As Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, on behalf of the entire RNC, engage in the dance of mutual castration, Democrats have reason for cautious optimism.
By the time the Democratic Convention crowns its nominee, Mr. Trump may be showing a little wear even for his most devoted accolades. That’s because the Republican nominee is as sensitive as the ‘Princess and the Pea.’
Behold a few of the metaphoric mattresses atop which his presidential hopes fitfully sleep:
1) Cooperating with anybody, let alone ‘establishment’ Republicans is not a good look for the Donald; yet, he now needs them as much as they need him because he isn’t prepared to self-fund his campaign in the general.
2) He can no longer claim to be self-funded and not beholden to anyone. We already
know by his own words that he understands the quid-pro-quo game all too well and
accepts as fair that there will be no “quid” without the requisite “quo.”
3) His almost uncontrollable inclination to contradict himself, sometimes going back and forth in a dizzying display of indecision, has finally caught the attention of the media. Decisive he can’t claim to be.
4) His unlimited need for attention has provided a life-time of stupid and offensive remarks ripe for the picking. If the Republicans didn’t have the balls to do it, Democrats will not hesitate to dispatch them in volleys.
5) Unlike his Republican rivals, the Democratic nominee can and will resist the temptation to get down in the mud with him because there are plenty of capable surrogates like Elizabeth Warren (not Bill Clinton, please!) to do the job for her or him. Elizabeth Warren ties knots in Donald Trump without breaking a sweat…and both Hillary and Bernie are cool heads under pressure. The Bloviator-in-Chief is decidedly not.
If, as seems increasingly inevitable, Hillary walks away with the nomination, she just has to leave Bill at home watering the plants, and she’ll be fine. She’ll owe Bernie BIG time for mobilizing his minions to support her, but I think they can work out that deal so long as he keeps the faith with his supporters all the way to the Convention. It’s the policies that matter most to Bernie and its the White House that matters most to Hillary.
6) Just because none of Donald Trump’s “unforgivable” insults have proven to be the ‘silver bullet’ necessary to disqualify him for Republican primary voters doesn’t mean
he’s out of the woods. The power high of winning the nomination will only curb his appetite for sensation temporarily. Dollars to donuts, he’s just one or two soundbites away from the next big goof. He’s programmed to offend. He can’t help himself. And he’ll find that general election voters, reflective of the true diversity of the country, are not nearly so forgiving.
7) No one even pretends anymore that he might know what he’s talking about. Ignorance ispretty much baked into his identity at this point. His supporters don’t care, but anyone not already in that delusional state is not likely at this point to be persuaded that he is the ‘smart’ candidate, no matter how much money he has…or says he has.
8) Which brings us to his taxes. The longer he resists releasing them, the more everyone will be convinced they contain a bombshell. Why is the guy whose brand is supposed to be
spontaneity and transparency suddenly so secretive?
9) Donald Trump has no sense of humor. We’ve all known people like that. They love to
ham it up and make jokes at other people’s expense, so long as they themselves aren’t the
butt of the joke. In fact, they are particularly thin-skinned; apt to flush in anger and behave unwisely when teased. I think we can guess what lies ahead in that department. We’ve all seen the tape of his angry face at the Correspondent’s Dinner when the President poked fun at him.
10) Donald Trump himself is not at all sure he wants or can even do the job for which he is
competing. I swear I read somewhere that Trump once said that if he ever ran for President, he’d do it as a Republican because they’ll believe anything. Maybe I dreamt it, but it just seems so like him.
11) DT says he “does great” among women; but what he really means is Republican women, which is, of and by itself something akin to an oxymoron. He maintains the same fiction about his popularity with minorities. It was difficult to adequately test those assertions in the Republican Primary, since relatively few minority voters were involved, and there is a certain expectation of dysfunction from women who identify with the party that would consistently act against their best interests.
The general election is a whole different animal. As unmotivated as minorities were to
vote in the Republican Primary, they will be doubly so motivated to vote Democratic in
the general election; firstly, out of a sense of outrage; and secondly, in preservation of
their own best interests that have been so conspicuously under attack from Donald Trump.
More than half of all women self-identify as leaning Democratic. Roughly 36% self identify
as Republicans. It can safely be assumed that most of these are women who also
self-identify as ‘conservative’ and many generally support conservative principles and
regional Republican candidates, but see Donald Trump as neither conservative
nor invested in their regional Republican concerns.
According to Newsweek (March 15 2016) female voters in the Michigan Republican Primary dividedtheir vote more or less equally between Trump and Cruz and Katich. That’s not a very impressive validation even from the relatively narrow pool of Republican women. As late as March of this year, 47% of Republican women “could not imagine themselves voting for Trump.”
This weekend, the New York Times announced open season on Donald’s ‘female troubles’ with a scathing retrospective on his playboy years.
A theory that’s been going around is that Trump never really wanted to be president. This whole campaign was just an opportunity to burnish his brand and get a whole lot of face-time.
Now, it’s “Be careful what you wish for” time.
He clearly never prepared to win the nomination. Assured as he thought he was that the GOP would never let him have the nomination, I think he honestly believed he could play the aggrieved losing candidate to a sea of adoring Twitter followers for years to come, ensuring a new reality TV show and all the sycophants he could exploit for the remainder of his vapid life.
He’s not stupid (although he plays a stupid person on TV). He knows that if, God forbid, he ever did land in the White House, he would quickly become the most unpopular president of all time. His negatives would dwarf those of his campaign, and provide absolutely no amusement for him, because he would be stuck in the narrative that he himself recklessly created.
If Obama has had to endure eight years of abuse, can you imagine what thin-skinned Trump would experience in the same office?
I think he can.
Instead of being able to fling his feces at both the President and Congress,
from the safe distance of an ivory Trump Tower, he would himself be the target, day-after-day-after- endless day of blunders, indecision and head-on collisions with reality.
He’s already uncomfortable answering demands for his taxes and questions about his butler. Even attempts to deflect to Hillary Clinton are failing to engage as the news media belatedly tries to drill-down on his pathological lies.
In what may have signaled the beginning of cognitive breakdown under pressure, Trump now appears to have double-punked the press, first by leaking an old tape of himself pretending to be a press agent boasting about Trump’s romantic conquests, then lying about the lie. The permutations of his deceits are positively dizzying.
And I expect it isn’t fun anymore.