Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Donald Disrupts DC

Donald Trump in February 2009Image via Wikipedia
Jay Cost has this to say about The Donald's appearance on the the Today Show:
Donald Trump going after Obama on the Today Show strikes me as a big deal. A lot of the attention from the various Trump interviews has been directed at his unsubstantiated comments about Obama’s birth certificate. However, I think there is another angle here worth considering. Put those comments aside and listen to what is a very clear, direct critique of President Obama’s tenure.
I hate what’s happening to the country…What we’re doing is unbelievable. If you look at what’s going on, where our jobs are disappearing to foreign countries…You’re going paying 7 or 8 dollars a gallon for your oil soon.

I blame a lot (on Obama). It’s been a terrible presidency…

What’s going on with this country, the way we’re spending money like drunken sailors, we are just absolutely…going to destroy our own freedom...

If there is a shutdown, I think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the United States. He’s the one who has to get people together. I’m a deal man. I’ve made hundreds and hundreds of deals and transactions. He’s never done deals before…How’s he going to corral all these people?...You don’t have the right leader…

I think Obamacare is a total disaster…This country is going to hell.
Much more at the link above. Cost's observations support James Poulos's comments at that Trump is the final proof that the political class has failed:
Trump is suddenly "winning" as a political figure because the political class has failed. The authority of our political institutions is weak and getting weaker; it's not that Americans 'lack trust' in them, as blue ribbon pundits and sociologists often lament, so much as they lack respect for the people inside them.

There is a lot of crazy surrounding the Trump phenomenon -- some excellent, some embarrassing. But the massive fact dominating it all is that never before has such a famous outsider jumped into national politics with such an aggressive critique of a sitting president and the direction of the country -- and never before has the response been so immediate and positive.
Trump's effectiveness is a function of a weak field of conservative candidates, but arguably the field of Republican candidates is usually weak. You'd have to go back to Ronald Reagan to find otherwise. It is surprising that Trump seems to have gained traction where others have not. While I agree with Jay Cost that the birther angle does more to discredit Trump in the long run, I think it's fascinating that Trump is both willing and able to "go there". When Obama was still a candidate his messianic marketing message thwarted such attacks, but now that he's President and the nation is struggling that marketing can't protect him. President Obama is a victim of his own ability.

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