Donald Trump continues to suck all the oxygen out of the GOP presidential contest. In the wake of the GOP debate he attacked tough questions coming from Fox News Megyn Kelly by saying "There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever.” " [video]. Many concluded that his was a reference to Kelly's menstrual cycle. It's a line that you just don't cross. But the Donald went there and his supporters leapt to his defense and also attacked Kelly who is a highly rated Fox News anchor.
Do Trump and his supporters really think such attacks would play well against Hillary Clinton? Wasn't Megyn Kelly simply doing her job by asking the tough questions that would be asked of Trump by the mainstream media if he were the GOP nominee? It was the job of Fox News anchors to ask the tough questions NOW of ALL those on the debate stage. Go back and look at the transcript, they all got tough questions. And in the end, Trump had more time to explain himself than all the other debaters. He has no reason to complain, let alone make vulgar personal attacks.
The appeal of Trump's candidacy is that he's willing to take on everybody and fight. He represents the anger that so many of his supporters feel towards more business as usual style of politics. But the kind of attack Trump engaged in revealed certain character qualities that are not suitable for a successful presidential candidate. Especially a Republican.
A person making rational decisions on whom to support in this early part of the contest might conclude that Trump isn't the right candidate. But Trump supporters aren't acting rationally. They are motivated by anger for a system that continues to take them for granted. It's not in the interest of the GOP to alienate them further by being seen to throw Trump out, even if such a thing were possible. They will have to be left to come to their conclusions as to whether to Dump the Donald.
Perhaps when they've had time to dig a little deeper and find out who Trump is and where he's come from they will reach the same conclusion as I have that Trump is unsuitable.
Trump/Perot. A History
Trump supporters have shown an amazing ability to forgive The Donald's past mistakes. They won't forgive NJ Governor Chris Christie for hugging Obama at a pivotal moment in the 2012 election or forgive Speaker of the House John Boehner for not defunding ObamaCare but Trump's past doesn't seem to bother them. Here's a few highlights:
Trump has been all over the map politically. From Politico:
In 1999, Trump quit the Republican Party, saying “I just believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.” Trump was then conferring with political consultant Roger Stone about a possible presidential run as a candidate of the Reform Party, the political organization founded by his fellow billionaire Ross Perot.Trump has been on both sides of every issue. Does anyone really know where he stands? Can you trust him if he is elected to be consistent with what he says now?
In 2001, Trump quit the Reform Party to register as a Democrat. “It just seems that the economy does better under Democrats,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2004. The Clintons attended Trump’s Palm Beach wedding to former model Melania Knaus in 2005. The following year Trump gave $26,000 to the House and Senate campaign committees.
By the late aughts, though, Trump’s political giving had started shifting back to the GOP, and in 2009 Trump registered again as a Republican. Two years later he registered as an independent while contemplating a third-party bid.
Let's put aside his past flirtations with Ross Perot. It's his connections with the Clintons that trouble me more. In the same election year that Chris Christie was giving Obama the bear hug Trump was praising Hillary Clinton.
Trump supporters need to ask themselves this question: If Donald Trump ends up going third party or turning off a large chunk of potential GOP voters who benefits? Could it be that Trump is a stalking horse for Hillary?
Better Options for Angry GOP Voters
If the GOP debate in Cleveland proved one thing it was that voters have a plethora of candidates to choose from. Before Trump got in the race, disenfranchised GOP voters flocked to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Perhaps they can do so again. Carly Fiorina is another take no prisoners candidate who doesn't make the obvious mistakes that Trump has. So many other choices. Patience, time and a multitude of better options may cure most Trumpers of the disease.
A Call to Patriots: United We Win
To win in the general election we will need a united GOP. Towards that goal everyone must be willing to take the pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee. Trump wouldn't take that pledge because he doesn't put winning above his personal ego. Even if the GOP nominee is Jeb Bush he'll do a better job than Hillary. But if you're not a Jeb fan, get out there and work hard for Carly. Or whoever. But in the end, you must be willing to accept and support the decision of the voters in the nominating process. Otherwise, why should others pledge to support YOUR preferred candidate?
If you are a patriot who loves this country you must know how important it is to replace Obama with a president who won't be Obama's third term. You may have to put aside your personal preference to achieve that. Isn't that goal worth some sacrifice?
P.S. I rewatched portions of the debate on the rebroadcast Sunday evening. Anyone who says only Trump got the hard questions wasn't watching the same debate. Here's the transcript. Go back and review the questions. Trump's complaint has no basis in fact!
UPDATE: Trump Helping Bush for Hillary?
Above I discuss the very real possibility that Trump is a stalking horse for Hillary. But what if part of that plan is that Trump helps Jeb Bush by taking the focus off Jeb as frontrunner and drawing away fire from the other candidates that might have hit Jeb instead? Hillary may find Jeb an easier candidate to roll as members of the Bush family tend to pull punches when it comes to Democrats!
UPDATE: When Will Trump Bubble Burst?
The Washington Post has this interesting analysis of bubbles for other early GOP leaders.