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:
- Anyone who's got the establishment as riled up against him as Mr. Trump has, must be doing something right.
- 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.