So Donald Trump can be said to have one good thing in his life.
I was yelling at someone a week or so ago that the way to take Trump out is by mocking him.
I mean, Jesus, is there anyone more mockable than The Donald? Mr. Winning?
I mean, someone else must have thought to put a picture of Charlie Sheen next to him, with WINNING! the caption, right?
(I would do this if I had any ability to, uh, splice separate photos into one image. And caption it. But I don’t. I am not a WINNER.)
If asked about him, condescend. If in a debate with him, laugh at him. Be amused, not angry, and if Trump gets angry, laugh some more.
He wants to be taken seriously, so do not under any circumstances take him seriously.
This is not elevated political discourse, I know, but if you’re dealing with someone who so gleefully breaks the rules of electoral decorum, then you have to follow him through that breach and break him. Poking at someone until he explodes may not be edifying, but with someone as gassed up on ego as Trump, it can be effective.
Now, I think Trump’s gonna deflate before the first primary anyway, but if I’m a competing candidate, why take that chance? More to the point, why not get the lift from sending that particular hot air balloon careening off into the treetops?
But, whatever, Republican candidates. If you’re afraid to take on a mouthy real estate developer with zero political experience, then, again, you’re the losers Trump says you are.
Note: I really don’t think this will end up being the case, but. . .
If the other Republican candidates can’t figure out how to beat as manifestly unfit a candidate as Donald Trump, then they really are a bunch of losers.
Sorry I haven’t been around much: a combination of delayed after-effects of an antibiotic and a tough week at work has left me in tatters.
But: tonight is the GOPpers first [set of] debate[s], and I wanted to get in a quick hit about Trump before this thing is over:
I think he’d do best not to behave.
There are rules for debates, formal and informal, and while he may be forced to follow the formal rules (whatever they are), there’s likely nothing the moderators can do if he decides to spin off dispatch after dispatch from his own, alternate, universe.
Half a decade ago I considered the possibility of a Sarah Palin run for the presidency, and wondered “how do you fight against someone concerned only with her own creation of the truth?” As I embedded a clip from an old NewsRadio episode (which you can view here; the crucial bit begins around 9:20) as an example of how someone willing to crash through the most basic expectations of argument will beat the person who abides by those expectations.
As I noted then
You can deal with a reality-manipulator, because the manipulator has to have some sense of that reality before she warps it to her own ends. And even that Bush staffer who sniffed to the NYTimes reporter about those stuck in the ‘reality-based community’ and the ability of the Bush admin to create its own reality nonetheless still gestured to reality. They did, in their own baleful way, seek to create new facts on the ground.
[. . .]
So how does someone avoid the physics of politics, the inevitable grinding down and peeling back and failure associated with all political action? You don’t accept that there are any rules, any downs on the other side of up, any nulls to one’s hypotheses; there is only the rabbit pulled out of the hat and the declaration that this is, indeed, magic. And that magic is real.
A Trump who tries to whittle himself down to fit into the role of the “serious candidate” is a Trump who whittles himself down into nothing at all.
No, for Trump to triumph he should keep doin’ that Trump thing.
Won’t help him win the nomination, of course, but it might keep him in the game a while longer.
I’m so glad Rick Santorum is now officially in the race (which he’ll lose) for president.*
Because, while he has no chance of winning, he, like Mike Huckabee (who won’t win), can make some fun trouble for the candidates who do have a shot.
Carly Fiorina (who won’t win) might bless us with more ads featuring diabolical livestock, but is otherwise uninteresting, as is George (just plain “who?”) Pataki. And Ben Carson, who is a truly terrible candidate, will likely simply be politely ignored by the rest of the field before he retires to the Fox sinecure for which he’s auditioning.
Ted Cruz (who won’t win)? He might be fun to watch just to see how much he pisses off everyone else, and I’d bet dollars to donuts that Huckabee or Santorum will be able to needle him into a highly entertaining aneurysm.
On the Democratic side, I’m glad Bernie Sanders (who won’t win) is running. He, along with Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb (neither of whom will win), won’t give Hillary Clinton much of a workout, but hey, a few laps around the track are better than none at all.
In any case, I make no predictions as to who will ultimately prevail in either the Republican contest or the general election. Clinton’s a strong candidate, but that’s no guarantee of nothin’: whoever the GOPpers pick will likely also be a strong candidate.
Which means that, a year from now, my sang froid will be gone and I’ll be reminding myself to Take deep breaths.
*Yes, it’s officially the race (which he’ll lose) to be the Republican nominee, but we all know the point of winning the primary (which he won’t) is to run for president.
So Mike Huckabee, who just quit his Fox gig to maybe kinda consider reflecting on the possibility of perhaps running for president, demonstrates his credentials for the post by criticizing not only Malia and Sasha Obama’s musical tastes, but her parents for allowing her to listen to “mental poison”.
Who is the fiend behind such neuro-toxin?
Surely you know by now, but in case you don’t: Beyoncé!
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given that he had recently wondered if Jay-Z weren’t a “pimp” exploiting his “incredibly talented” (tho’ apparently intellectually-venomous) wife.
On a not-unrelated note. . . man, I am so looking forward to the Republican primary.
D’ya like that as a theme? Too much?
I’ma play around with themes for a bit before I settle on one for the Long March.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Now that the midterms have ended, it is officially Not Too Early to discuss the presidential election—so let the games begin.
They have, pace Jonathan Bernstein and the “invisible primary”, already begun: prospective candidates have already been sussing out talent and numbers and lining up the money folks like a bank of ATMs. Absent such resources they will be relegated to either to sentimental/puzzling sincere long-shot (Buddy Roemer, Dennis Kucinich) or clown-candidate status (Herman Cain, Donald Trump)—the latter of which at least helps plump future revenue streams.
In any case, let’s consider who on on each team is maybe-possibly assembling to beat each other bloody before reaching center ring:
Republicans: Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan
This site lists many more, but I don’t think Nikki Haley or Susannah Martinez will run—no resources—but could end up on VP lists.
The Half-Guv deserves no comment.
Whatever you think of this bunch, you can at least see it is a bunch, and thus likely to create the kind of conflict and bloodletting that makes primary politics such a delight.
(As a side note, I generally hate cringe-comedy—I cringe too much to enjoy it—but I do loves me some cringe-politics, especially when it’s the other side creating the cringe.)
Democrats: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Brian Schweitzer
This is bad.
It is true that most folks don’t pay attention to primaries, but I think they serve to prepare the candidates, and the candidates’ operations, for the main card fight: primaries are where weaknesses are exposed, where one learns how well a candidate can take a hit and how well s/he recovers, as well as how well they can hit.
In addition to get-out-the-vote and money-raising and message-honing and all that, course. And good candidates can bring in fresh volunteers who, after their preferred candidate does lose, nonetheless may stick around to help the nominee.
That’s party-building 101.
So, yes, I want more contenders because I’m not enthused about Hillary Clinton, but also because I think the fight would do the eventual nominee (which may very well be her), and the party, good.
Thus, while Democrats try to rustle up some contenders for the White House, I’ll do my part and try to rustle up some lyrics for blogging about that contention.