Donald Trump is not running for president and Big Media is happy. Lots of Republicans/conservatives are happy too. “Hooray!” they say. “We got rid of Donald Trump.”
Big Media loathing of Donald Trump is easy to understand. Big Media will do everything to serve and protect the golden calf Barack Obama. But what was the reason for all the Donald Trump hate from Republicans/conservatives?
Republican/conservative hate of Donald Trump had several causes/reasons/sources: (1) partisans of other candidates not happy Trump got so much attention; (2) genuine disgust at a publicity seeker using the Republican nomination process as a publicity stunt; (3) real concern that Trump was detracting from the Republican “message”; (4) the always laughed at but barely disguised fear that Trump could actually win.
The “publicity stunt” reason to attack Donald Trump was the most cited cause of aggravation. But was this a rational reason to attack Donald Trump? No, the “publicity stunt” charge was not a rational reason for Republicans/conservatives to attack The Donald. Let’s assume that Donald Trump’s “campaign” was a publicity stunt. Who did that hurt?
Assuming the very worst of Donald Trump’s intentions, who did he hurt? The Republican Party wasn’t hurt. Outsider Donald Trump going after Barack Obama with a sledgehammer hurt Obama.
Millions of Americans who recognized Donald Trump as a hit TV show host at least heard Donald Trump’s assault on Barack Obama. Many of these Americans ordinarily would not listen to a politician or participate in electoral politics, but they heard Trump beat up on Obama. You had a very well known man attack Barack Obama on a personal and policy level and the Republican/conservative response was – attack Donald Trump.
“But, but, but… Donald Trump hurt the message” say these Republicans/conservatives. Really? That’s too big a pill to prescribe on the Monday after the Sunday that Newt Gingrich appeared on “Meet The Press.” Did Donald Trump ever hurt Republicans the way Newt “let me give Dimocrats a great campaign commercial” Gingrich did? Paul Ryan slammed Newt today by saying “With Allies Like That, Who Needs The Left?”
Did Donald Trump ever trash Paul Ryan and his plan the way Newt Gingrich has? Donald Trump had said that Paul Ryan’s plan was too ahead of its time. Trump’s critique of Ryan’s plan was that it could hurt in next year’s elections and that critique is accepted by many as on target. Donald Trump did not hurt Republicans/conservatives with his pronouncements. What did Newt Gingrich say? Who helped the Republican/conservative message more – Donald Trump or Newt Gingrich? Here’s what Newt said:
“White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering,” injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party’s efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.
In the same interview Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama’s health law. [snip]
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said when asked about a Medicare plan championed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) as an element of the party’s 2012 budget proposal. He said he was against “radical change” on the right and the left.”
Great message there Newt. And just think, Republicans attacked Donald Trump because he would take them off message. Of course, Newt was for the Ryan plan before he was against it on Meet The Press. Can anyone imagine Donald Trump saying anything so stupid as what Newt said? And yet, serious Republicans will say Newt is serious, Trump is not serious, and that this is some sort of strategic genius move on Newt’s part.
Newt Gingrich almost immediately went into “damage control” and many Republicans/conservatives went into ‘he’s misunderstood’ mode. Republicans/conservatives worried about Donald Trump taking the party off message?
The two other reasons to attack Donald Trump are essentially based on whether he could have won the nomination. We argued that if Trump was such a weak candidate in the Republican primaries his candidacy would easily implode during the debates. But a lot of partisans for other candidates did not believe their own rhetoric about how weak The Donald was.
Today, the partisans of other wannabee nominees should be in mourning, not celebration. Donald Trump, a New Yorker, close ties to Democrats, a hit TV show which features many African-Americans – and he was attacked as a “racist”. What these other wannabee nominees and their partisans will learn is that they too, the moment they get any traction, will be attacked as “racists”. Any statement that hurts Barack Obama will be attacked as “racist”. Any examination of Barack Obama’s history or allies will be attacked as “racist.” There is no way any Obama opponent can win under this formulation.
In his short run Donald Trump leaves a long legacy. Some Republicans/conservatives are not as stupid as their brethren and realize they lost something very important today:
“High fives at the White House…
Donald Trump just announced that he will not be running as a Republican candidate for president.
Bummer. There was no one better at attacking Obama on his failed policies and radical past.“
“But while Ed seemed to make light of his chances to begin with, I think that gives short shrift to the impact he had on the nation’s political gene pool. Not only did a series of polls show The Donald at least briefly holding a lead, he did pick up some followers among the political class. One of them was Chris Barron of GOProud fame and board chairman of that organization, who took to the pages of his blog today explaining precisely what we all need to have learned from the Trump Experience.”
As anyone who has read this blog or followed my twitter feed knows, I have been a fan of Donald Trump and an outspoken supporter of a potential Presidential bid by him. Today, Mr. Trump announced that he would not be seeking the GOP nomination in 2012.
Say what you want about Trump or about his flirtation with running, the fact is that for a few weeks Trump captured the attention of the country and energized the Republican base. While the establishment dances gleefully on the news that Trump isn’t running and the main stream media does it self-serving rounds of “told you so” there are important lessons to be learned from the Trump boomlet for any candidate who hopes to be the Republican nominee in 2012. [snip]
Republican primary voters believe, and rightfully so, that our country is at a dangerous crossroads. Now isn’t the time for Washington double speak and half measures. Trump’s sometimes over the top rhetoric touched a nerve with primary voters hungry for a leader who will “take it” to Obama and the Democrats. [snip]
People thought Trump was nuts for ever touching the birth certificate issue, even though a huge block of the GOP base cared about the issue. Trump’s poll numbers went through the roof when the conservative GOP base felt like it was finally being heard. The 2012ers need to talk to the issues the base cares about, instead of telling the base what they should care about.
With Trump out, I am a man without a candidate. Honestly, no one else excites me in this field. I am sure that will change, but for now, I am happy to sit back and watch.”
It’s going to be a long sit-back. Willard Romney has Romneycare to kill him off. Newt Gingrich finished himself off with his “right-wing social engineering” message. Pawlenty is as mushy as polenta. Mitch Daniels is the Obama dream opponent. The rest are not going to win either.
What Trump informed the Republican Party is that you need to fire up the base and win the crucial independents. Trump did exactly that. Donald Trump with his attacks on Barack Obama fired up the Republican/conservative base and those like us who understand that Barack Obama must be confronted without fear. Donald Trump also did well with independents because of who he was and because they heard his message on the economy. Now there is no one.
On a day that Gallup announced Obama’s little bump has shrunken further and has now disappeared. On a day the national debt limit has been banged into. On a day a poll is published which shows the deep concerns Americans have about the economy – Republicans/conservatives are celebrating they got rid of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is out and none of the announced candidates thus far has a chance of winning the presidency. Donald Trump’s legacy is that he showed Republicans and Barack Obama opponents the way to win: expose Obama’s history and ineffectual policies while at the same time reaching out to non-Republicans/conservatives.
Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee but neither will any of the current crop of candidates. Republicans are going to have to find themselves another Donald Trump – and this time not trash him or her.