Trump not just a danger to GOP; he’s also an opportunity

(AP)

(AP)

Over the weekend, George Will asked half-seriously whether Donald Trump was really an operative for the Democratic Party, recruited to make the GOP look bad.

“Ask yourself this thought experiment,” Will told Fox viewers. “If Donald Trump were a Democratic mole placed in the Republican Party to disrupt things, how would his behavior be any different?”

I understand that point of view. Trump’s candidacy can indeed become an albatross for the party, as his recent comments on the character of Mexican immigrants demonstrate. The remarks have forced Univision, NBC, NASCAR and Macy’s to end their business relationships with Trump, and have put Republican politicians on the defensive. As GOP chairman Reince Preibus put it, Trump’s statement was “not helpful” for a party that is struggling to present itself as comfortable with diversity.

Yet that statement by Preibus is itself part of the larger problem. You’ve got a candidate running under the Republican label who condemns millions of Mexican-Americans, both legal and illegal, as drug couriers and rapists, and the strongest criticism that the party chairman can offer is a statement that it’s “not helpful”? Really?

Other elements of the conservative movement, including its media and base, have been outright supportive and even celebratory. “I like Donald Trump,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said last week. “I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth.”

Wes Pruden, editor emeritus at The Washington Times, defends Trump by saying that he “has been taking a beating for saying accurate but impolitic things that nearly everybody is thinking.” At Breitbart, conservatives are being told that “What’s odd about this situation is that objective evidence proves that Trump is correct, and there seems to be a politically correct machine pushing all these politicians to attack the truth.”

“Instead of an embarrassment, Donald might just be the great white hope the GOP is looking for,” they’re writing at RedState.

Given such support for Trump’s comments, not to mention polls in which Trump now comes in second in Iowa, New Hampshire and nationwide, it’s undeniable that at least some of the GOP’s resistance to immigration reform is motivated by racism and nativism. But the situation represents opportunity as well as danger for the party, and some of its would-be leaders seem to grasp that.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry, for example, have already condemned Trump’s comments. Bush has been particularly forceful, which isn’t surprising given that he is married to an immigrant from Mexico. He called Trump’s remarks “extraordinarily ugly” and said they were “way out of the (party) mainstream.”

“We’re going to win when we’re hopeful and optimistic and big and broad rather than ‘errrrr, grrrr,’ just angry all the time. This is an exaggerated form of that, and there is no tolerance for it.”

That’s exactly right. Trump represents the worst of the Republican Party, and he appeals to the worst in the party.  As I’ve noted before, he takes those elements of the GOP message that are only hinted at and he makes them explicit. And he’s going to keep on doing so as long as he gets applause, including in debates that begin next month.

By standing up to Trump publicly, Bush, Rubio and others may alienate the Limbaugh wing of the GOP base.  They may lose votes for it. Yet for the party’s sake and for their own hopes in the general election, that’s a risk that they have no choice but to take.  If the party has no tolerance for Trump’s remarks, it must show no tolerance. If those remarks are indeed out of the party mainstream, the party mainstream has to repudiate them.

In short, Trump is a danger to the GOP only to the degree that he is allowed to define it.

Reader Comments 0

1145 comments
DawgDadII
DawgDadII

"You’ve got a candidate running under the Republican label who condemns millions of Mexican-Americans, both legal and illegal, as drug couriers and rapists"


Interesting. I've heard numerous replays of what Trump said, and I didn't hear any of what you report he said.


Peachs
Peachs

Cruz is amazing, he frames the reality and puts the debate in lala land as if that was the question asked. It is almost like he has brokered a deal with the interviewer to not go there and go with him to wherever he leads him. Since the court has five independent judges we need to have term limits. No matter the question that was his answer Sunday. We now have an inoperative Congress that needs to tell a Supreme Court how to work but the Supreme Court needs to keep their hands off the inoperative Congress while it destroys the government as we know it today. Next to a military takeover this may be as scary as it gets with these nuts.

Peachs
Peachs

I heard Trump compared to Liberace today, all show and ridiculous but raking in the money. They kind of have that hair thing going too.

Peachs
Peachs

I think the Republicans are using Trump as a lighting rod to right the wrong of that ridiculous primary where they came out screaming to hang minorities and how stupid everybody was but them.  Now the attention is on Trump not them who in a choir sang the bigot national anthem and now want people in the general election to forget. It is like one of those slick talking lynch mob ranch owners in the cowboy movies buying drinks and getting the crowd worked up to hang Hors Cartwright who raped a nun and going after the mayor's sister next. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

always blame the poor and less fortunate for their plight. always. the only victims are the ones trying to make a buck off them.

Bulls_3y3
Bulls_3y3

@consumedconsumer  America spends billions a year on the poor & less fortunate...  Wrong, America is the victim...

Ga PT3
Ga PT3

@consumedconsumer The guy pays union scale NY isn't cheap.  Mexico doesn't seem to care anything about their people nor does the Catholic church which pretty much is it there.  Another words its our problem.  Putting a strain on already strained services.  Talk about getting nothing.  Then bring China into the picture.  Those people have little protection for their workers.  Getting a dollar a day?  It's not fair of course but consider China and Mexico.  Those people probably don't want to leave home. Catholic church talks a good game but when it comes to offending their contributors they don't surface even with their own congregants.

kitty72
kitty72

@Doggone_GA @Bulls_3y3 @consumedconsumer 



What do you think? just like healthcare. Let them die, starve, whatever. The good Christians do not really care, but they just don't want to pay anything to help unless it is to make them feel all warm and squishy and get a tax deduction for it.

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

Does anyone ever take a step back and say "I could write all the blogs today based-  every "free thinker" out there is so incredibly boring and predictable.  It's like watching a little league game where everyone's kids are just so perfect and the other team is just so evil.  FRE and FNM were just as corrupt and moronic as Bear and Lehman combined. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Johnson_%28politics%29

 On queue is one trick pony LT-  ask for the fourth, fifth, or sixth  time like some bespectacled, droning professor or actually go raise capital, start a company, employ people, pay them more than market, pay excesses of taxes, wildly succeed and rub everyone's face in it.  Until then u b yet another worthless talking head. 


If you have some type of handicap that prevents you from doing such I apologize. 

Normd
Normd

All I know for sure is, this doesn't seem like the way to earn the Hispanic vote...

Normd
Normd

Could be Trump is a democrat mole, put there to make the GOP hopefuls look dumb and they are falling into line nicely...

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@DownInAlbany from the link: 'There are few things that benefit a Republican candidate in the current environment of left-wing bullying more than getting fired and boycotted for something he’s said."


LOL . . . always the victims . . .

LeninTime
LeninTime

@DownInAlbany 

And now make way for the - utterly predictable - endless stream of "has a point" garbage from the mainstream media.

Don't anybody try to tell me these aren't all carefully orchestrated spectacles.

fedup52
fedup52

Trump has found his Willie Horton.  He will run with it till the sun sets.  The rubes will follow like the mice they are.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@td1234 

Same thing with Greece. To blame the banks and not the Greek government is just plane stupid. 

***
I'll ask you now for the third time: 

Whose responsibility is it to establish the creditworthiness of borrowers?
Is it that of the borrowers themselves or the creditors?

It's a pretty fundamental question.

fedup52
fedup52

@LeninTime @td1234 RW Greek government in bed with the money grubbing banks.  Wonder how much of it was kick backs.

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

Did I see earlier that td had a mancrush on Ann Coulter!  

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Numbers_R_Us

Let's not insult the transgendered; let's please retire the nasty "Mann Coulter" slurs, shall we?

straker
straker

Godless - "a great american"


A Great American (fill in the blank)

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

In all the excitement yesterday, we neglected to commemorate the birthday of George W. Bush (aka 43), a Great American.
(Incidentally, a date shared with your very own GH).

JamVet
JamVet

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

GH, in my estimation, you are more of a great American than that bungling, deadly incompetent of a politician and his cabal of henchmen and sadists... 


LeninTime
LeninTime

@td1234 

I don't mean to be mean, but it's hard not to have to conclude that you are of the dumbest rube variety who needs false narratives to make complex phenomena understandable to him such as the underlying causes of the mortgage crisis. 

Hard not to conclude that when you refuse to address the simple question of who stood to benefit - and who actually did benefit - from the sub-prime loans and secondly, whose responsibility is it generally to verify the creditworthiness of borrowers, the creditors or the borrowers themselves?

td1234
td1234

@LeninTime @td1234 Oh please. Until the government got involved with the CRA and other regulations that took the risk away from the banks, the standards on people to purchase a home made sure banks did not lose money. Once the government took risk away (changed the rules) then the banks came up with ways to increase their profits. 


So yes, not to blame the government and to lay the blame on banks is making progressives look like fools. 


Same thing with Greece. To blame the banks and not the Greek government is just plane stupid. 

TBS
TBS

And the congregation said "AMEN"

LeninTime
LeninTime

@td1234 @LeninTime 

To blame the banks and not the Greek government is just plane stupid. 

**
Plane stupid  Airplane! 

JamVet
JamVet

@LeninTime @td1234 

Like many out there on the fringes of American thought, he has concocted his own parallel universe.

Replete with it's own language, history, science and religion...

KUTGF
KUTGF

This morning, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the committee, sent a letter to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), making the case that it “it now appears that someone who was given access to the Select Committee’s documents leaked doctored information to the press in order to make unsubstantiated allegations against Secretary Clinton. “   http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/benghazi-committee-springs-curious-leak?cid=eml_mra_20150706

__________________


My oh my... GOP lies?  Say it isn't so.  LOL

KUTGF
KUTGF

@bu2 Right!!!  LOL.  Politico corrected the claims from its article because he "lied" vs an anonymous source.  But hey the guppies will swallow anything in their Hillary hatred.   

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF 

By all appearances, Cummings has a very good point. From his letter:

* First, the source claimed that Secretary Clinton wrote “Thanks, I’m pushing to WH” in response to an email from Mr. Blumenthal on October 10. In fact, she did not make that statement in response to this email.  Secretary Clinton was responding to a completely different email more than a week earlier, on October 1.

* Second, the source claimed that Secretary Clinton was responding to a suggestion from Mr. Blumenthal that Philippe Reines circulate links to four Media Matters articles that refuted the way the “right-wing media” was covering Republican statements about the Benghazi attacks.  In fact, Secretary Clinton was responding to an email from Mr. Blumenthal forwarding an article from Salon.com reporting that Republicans were planning to claim inaccurately during the presidential debates that the White House had advance knowledge about the Benghazi attacks and failed to act on it.  The article included no reference to Mr. Reines at all.

* Third, the source claimed that Secretary Clinton’s email saying “Thanks, I’m pushing to WH” was not turned over by the State Department. In fact, that email was turned over to the Select Committee by the State Department on February 13, 2015, marked with Bates number STATE-SCB0045548-SCB0045550. The Select Committee has had that email for four months.

THIS is what you're all butt hurt over?

Doesn't take much.

bu2
bu2

@KUTGF @bu2 

You'll swallow anything in your Hillary love.  There's no particular reason to believe one over the other. One's anonymous.  One's a Hillary attack dog.

bu2
bu2

@KUTGF 

You really trust someone who writes this:

"only the latest in a reckless pattern of selective Republican leaks and mischaracterizations of evidence relating to the Benghazi attacks."


Noone reliable has said the story is untrue.  Its just political talking points.