Thursday, June 09, 2016

REPUBLICAN HANDWRINGING IS REALLY GOOD FOR DONALD TRUMP'S BRAND

Donald Trump used establishment Republicans as foils all through primary season, and his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel have made it possible for him to continue using establishment Republicans as foils:
Donald J. Trump has some advice for panicked Republicans in Washington who are melting down over his most incendiary statements: Man up.

“Politicians are so politically correct anymore, they can’t breathe,” Mr. Trump said in an interview Tuesday afternoon as fellow Republicans forcefully protested his ethnically charged criticism of a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against the defunct Trump University.

“The people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine,” he said during an interlude in a day of exceptional stress in the Trump campaign. “It is out of control. It is gridlock with their mouths.”

... “I disagree with a lot of things I’ve watched in politics over the years, that’s why I’m running,” Mr. Trump said over a meatball lunch he barely touched in the restaurant of Trump Tower. “And that may make me less popular with politicians. But I have to be honest. I didn’t get there by doing it the way a lot of these people do it.”
See what he's doing? After his party coalesced around him and everyone urged him to be "presidential," he ran the risk of starting to look almost like an ordinary politician. But people hate ordinary politicians. What got Trump this far was not being an ordinary politician. So he did something very unpresidential, and he kept doing it for days, and now establishment politicians in his own party are chastising him. Mission accomplished: He's the bad boy again.

I'm going to stop here and say that this might not work as well in the general election as it did in the primaries, because he has to win over an electorate that's not composed primary of older white rage junkies. But it's a strategy, and it's working as planned. The Curiel attacks made Trump the defiant maverick again.

He's going to do it again next week, almost certainly in a way that sets off fresh handwringing within his party:
Donald Trump’s team is hunkering down to draft the charge sheet the presumptive GOP nominee will unveil against Hillary Clinton on Monday....

But many Republicans worry that the former reality TV star’s penchant for focusing on the Clintons’ personal lives and scandals of years past -- he declared them “fair game” months ago as he bulldozed to the finish line of a Republican primary -- could undermine the more disciplined case party leaders have been making against Clinton for a year -- that the Democrat’s email controversy and actions in Benghazi show she is too irresponsible to be commander in chief.

... Trump’s promise to deliver a speech about “all the things that have taken place with the Clintons,” never mind a yearlong campaign replete with impolitic, off-the-cuff statements, unnerves some in the establishment.

“It needs to be credible. He can’t give a ‘four Pinocchios’ tin-foil hat speech,” said Bruce Haynes, a GOP strategist in Washington. “If he’s going to disqualify her, the evidence that supports his case has to be legitimate. It can’t be the musings, whims and wannabes of the conspiracy illuminati....”
"It can’t be the musings, whims and wannabes of the conspiracy illuminati"? Of course it can. Trump will probably use some GOP-establishment attacks (which are worthy of a few Pinocchios themselves), but he's also going to attack the Clintons with scurrilous and implausible Ed Klein gutter gossip. That's going to send the party to the fainting couch again. And then he'll get to say he's being brave and fearless and "poltically incorrect" once more.

I'll say it again: This really might fail in November. But if general election voters want an anti-politician, someone who fills real politicians with a sense of dread, Trump will continue to oblige.

5 comments:

nonynony said...


I'm going to stop here and say that this might not work as well in the general election as it did in the primaries, because he has to win over an electorate that's not composed primary of older white rage junkies


Also he needs to get at least 50%+ of the general election vote in enough states to win the Electoral College - or slightly smaller than that if there's a legit spoiler who draws votes off of Clinton I guess. His strategy of winning 35-40% of the vote and winning the state because of the "deep bench" will not help him in the general election at all.

could undermine the more disciplined case party leaders have been making against Clinton for a year -- that the Democrat’s email controversy and actions in Benghazi show she is too irresponsible to be commander in chief.

This strategy has already been undermined by Trump's success. There is literally no way that Trump can be on stage with Hillary Clinton and defend the idea that electing her to the office is more irresponsible than electing him. He cannot use this inane strategy that the GOP concocted to try to short-circuit her positives as a former Secretary of State because it's clear to anyone who has more than one brain cell that Trump is an irresponsible jackass who shouldn't be trusted with any responsibility greater than remembering where he left his own hairpiece.

I doubt this strategy would have worked for any of the candidates other than possibly Kasich anyway - Rubio has severe financial issues in Florida that would have blown him up anytime he tried to play the "irresponsible" card, Jeb! has the last name "Bush" and so would have had his brother tied around his neck like the albatross he is, and Cruz has a personality deficit that makes people assume he's lying when he moves his lips so it would be hard for him to present any kind of case at all. But with Trump this strategy is a non-starter.

The best that Trump can do is to continue to sound like a right-wing radio shock jock, see how many extra angry white men he can get to the polls who didn't vote for Romney last time, and to try to hold onto as much of the rest of people who voted for Romney last time as he can. That's his literally the only strategy available to him now and the GOP are foolish if they think he has any path to victory that involves doing anything else.

Samuel Gonzalez said...

I don't know if we agree politically. But, I like your slant on this. Fair take. Nice post!

Gerald Lillpop said...

Is tRump running for president or editor of National Enquirer? This kind of BS will work with the base but the base is not big enough to elect him president.

Nick said...

"It can’t be the musings, whims and wannabes of the conspiracy illuminati....” So, ya know, stick to...Benghazi.

Feud Turgidson said...

"It can’t be the musings, whims and wannabes of the conspiracy illuminati"
- Bruce "Not Marques, That's For Sure" Haynes

"Of course it can."
- Steve M.

inevitably, it has to be, or else there's nothing left to say.
- moi

IMO were about to witness a big scale miscalculation about Trump's reach. He's fine going on RWNY talk radio or on nitwit cable talk and throwing about zeitgeisty sprinkles like complementary toppings on your nothing burger, and his medicine show quality tent revival tour format allows himself to play off the crowd like he's leading some 4 year old new readers in a story-time break. But all this post Clinton conspiracy shit, man, it never COULD hold water when it was relatively fresh kill; it's physical properties sure haven't IMPROVED over the past nearly 2 decades.

I remember more than once some big magilla stunt by Evel Knievel going on B list prime time, getting all the kiddies so excited. And then something would go wrong and an hour or so would be spent confirming it just couldn't be fixed right now and so the thing HAD to be cancelled "for now". That was mostly bullshit. Evelhad over-promised, knew it, and was not about to commit suicide.

i feel the same about the pre-speech hype were already getting on this. This is World Wrasslin' Meets Evel Knievel level cutrate carney showbiz. But the pyrotechnics were cheap from the start and now are very old and sodden. I expect a big piffle.

I ALSO think there's a good chance this could backfire WITH THE MSM! The Wolf Blitzer community is dumb and slow, but they CAN DO THIS! because they've boon over this ground many times before - and now, rather than just recycling it LIKE TRUMP EXPECTS AND IS COUNTING ON, it's actually going to prove more SELF-AGGRANDIZING to focus on be-bunking Trump and spin this as part of the MSM's role as Guardian of the Universe Central.