General Smith: Frankly, George, you’re on probation. Take my advice and behave yourself. Remember your worst enemy is your own big mouth.
It’s a very rare thing that I disagree with one of my own Magnificent Seven Writers in print on the blog, particularly one that I’ve known as long as the excellent Steve Eggleston (who you should read every chance you get). But I have to say that his piece: the Trump Boom goes…well boom is incorrect in its conclusion.
Mind you most of his arguments are good ones. He is correct about the GOP and the single “Washington” party and that some candidates specifically sent to fight the “Washington” Party joined it.
Furthermore he is correct that there are several candidates who are specifically running against this Washington Cartel (Ted Cruz comes instantly to mind) pledged to fight it.
Nor is his basic description of Donald Trump’s flip-flops or “Big Mouth” inaccurate. Of the two I think the flip-flops deserves the most scrutiny by GOP primary voters.
However as to his final conclusion implied by the title “The Trump Boomlet goes Boom.” I can’t subscribe to that for several reasons:
#1. Trump’s audience is not solely the basic political geek, (folks like me and you, the readers of this blog) Trump has a wider audience well beyond it as evidenced by the rating numbers on the first debate.
#2 Yesterday I guest hosted Conservatively Speaking on WCRN AM 8:30 from 7 AM till 10 AM. We got a flock of callers and they were willing to let it go. They saw it as no more than a minor gaffe.
#3 Finally while I and others (Most notably Erick Erickson) have said Trump owes Megyn Kelly an apology for the “blood from wherever” remark”, most of Trumps supporters are letting it go because:
a) The believe Kelly was going after him unfairly (actually the whole gang targeted him)
b) The see a double standard in how GOP candidates are treated vs Dems on remarks (there is, see Biden Joe)
c) They see a double standard that women in political demand equality but also demand the old chivalrous standards (that’s true)
But most important is this one
d) They have seen Trump over the years and figure this is just the way he is, (again see Democrats/ media & the VP Joe being Joe) To them this is just Trump being Trump.
I strongly suspect the people most objecting to Trump words do not have him included in their top five picks out of the GOP field (full disclosure neither do I my top five in alphabetical order are Cruz, Fiorina, Jindal, Santorum and Walker with Carson knocking at the door VERY loudly)
There are solid reasons to oppose Trump in the primary:
It’s a very valid argument that if nominated Donald Trumps big mouth could cause trouble, but frankly his remarks give the GOP great chances for counterpunches to Hillary Clinton and the Dems like this:
It’s further true that GOP primary voter should take a close look at Trump filp flop before considering him. As a senator once said to another party switcher Wendell Willkie who became the GOP nominee:
“Well Wendell you know back home in Indiana it’s all right if the town whore joins the church but they don’t ask her to lead the choir on the first night.”
or as Reagan put it: “Trust but verify”.
And of course there are excellent alternatives (Cruz, Fiorina, Jindal, Santorum, Walker and Carson for example).
But based on who Trumps base is, their expectations of him, and the reactions I’ve seen, I see absolutely no reason why this latest gaffe will cost him the lead in the GOP field at least not at this time. In fact the combined attacks on him has an excellent chance to increase his lead further.
The Trump supporters are echoing the opinion of Abe Lincoln who was warned by his staff that John Pope who he was thinking of making head of the Army of the Potomac was a liar and braggart. He answered.
In fact I knew his family back in Illinois. All the Popes were liars and braggarts. I see no particular reason why a liar and a braggart shouldn’t make a good general.
It wasn’t until Pope was decisively beaten by Robert E Lee that Lincoln replaced him.
It’s the same with Trump. If the Trump supporters are to change their allegiance I suspect it will only be when another candidate beats him, not before.
(I still think he should apologize for the “blood from wherever” remark, it’s the right thing to do and one should do the right thing even if one’s foes take joy in it.)
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