On Tuesday of this week Jon Stewart almost nailed it when he said that Trump is “America’s ID running for president” on “The Daily Show.”  To be more exact, he’s the Tea Party’s ID, and Donald is betting that it will help secure him a place in the upcoming Republican presidential debates.  As the GOP tries to moderate its stance on immigration, because they can’t win the presidency without the Hispanic vote, what does Trump do?  In announcing his bid he makes vile and racist remarks about Mexicans, and tells us how he is going to build a wall to keep them out.  He just lets loose.  The ID on the march.  The next day he makes the rounds on talk shows, and in case we missed them, he repeats the same offensive remarks on FOX.  And for icing on the cake, he tells us that we will make Mexico pay for the wall, and if it doesn’t, he will sink the country economically.

Yes, crazy, sick, disgusting, xenophobic, but unfortunately, clever.  Jeb Bush’s wife is Mexican-American, and he has a more moderate stance on immigration than other candidates in the GOP.  Trump is clearly baiting Jeb.  He can ignore Trump, which makes him look weak, unwilling to call out racist comments and defend his wife and children’s heritage.  Or he can criticize Trump, and run the risk of giving the Donald more publicity.  (Don’t expect Trump to stop baiting any time soon.  On “Morning Joe” today he said that Jeb is an “unhappy person.”)

Trump only needs to be in the top ten in the polls to secure a spot in the first Republican debates.  He’s already doing pretty well.  As of early June, he was polling well enough to be included, albeit in ninth place.*  But there is more support out there for him.  Today we learned in a Politico story that Trump is dominating the Google searches for presidential candidates in all but three states this week.  No doubt many members of the GOP, especially in the Tea Party wing, share his views about immigration and a host of other matters, but it has become unfashionable, and not politic, to voice these views too publicly, at least in the national arena.  Enter Donald, who center stages them.  It’s an appeal to the worst in us, but, hey, it’s just business for Donald.  Nothing personal.  You do what you gotta do to sell your brand.  Strew the glitter in order to get your foot in the door.

With Super PACs Trump can easily find ways to bankroll his candidacy.  So what if he throws a 100 million at the election, a figure he has mentioned.  He told us in his announcement that his net worth is eight billion, not including assets.  This wasn’t just part of a crazy rant.  Donald was reminding the GOP establishment that he has the means to keep his candidacy rolling.  And if he does, it’s going to be bad news for Republicans.  There are people out there who will see him as a straight shooter, giving voice to their fears and concerns.  Don’t be surprised if he riles up segments of the base about stuff that Jeb and the GOP establishment would really rather keep in the closet.  You know what they say about a House Divided…..

Perhaps Donald will crash and burn before the debates, or soon thereafter, but I wouldn’t bet a Trump Tower on it, even it I had lots of them.


* As of 6/4/2015, according to The Hill, “The 10 Republican candidates who would be included as of now are, in descending order of average poll rating: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, retired neurologist Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, businessman Donald Trump and Perry.”

UPDATE 7/1/2015   Looks like Trump will definitely be in the debates.  According to recent polls, he now has some of the best poll numbers.  See, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/07/01/donald-trump-is-on-the-rise-and-thats-very-bad-news-for-the-gop/?hpid=z3    Huffington Post’s poll tracker, which averages different polls, currently has him in first place, ahead of Bush, albeit by a fraction of a percent.   http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-national-gop-primary

4 thoughts

    1. We don’t agree about Trump, but I’m glad that you are helping to make my case, that is, there are people out there who will support him.

  1. JEB! is going to have to endure The Donald glaring over at him, pointing, and then telling him and his family that when it comes to the job of president, “You’re Fired!” Now that moment will be a great day for America.

    I don’t believe for a minute that Donald Trump really believes any of the xenophobic BS he is strategically deploying. He is a showman for sure, but he has to know that he risks becoming a pariah for doing what he is doing, and even ruining his own TV career, and I believe he actually is doing something serious, and may be willing to offer himself as a sacrifice for a cause. Until he starting doing this stuff just before the 2012 election, laying the groundwork for his “brand” of erstaz demagoguery, Trump’s previous forays into political opinion making were generally restrained and at least marginally sensible. But one thing was consistent. He really never had much to say about politics until he starting making it clear how much he believed George W. Bush was unfit for the presidency, and how the Iraq War was a disaster.

    I think Donald Trump wants to show, through political theater, that the idea either he or JEB! Bush is worthy of leading and representing the USA is equally absurd. I think he is running to destroy JEB! and prevent a third Bush presidency which he believes would certainly lead to another war in the middle east, imperial collapse, and quite possibly national bankruptcy (and bankruptcy is something Donald Trump is very familiar with).

    I am not sure he needs to go out of his way to destroy someone I think already has no chance of becoming president, but maybe Trump has less faith in the intelligence of the American voter than I do, and does not want to take any chances.

  2. Self-and-Jeb!-immolating political theater — this is the most interesting take yet on the Flight of the Donald. Well done. I’ll be watching with a new perspective as this circus rolls on. Thanks, A. Hick.

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