That really isn't the question that needs to be asked; the real question is, why have they not figured out the answer until now that EVERYBODY ELSE HAS KNOWN FOR THE PAST FORTY YEARS:
It was "utterly stupid" for Donald Trump "to get sucked into" a fight over his and Ted Cruz's wives, Newt Gingrich scolded the front-runner on Monday night while discussing the Republican candidate's retweet of an image perceived to negatively compare the appearance of his wife, Melania, against Heidi Cruz last week.
"For Trump to get sucked into this at a personal level, tweeting about or repeating a tweet, technically, about Mrs. Cruz is just utterly stupid," the former speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity. "And it has frankly weakened everything that Trump ought to be strengthening. It sent a signal to women that is negative at a time when his numbers with the women are already bad. It sent a signal of instability to people who are beginning to say, ‘OK, maybe I’ve gotta get used to it, maybe I’ve gotta rely on him, maybe he could be presidential,’ and frankly, it energized Cruz."
Trump didn't "get sucked into it"; he initiated it. He reflexively jumped to conclusions about the Make America Awesome nudie ad, viciously threatened Heidi Cruz in retaliation, momentarily thought better of it and deleted that tweet, then turned around and posted the "Your wife is an Oklahoma two-bagger" pic in tandem with the National Enquirer smear about Senate Cruz's allegedly dipping his wick more than a Ben Franklin's worth of scented candles. Nobody provoked him into that fight; i
But Newt is right about one thing: it was utterly stupid. The question is, why is he acting so surprised?
Then there's the "Trumpubine," Ann Coulter, pivoting off of this kerfuffle to refer to her coiffed Adonis as "mental".
Again, Skeletina is only figuring that out now? And what of Drudge, who is actually doing his journalistic job for a change by reporting about Trump's thug turning himself into to the authorities for his physical attack on Michelle Fields a few weeks ago? Is this the scales finally falling off their eyes, or their desperate hope that Trump really wasn't the Biff-Tanen-in-alternate-1985 megatool he's been since the heyday of Bloom County finally running out, or could they really have not heard of Donald Trump before June 16th, 2015?
There are several theories, all very similar to each other.
I feel like Trump's courtiers know something we don't:
Might the Heidi Cruz twittersault be the excuse the Trump ex-conservative fan boys/girls are using to bail on him? Not yet, but perhaps soon, says Allahpundit:
Nah. They’re still on-board, they’re just alarmed that the captain won’t steer away from that iceberg that keeps getting closer. Trump’s fans within the commentariat have, I think, convinced themselves that his boorishness is strategic, something he can turn on and off at will to command the media. It’s served him well but now, facing a de facto head to head race with Cruz, he should be sealing the deal by shifting to a more low-key “presidential” approach. Reassure Republican undecideds in the remaining primaries that you’re up to the job. Impress delegates at the convention that you won’t be a loose cannon as nominee. Attract swing voters in the general election by demonstrating that the vulgar, street-fighting Trump of the primaries was a persona adopted for electoral advantage, one that will be discarded to defeat a new opponent in Hillary Clinton. I think it’s dawning on Newt (and Coulter in the other clip) that maybe the boorishness isn’t strategic. Maybe it’s who Trump is. Maybe he can’t resist attacking Heidi Cruz, no matter how obviously stupid that is, because he’s spent his life being rewarded for boorish aggressiveness that supposedly proves his alpha-male dominance. What you’re seeing, in other words, is Gingrich contemplating possibly for the first time that Trump’s campaign really might turn into a dumpster fire in November because he’s too undisciplined and too much of an egomaniac to fiddle with a dangerous approach that’s worked for him in other contexts. [emphases added]
OF COURSE the boorishness is who Trump is. It's who he's ALWAYS been. He has never NOT been that. He has NEVER "turned that off". If he were capable of doing so, it would create a black hole that would consume the planet. A "low-key" (low energy?), "presidential" Donald Trump has not only never existed, but is a physical impossibility that, were one cloned, would create giant quantum rips in the fabric of spacetime. It's like wondering where the celebate Bill Clinton or the humble Barack Obama or the dynamic, charismatic, charming, popular Hillary Clinton are. You might as well go to Petco and ask to see the unicorns.
Ben Domenech's theory largely overlaps with Eeyore's, but I think he's grievously wrong about one thing:
At exactly the moment Trump ought to be transforming himself into a unifying figure, he is ensuring that is all the more difficult by stooping to baseless personal attacks and driving down his numbers among Republican women and social conservatives. In failing to recognize the importance of delegates and in engaging in these unnecessary personal attacks, Trump decreases his potential to win the nomination on the first ballot. If Trump is actually beaten because of these decisions it shows he’s not ready to lead a party anyway…
Coulter is a lot of things, but she’s no dummy. She understands that by politicizing Heidi Cruz’s depression and her appearance, Trump is hurting his ability to ever receive the support of a growing portion of Republican women, particularly social conservatives and evangelicals.
No, Ben, Newt Gingrich is no dummy; I frankly think Coulter has cobwebs in the windmills of her well-ventilated mind. This is the same woman who all but wanted to have Mitt Romney's love child four years ago, and flounced last summer to his polar personality opposite, which means you can't even hang her Trumplican hat on anti-"establishmentarianism". I have no idea what goes on in, or through, that heavily batted belfry, nor do I have any desire to investigate it, because whatever lurks there might be catching, and I need my rationality and logic, which might otherwise be driven so distant from my own fertile and learned faculties that even a Vulcan mind meld might not be able to recover it.
If Ann Coulter understood that by politicizing Heidi Cruz's depression and appearance, Trump is hurting his ability to ever receive the support of growing portion of Republican women, social conservatives, and evangelicals, she never would have (figuratively?) ridden Trump tower like Ron Turcotte at the Belmont Stakes in the first place, any more than so many previous Republican women, social conservatives, and evangelicals would have voted for The Donald already. They, she, Newt, Drudge, Hannity, Rush all convinced themselves they knew what they were doing and that it would both stick it to the "establishment" and pave the way to the presidency of their wettest dreams. The primary campaign equivalent of hacking through the proverbial Gordian knot with a chainsaw. Because for some reason, they also convinced themselves that politics shouldn't be hard. And in the process they turned off their brains, threw out all logic and reason, and simply and pointedly ignored all the reasons why none of that could happen and it would be an epic electoral and political catastrophe instead.
Until now, evidently.
But I have confidence that the brief lapse into sanity will wear off soon enough.
AP takes it home:
Obama famously said in one of his books that the Hopenchange phenomenon was due in part to his fans projecting their own personal ideals onto him, as a blank slate. But there’s a weird, surprising element of that too with Trump, who should be the opposite of a blank slate after forty years in the public eye. He is who he is, which is who he’s always been, yet here are Newt and Ann discovering nine months into his campaign that the nasty attacks on Twitter aren’t just some media kabuki he’s performing to dominate the morning chat shows and impress his savvier acolytes within the political class. It just may be that he really is temperamentally unfit for office. [emphases added]
UPDATE: Trump waves "the Pledge" bye-bye:
Why? Because Mitt Romney didn't bow down to him, and that was mean.
Whatever, Biff. The only reason for the Pledge in the first place was to keep Trump for making mischief later assuming he stayed in the race long enough to face a single voter, thus splitting the party this fall. But we're way, way past that Rubicon anyway by now no matter who winds up with the GOP nomination. And besides, did anybody with full retention of their mental faculties ever believe that he would keep his word about anything? Especially since he spent all last summer and fall reflexively regaling listeners with the tales of all these "people" who kept urging him to bolt and "go indy". And is it telling or not that he's bringing up the Pledge now - the context of which is supporting somebody else after he falls short of the nomination? Not something that I would think would even be on a front-runner's mind.
Incidentally, I hope all you Trumplicans are prepared to grind and gnash your teeth about this sort of thing for the next seven months, if and when:
Cooper asked Trump about his ongoing feud with rival Ted Cruz, which started after an anti-Trump super PAC circulated a racy image of Trump’s wife, Melania. Trump later retweeted an image of Melania next to Cruz’s wife, Heidi, in what Cooper called an “unflattering” pose. Trump said he thought the photo of Heidi was “nice,” and when pressed by Cooper, said, “I didn’t start it.”
Cooper responded by telling the "Republican" front-runner “with all due respect, that’s the argument of a five-year-old,” adding that “every parent knows that.” “That’s the problem,” Trump retorted. “Exactly that thinking is the problem this country has. I didn’t start this, he started this.” [emphases added]
"That thinking"? You mean maturity and accountability and taking responsibility for one's actions? THAT's the problem in this country? Or only when those requirements are imposed upon you, Donnie?
I don't think I've ever written the following words in this particular order, but Anderson Cooper is right. You're nominating a five year old to have control over nuclear weapons, Trumpers (assuming Obama doesn't ship them to all to the mullahs in time). What possesses you to think that that is anything other than Armageddon waiting to happen?
Exit thought: I've predicted on previous occasions that if Trump did make it to the White House somehow, he would become the second POTUS to resign from office because all he's interested in is winning the office, not actually fulfilling it after the fact. His short attention span would almost compel it.
Here's another prediction: If he didn't resign first, Trump would become the first POTUS to be impeached AND convicted by the Senate and removed from office, as a matter of national security.
Either way, a Trumpidency wouldn't come close to lasting even a single term. Call it "The 'establishment' saving 'We the People" from itself." Which would be the Constitution properly functioning in extremis.
Puts an unusually heavy importance on the veepstakes, doesn't it? Just in case, that is.