I just spent the last few weeks traveling throughout the mid-Atlantic visiting family and friends. And it seems that everywhere we went, whether in a hotel or at a friend's home in downtown Philadelphia or in a bed and breakfast at a beach in southern Delaware or on the New Jersey Shore at a cousin's summer home, everyone we met talked about Donald Trump.
Of course my husband and I rushed back to our hotel room in northern Delaware just in time for the Republican Presidential debate on August 6. We brought back a pizza and bottle of wine so we could have dinner while watching the festivities. We even skipped the manager's reception in the lobby in which we could partake in complimentary appetizers and glasses of wine. For we intended to watch the debate with no distractions.
We were pretty surprised by a moderately disciplined Donald Trump. We sort of expected fireworks as in Trump calling one or all of his opponents chumps, stiffs or telling Jeb in particular to f*ck off. That didn't happen, but the debate was entertaining.
And yet both of us, like everyone we know and talk to, including the inside-the-beltway TV pundits, wrote Trump off as a flash in the plan. Either he would eventually crash and burn or grow bored with running for the Republican Presidential candidate.
But today is August 21 and Trump continues to lead in the polls. Yesterday he spoke at a town hall meeting in NH. MSNBC aired the entire event and since I had over two weeks of laundry and ironing to catch up with I watched the whole damned thing. I found myself laughing. And cursing. I laughed when Trump said Bush is a low energy guy and his audience, down the road at another event, was asleep. I cursed when Trump said the gang violence in Chicago and other large cities is due almost exclusively to illegal immigrants. I cursed when he went into great detail about the wall he would build at the southern border. And how no one could dig tunnels under it because of the x-ray machines. This is nuts, I thought. But his crowd loved every word.
I hated Trump's bragging about how he would hold families together as he deported the lot of them, including children who were born in this country. This beyond hateful, I thought. But again, his crowd loved the rhetoric. Trump didn't work them into a frenzy like Sarah Palin could during the 2008 Presidential cycle but there was enough hate in the room to go around.
Meanwhile Republican leaders, the establishment, GOP pundits, donors and Fox News don't know how to get rid of Donald Trump. He is their worst nightmare.
Why? Because Trump says out loud what Republican candidates and politicians normally say behind closed doors or publicly in coded language.
The GOP built this monster and it deserves him. Please follow me under the orange gerrymander to continue.
Trump is appealing on some levels b/c he states the obvious. Many jobs in this country have been shipped overseas. It's a fact. And Trump went on and on about Nabisco and Ford and how both companies shipped their factories to Mexico. Trump said as President he would not let companies ship their plants and factories overseas. But he didn't say how he would stop them. Or if he could stop them.
Trump promised he would get America working again. He will replace Obamacare with something "terrific." He provided no details on either promise. His supporters have to trust him because Trump is a successful and savvy businessman.
Trump also said China is killing us. Many believe it is. But Trump didn't tell his crowd how he would make China stop killing us. Trump also said he would be a tough negotiator with the Middle East.
Except that he can't fire those he thinks are horrible chumps or useless stiffs.
So the GOP establishment is in a total snit over Trump. He knows it and announced that Bush, Rubio and others are going to start running attack ads against him. Trump said he would fight back. He also said he's not going anywhere and is in the game for the long haul.
I believe him.
Meanwhile none of the other Republican candidates can get the attention they need from the media. Trump has it all. And in order to get noticed some of the more craven candidates, i.e. Bush, Walker, Jindal, found themselves agreeing with Trump on the 14th Amendment, birthright citizenship. Jeb Bush went as far as to refer to the children of undocumented immigrants who are born in this country, as "anchor babies." I have to admit to being shocked. I thought the Louie Gohmert and Steve King wing of the GOP had a lock on such hateful racial slurs. Bush even got testy when a reporter asked him if the term is offensive. Bush asked the reporter if he had another term for it. Wow.
But the GOP built the monster called Donald Trump. And it deserves him. Few of us are happy with our gerrymandered U.S. Congress and dysfunctional federal government. For a small segment of the population (GOP hard core primary voters) Trump is a breath of fresh air because he doesn't sound like a tightly scripted politician or a slick snake oil dealer.
Of course the do nothing party of serial obstructionists and tantrum throwing government shutdown didn't help in its popularity department. And a Party that is focused on imposing restrictions on women's reproductive rights including closing down health care clinics and harsh Jim Crow type Voter ID laws cannot remain a viable national party forever. Nor does it help in the outreach department when cruel Republican governors refuse to accept federally expanded Medicaid in which millions of uninsured poor residents would have affordable access to healthcare. The rationale for the refusal? Pure spite.
Now all voters are clueless about who is throwing them under the bus.
Yes indeed, the GOP could have nipped its Trump monster in the bud when he launched his birther crusade against President Obama after he won the election in 2008. But no, the GOP establishment sat back and yucked it up, snickering in the background. I am sure there were more than a few jokes about watermelons, too, especially among the Republican southern delegation.
Not a one Republican had the courage nor the integrity to tell Trump to knock it off and get serious.
Naturally Fox News gave Trump an open platform in which to insult, trash and throw mud at the duly elected POTUS, who just happens to be African American. The disrespect shown to President Obama on all levels of the GOP, past and present, is revolting.
Disparagement would be somewhat understandable if President Obama had stolen an election as W. did in 2000. Or had he disenfranchised voters in a swing state as W. did in 2004. W. squeaked by. But this is not the case for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. He won both elections with overwhelming majorities. The people have spoken and we were heard.
Not that the GOP gives a flying flip about we the 99%.
In this battle we can thank Trump for telling it like it is, including the consequences of campaign financial donations. According to Trump, candidates like Bush, Walker, etc. who accept millions in donations are nothing but mere puppets for their donors.
Trump's got that one right.
Democrats like me can take guilty pleasure in watching the GOP made monster devour its own. Good luck chumps, stiffs and losers.