A Front Page diary by Hunter has noted that Luntz is in shell-shock at the traction that Trump is gaining with the GOP base while being very undisciplined in his rhetoric.
But it's not just the GOP losing its way with the grassroots; Trump has all of the candidates in message disarray. Take for example the Donald's reintroduction of a phrase that has been carefully excised from GOP candidates' vocabulary--"Anchor Babies".
Now, the anchor baby meme is not only resonating with the rabble, its a phrase being uttered from the lips of a typically buttoned-down Jeb!, or even an actual "anchor baby" like Marco Rubio. But this default to a repugnant term is not simply a slip of the tongue; it's a ripple of undisciplined rhetoric that could rise to a tsunami of cognitive dissonance if it goes on much longer, and here's why.
The GOP has based its moral appeal to many of its constituents as a staunch defender of the "sanctity of life." For the most ardent, every cluster of embryonic cells is a person, with all the protections of the US Constitution, in order to defend its life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness at all costs.
But now there's a competing view of a certain class of fetus. If growing in the womb of an undocumented immigrant, this fetus is still a "baby"--but not an innocent one. This baby is a lawbreaker, or at the very least a pernicious pawn, that deserves no protection; no, these vile "anchor babies" have no claim on the trio of rights given by Nature's God. It's time to chuck them over that big wall that the GOP plans to build on the southern border.
This rising indifference to a certain class of human life can undermine what has been a firm and nearly monolithic pro-life message. In its most extreme form, the life of the fetus has even outweighed the life of the mother. And for those who rule out a rape or incest as grounds for abortion--all life is sacred, regardless of how its conceived--this devaluing of the anchor baby's life presents a new exclusion because of the presumed intention of its conception. In short, the anchor-baby angle in the GOP platform is showing the party's presumed philosophical consistency to be an illusion, and its being exposed in center-ring of the American political circus.
How else could we explain how a party that has time and time again boasted of its constitutional fidelity is now willing to excise a constitutional amendment that has stood for about 150 years. And this isn't the only constitutional beef that's emerging: recent SCOTUS rulings have Ted Cruz calling for changing the constitutional terms and conditions of justices' appointment and service to the court. And one of the most important lines on Cruz's resume is his service as a clerk to Rehnquist. Of course, the message discipline memo doesn't seem to have ever made it to Cruz's inbox. We might even see his rise on the hot air of the Tea Party as having made the new Trump vitriol all the more possible.
There are still some cooler heads in the GOP field. Jeb! is the standard bearer of this group. But in attempting to repair any problem with the Latino bloc for his reference to "anchor babies," he decided to cast the blame on Asian "anchor" moms. Not only did this earn him more Twitter-mockery from Trump, but his "look over there" tactic failed to solve the moral contradiction lurking in the appeal to the red meat base, whose anxiety over a mythical lost America can not be so easily distracted.
So as the message discipline and the mask of respectability falls away, we might view this as a Democratic opportunity. People who think that words matter-- that they should be used responsibly and not to manipulate people through subtle emotional cues embedded in euphemisms and dysphemisms--can celebrate the loss of Luntz's influence. But let's not get ahead of ourselves; Trump is unleashing a vile hatred of the "other" that maybe just as bad.