Saturday, July 18, 2015

TRUMP JUST MADE IT EASY FOR HIS COWARD OPPONENTS TO ATTACK HIM WITHOUT ATTACKING TRUMPISM

Is this the beginning of the end of Trumpmania in the GOP? Possibly, though it's hard to say:
Speaking today in Iowa, Donald Trump attacked John McCain for being a former prisoner of war....

"He's not a war hero," Trump, a Republican running for president, said of McCain. "I like people that weren’t captured. "He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured."
Before we assume that Republican voters consider attacks on McCain's patriotism to be beyond the pale, let's recall that some Republicans have long despised McCain, and applaud such attacks if the attackers come from the right. A 2000 article with the title "Will 'Ace' McCain Flame Out Again?," which depicted McCain as a terrible pilot, was approvingly linked more than once at Free Republic; the article originally appeared in Insight magazine, a sister publication to the Moonie Washington Times. Some right-wingers believe McCain committed treason in Vietnam, as suggested in a flyer distributed in 2008 during the South Carolina primary campaign by a group called Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, which called McCain a "Hanoi Hilton songbird." And McCain has been called a traitor by conservatives for a number of reasons -- in 2013...
At a recent town hall event held by Senator John McCain (Maverick, Arizona) a U.S. Marine ... said to McCain’s face that the Senator should be “arrested and tried for treason” for supporting al Qaeda terrorists in Syria....

The US Marine, one Blaine Cooper, called McCain a traitor for sending arms and money to support the Syrian rebels, many of whom are al Qaeda, our worst enemies.
... and this past May, by a 2008 Ron Paul delegate to the Republican convention who's also the founder of the Oath Keepers:
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told a Tempe, Arizona, conservative gathering last week that Sen. John McCain should be tried for treason and “hung by the neck until dead” for going “along with the program of the destruction of this country.”

... “John Cain [sic] is a traitor to the Constitution,” he added. “He should be tried for treason before a jury of his peers — which he would deny you, he supports your denial of a jury trial, he supported the NDAA saying that he could just have the president slam you into a brig in North Carolina or South Carolina or wherever else he wanted to, try you by military tribunal and have you executed. He would deny you the right for trial to jury, but we will give him a trial for jury, and then after we convict him, he should be hung by the neck until dead....”
So McCain isn't entirely above reproach on the right. He's still despised by many for supporting immigration reform and for, in much of the right's eyes, losing a winnable race against Barack Obama. Nevertheless, I think these remarks will alienate a certain number of Trump's newfound fans.

But the real trouble is yet to come for Trump. In theory, he could walk this back and not suffer too much damage within his fan base. But Trump is never going to walk anything back. Never walking things back is practically his entire act.

Which gives all his pants-wetting Republican opponents a golden opportunity. Now they can sanctimoniously attack Trump for besmirching the honor of a great American who suffered torture at the hands of brutal communists -- and they don't have to say a word about every other obnoxious thing Trump has said recently.

And then, I suspect, Trump will just finish himself off, because when they attack him for attacking McCain, he'll just double down, because doubling down is his automatic reaction whenever he's attacked.

It may be that anger at McCain is sufficiently great on the right that Trump can get away with this. Or it may be that something else will happen to make us all forget that Trump ever said this.

But I think this might burst the Trump bubble -- not what Trump said today, but how he'll up the ante in the next few days, because he's too stupid not to.

9 comments:

mlbxxxxxx said...

Yeah, looks like the Trump flame-out may have begun. But his voters hate McCain and they are preternaturally nasty people so this won't totally destroy him. His opponents are going to have to man up and attack.

My current theory is that Bush wants him in the debate -- at least the first one. He takes up a slot that could go to a real long term opponent and he says such crazy things that he makes it easy to look good, i.e., rational. Bush doesn't lose any votes to him anyway, everybody else does, especially Cruz. Trump puts the anti-Bush voters in one unattractive, unstable bloc and I think that serves Bush's purposes for now.

I don't get why everybody else, except Cruz maybe, isn't going after him hammer and tong for his past stands on taxes, abortion, etc. My only idea is that they are just paralyzed with fear of the base right now.

oc democrat said...

I THOUGHT Mr. Wilson graduated 790 out of 800.

Is there Anything THE Donald doesn't exaggerate??

aimai said...

Yes,I agree that the thing about Trump is that he was always going to overreach. However I have to admit I cracked up when I saw that tweet. Because its so very true about the right wing--they hate losers and the hate to have to feel sympathy for anyone. They definitely prefer people who haven't been captured, haven't suffered, don't appeal to them through their softer emotions.

petrilli said...

McCain has been waving_no, rubbing his bloody shirt in the public's face for 40 years and everyone, especially his colleagues are sick of it, with the notable exception of senator Huckelberry Prissy Pants. Piled upon that, his 2008 loss, on that, his general belligerent,bullying pain-in-the-ass attitude toward anyone he deals with. No, this won't hurt Trump. The press will bitch because heros. But Trump will give zero fucks for their disapproval. I'm almost impressed that he went there. Good for Trump today! (the bastard)

petrilli said...

The assumption that cowardice is preventing the other GOP candidates from attacking Trump doesn't quite jibe with me lately. The ammunition is just laying there for anyone to pick up and lob at him. Not a lot of courage required there. I think that maybe each campaign is just hoping someone else does it. Kind of like a sink full of moldy dishes in a house with 15 roommates. Someone will eventually get disgusted enough (or be forced by circumstance) roll up their sleeves and get it done at their own expense.

Joey_Blau said...

Ha. Stopped clock and all... McCain is a lowlife blowhard with half.the brains of Trump. He was a crappy pilot and crashed several planes. He is a war criminal who bombed women and children... and he only refused release because it would look bad for politics...

Trump shoots! He scores!

nonynony said...

I find it difficult to believe that this impacts any Trump voters at all - he's appealing to the id monsters of the Republican base. These are people who hate John McCain for being a loser and a moderate. Trump didn't come up with that quip from his own brain (the man isn't that creative) - it's the same kind of crap that the lowlifes of the right-wing have been saying since McCain was running against GWB in 2000.

Trump was never going to win this anyway - he's been mainly useful as a baromoeter for what percentage of the GOP base is so crazy they'll vote for Donald Trump if he tells them what they want to hear out loud instead of trying to couch it in dogwhistles and codewords. My prediction is that it tops out somewhere near the magic 27% number (IIRC the percentage of Republicans who said they thought Trump completely unsuited for the presidency was around 65%, so it might be higher, but I'll stick with the safe estimate for all things crazy), and I don't see this hurting him with that demographic. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he took a few ticks upwards, as a few more of the crazybase hear what he said about McCain and agree with him.

(And hey look - Trump managed to get the media to spend another weekend talking about him. I'll bet that the Sunday Bobble Heads will be talking about Donald Trump tomorrow morning too.)

Belvoir said...

Wow. never thought I'd defend McCain. But his experiences as a POW were real. And to his credit, he has been a fierce advocate against torture as American government policy. Fierce about it, actually. Sad that the bar was set so low that torture was even up for discussion. But the one thing I'll give him is that he's been consistently on the right side of that debate. And as much as I dislike him, his foisting Palin upon us and all, as terrible a pilot as he was, his being a POW for years really is something unimaginable that I do take into account with him. I'm very glad he never got to be President, but I would never disrespect his experience as a tortured hostage once. It is wild that serial draft-dodger Trump here has the GALL to do so.

Joey_Blau said...

McCain did serve and he was tortured.. ok give him that. But mostly he was the admirals son.. getting in trouble and getting by. He made good noises on torture but never actually did anything.. and Palin... he can never be forgiven For doing that.