Thursday, March 31, 2016

The spin-doctors are hard at work

I'm more than a little bemused by the frantic attempts to spin Donald Trump's candidacy in any and every negative way possible.  There's very obviously a concerted attack from the political establishment on both left and right, desperate to derail him before he becomes the official Republican nominee.

Consider the latest screed in the Washington Post.

For almost five years, ever since state legislatures and commissions finished drawing the new congressional districts for this decade, the Republican stranglehold on the House has been taken for granted because of the precise targeting that fortified GOP-held swing seats to seemingly withstand the toughest political climate. Even leading Democrats, just two months ago at their annual issues retreat in Baltimore, declined to predict anything close to winning the 30 seats they need in November to reclaim the majority.

Then Republicans started voting in their presidential primary, with Donald Trump taking a commanding lead.

By last week, as House Democrats showcased several dozen top recruits on Capitol Hill and at K Street fundraisers, the tone had finally begun to shift. Trump has become so unpopular among key constituencies, including the growing suburbs that are home to several dozen Republican members, that some independent analysts, political strategists and a few Democrats say that anything might be possible come Election Day.

There's more at the link.

Oooh!  Talk about big-time scare tactics!  Republicans, if you nominate Trump, you might lose your majority in Congress!

Compare and contrast that to this article in the Philadelphia Enquirer.

When Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Donald Trump square off in Pennsylvania's April 26 Republican presidential primary, they will find themselves competing for votes from a rapidly changing base.

At least 128,000 voters statewide have changed their registration since Jan. 1 to join the party. Nearly 85,000 of them had been Democrats; 42,000 were independents or third-party voters. The GOP has also racked up 55,468 more first-time registrants.

. . .

Droves of voters' switches to the GOP are likely motivated - positively and negatively - by Trump, Madonna said.

That theory was borne out by interviews with several newly minted Republicans on Monday.

Joan Albert, 70, of the city's Somerton section, was blunt when asked why she switched after years as a Democrat.

"I don't like Hillary Clinton," she said. "I'd rather vote for Donald Trump."

Her husband, Marvin Albert, also 70, said he and his wife appreciate Trump's freewheeling speeches, drawn to what they see as his unusually candid nature.

"He tells you what's on his mind," Marvin Albert said. "He's not always right with what he says, but at least he speaks with what he feels."

Diana Albano, a 77-year-old retiree from South Philadelphia, has also been persuaded to support the outspoken businessman, even though she had been a registered Democrat who voted for President Obama.

"I like that [Trump] says what he believes," Albano said, admitting that she finds his bluster off-putting sometimes. "I'm not crazy about his approach, but I just like his honesty."

Again, more at the link.

I have no particular feelings for or against Mr. Trump, and I have no idea whether or not he might make a good President.  I will, however, say these two things for him:

  1. Anyone who's got the establishment as riled up against him as Mr. Trump has, must be doing something right.
  2. Whilst I can't predict whether Mr. Trump will be a good president, he can't possibly be a worse president than any other candidate in the race.  As far as I'm concerned, none of them are inspiring and none of them appear convincing.

Your mileage may vary, of course . . .

I just wish those with strong political opinions would voice them more politely.  When one can't have a discussion of (or between) the candidates without it degenerating into personal attacks and insults, it says a great deal about the state of the American body politic - more than it does about the candidates, in fact.



The Raving Prophet said...

There are things about Trump that resonate with me, there are things about him I find tremendously concerning.

Still, though, it seems like none of the rules we've normally held true for general elections are holding for this one. There's going to be crossovers in both directions. There certainly appears to be cracks in the left's beloved identity politics.

As much as the Democrats might love to believe anything might be possible, they need to remember their favorite candidate is about as unlikable as any Democrat has ever been for most of the population and their runner up holds views that would have previously been considered anathema for the vast majority of the nation.

So basically, there are no rules this time around.

Tonerboy said...

I find it interesting that this time around the voter turnout has been at an all-time high. If nothing else, people are taking the time to actually vote up/down, red/blue, ya/na, whatever. The Donald doesn't fit the "politicial" mold, have no clue if that is good for our country but you can bet that if he does get elected everything that goes wrong will be blamed on him.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I'm down to one point. Anybody but Shillary.

Topher_Henry said...

The thing that concerns about Trump the most is that he can't seem to nail himself down on some issues. He was asked at the CNN townhall what the 3 most important roles of the Federal Government were. His answer was something to the effect of "Security, Healthcare, & Education... but really, Security, security, security. But seriously, Security, Healthcare, & Education...then Housing". I agree with Security being one of the three, but Healthcare, Education, Housing? These issues are not supposed to be under the purview of the Federal Government, but rather the state and local level.

When Anderson asked him to clarify his healthcare stance (federal health care run by the government?), Here is Trump's verbatim answer: "Health care - we need health care for our people. We need a good - Obamacare is a disaster. It's proven to be... (Anderson again, something the federal government should be doing?) The government can lead it, but it should be privately done. It should be privately done. So that health care - in my opinion, we should probably have - we have to have private health care. We don't have competition in health care." This is as non-committal as it gets. It's one of the three most important roles of the federal government (he confirmed that twice), but it should be privately run? What concerns me is I don't think he knows exactly what he believes yet, he's fairly new to the "conservative" movement. (I use the term "conservative" because I'm not convinced he is one.)

Old NFO said...

It's high politics among the elites who see their coveted position slipping away. NOTHING is off limits for them to keep their power! :-(

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Trump assessment. When both political parties and media are coordinating to stop one person from getting elected, you know the system is rigged. We need a political reset and Trump may be the person for the job.

Definitely agree with the anyone but Hillary. A person under investigation by the FBI as a FRONTRUNNER. Speaks volumes for the voter who choose that route. I don't think Sanders has a chance in Hell passing what he proposes, but I give him high marks for honesty.

Anonymous said...

Hillary of course will not be indicted. Laws are for the little people, doncha know!

She will win the general election in a landslide, whether against Trump or Cruz. The stranglehold by left-leaning journalists over public opinion-shaping guarantees it.

But let's assume, for a moment, that Trump does become president. What sort of a president would he be.

The closest fit to a model for Trump would be Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister of Italy from 1994 to 2011 (with interruptions). Like Trump, Berlusconi was a real-estate tycoon. Like Trump, he was big in television, though he actually owned the TV stations instead of starring in a reality TV show.

Berlusconi's rise to power was a natural (and in my view, necessary) reaction to the ubiquitous socialism and the porcine feeding at the public trough by the various beneficiary groups. Journalists, as everywhere in the West, were mostly hard left activists. And in Italy more than elsewhere, the judiciary, too, saw themselves not as impartial arbiters applying the law, but as activists for social justice. Businesspeople were being taxed to death. To get a leg up, you had to cheat on your taxes or get in bed with the mob. Berlusconi did both.

Italians were fed up with the cronyism, the socialism, the statism. Berlusconi offered himself up as their champion and they took him up on the offer. Unlike Trump, he was able to order favorable coverage because his commercial TV stations were able to muster a counter-offensive against the smear-campaign launched on him by state-run broadcasters and other privately owned media.

Like Trump, Berlusconi cut a clownish and buffoonish figure, but unlike Trump, he was 100 percent serious about what he wanted. Trump is torpedoing his own candidacy with his inconsistent and confusing statements because he does not really want to be president. Maybe he has been told about the dirt on him (construction union locals in NYC are owned lock stock and barrel by the mafia and if you're a developer there you have to play ball) that the Dems have researched and plan to unleash on him.

Also, the U.S. is not as sick yet as Italy was in the 1990s. To really run the country into the ground, eight years of Obama weren't enough. It will take at least one term of Hillary as president for things to get so bad that the pendulum swings back.