Monday, July 06, 2015


Paul Waldman argues that Donald Trump is turning out to be a net plus for Republicans:
... one after another, [the other Republican presidential candidates have] been asked about Trump and (with the exception of Ted Cruz) have condemned his remarks. And while some just expressed their disagreement briefly, others have taken the opportunity to present a more inclusive face of the GOP. "Hispanics in America and Hispanics in Texas, from the Alamo to Afghanistan, have been extraordinary people, citizens of our country and of our state," said Rick Perry on ABC's "This Week." Mike Huckabee called immigrants from south of our border "some of the most conservative, family-oriented and faith-based people I have ever witnessed." "Politically, we're going to win when we're hopeful and optimistic and big and broad rather than errrrr, grrrr, just angry all the time," said Jeb Bush....

Think about it this way: Trump's remarks were so vulgar that any candidate who wants to look like a reasonable person has little choice but to reject them. And if they all do it (or almost all), then at least for a while they've sidestepped what many of us expected to see during the primaries: a competition for who could talk the toughest on immigration. If they can maintain that mutual agreement to be as far from Trump as possible on the issue, then they might not dig themselves as big a hole as Mitt Romney and John McCain did with Hispanic voters.
And as Ed Kilgore adds, they can do this without changing their positions on immigration a bit:
... Trump has also made it easy for candidates whose objective positions on immigration policy are quasi-nativist to seem “moderate” so long as they aren’t blaming immigrants for half the country’s problems. Indeed, the “premature pivot” on immigration Waldman is talking about could preempt a more meaningful pivot that transcends mere rhetoric about the moral qualities of Latinos and the overall impact of legal and illegal immigration on American society.
Both Waldman and Kilgore question whether Hispanic voters will welcome the more tolerant rhetoric if there isn't a policy shift to go along with it. I think Hispanics do pay close attention to candidates' immigration policies, not merely their pronouncements -- they'll know who's faking a change of heart. But I wonder whether moderate voters who aren't Hispanic will hear the softer rhetoric and give the GOP, apart from Trump and Cruz, undeserved credit for reasonableness. If that's the case, Trump might be making the rest of the field look good by comparison.

On the other hand, it's possible that soothing words about Hispanics and immigrants will alienate the GOP base. Maybe we'll see Cruz start to rise in the polls as well as Trump. Or maybe we'll hear Scott Walker and Rick Santorum talk more about their desire to curb legal immigration, just to pick up some of that rage vote.

And who knows whether this will be the general election in which a minor-party candidate picks up conservative voters alienated by the GOP, the way Ralph Nader won liberals skeptical of Al Gore in 2000. A party that's now speaking well of Hispanics (even undocumented Hispanics) and not defending the Confederate flag and not actively resisting same-sex marriage really might lose a few votes come November 2016. We'll see.


Ray said...

What would really be good for the GOP is a 5 gallon soapy, warm enema, given to all of them.

Victor said...

Preferably, with sulfuric acid.

Victor said...

In the GOP, whither goes the base, thither and on go the politicians.

I'm going to take a wait and see attitude, as to whether the GOP candidates really soften their stances - up to a point.

If Chump and Cruz-ader rise in the GOP polls, the rest will go with follow them - and maybe try to outdo them.
If they go down in the polls, then they'll stop where they are - and go not one step farther.

The ignorant, hateful, fearful, bigoted, stupid and evil base, is still the tail that wags the GOP dog.

Marcus said...

Of course it hurts the GOP…that’s why the media plays the angle that he is not serious …if he can move money donors to his side that will be a sign of his seriousness...…it would force JEB more to the right and he will look ridiculous doing it …not his nature… he has no economic message that resonates with the base…something the Donald can deliver in his sleep
One thing that baffles me is where is Christie getting his money from??…Mitt Romney old donors???

Ed Baptist said...

If you buy into the GOP paranoia mindset, Trump is obviously a false flag operation by the Democrats.

I Ain't Got No Blog said...

In this mans humble opinion YES, Donald Trump is dumb! Dumb like a fox. He's manipulating the media like a master because he is a master. Trump has surrounded himself with smart people and his tactics and strategies are creative and effective. Trump is a business man who knows his customer/base and he's playing them like Jascha Heifetz played his violin.
The Donald Speaks truth and yet he is vilified for it. Go figure! It’s because of the fact that this one time wonderful nation of our has become so damn PC that we just can’t say what’s on our minds any longer. We just can’t even speak the truth any longer! The left is like a Piranha! What a pathetic bunch of loses. John Wayne said it best. "Life is tough. It's tougher if you’re stupid. You are vilified if you speck the these days.! That’s what has happened to this One Time Wonderful, and Great, Nation!

Did Trump tell the truth about Mexicans? We have to deport ALL these undocumented Mexicans, as well as other ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS if they are involved in criminal activity, and coming here undocumented IS criminal. The Donald has put the Republican between a rock and a hard place. They are attacking Trump as a way to whore for the Hispanic vote and eventually the like many other Republican that have no core they will flip flop on the issue of immigration like McCain did.

petrilli said...

"You are vilified if you speck the these days.!"
You should be vilified if you Speck these or any days.

Unknown said...

Speck sez, Nah nah nah nah, Nah nah nah nah, Hey Goober, This is noo.

If he rithes as gud as he specks, sure do look forward to his workin' with snakes.