Thursday, September 3, 2015

The barbarity of it all




The Donald's latest Twitter victim is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had written a scathing editorial on Trump for the Washington Post.  It is what you would expect from the man who thinks his poll numbers justify any comments he makes on the campaign trail.  Kareem singled out Trump's bully tactics in his editorial, noting how Trump refuses to take any criticism from the press.  Even in Iowa, Trump banned the Des Moines Register from his campaign events after the paper called on him to drop out of the race.  Unfortunately, it seems to be working as it is Megyn Kelly and not Donald Trump who has fallen out of favor with hardcore Republicans.

This has emboldened Trump to go after virtually everyone.  He has even gone after the Pope in the weeks leading up to the American papal visit, saying he "would not tolerate any criticism of capitalism."  Yet, the most audacious statement was warning the Pope that ISIS is out to get him, as if to say the Pope should stay in the Vatican.  This is pretty amazing for a man who less than two years ago said he was as humble as the new Pope.

Trump had hoped to bully the President as well by joining Ted Cruz by the gates of the White House to rally Teabaggers against the Iran nuclear deal, but now that the President has more than enough Democrats to block any Congressional attempt to reject the treaty, it is unlikely Mitch McConnell will even call a vote on the treaty, making the rally a lost cause.

Abdul-Jabbar compared Trump to a "frathouse partier" whose buffoonery you enjoy until you wake up the next morning and find yourself sleeping with this guy.  Actually, it looks like Trump is channeling Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian media tycoon who controlled Italian politics for the better part of two decades. Trump himself has said he plans to be a two-term president.

Kareem figures voters will eventually see the light, but Jeb Bush is not taking any chances and has launched a series of attacks on Trump, accusing him of being a closet liberal.  Of course, it doesn't take much effort as CNN already released a 2004 interview with Wolf Blitzer, where Trump said, "I probably identify myself more as Democrat."   It doesn't seem the Teabaggers care what Donald Trump was before, they see him as the only one who can vocalize their sentiments on the campaign trail.

It is hard to see Jeb countering Trump's "barbarities," even in Spanish, as the Donald is the undisputed Twitter king of the Presidential primaries.  Everyone loves a juicy barb and your only recourse is to laugh it off or come up with one better, which so far Jeb hasn't done.  But, Jeb has to do something as his candidacy is tanking.

Chris Christie has similarly tried to take a page from the Trump playbook by shouting down a protester at a New Hampshire rally who had the audacity to quote him.  Of course, Christie has long shouted back at what he deems to be hecklers, unable to defend his positions.  At least, he doesn't kick them out of the room the way Trump did Jorge Ramos, so maybe there is an ounce of civility left in Big Chris.

However, this remains Trump's show and more people will probably remember the Donald's scrawling riposte than Kareem's editorial, assuming they even bother to read it.  With Trump you have to keep your responses to 140 characters or less.  The more caustic the better as this seems to be the only thing he understands.

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