Friday, April 29, 2011

This Blogger Bids: "3 No-Trump!"

Mention Donald Trump to any stand-up comedian — e.g., Bill Maher, Jon Stewart (even though he "sits" at an anchor desk), and Jerry Seinfeld — and they all echo Seinfeld's recent comment about The Trumpster:

Let me say this about Donald Trump. I love Donald Trump, all comedians love Donald Trump. If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump... God's gift to comedy.

Seinfeld is embroiled in a current "feud" with The Trumpster because the comedian canceled an appearance at a St. Jude's Hospital fundraiser that was organized by Eric Trump (third child of the marriage of Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump). Seinfeld raised The Trumpster's ire because the comedian's reason for backing out of the event was The Trumpster's Birther campaign.

Well, Trumpster: bring it on with this blog! You are a loudmouth buffoon and a joke. You have Dumbo support because they are... D-U-M-B! If this is a (fair & balanced) bad hair day, so be it.

[Vannevar Bush HyperlinkBracketed NumbersDirectory]
[1] Donald Trump's Birther Certificate
[2] TNR Editorial On Donald Trump
[3] Donald Trump's Political "Machine"

[1]Back To Directory
Boulder Fishwrap
Certificate Of Live Birther
By John Sherffius

Click on image to enlarge. Ω

[John Sherffius began drawing editorial cartoons for the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper at UCLA. After two years of working as a freelance artist, after graduation, he was hired by the Ventura County Star in Southern California as a graphic artist and gradually worked his way into editorial cartooning for the paper. In 1998, he was hired by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as the newspaper's editorial cartoonist, a job he held until 2003 when he quit the paper over editorial differences. Sherffius bridled at editorial insistence that he tone down cartoons attacking Republicans. Sherffius then went to work for the Boulder Daily Camera where his cartoons appear regularly and are syndicated nationally by the Copley News Service. Sherffius won the 2008 Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning.]

Copyright © 2011 John Sherffius/Boulder Daily Camera
[2]Back To Directory
[x TNR]
Liberals: Don’t Even Consider Gloating About Donald Trump
By Editors

Tag Cloud of the following article

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Now that Donald Trump appears on the verge of launching a presidential campaign, it is worth reflecting on the meaning of this low moment in American political history. Trump is a clown and a buffoon, and the odds of him winning even one Republican caucus or primary appear slim. But there is no denying that Trump has managed to tap into something genuinely worrisome in American politics. Democrats may be tempted to take pleasure in the fact that Trump will likely push the GOP presidential field to the right, and thereby help Obama in 2012. But this would be sheer myopia, and any delight over Trump’s arrival on the political scene is entirely misplaced. The Trump ascendancy calls not for glee, but for serious concern about the state of our country.

It’s true that the media erred in awarding Trump such a large spotlight—did all the cable news networks really have to cover his press conference on Wednesday?—but, at this point, the Trump phenomenon does not seem to be a mere media creation. His popularity (he currently leads in several polls) can no longer be denied. So what is Trump’s appeal? Why do his message and vulgar personality resonate with such a significant percentage of Americans? Trump’s embrace of birtherism has been the most widely discussed aspect of his rise. But this only scratches the surface of the Trump phenomenon.

What Trump actually stands for is an exaggerated sense of victimhood. This is the theme that unites his personal style with the political views he has thus far expressed. Are you tired of being pushed around? Are you tired of our country being pushed around? Trump’s political acuity lies in his ability to take these grievances and turn them into politics. His foreign policy views in essence consist of a pledge to bully other nations. China is “decimating our country.” OPEC is imperiling the economy. And ungrateful Libyans and Iraqis are trying to build a society from oil that is rightfully ours. (“We won the war. We take over the oil fields. We use the oil.”) When Bill O’Reilly, in an interview with Trump, seemed taken aback by the idea that we could simply force OPEC or China to do our bidding, Trump appeared surprised that anyone could view international relations as anything more than a contest of machismo. “The messenger is the key,” Trump told O’Reilly. “If you have the right messenger and they know how to deliver the message... you’re going to scare them, absolutely.”

Trump’s thinly veiled accusation that President Obama benefited from affirmative action when he applied to college derives from the same theme. This time the victims aren’t Americans as a whole, they are white Americans; but the message—of anger, resentment, and victimhood—is identical.

America is currently engaged in three wars. The country faces major economic challenges. Global warming is continuing apace. There is no chance any of these issues can be solved by yelling at foreign countries, or stirring up anger at Iraqis or Libyans or minority applicants to elite colleges. Donald Trump has appointed himself spokesman for some of the nastiest impulses in American politics, and he seems to have a following. The sooner the Republican mainstream rejects him, the better. And we liberals should be cheering them along as they do. Ω

[The Editors include Editor-In-Chief Richard Just, Editor-at-Large Franklin Foer, Literary Editor Leon Wieseltier, Executive Editor Rachel Morris, Managing Editor Jeremy Kahn, Senior Editors Jonathan Chait, Jonathan Cohn, Ruth Franklin, John B. Judis, Adam Kirsch, Noam Scheiber, Jason Zengerle, and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Martin Peretz.]

Copyright © 2011 The New Republic
[3]Back To Directory
[x TNR]
Trump’s Team
By James Downie

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Over the past few weeks, many people have dismissed Donald Trump’s possible presidential campaign as a joke. But don’t tell that to the people volunteering behind the scenes—an eclectic crew of young enthusiasts, old Reagan hands, and one especially slimy and notorious political operative.

I spent the past week making phone calls to people who are hosting Trump events in various states, as well as combing through other news sources, in order to try and answer the question: Who exactly is orchestrating Trump’s proto-campaign? Here is the picture I was able to assemble of the Trump political organization.

The two groups behind the Trump movement are Should Trump Run? and Draft Trump 2012. Michael Cohen, Trump’s special counsel, along with another Trump friend, businessman Stewart Rahr, founded the first organization, which took the lead in promoting a potential Trump candidacy last fall. Cohen has met with a number of Iowa Republicans and arranged Trump’s speech at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner this coming June. But, since then—at least partly because he may have already violated campaign finance laws—his role in the campaign has shrunk. Trump’s stops in Nevada, New Hampshire, and Florida have all been organized through others, including Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff.

Recently, Draft Trump 2012 has taken up the charge. The titular head of the group is Nick McLaughlin, a former Marine and Iraq veteran who has no previous connection to Trump, nor any political experience. Beyond McLaughlin, though, the people who’ve joined Draft Trump 2012 are all veteran Republican activists. National political director Lynn Krogh, who joined after this year’s CPAC (at which Trump spoke), is a former executive director of the Young Republicans and served as George Pataki’s deputy spokesperson. (Because of McLaughlin’s inexperience, Krogh handles much of the actual politicking.) The group’s new Illinois co-coordinators, Eric Johnson and Michael LaPidus, also have Young Republican ties: Johnson recently served as co-chairman of the Illinois Young Republicans, and LaPidus chaired this year’s Young Republicans meeting in Chicago. Reagan vets are the other core constituents of the volunteers. Trump’s southern regional director, Kenny Klinge, was the southern political director for Reagan; western states coordinator James Stockdale was the California state director; and Oregon co-coordinator (and rockabilly legend) Jerry Naylor was national director of special events in 1980.

The biggest name, however, is Roger Stone, the veteran Republican operative who is only too happy to be described as a “hit man.” After getting his start performing dirty tricks for Richard Nixon, Stone worked as eastern political director for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 and 1984 campaigns. He most recently made headlines when he took credit for tipping off the FBI to Eliot Spitzer’s dates with call girls, less than a year after he allegedly made threatening phone calls to Spitzer’s father. He first worked for Trump as a lobbyist for his casinos before chairing the real estate mogul’s quixotic bid for the 2000 Reform Party nomination, the closest Trump had previously come to an actual campaign. Trump has denied any connection between Stone (who he once called “a stone-cold loser”) and his campaign, but it was Stone’s name that repeatedly surfaced when I spoke to sources close to Draft Trump 2012 about recruiting other Reagan veterans. Stone has also served as the contact person for groups interested in hosting Trump, including the Chamber of Commerce in Nashua, New Hampshire, whom Trump will speak before in May.

When I talked to him, Stone neither denied nor confirmed any official association with Trump, but was happy to muse upon his appeal: “He brings something significant to the race, which is celebrity. He brings a certain size.” And indeed, those staffers I spoke with, as well as leaders of Tea Party and Republican groups who have hosted or will be hosting Trump, take his candidacy seriously. “He’s very genuine,” says the head of one Republican women’s group who is co-hosting Trump’s visit to Las Vegas this week. “With Donald Trump, what you see is what you get.” For them, a Trump campaign is no joke. Ω

[James Downie is a reporter-researcher at The New Republic. Previously, he worked at Foreign Policy, Time, and Campus Progress. Downie graduated from Columbia University, where he edited its undergraduate news blog, The Bwog.]

Copyright © 2011 The New Republic

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