So people are FINALLY taking Donald Trump seriously now that he’s won several decisive primary battles. There are still opportunities to derail his bid for the White House. The ‘country club’ branch of the GOP is panicked (and rightly so). Trump represents a challenge to the Republican status quo that’s pretty hard to quantify. But the theoretical masses who’d pull the lever for Trump come first Tuesday in November don’t seem to be of the sort that would vote for a sane GOP down-ticket. And that has the GOP leadership running scared.
My laugher of the election so far is Willard (aka Mitt) Romney’s stepping into the fray a few days ago. Willard, whose 2012 presidential race prevarications about his own taxes I documented here and here and a bunch of other places, is saying that Trump’s own tax returns (once released) would be a ‘bombshell’.
“I think in Donald Trump’s case it’s likely to be a bombshell,” Romney said in an interview with Fox News, speculating the reason the businessman had not made his returns available to the public is because he “may not have as much income” as advertised or, even worse, that he didn’t pay any taxes.
News flash for the Mittster. Donald Trump’s followers don’t give a rat’s patootie about his taxes. The Donald has successfully demonized the reporting MSM to the point where assertions about his illegal dealings and character flaws bounce off like hapless bullets fired at Superman’s torso. ‘It’s those damned lyin’ librul reporters!’ Indeed, there’s been plenty of information about Trump floating around for the last year, information that would’ve sunk a more conventional politician. But Trump controls the questions. the journalists do not. My post here has links to the fact-driven issues that should stop Trump’s candidacy. Trump even insulted a famous Vietnam Vet. Response: <Crickets>. Nobody in MSM confronts him about these things. Why?
“Trump has…the demagogue’s instinct for finding and amplifying the angriest voice in the mob…” Ezra Klein
Other scary headlines:
(This item is especially troubling to me. Neo-Nazis and the Klan have always had favorite candidates, but they’ve never endorsed them, knowing that any public endorsement of ‘mainstream’ presidential candidates would be negative. Not anymore, apparently).
In short, Trump is supported by a big plurality of the American people despite (or even because of) his flaws. Many of those supporters have spent the last decade or so looking for a man on horseback to ride in and fix everything–and The Donald looks like that guy. It’s clear now that the establishment GOP is pulling out all the stops to derail him. But from what I see, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. If the Country Club wing of the GOP disqualifies Trump, there will be a huge backlash from his supporters who would feel (rightly) that the rules qualify him as the nominee. If the GOP lures a third party in (Michael Bloomberg might fit), that cooks the GOP’s down-ticket (and probably destroys the GOP) and may well hand the election to Trump anyway. There’s momentum in the Dems’ to stop Trump, but they’re busy with their own problems (the main one being the DNC’s desire to install HRC as nominee despite the fact that her negatives with independent voters are almost as bad as Trump’s).
The plutocrats may well stop Trump from taking the Oath next January. But he’s already won–politicians will be aping his xenophobia, misogyny and bullying antics for years to come unless he self-destructs. Right now, the best (and only) chance I see for that is Trump tiring of the game. If he follows in Willard’s footsteps and fights release of his financial records, that might be the media question that leads him to walk away. Trump doesn’t like anybody discussing his finances on anything but his own terms. But he’s already won–why spend another 10 months fighting?
PS: I have not addressed The Donald’s climate change denial here. It’s all part of the same cloth, and steeped in his followers’ fear of change. The fact that he isn’t called out on it is an important tell in American politics–that a world facing mass extinction over heating can’t be bothered to call out the most prominent denialist in the US over his self-imposed ignorance about topic A.