Wednesday, September 02, 2015

All Trumped Out

Although the remarkably tepid Jeb Bush campaign finally going on the attack with a cleverly-edited televised attack ad aimed at Donald Trump does raise the pulse of an otherwise anemic Republican presidential race, at this point I'm too Trumped out to care.

From a strategic-messaging standpoint the video packs a pretty mean political wallop into one minute and twenty-two seconds.

Give it a watch if you haven't seen it, it's effective but I think poor Jeb! may have waited a little long to throw a punch back at the reigning Republican schoolyard bully.

But I can certainly sympathize with Bush, these days everywhere you look you see that hair; it's getting hard to escape the Donald.

Last week I came home and pulled the August 28th issue of The Hollywood Reporter out of my mailbox looking forward to my weekly dose of entertainment industry news, only to find Trump's face on the cover.

For a couple days I just read around the Q&A interview he did with Janice Min, between Trump's racist immigrant bashing and 19th century misogynistic rantings against women, I figured, What more do I really need to know about this guy?

But curiosity eventually got the better of me and I reluctantly read the seven page interview. While it did reveal Trump to be quite well-informed on the inner workings of the media industry and his own appeal to certain segments of the public, he still comes off as a conceited asshole who's completely intoxicated with the idea of himself.

In print, like he does on television, he's fond of making sweeping, pedantic generalizations without offering a shred of proof or fact to back his claims up; his arrogance simply makes the assumption that if he says it, people will take it as truth.

The ceaseless bragging about every celebrity under the sun being his "friend" gets tiresome too.

                              Trump's new BFF?       [Photo -]
Mention virtually any celebrity or well-known business figure in Trump's presence and his inevitable reply is that said celebrity is "...a very good friend of mine." 

Which Trump said of Tom Brady during the recent THR interview after searching his desk and producing a Post-It note with "Tom Brady's New Cell#" written on it.

Case closed!

Fortunately Mike Taibbi brought a dose of reality to the current Trump phenomenon in an article on the August 27th edition of Rolling Stone appropriately titled 'Inside the GOP Clown Car'.

For his latest RS piece, Taibbi took to the road to visit Iowa to get up close and personal with some of the GOP presidential candidates trailing miserably in Trump's wake.

In excruciating detail he sheds light on the various ways in which everyone from Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry to Lindsey Graham have made complete jackasses of themselves by abandoning real policy debate in an effort to try and show voters their own version of what Perry calls "Trumpism".

As Taibbi observed, "There is nothing you can do to go too far, a fact proved, if not exactly understood, by the madman, Trump."
Remember Huckabee's "Oven" comment?

Or, as Taibbi pointed out, Graham at a campaign event assuring potential voters, "If I'm president, we're going back to Iraq."

But try as they might, none of the other members of the GOP Clown Car seem able to outdo Trump's totally off-the-reservation immigration plans.

Forensic experts near the scene near Parndorf, Austria
The Donald has already driven a wedge between Hispanic Americans and the Republican Party with his constant vilifying of illegal immigrants.

But we rarely hear his comments on the 71 immigrants found suffocated inside the back of a truck (pictured left) parked on the A4 highway near the border between Austria and Hungary.

Trump is all too eager to characterize Mexicans as 'rapists', but can you recall hearing him talk about any of the complex socioeconomic underlying causes that are driving thousands of people from the Mid-East, Africa, Central America and Asia to literally risk their lives to gain entry to Europe or the United States?

Trump's rationale for walls, mass deportations and anti-immigrant hysteria seem rooted in his unquenchable thirst for publicity and willingness to pander to what The Wire, Treme and Show Me a Hero creator / writer David Simon called "...a significant plurality who would prefer to have two separate Americas." in an interview in the August 27th edition of Rolling Stone.  

But I get the sense Trump's shtick is starting to wear thin.

My personal opinion is that the Republican establishment has been biding it's time with Donald Trump, letting him wander around unscripted with no filter; saying virtually anything that comes to mind.

Personally I think the GOP has a strategy in place to deal with Trump. If you think about it, why should they spend campaign resources answering every little soundbite that comes out of Trump's mouth over the course of a summer before 2016?

As we know, Jeb! has raised millions and if you notice, he waited until September to roll out his attack ad on Trump - click the link above and watch it a couple times.

It's almost as if the GOP has been quietly biding their time, letting Trump prattle on about his "policy positions", letting him get comfortable (and cocky) with his double-digit lead; which, from a political strategic perspective, is meaningless at this point in the 2016 presidential race.

The Bush attack ad is probably the first in what's going to be a carefully rolled-out media campaign designed to slowly cull Trump off from the Republican Party and isolate him out in the wasteland of quasi-Libertarian / extremist voters who are attending Trump campaign rallies.

At least the ones not being paid $50 by the Trump campaign to show up.

Watch what happens as Congress returns to Washington to start a critical fall session on Capitol Hill.

Watch how the tone of Republican political television ads start to change as the new fall TV and cable season as well as college and professional football, playoff baseball, the NBA and professional hockey start bringing more Americans back to their television sets as the days grow shorter and the temperatures cool.

Don't think the Koch brothers, the Sheldon Adelson's and the other wealthy conservative backers who've pledged billions to the GOP presidential races have been sitting around this summer doing nothing; they've got a plan to deal with the Donald.

The Bush attack ad is just the first of many, and I'm willing to bet the Republican presidential debate set for September 16th at the Reagan Library is going to be very different from the Fox debate; especially for Trump.

The real Republican establishment is actually on the same page as many Americans, including yours truly.

We're all Trumped out.

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