Lately, one after another establishment personality are piling on Donald Trump.
First, we have the predictable trolls on the Left, like the man whose real name isn’t Jon Stewart but Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz. (See Stewart mock Trump on HuffPo here.) Huffington Post even has an entire webpage devoted to all the spoofs (“comedy”) that were “inspired” by Trump since the 1980s.
Entertainer Chris Rock, on the Oprah Winfrey show, compared Trump and the Birthers not just to spoiled, immature children, but said they “are possessed by the devil.”
Actor-comedian Bill Cosby said Trump “is full of it” and should just “run or shut up.”
Even actor Robert De Niro, another Democrat, piled on by calling Trump “crazy,” “a big hustle” and “a car salesman” for dare asking questions about Obama’s birth certificate. To which Trump gave this response in an appearance on Fox & Friends: “I like [De Niro’s] acting, but in terms of when I watch him doing interviews and various other things, we’re not dealing with Albert Einstein.”
But it’s not just the Left who feel threatened by a possible Trump run for the presidency. On the other side of the partisan spectrum, one GOP establishment elite after another are also piling on.
Last week, GOP strategist Karl Rove called Trump the “Al Sharpton of the Republican party” and said this about Trump calling attention to Obama’s eligibility: “His full embrace of the birther issue means that he’s off there in the nutty right and is now an inconsequential candidate.” To which, Trump gave this quick and apt riposte: “Bush finished so weak that we ended up getting Obama. [Rove] ran the man [Bush] into the ground. And the more I see about Karl Rove, the more I realize: maybe it wasn’t completely Bush’s fault.”
Then conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer added his two cents. In his column for the Washington Post on April 21, 2011, Krauthammer wrote this about Trump:
“He’s not a candidate, he’s a spectacle. He’s also not a conservative. With a wink and a smile, Muhammad Ali showed that self-promoting obnoxiousness could be charming. Trump shows that it can be merely vulgar. A provocateur and a clown, the Republicans’ Al Sharpton. The Lions have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl.”
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin took a shot too. In her op/ed for Investor’s Business Daily on April 25, 2011, Malkin called Trump “no more a standard-bearer of conservative values, limited government and constitutional principles than the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’.”
This morning it’s another conservative pundit’s turn. Over at National Review, Thomas Sowell published “Obama’s Trump Card, The damage the Donald can do,” arguing that if Trump runs he will likely lose, but in the process will badly hobble the GOP field, like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. And if the unthinkable happens, If Trump somehow wins the nomination, that will guarantee Obama’s reelection.
All these hits on Trump from both the left and the right appear to have inflicted damage.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 50% of Americans, including 31% of Republicans, saying Trump would make a “poor” or “terrible” president. 63% of Americans, including 46% of Republicans, say they definitely will not vote for Trump for president. In comparison, 46% of Americans say they definitely will not vote for Obama in 2012.
What is intriguing is that the poll found that it’s not the birther issue that’s hurting Trump because support from the “birthers” is stronger for Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. The poll also found that the number of Americans who believe Obama definitely was born in America has dwindled to 38%.
John Romano of the blog, Yes, But, However, has this trenchant observation about Trump:
“The last politician that the Democratic party and the GOP establishment partnered to destroy was Sarah Palin. In that instance, the destruction politically was complete…. Ms. Palin is DOA at the ballot box in the short term if not forever.
The main way that the unlikely coalition destroys outspoken or non-establishment Republicans or conservative ideas is to make supporting the idea or candidate carry an element of shame with it. A great example of this is when the media aligned with the Democratic party accuses someone or a group of racism without any concrete evidence. This trick was used with only mixed results on the Tea Party. Sure, the Tea Party denizens are mostly white, but so was John Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Obama’s Image”…. Thanks to the internet and media rabble-rousers like Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe and others, this weapon is less effective….
Trump has been in the media for over twenty years. to suddenly call him a racist would be tough. When the “Donald” said he had great relations “with the blacks” two weeks ago, it was almost enough for the media to begin its tar and feather act, but it didn’t catch on. That tells you something. Trump will have to foul up big time on the race issue for the media to use it.
Another weapon in the arsenal of political destruction is to have entertainment icons knock an idea or personality. Sounds pedestrian, but it is usually very effective. We saw this with Tina Fey’s dead-on impersonation of Sarah Palin. Do a poll today and most people will tell you that it was the “idiot” Sarah Palin who said she saw “Russia from my house”. It was Tina Fey on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Ms. Palin said, correctly, that “you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” Never let the facts get in the way of a good political beating.
Doing the same kind of thing to Donald Trump is a near impossibility which puts both ends of the destroy Trump camp in a pickle. He is a caricature of a caricature of himself. The “Donald” has lived his life in the press. Every odd or bold statement, marital foible, triumph and failure has been in the New York and national press for over 20 years. The man is an open, highly entertaining, book. Instead the tack so far is to play up celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld and Robert Deniro taking it to Trump. It may work, but I doubt it. Look for Lady Gaga to opine about Mr. Trump at some point in the near future (I’m not kidding). Without a Tina Fey moment, the whole exercise is futile. Although, SNL hasn’t taken a real shot at Mr. Trump yet. We shall see….
Whatever happens with Mr. Trump’s bid, a new paradigm is forming. The American people are thirsting for a leader with the brass cojones that characterizes both the Palin and Trump identity. Where is 2012 right now? The Karl Roves of the world think they are saving the republic by pushing for a mealy-mouthed devout Christian for the GOP. The Democratic party thinks that this country belongs to them and that we all just live in it. But the day is coming when a genuine leader from outside the establishment will withstand the media and personal onslaught from the left and right. Is that person Donald Trump? It may very well be.”