Friday, April 29, 2011


I know a lot of louts get to Vegas and just let their inhibitions go, but I think there was actual calculation behind Donald Trump's decision to work blue in a speech there last night:

Once while discussing Iraq.

"We build a school, we build a road, they blow up the school, we build another school, we build another road they blow them up, we build again, in the meantime we can't get a f***ing school in Brooklyn," Trump says.

To the audiences approval, while talking oil.

"We have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, you're not going to raise that f****ing price," he says.

And finally, while speaking about taxing Chinese goods.

"Listen you mother f***ers we're going to tax you 25 percent," Trump says.

Trump has said he wants to talk about something other than birtherism and related subjects (although you'd never know it); birtherism has the potential to hurt him now, even in an insanity-saturated GOP electorate, so it's understandable if he wants to be associated with other issues. (And I'd say that's true even if he's just being a provocateur rather than a candidate-in-preparation.) So, isn't this a good way to get his words on other subjects noticed? Made you look, didn't he?

I keep thinking that, for all his denials, Trump is still running plays called by Roger Stone -- the GOP provocateur who, of course, concocted Citizens United Not Timid as a means of attacking Hillary Clinton before the 2008 primaries. Even if Trump isn't running, I think the hope is to weaken Obama just by having these things said, and said in a very prominent way. It doesn't matter that the proposals are utterly unrealistic (after you flip off the Chinese and tell them about the tax, are you going to do the same thing to the CEO of Walmart?); what matters is that they set a standard against which Obama looks weak and sissified. (Given the fact that this may be a Roger Stone scheme, I'll remind you that Stone, like his hero, Richard Nixon, worships "toughness" -- although I wince when I think about the sexual undercurrents of that in Stone's case.)

But won't voters recoil? Well, most people don't care about that Joe Biden F-bomb; right-wingers feigned shock and disgust, but they absolutely love Dick Cheney for cursing out Pat Leahy. (They also loved what George W. Bush said about Adam Clymer of The New York Times; at Free Republic, a favorite insult in the Bush years was "major league Clymer.")

I'm not saying this is going to meet with the approval of the general public, or even with swing voters -- I think they'll be appalled -- though I think it will appeal to the crazy base. I'm just saying that I suspect Trump believes it was a brilliant chess move, and did it in a calculated way.

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