AFT engage in putting up all kinds of barriers to change in a dysfunctional money pit of public education with a bill that goes up year after year with shoddy performance. The Democrat Party is loyal to no groups more than abortion advocates and teachers' unions.

What Democrats and other Progressive and Leftist groups don't like is the truth: the NRA is the most powerful interest group in our nation. It is powerful because of voluntary contributions from members -- normal citizens who care about their Second Amendment rights. That's a hard pill for a lot of Progs and Leftists to swallow, so they demonize the NRA with ad hominem invective because they simply cannot win a rational gun control argument -- which is why they have to pounce before the blood is dry from one of these mass shootings. Meanwhile, groups like Planned Parenthood get great sums of public money for "women's health" as a way to fund their more attractive operations and obscure their true intent, which is to "thin the herd" of undesirable children in America. And the AFT/NEA thrives on the mostly involuntary contributions that are extracted from their members against their will as a public sector union.

Every year in the U.S., 1.2 million kids drop out of school.

In 2012 in the U.S., about 1 million humans were aborted.

In 2010 in the U.S., there were 8,583 murders committed with guns.

My, my... what a wicked organization the NRA is by comparison. What on earth are we talking about???

Ares Olympus said...

IAC, I'll consider a gun for myself as soon as the ability to kill others make me feel safer.

And I'll happily go with the liberal agenda, that abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

I only know of one abortion in my direct family, that of my grandmother, not many details, but around 1932, with 3 kids already, and an uncertain economy I imagine with the depression. I also don't know how illegal abortions were obtained back then. My grandmother had more kids after 1935, so apparently it wasn't too unsafe. Of course birthing a child was also dangerous.

On the other hand, I have fortunately zero murders in my family. So if you ask my preference I'd prefer an aborted uncle or aunt, or a family member murdered by gun violence, I know which I'll choose.

Of course that's not a real choice, but it works for me. Its obscene to me to compare murder and abortion, but you're winning the war, so that's what's important. Soon being an abortion doctor will be so hated of a job that women won't be able to have abortions because there will be no place to get one. And then when women die again from "street abortions" we can blame the women for getting pregnant.

So keep up the work. You're make a difference.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Thank you, Ares. I want to work in this regard. I want to make a difference.

You're not the only one from a family that had an abortion. There are many more, including my own. It is actually interesting that you think abortions should be "rare." Wondering what leads you to that conclusion. Perhaps your conscience?

In terms of the sheer scale and enormity of the problem, by comparison... there is no comparison. And there is no comparison to the sheer horror of opportunity in those lives of people who cannot grow because they face incompetent teachers without the courage, guidance, wisdom and/or outlet to find their own path. Yet you chose not to choose the other key Democrat constituency: the teachers' unions who hold so many of our children in bondage. It is degrading to the human spirit and soul to see someone in a profession they have no business being in, and yet being powerless to do anything about it. Alas.

The truth is that we cannot live a life without sacrifice. Once a human is aborted, it's gone. Once a person is shot dead, he/she is gone. My disgust is with those who do not believe in sacrifice, who think life is all pleasure, and not suffering. Who live at the service of their own emotional convenience. The natural state of things is the exact opposite.

To own a firearm is to recognize that sacrifice may be needed, if the time comes. The idea that abortion is a matter of private conscience is ridiculous to me if the right to self-defense is not also. Both require sacrifice of a life. One is a conscious choice, the other is an instant response in the spirit of self-protection. They are distinct. Yet Lefties believe one is a choice that should never be challenged, and the other an act that should never be allowed to be possible (while somehow the perpetrator has the means to make it possible).

I intend to counter your arguments, because I believe your thinking lacks consideration. Your concern about your grandmother's circumstance shows otherwise. Your lack of concern for your aunt/uncle's non-existence is troubling. You prefer an aborted over a murdered uncle because no one actually had to see him. I say that's an unfortunate reality. And I feel the same about my own relatives.

Steve Jobs' mother could've had an abortion if it were legal at the time. Considering the circumstances of her pregnancy, no one could've disagreed with her... it was an impossible situation. Yet Steve Jobs was born, and lived. The world profited greatly by his existence. And he actually got to encounter his father in a restaurant, albeit unknown, lest it be unwillingly. That's life... if we allow it.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC said: My disgust is with those who do not believe in sacrifice, who think life is all pleasure, and not suffering. Who live at the service of their own emotional convenience.

I must assume you also believe birth control is wrong, because it allows the potential pleasure without consequences.

Abortions for me should be rare because we have means to prevent pregnancy, so nearly every "unintended pregnancy" could have been avoided. We should feel regret when choices have predictable consequences and we could have done better and didn't.

Your "Steve Jobs" argument is expressed in the ironic joke, "God, why didn't you help us cure cancer? God: I tried, but you aborted her."

But we could have as equally had "... God: I tried, but she was a Syrian refugee and died of exposure."

One of the interesting prolife arguments is by mothers who had one and regreted it, and wish to redeem their mistake by telling other women they'll regret it also.

What I can see is animals don't have regret because they can't imagine they had other choices. Everything they do is instinctive or reactionary. But humans ate from the tree of knowledge, and were pushed out of the garden, and now are separated from God and our nature.

So desiring to be "innocent again" is a good childish wish, but it's a lie. I'd say abandoning a desire for innocence is a great sacrifice, but also a sign of maturity.

There are divergent ways to carry this burden of consequences, and to let go of what-if regrets, and some are worse than others. Rewriting history to avoid responsibility and scapegoating others for your choices is a part of the desire to be innocent again, and lies like that are worse than what they are covering up.

Marsh said...

"El Trumpo, spawn, Lucifer." Bitter much, Stuart???

LOL You sure take being a poor loser to a whole other level.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post today, please keep it up. LMAO

fred said...
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Marsh said...

Just when you get your hopes up, Stuart...Corey has just been hired by CNN!

Oh and Trump just raised 11 million dollars in two days.


Marsh said...

Don't you think Corey's post-fire escort out of Trump Towers was a nice touch, Stuart? LOL

Marsh said...

Oh and...