Thursday, September 10, 2015

Carson, Jindal, Fiorina Play Race, Gender Cards Against Trump

by JASmius

Hell, why not?  With The Donald approaching the 40% mark in the polls, what have they, or we, got to lose at this point?

Dr. Carson, who has been quietly spiking of late as the latest possible Trump-slayer, went about his task very shrewdly and effectively by questioning Trump's bogus claim to Christian faith:

Ben Carson, in second place to Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race, has in the past two days highlighted the differences between himself and Trump.

"I realize where my successes comes from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God," Carson said in response to a question Wednesday about what sets him apart from Trump.

"By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor and life. That's a big part of who I am," Carson said during an Orange County, California rally. "I don't get that impression with [Trump.] Maybe I'm wrong. I don't get that impression."

Now, Dr. Carson, how can you say that?  Just because Trump never confesses his sins or ever seeks God's forgiveness doesn't mean he's not a "YUGE!!!" and classier-than-thou follower of The Way.

In a recent Bloomberg TV appearance, Trump declined to name a favorite Bible verse, calling his faith "personal," though he has touted the Bible as the only book better than his own Art Of The Deal."

Which is another way of saying that he's never learned any Bible verses, reads his "favorite Book" slightly less often than he undergoes colonoscopy exams, and thus didn't have any at hand to phonily recite.

Dr. Carson nailed Trump, in short, if the latter's evangelical supporters were even paying attention (which they probably weren't).  But Trump is the "big balls"/Alpha Male/Take No Crap From Anybody" candidate, so of course he reflexively ripped Dr. Carson's head off:

Wow, I am ahead of the field with Evangelicals (am so proud of this) and virtually every other group, and Ben Carson just took a swipe at me

How did Ivana Trump say it in that late-'80s commercial?  "Success is the best revenge".  For now, it is, anyway.

But Trump was only getting started:

Sure, Ben Carson is "low-key" compared to a carnival barker like Trump.  But that's (1) by his own admission, who he is, and (2) a big part of his appeal.  It's like I said the other day: A calm, logical, rational, steady "hand on the wheel of state" beats a crazed, bellowing professional wrestling promo approach any day of the week.  It may not be nearly as entertaining, but haven't we had enough drama the past seven years?  I, for one, am all for bringing back "boring" to the Oval Office, in keeping with the fact that the federal government is, after all, supposed to have a much lower profile in the national life per the Founding Fathers' original intent in the Constitution, after all.

Dr. Carson's "swipe" also highlights again how easy it is to push Trump's buttons and manipulate the slumlord tychoon.  And really, is savagely ripping into Gentle Ben really going to help him in anywhere near the way and to the same extent that doing so to Jeb Bush has?  Dr. Carson is an "outsider" and political neophyte as well, and one not nearly as well connected with and to the elite "political class".  If Trump were capable of keeping his piehole closed, he might have been better advised to leave this one well enough alone.

But that is not his way.  And now, just as he's burying himself with (well, "inauthentic") African-Americans, so he's digging himself a great big hole with women as well - or at least, he ought to be:

With his blue tie loosened and slung over his shoulder, Trump sits back to digest his meal and provide a running byplay to the news. Onscreen, they’ve cut away to a spot with Scott Walker, the creaky-robot governor of Wisconsin. Praised by the anchor for his “slow but steady” style, Walker is about to respond when Trump chimes in, “Yeah, he’s slow, all right! That’s what we got already: slowwww.” His staffers at the conference table howl and hoot; their man, though, is just getting warm. When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. “Look at that face!” he cries. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

And there, in a nutshell, is Trump’s blessing and his curse: He can’t seem to quit while he’s ahead. The instincts that carried him out to a lead and have kept him far above the captious field are the same ones that landed him in ugly stews with ex-wives, business partners, networks, supermodels and many, many other famous women. At sixty-nine, he can still carry on like the teen who was yanked out of prep school and delivered to Colonel Dobias, the take-no-shit instructor at the military academy. After I met Ivanka and praised her to her father, he said, “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father....” [emphases added]

That's all that Trump can come up with about Carly Fiorina?  That she'll never do face shots for Vanity Fair like Bruce Jenner?  Hell, she's way better looking than Hillary Clinton, and I can't recall The Donald taking shots at the latter's wrinkle-filigreed, saggy countenance.  Oh, sure, he tried to take down her performance as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, but it's not as if she has four separate bankruptcies on her record.  And the thinly-veiled incest joke?  Let's put that into full and proper perspective: Can anybody ever remember Bill Clinton talking up what a hottie Chelsea is and what he'd like to do to her?  How, then, can Trump possibly be cut a pass for this?  Especially from evangelical voters?

Fiorina, for her part, followed the Walker template, didn't take Trump's bait, and stayed on-message:

FIORINA: Well, I think those comments speak for themselves, and all the many, many, many thousands of voters out there that are helping me climb in the polls — yes, they’re very serious.

KELLY: What do you take that to mean — “Look at that face, how can anyone vote for that”?

FIORINA: [Laughing] I have no idea, and you know, honestly Megyn, I’m not going to spend a single cycle wondering what Donald Trump means. But maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit, because I am climbing in the polls.

Well played.  Perfectly so, even.  It's like I keep saying: Just as when your older brother always teased you when you were kids and kept doing so because he always got a rise out of you, and stopped once he no longer could, so it is with Trump.  Don't give him the food fight pissing matches made to media order off of which he thrives and which he uses to change the subject from his own irresponsible, juvenile behavior.

And sure enough, here came Trump today, insisting in Hillary-like fashion that he didn't say what he clearly said:

But Trump said on CNN’s New Day Thursday morning that he was talking about Fiorina’s persona, not her physical traits.

“The fact is that Carly Fiorina has had a terrible past,” he said, citing criticisms of her time as a CEO.

Nice try, Donnie.  Remember that old adage that in politics, if you're having to explain yourself, you're losing?  Yeah.  Or do Tea Party Trumpsters believe that that political law doesn't apply to their "savior" either?

<sigh> No, it probably doesn't.  Which puts Bobby Jindal's broadsides today in the "maybe I shouldn't have bothered category," unless it prompts Trump to Tweet out retaliatory "Rajesh Koothrappali sodomizing cows" comparisons.

It started with this video....

....which conflates campaign seriousness with governance seriousness.  On the latter, Trump would be a joke; but on the former?  Remember my lede way up above?

Today Governor Jindal revised and extended his remarks, and in any other campaign, they'd have been devastating:

Donald Trump is a narcissist and an egomaniac. That may sound like a serious charge to make, but it is also something that everyone knows to be true, and he knows it too, and he celebrates it. He told us the other day that he’s likes Kanye West, why? “Because Kanye loves Trump.” He may be an entertaining narcissist, but he is one nonetheless.

Like all narcissists, Donald Trump is insecure and weak, and afraid of being exposed. And that’s why he is constantly telling us how big and how rich and how great he is, and how insignificant everyone else is. We’ve all met people like Trump, and we know that only a very weak and small person needs to constantly tell us how strong and powerful he is. Donald Trump believes that he is the answer to every question…

The conservative cause deserves more than a power-hungry shark who eats whatever is in front of him…because sooner or later, we will be his next meal.

There's, in the immortal words of Clubber Lang, "a lotta mo" in the vid.  And every last syllable of it is a thousand percent true.  Will it make the slightest bit of difference to Tea Party Trumpsters who have forgotten that they were ever Tea Partiers just a few months ago?  What do you think?

Why did Governor Jindal unload today?  Most likely because he's a non-entity in the polls and had nothing to lose by jamming a thorn in the paw of the lead "dog".  And perhaps also because he, like some of us whose brains haven't turned into clam sauce, is appalled and alarmed at the "reality televisionization" of American politics and wants to go Churchillianly on record from the political wilderness as a prominent voice warning Americans of the folly of following after this con man pied piper straight off the proverbial cliff.

Oh, yes, and he's "subcontinent Asian," if an "inauthentic" one.

Trump's inevitable retort Tweet reflected his obsession with the only metric that matters to him:

Two out of three isn't bad.  Perhaps Dr. Carson and Miss Fiorina can start reeling the real-life Al Czervik in.  After all, what have we got to lose at this point?

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