Monday, July 27, 2015


Via today, I see that some on the right are pointing out that Donald Trump isn't as much of an immigration hard-liner as he seems to be. This is from Power Line:

... Trump himself is beginning to seem soft illegal immigrants. The Daily Caller notes that during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” yesterday, the tycoon appeared to back amnesty for some illegal immigrants.
Joe Scarborough asked Trump what he would do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country once America secured its southern border. After arguing the real number of illegal immigrants is much higher and saying the first thing America needs to do is “take the bad” illegal immigrants and “get them the hell out,” Trump sounded like he was open to providing some type of pathway to legalization for the remainder.

“And then the other ones -- and I’m a very big believer in merit system, I have to tell you,” Trump said. “Because some of these people have been here, they’ve done a good job, you know, in some cases sadly they’ve been living under the shadows.”

“We have to do something,” he continued. “So whether it’s merit or whether it’s whatever, but I’m a believer in the merit system. If somebody’s been outstanding, we try and work something out.”
... According to CNN’s Chris Moody, when asked [in June] what he would do about the illegal immigrants already residing in the country once the border was secured, Trump replied, “give them a path.” A path to what? Trump didn’t say.
So will this be what ultimately topples Trump -- the fact that he'd actually like to find a way to keep some undocumented immigrants in the country?

Well, these quotes are already out there and they're doing no harm to Trump. And that's bizarre. It's one thing to say that Trump used to have moderate or liberal positions on a number of issues and used to give money to Democrats. (I see that yesterday Timothy Noah gathered up all that information about Trump's onetime non-conservative policy positions for Politico, in the hope, once again, that it will upset Trump's fan base. I trust that a check from Reince Priebus to Noah is in the mail.)

Trump fans say all that is in the past. But this immigration stuff is current. And it concerns what's become his signature issue.

Can it be that Trump's fans don't really care whether he's an actual immigration hard-liner, just so long as he says racist things about Mexicans and threatens to make the Mexican government pay for a border fence? Do the Trumpites care less about implementing hard-line immigration policies than they do about hating brown people?

I think Trump could possibly be damaged if someone in the first debate goes after him from the right on immigration, throwing these statements back in his face. But it might not matter. Trump might just start trash-talking Mexico again, and the Trump believers will respond more to the nastiness than to the actual policy.


aimai said...

I think that the kind sof people who get excited by, as booman says, trump tickling their "hate bone" are not necessarily the same people wh watch debates at all--or if they do they watch them as a kind of performance or entertainment event. So a lot depends on the affect with which Trump and the others debate. My feeling about these people is that they are in it for the hate and the disgust--they like Trump because he models their contempt for the Republican field. He might well be able to finesse the fine print of actual policies just by being offensive enough to the other debaters at the debate. Or one of them might get off a zinger which deflates him enough for his viewers to move him to the "loser" side.

The phrase that no one is using is "Bitch slap" as in JMM's bitch slap theory of politics. Trump's supporters love the fact that he is bitch slapping the Republican party. He is taking their revenge for them over their perceived impotence w/r/t Obama and the gays and world events. Trump won't stop riding high until he can no longer bitch slap effectively--if he lets someone else get the last word in, if he fails to insult hard enough, or if someone else offers himself up as a successful attack dog and winner vis a vis the Democrats. Only if one of the other contenders can sufficiently humiliate Obama and the Dems will Trumps supporters finally switch their attention to the new guy. And I'm not sure that happens until after the primary because until then Trump's main competition is the do-nothing/unsuccessful republican party itself.

Never Ben Better said...

This has been another episode of "What aimai said."

IanEye said...

If you think the GOP faithful won't like Trump's remarks on amnesty, wait until they read this:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has a plan to pay off the national debt, grant a middle class a tax cut, and keep Social Security afloat: tax rich people like himself.
Trump, a prospective candidate for the Reform Party presidential nomination, is proposing a one-time "net worth tax" on individuals and trusts worth $10 million or more.
"The plan I am proposing today does not involve smoke and mirrors, phony numbers, financial gimmicks, or the usual economic chicanery you usually find in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac," Trump said.
Trump would exempt the value of an individual's principal home from the net worth total.

"By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan," Trump said.
"The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes," he said.


petrilli said...

Yeah, Trump lights up the base's baser pleasure centers real good. He's a pimp. He runs gambling dens for a living. He understands the degenerate gambler's brain. But the kind of high he give these rubes comes with a crash. I'll only add that when this happens, it will happen quick. Like Cosby quick.

Victor said...

Yeah, what aimai said - again!

BooMan calls what Trump's tickling, "The Hate Zone."
I call it, "The GOP-spot."

mlbxxxxxx said...

I don't care how nasty he talks about Mexicans, if they can hang amnesty around his neck, that could be fatal. Trump voters really want the cattle car solution for existing undocumented immigrants. They will turn on him if they think he wants to let them stay. The mystery is why his opponents are allowing him to skate along without really attacking him. I think Bush wants Trump in at least the first debate, but about 1/2 of the rest need, and one would assume want, Trump's spot on the stage. It should be clear by now that ad hominem attacks are not going to do the trick -- Trump just responds in kind and he's better at schoolyard taunts. These guys are kind of embarrassing.

Glennis said...

What Aimai said, also, too.

But let's consider one thing - Trump isn't winning a political contest here. This is a popularity contest right now. Ballots won't be cast for months. He's popular because he's good entertainment, not because anyone really thinks he will be president.

I could be wrong about this - this was what I thought about Schwarzeneggar, too - but I can't honestly see how Donald Trump will have either the staying power, the sustained interest, or an actual true following to carry it out to the end.

petrilli said...

Aunt Snow, good point about Schwarzeneggar. Jesse Ventura comes to mind too. I always had/have a hard time imagining guys like that really taking office; like they can't be serious about it. Next you know, they're taking the oath and killing your pension.