Friday, July 10, 2015

Donald Trump is the Democrats’ Greatest Gift

With Donald Trump now topping several polls of the GOP presidential nomination contenders, I suspect that there are champagne corks being popped in Democrat campaign headquarters.  Meanwhile, terror is spreading among Republicans within the so-called GOP establishment as Trump - with a great assist from Jebbie Bush - lays bare all of the real bigotries, the greed, and the contempt for working Americans that are the hallmarks of today's Republican Party platform.  As noted before, I cannot wait to see Trump perform on the debate stage in Cleveland next month.  A piece in Salon looks at Trump as the biggest gift the Democrats could have asked for.  Here are highlights:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign may not develop the sizzle the would-be first Madam President and her team have long planned for. But the race has already created its first, truly searing image in the skin of the American nation.

To the Democratic Party establishment’s great relief, this is not the result of any of Hillary Clinton’s missteps, of which there have been some.

Rather, the problem emerged from the inside of the tent of the Republican Party. It is commonly called the “Donald Trump problem.”

The worst part for the Republicans is that Trump has the same effect as a Trojan horse. (Beware of the “Greeks” bearing gifts, Republicans of the United States!)

Trump’s emergence in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire gives the Democrats a secret weapon to frame the race – and the entire Republican field — well before a Republican nominee emerges.

Trump’s troublesome personality characteristics and policies are essentially also true of nearly all the other Republican candidates, but nobody knows who they are and there are twenty of them.
It would be one thing if Trump’s downer effect were only that he embodies ostentatious – even offensive – wealth, far more so than Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 candidate, ever did. Romney came to symbolize the 1% class with “just” $250 million. Forbes values the flamboyant Trump at a minimum of $4.1 billion.

Trump represents a similar brand of nativist economic populism that is popular with a sizable chunk of American voters. . . . That alone would not cause Republicans a problem, were it not for the unfortunate fact that nearly all their major candidates this cycle are promoting similarly ridiculous and nativist platforms on economics, immigration and beyond.

Trump highlights how not-ready-for-primetime the rest of the Republican field is.
His outrageous views on racial minorities are doubly politically problematic: First, he profits off employing “illegal” workers at construction sites. . . . And second, the silence of the Republican field to stand up to Trump’s race-baiting is as deafening as it is electorally deadly.

Worse for Republican leaders, Trump could conceivably go the distance, if he wants to. He certainly has the ego, the financial resources as well as . .

To the Democrats’ great delight, he is setting the tone and terms of the race on the Republican side of the field. . . . the memory of Trump’s attacks will be enduring for at least the next two years. It is quite unlikely that this will escape Hispanic voters’ minds.


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