Friday, June 19, 2015

Trumped!




If Reince Priebus is having a hard time reining in the Koch Brothers, he now has the $8 billion man to contend with.  The Human Hair Piece has officially launched his campaign, producing a one-page financial disclosure that has already been called into question.  Whether his net worth is $8.7 billion (as he states) or $4.1 billion (as Forbes states), he is still a very rich man, despite four filed bankruptcies over the last 25 years.  Obviously, "it worked out very well for him."

This isn't the first time he has declared himself a candidate for President, in 2000 he briefly launched a bid for the Reform Party nominee, claiming that Pat Buchanan was only in it for the $12 million in federal matching dollars the party qualified for after Ross Perot elevated the Reformists to national contention.  The Donald didn't need to waste his time with such paltry figures, he could generate all the cash he needed.  But, his bid didn't go very far and Pat ended up representing the Reform Party in the general election, scoring a miserable 0.43 per cent of the vote.

At the time, Trump was preaching moderation, but in 2011 he joined the fringe of the GOP in declaring war on Obama's short-form birth certificate, claiming it to be a hoax.  This became the corner stone of his presumptive bid for the 2012 GOP nomination until Obama produced his long-form birth certificate that finally quelled the birther movement.  Donald persevered a little longer though, claiming that if it wasn't for his great act of civic patriotism, Obama would have never produced the official certificate.  However, this abrupt reversal rang hollow and his poll numbers fell off considerably, leading him to drop his campaign before it even started.

Will Donald actually go through with it this time?  Hard to say, because when it actually comes to bankrolling a campaign Donald gets cold feet.  Could it be that he simply doesn't have that kind of cash on hand?  That all his assets are tied up in his dubious ventures, and that he would either have to take credit or go through the ornery job of having a SuperPac created in his name and be forced to solicit funds like all the other candidates?  This takes a sizable effort, and Donald likes to strike deals quickly.  He has never shown much patience for the long con.  Even his Celebrity Apprentice was shortened to 8 episodes this year.

So far, the media doesn't seem to be taking him too seriously.  Even Fox News poked fun at his campaign launch party, and he immediately became fodder for late night television comedians.  But, as they say in the biz, any press is good press.  Once again, Trump gets to soak up the limelight, offering his brash view on domestic and foreign affairs.

He called the United States a "dumping ground," with all the riff-raff coming across our borders to take advantage of the free hand-outs.  He lashed out at Latinos in a way that probably even made the hair on the back of Ted Cruz's neck stand up.  Mostly, he belittled our economy, which he has prospered from enormously, boasting of his net wealth and real estate transactions in recent years.  He's even managed to buy back some of the companies from his last bankruptcy in 2009.  Not that he ever lost much personally in this regard, thanks to very lenient bankruptcy laws that favor the rich.

This is a guy who has gamed the system for billions.  He makes the 'welfare surfer" look like a piece of tar washed up on the shore.  While Sean Hannity made Jason Greenslate  into the national symbol of the "moocher class,"  Bill O'Reilly lauded Trump's entry into the race, granting him an exclusive interview the same day, in which he allowed the Donald full room to vent on his GOP opponents, as well as Obama and Hillary, in the ten-minute harangue.

But, Donald has a marvelous way of talking over any criticism.  It is hard to get a word in edgewise with the grand master of mischief.  He immediately cuts any interlocutor short when the person has the audacity to question his motives, making it virtually impossible to interview him.  Imagine what it is going to be like with him in a debate?

This has to be giving Reince Priebus nightmares.  The RNC chairman can only hope that Donald fails to generate enough of a groundswell in the straw polls to qualify for the first scheduled debate in August.  But, Donald will generate so much publicity in the weeks ahead that he may very well shoot to the top of the GOP polls given the crowded field.  It's not like any candidate has distinguished himself or herself at this point.

This is a tough blow for a political party that wants desperately to identify itself with the middle class.  Trump may see himself as a "job creator" but his bankruptcies have ruined countless lives, as he shed employees the way he does dandruff.  His record not only makes prime fodder for late night comedians but for political opponents as well.  But, can any of the other GOP candidates really stand up to him.  More likely, they will find themselves browbeaten like the contestants on Celebrity Apprentice, finding themselves forced on the defensive.  I guess they can take some tips from Leeza Gibbons who won this past season.

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