Thursday, March 10, 2016


I just told you in my last post that I can't imagine Donald Trump making a smooth transition to a tame, domesticated, responsibly right-centrist general election campaign, even though many pundits think it'll be easy for him, and quite a few think it's already happening. I said that I can't imagine the Trump campaign forswearing thuggishness, in part because it's the candidate's preferred mode, and in part because Trump's fan base wallows in it.

I expressed my doubts and now look what's topping the Trump news:
Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields is discussing her "jarring" physical altercation with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's campaign manager, saying she was "shaken" by the incident.

Fields wrote in a piece published Thursday that she was trying to ask Trump a question about affirmative action during a press conference earlier in the week when she was almost pulled to the ground.

"Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards," she wrote.

"Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken."

The Washington Post's Ben Terris told Fields that Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, pulled her. Fields said Lewandowski would "be out of line" if he had taken these actions, even if Trump was done taking questions.

"Campaign managers aren't supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance," she wrote.
Also this:
A white man in a cowboy hat appeared to sucker-punch a black protester being escorted out of Donald Trump's North Carolina rally on Thursday, according to multiple videos of the incident.

The protester, identified by The Huffington Post as Rakeem Jones, can be seen in video footage waving his middle finger at the crowd as he's escorted by men in uniform up the stairs of the Crown Center Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Then the man in the cowboy hat, who has not been identified, approaches the aisle and seems to punch Jones:

Do you think reporters are going to stop trying to ask Trump uncomfortable questions? (The Daily Beast tells us, "Lewandowski’s explanation ... was that he and Fields had never met before and ... he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media." If she'd been from the "adversarial" media, I guess roughing her up would have been just fine, according to Team Trump.) Do you think protesters, some of them non-white, are going to stop showing up at Trump rallies? So what reason is there to believe that this thuggery will be contained?


But naivete about the Trump general election campaign is widespread. On the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal, Edward Luttwak tells us that the transition to a kinder, gentler Trump is easy to imagine:
True, Mr. Trump launched his campaign by denouncing the supposed crimes of illegal immigrants from Mexico. But given his personal history, one may seriously doubt the sincerity of his anti-Mexican sentiments. He must certainly find ways of undoing the damage -- starting with a fulsome apology -- but nobody should view Trump as a racist because of those remarks.
(Emphasis added.)

"A fulsome apology" from Donald Trump for the very pronouncement that made his campaign? Oh, right, Edward, that'll totally happen.



Yeah, these people will just go away quietly as soon as Trump pivots to Hillary, won't they?


Feud Turgidson said...

Said it before, sayin' it again: political campaign racial bigotry and related violence are Lewandowski's specialty.

aimai said...

Didn't Trump already fire Roger Stone, and then quietly rehire him? I don't think Trump will have any trouble at all surpressing certain kinds of behaviors or employees in public once the Republican party has made up its mind to support him. which they will once the nomination fight is over. If they can't boost Cruz into Trump's position they will resign themselves to Trump and then there will be simply no more reporting on violence at Trump's rallies, or he will cease to need to rile his voters up. He will soft pedal his approach but he'll nod and wink at his supporters. He'll announce that he "wants everyone to be calm" and to "let the professionals handle the professional agitators in the crowd."

mlbxxxxxx said...

Can you imagine what happens if they try to take the nomination away from him at the convention?

I'm also wondering how they are going to take getting beat by Hillary. They are not going to believe it and I don't think they are going to react well to being giant losers who lose when they expect November to be the beginning of a long string of wins.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Trump won't have to change his tune, because the bothsiderists in the media will claim that he has changed it anyway. If Trump is the nominee, I confidently predict that columns from someone like David Brooks or Ross Douthat about Trump's remarkable transformation into a statesman is coming our way this fall. Alternatively, Ron Fournier or Mark Halperin will tell us that Hillary/Bernie is just as bad.

Feud Turgidson said...

Unsalty, I pretty much agree with ALL that - but that raises a related problem for the GOP: If Brooks, Douthat, Hack Halperin, the amazingly untransformative Fournier & all the ass-Ort'd ets * als in the pundifirmament are writing and yakking at a theoretically move-able squishy segment of a sliver of the electorate (a sliver that's become occupied by the sorts of folks who post reader comments here at Steve M's joint, TPM, WaMo, Drum's beats, and to Pierce posts, watching vid snips from the cables both directly and indirectly thru filters like Crooks&Liars & Mediaite, as well as the more non-mouth breathing RW sites like Hot Air, AND the average midstream carp (like US!) at those places is already not just 'onto' them, but actually AHEAD of where they're headed (to the point where us and our ilk can point authoritatively & snicker at their iconic moves, like at veteran MLB hitters with notoriously established pre-swing quirk routines & holes in their batting zones), will ANYTHING from those predicable moves by predick-able pundits achieve ANYTHING?

Pre-sage just-the-tip: Nope. We've reached a little plateau in the development of the era of 999 Cables & STILL Ain' Nuthin' On that I'd like to suggest now might be aptly called Post Punditry - where pundits act so predictably they've become nothing more than the filler for the Hamburger Helper of the pundit factory outlet-dotted information superpike.