Monday, February 29, 2016

Forget Super Tuesday: Republicans MUST STOP Donald Trump

By Peter Rodman

I don't care how many states he wins on "Super Tuesday."
Donald Trump cannot be the Republican nominee for President.
After deflecting literally dozens of potentially career-ending statements he's made, Trump has finally tripped over his own arrogance.
He couldn't even find the words to answer Jake Tapper on Sunday morning. 
When asked if he (Trump) would disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, Trump answered, "Just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke, OK?"
Tapper pressed him on it--something rare in the press these days--and gave him every opportunity to knock this softball question out of the park.
He made clear he was only asking if Trump would "distance himself" from the Ku Klux Klan, but still--Trump wouldn't answer the bell, for an easy call. 

Instead, he weaved and bobbed, like a stunned boxer, always on the defensive:
I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don't know. I don't know -- did he endorse me, or what's going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists." 
Something's not quite right with this guy.

The other day, New York Time columnist Timothy Egan surmised "lack of sleep" is affecting Trump's judgement on a daily basis. No, really. ["A Unified Theory of Trump"~ New York Times, 2/26/16  ]
Whatever the reason, Trump has now officially gone beyond the beyond, in terms of unacceptable behavior.
It's over...or at least, it should be.

Here's how the GOP can still save their party:
1. Chris Christie sh
ould immediately RESCIND his endorsement. The taint of bigotry is about to stain him, too--and despite all he's been accused of, Christie has never had "racism" in the mix, that I know of--but he's about to...unless he immediately disowns this lunatic.  Plus, the power of rescinding might actually bolster Christie's own badly damaged credibility--so for him, it's a win-win, to simply say, "I can see now, I made a mistake with this guy."
Not only would it seem courageous, it would actually give pause to the millions of minions out there, thinking everything's still hunky-dory.  In other words, it would have an even greater impact than his endorsement did, or for that matter, Christie's candidacy itself.
2. Jeb Bush, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, and Bob Dole need to hold a press conference, announcing they will BREAK from the party, unless Donald Trump is stopped. 
3. Jeb should probably re-enter the race after Tuesday, as many more delegates are there for the taking on March 15th, and by that time Trump will be seriously damaged goods. 
4. It would help if Reince Priebus were fired.  This guy has overseen more damage during his tenure than any previous Republican National Chairman in history. (Remember his big "Autopsy," after the 2012 election, detailing where the Party went wrong, and how to change it?  You know, the one wherein he swore they'd be more "inclusive" of minorities, going forward...and of Hispanics, in particular?)
People are slowly beginning to realize something central to
the problem:
This man, Donald J. Trump, is actually crazier than he is smart.
"The curious thing," said Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace today on Morning Joe, "is that he's not getting better.  You'd think after this many months, he'd learn not to keep making the same mistakes." 
Said Joe Scarborough, who'd been heartily cheering Trump on, until this weekend: "Even if you disagreed with it, you could understand why people supported the 'ban on Muslims' thing--if only because it related to national security.  But this (Ku Klux Klan thing)?  This is disqualifying." 
(Note: Predictably enough, Scarborough--a former Republican congressman--walked back his comments later on in the show, suggesting Trump could actually redeem himself with a "heartfelt apology" today, something so foreign to the man he couldn't do it, even if he wanted to.)
But that's not the problem at all.

The core problem is who Donald Trump is--not what he says.
As egregious as the litany of debasement is, the real problem is that he just can't help himself.
At this writing, Trump won't even disavow the Klan...though within an hour or two, he'll remind everybody that he did that Friday, if somewhat sarcastically: "Okay, you want disavow?" he shrugged. "Fine.  I disavow."
He's taken to imitating a B-movie mobster, from behind the podium. "Yeah, you're really tough," he sneered in one so-called debate.  "Little Marco!" 
This is clearly a rich kid who never gained any measure of maturity, beyond schoolyard taunts...because he never had to--he's been insulated by Daddy's money all his life.  
He literally can't help himself.
Even more pertinently, this is not actually that smart a man.   It's a hustler, who figures he can gild the rope line to the White House, and shake things up with sheer guile--a little shifty stuff here; a little security thuggery there.
He's openly encouraged his rabid supporters in New Hampshire to beat up any hecklers, even hollering "Take his coat!  Take his's ten below outside!  Take his coat!" from the podium.

Ask yourself....who does that? 
Even Richie's hair looks familiar.
I'll tell you who:  The schoolyard bully.  Richie Rich.  But unlike the affable comic book character, in reality those kids were usually the cads nobody liked--mediocre minds, who flaunted their money and taunted the weak, knowing they simply couldn't fail, because they didn't really need to earn anything--including respect. 
And this is not just 'old news.'
Even today, as I write this, another such item has surfaced, which you'll be seeing on tonight's Nightly News

Time Magazine Photographer Slammed to the Ground by Donald Trump's Security at Out-of-Control Va. Rally  

Now imagine, if you can, a candidate who actually argues publicly with the Pope--then suggests, mock-sheepishly "I dunno, maybe it's because I'm Christian," that the IRS is auditing him. 
This guy is so delusional, he thinks we'll believe it's his faith--let's say that slowly now:  Donald Trump's "FAITH!"--that's causing the IRS to watch his finances a little more closely than the rest of us.
Even so-called "evangelicals," when polled, have acknowledged they don't believe he's the religious sort, but they overlook that, because they say they like his "strength."
But nobody believes the guy who mangle-quoted the Bible so badly he drew laughs at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University is religious. "Two Corinthians, 3:17," he said gamely, to the crowd of born agains, "That's the whole ballgame."
The real ballgame is a con game.
Trump actually believes he's fooling us all; that's why the brazen attempt to become a Bible quoter was floated so audaciously, in front of a crowd of people who've memorized the thing from beginning to end--he believes he can fool 'em all!
On Celebrity Apprentice, even famous contestants far more accomplished (or older) than him (like Joan Rivers or Geraldo Rivera or Nick Nolte)  were told (as a condition of participating) to always address him as "Mr. Trump."

He believes he's the smartest guy in whatever room he's in, because life's been easy for him--and these people must be a whole lot dumber than him, because he's got the dough. 
If that sounds like I'm going too far, consider the first thing he ever did to impress the people of Iowa--one of his earliest acts as a candidate:              

"Free helicopter rides, for all the kids! 
Go on...get in there!"
That's a guy who thinks he knows what it takes, to win over all of us hicks.
There'll never be enough room to detail Trump's every wince-worthy remark, in this lowest-of-the-low affair.  
And I promise, I won't try...but it's important not to leave out the fact that he's insulted women at every turn, for decades--from repeatedly calling Rosie O'Donnell "a pig, with the ugliest face I've ever seen," to implying that Meghan Kelly's period ("...she's got blood coming out, everywhere!") caused her to ask him a legitimate question about his ongoing habit of insulting women. 
(See what happened there?  He couldn't help doing it again.)
"Look at that face," he said, of Carly Fiorina. That, he found disqualifying; but her miserable record in business?  Not so much.
We all know by now, Trump says he plans to round up 11 million immigrants and deport them; that John McCain wasn't a war hero, because he got caught; that Marco Rubio has big ears, etc.
Trump belittles and bullies everyone, almost like a kid who's seen Scarface too many times.
The overriding message that's beginning to get clearer each day?
He's just not. all.. that... smart.
Leave aside the fact that the puerile, all-night Twitter rants are not indicative of Presidential timbre. (Not even close.)
This MYTH that he's "teflon" or even that he's "conservative" is foolish, on its face. 
Trump's actually a very simple animal: 
He wasn't wrong there!

a meglomaniac, literally consumed by his insatiable desire to be powerful, famous, and "win."
He's blissfully unaware of how many of his own followers roll their eyes during his endless fits of bragging onstage about his "fantastic" business, and his "unbelievable" poll numbers.
Think back a couple years:
When was the last time you heard someone so boldly and persistently refer to themselves as "winning?"

And he's no less delusional than Charlie Sheen was, at the height of his crack addiction.
Mr. Trump has suggested--within the last 48 hours--that "new laws be passed, so the press can be sued, if they say bad things about public figures" him.
Summing it all up, this man is a monster. 
He must be stopped--and the Republican Party does not have to accept that Rubio or Cruz are the only alternatives to Trump! 
Not only is Kasich still running and qualified, but--as I mentioned earlier here--nothing's to stop Bush or even Christie from "un-suspending" their campaigns.
There's still plenty of PAC money to go around, and while Trump has a serious head start on the delegate count, he's still gonna have less than half of the delegates he needs to take the nomination after Tuesday, even assuming he wins all 11 contests in a clean sweep. 
         This is from February 28, 2016. It's a quote from 'Il Duce,' meaning
          WWII Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, re-tweeted by Donald Trump.
    Said Trump, "I don't care who said it--it's a good quote!"
The only reason not to challenge this--balls to the wall--is a glaring LACK OF COURAGE within the Republican Party. Yes, the numbers look bad, delegate wise. But make no mistake: They could still save themselves (and our country) from going down a terribly dangerous road, reminiscent of 1938 Germany.
They just need to find the courage to create a dramatic 'national moment' (like the large press gathering suggested above), wherein they can get the nation's attention all at once, and spread the word:  
'The madness is over. We will not accept Donald Trump as our candidate for President.'  
Problem is, longstanding Republicans of conscience would need to unite to do this, and risk alienating their rabidly out-of-control radio talk show base, for the good of our nation... something the "Party of No" is no longer used to doing.

This opinion column is Copyright 2016 by Peter Rodman.  All Rights Reserved.

HBO's John Oliver had this to say-- quite marvelously, I thought!... 
John Oliver dissects Donald Trump's Bluster

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