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Monday, February 22, 2016

Trump Now Turning The Birther Batteries On Rubio

by JASmius

Why not?  It might have been a factor in Ted Cruz finishing third in a State he should have run away with last Saturday.  Why not spin the chamber and keep firing away?  Even if just to stave off his boredom with how depressingly easy his hostile takeover of the GOP (soon to be renamed the "TRUMP" - Tyrannical Ridiculous Upside-down Moron Party) has proven to be.

It probably doesn't matter much at this stage of the game, but let's see if President Pompadour has at least figured out the constitutional grounds of the Florida senator's presidential ineligibility, which will never be questioned in any court in the country because there's not a judge in the country that ever learned what it really is:

Trump on Saturday retweeted a follower who said the Florida senator, who was born in Florida to Cuban parents, is not eligible to run for higher office. “I think the lawyers have to determine it,” Trump said on ABC’s This Week, when asked if he believed the tweet. “It was a retweet. Not so much with Marco, I’m not really that familiar with Marco’s circumstance.” When pressed on why he retweeted the claim if he wasn’t sure about it, Trump said he was trying to “start dialogue” about the issue.

Pretty standard Trump passive-aggressive gambit; subtly but threateningly claim that he's not saying it, but that other people are and therefore "it needs to be discussed" - because, of course, it hurts his targeted rival and helps him.  At least he didn't claim to know why Rubio is ineligible; that's probably because righwing Dezi was born in Florida - i.e. U.S. soil - while Senator Cruz was born in Canada, which was pretty much the sole basis on which Trump birtherized him.

Here are the facts with which the billionaire slumlord never bothers: Ted Cruz was born in Canada of a Cuban father and an American mother.  Statutory legal precedent holds that he's eligible for the presidency because one of his parents was a U.S. citizen (which is why neither freshman Latino senator is going to be disqualified); the original intent of the Constitution is that BOTH parents have been U.S. citizens at the time of the candidate's birth, regardless of where it took place.  Consequently, and constitutionally speaking, Senator Cruz is not so eligible.  But Trump doesn't cite the original intent of the Constitution in his birther attacks on Cruz because he doesn't know the first thing about the Founding Document, and cares even less; he's just hurling anything he can at a rival that he knows will stick to a "conservative" wall.

And now he's doing the exact same thing to Marco Rubio, NEITHER of whose parents were U.S. citizens when he was born.  But because Rubio WAS born on U.S. soil, and Trump IS ignorant of constitutional original intent, he doesn't have a hook on which to hang his birther attack on Rubio, so he's going the passive-aggressive route - for now.

What I find far more interesting is what this reveals about what passes for Trump's "thinking" - maybe "instincts" is a better term for it.  Trump has been on Ted Cruz's ass for the past two months because the Texan was his biggest perceived threat.  After relegating the Republican fratricidist to third place in what was a "home game" for him, and given Rubio's rebound from the ass-kicking he absorbed in New Hampshire ten days earlier, it would appear that it's now Rubes' turn in the Trump birther barrel.  Will it work on him as well as it did on Cruz?  Ironically, I'm not so sure; remember the general (and largely inaccurate) perception of Rubio as being an "establishment" candidate; he's pretty much persona non grata with conservatives as it is because of his "Gang of Eight" blunder, so playing up birtherism isn't going to impact him with the voters who care about it because they mostly aren't in his camp anyway.  Also bear in mind Jeb! Bush's departure from the race, which creates the likelihood of Rubio vacuuming up all his voters, gaining more congressional endorsements, and vampirizing John Kasich's pointless support base as the last-stand "anti-Trump".

But then I keep forgetting that this is the Republicide cycle, which means that Cruz will now do to Rubio in Nevada tomorrow and going forward what Rubio did to Cruz last week going into South Carolina: be the ankle-biting remora in the Trump shark's wake.  Do Trump's dirty work for him, like one of his pool boys.  Probably not by echoing his birtherism, since Cruz is under that same cloud, but by hammering away at "Schumer-RUBIO" as he's been doing for the entire campaign.

Which illustrates how Trump didn't really need to bother birtherizing Rubio in turn, because Cruz is going to "vaporize" the Floridian for him.  But he just can't help himself, I guess.

UPDATE: I guess Larry Sabato is now on Trump's payroll, too.

UPDATE II: I hope you had lunch, because if you haven't, this will give you a fit of the dry heaves....:

The party’s collective shrug over Trump since he entered the presidential race last summer, and its stubborn unwillingness to treat him as a serious threat, is reflected by the paltry sum that both campaigns and outside groups have devoting to undermining him.

In a presidential campaign during which “super PACs” spent $215 million, just $9.2 million, or around 4%, was dedicated to attacking Trump, even as he dominated the polls for months. [emphases added]

The same guy who doesn't need a media shop because he can get more free media than all current and previous presidential candidates in American history combined.  And the reason is because they didn't take seriously the guy who's been at the top of almost every poll, nationally and State-by-State, for over eight months?  Hey, I don't take Trump seriously either, but in THAT sense, the one that matters the most, couldn't non-Trumps have directed a lot more of their fire and resources at him even as they were still savaging each other?

Answer: In the words of Hugo Weaving's Red Skull, "Apparently...not":

Kellyanne Conway, president of Keep the Promise I, one of the leading pro-Cruz super PACs, said her group plans to advertise in Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, with Alabama and Oklahoma also in the mix. The super PAC will air positive ads about Cruz, and its negative ads will focus more on Rubio than on Trump, Conway said. That includes new spots. [emphasis added]

I know I'm wearing out Volstagg, but the quote fits more with each passing day....

...."We're doomed".

UPDATE III: <sigh>

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