Trump Deconstructed

Steve Schmidt. who very well may be my favorite Republican next to New York Times columnist David Brooks, has apparently been commissioned to make the rounds this week explaining the Trump phenomena in surprisingly plain and unemotional, un-wacky sober analysis. Trump notwithstanding, I really wish there were a lot more of this in politics (of all persuasions); a seemingly ethical exchange of views and ideas without all the screaming. My cynicism suggests Schmidt is not out there out of the goodness of his heart but is likely an agent of GOP Chairman Reince Priebus in some desperate effort to bring sanity back to the GOP race. Whatever his motivations, this is a good clip and reasonable analysis of what is happening in Republican politics.

I might also mention how disappointed I am that substantial candidates–as opposed to the more electric clown acts–are being lost in all the noise, most notably Ohio Governor John Kasich and former NJ Governor George Pataki. Snicker if you will, Kasich is a real guy. Pataki is dull as toast but actually ran the state competently. Neither has much of a chance in this environment. Neither does Scott Walker, with whom I violently disagree but also have to acknowledge him as a highly skilled political opponent, or the more flamboyant name brand governors like Christie (who blew his chance in 2012), or Jindal (what on *earth* is he thinking?).

Thus far this political season, this is the best explanation and analysis of GOP politics I’ve seen:


  1. Veterans for a Stronger America has one member, lost its nonprofit status for Reasons, and that one member may be looking at jail time. So, fun times.

  2. Trey says:

    Wow. Grown folks talking. That was a nice and concise bit of analysis. Thanks for the link.

  3. Thad says:

    I wouldn’t count Walker out just yet; I think when the dust settles he’s going to finish ahead of Trump.

    There are a lot of factors contributing to Trump’s current lead in polls (his 100% name recognition, people being polled saying his name or Carson’s specifically as a protest to a GOP establishment they’re unhappy with, the feedback loop created when a candidate who is in the news for polling high continues to poll higher — or the reverse, when a candidate keeps appearing in stories about her poll numbers dropping, they keep dropping, as Clinton is currently experiencing), but I think he’ll burn out quickly, just like all the protest candidates last time around (Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Cain, Paul — have I missed any?).

    I do think there’s a big appeal to authenticity, and that’s part of Trump’s appeal, it’s part of why Gore and Kerry could never pull out ahead of George Bush, it’s arguably Hillary Clinton’s biggest weakness (and Bill’s biggest strength — I think he’s just as calculating and cynical as she is but he makes it *seem* natural), and it’s part of why people responded so positively to Joe Biden on The Late Show last week.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Wow… that makes a lot of sense. You sure you don’t work for CNN…? I personally think everyone but Clinton and Fiorina should drop out and let the ladies bash it out. 🙂 I don’t know that America necessarily needs Hillary Clinton, but America needs this moment, this historic moment. It’s way, way past time to elect a female president. I also think young America is utterly clueless beyond the surface: Obama = hip, black guy, the ultimate FU to our parents. They may see Hillary as “Mom,” but they see her as female first, incredibly well-qualified second, and, as a bonus, an FU to the Duck Dynasty guy.

      I also retain a deep suspicion, if not quite a hope, that virtually ALL women in America, regardless of what nonsense they preach, will push a button for Hillary whether they like or not. Even women who despise her recognize the historic nature of her potential nomination win. It was very, very difficult (I imagine) for black people to *not* vote for Obama, even if we thought Hillary was more qualified.

      Joe is too much a conventional politician to get the young folks out to the polls. He is the GOP dream candidate because he evens the playing field to the usual old white guys, the youth wave dissipates as masses of young people check out of the election cycle. As a bonus, Joe has asignated himself so many times a la George W. Make no mistake, Joe is likely the most qualified person to take over, but I’m personally rooting for Mrs. C. Not even that I like her so much as I believe the nation needs this moment, and, other than Joe and the unelectable Bernie, everybody else is a head-shaking disaster.

      Oh, and I agree w/you on Walker. Be afraid. Be very afraid. He is quite electable and more of a threat than anybody else in the clown car. But I also suspect he’s the antichrist.

  4. ireactions says:

    Going off-topic — Priest made Bleeding Cool! (Again!)

    • Priest Priest says:

      Slow news day I presume. 🙂

      • Probably need something to fill space while waiting for evidence to show up in the big “A Superman Line Editor I refuse to name is a serial sexual harasser who has blackmail on his bosses and can’t be fired” story.

        • Priest Priest says:

          Being as far out of the loop as I am… I can’t tell if this is sarcasm. 🙂

          • Oscar Jimenez says:

            Jim, I’m also completely detached from the gossip circles but I just found out, thanks to Dave’s comment, that the thing he’s talking about -which is something I’ve known for a relatively long time, by the way- has finally been exposed to the public light.

            Google it if you want, I won’t mention the person’s name here because is someone we both know personally and also I don’t want to turn this nice, clean public space into a search engine click bait. Email me if Google doesn’t help, I just made a quick search a couple of minutes ago, read the headlines, not the whole texts so I don’t know the extent of the “thing”. I only know what I personally know, so the rest… I have no idea.

  5. circ says:

    Walker took a stroll, so there’s one less klown now. Maybe the inmates wouldn’t get so much traction if the amount of potential voters who don’t participate in the election didn’t rival the divorce rate of this country?

  6. Too bad these kind of conversations don’t happen during the debates at all.

    Generic reactionary rhetoric doesn’t cut it for me. But I guess for Joe & Jane Lunchbox, it’s the main attraction. That the campaign to become president of the USA (and many other political races) have degenerated into who can be the most attractively anti-intellectual, and most of the mainstream press not directly critiquing all of them for it, is depressingly astonishing to me.

    I’m especially ticked off at Dr. Ben Carson. With his medical/academic background he should know better than to go saying a lot of the inflammatory stuff that he’s delved into. And so far, he’s avoided making any presentations in his hometown of Detroit. Dude, there’s a high school here named after you! We don’t make the cut? Ah, well..

  7. A bunch of southern black pastors just stood behind Trump and supported him. Can’t help but think of Zion….

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