Ah, yes. It's going to be a great day. Today is Free Comic Book Day, I got Thor out of the way last night so I can babysit and watching the current version of My Little Pony (I find it sad that, of two corporately produced projects intended to sell merchandise, the one with potential phones it in and the other with no real potential actually works to be funny and entertaining), I'm hanging with mornblade , the Neil Gaiman Doctor Who is on tonight and promises to have mermaids, and...
Donald Trump is getting blasted in the polls! 53 to 25 Obama! Over a 2 to 1 margin!
I knew right away what Trump was doing. This is basically the Fred Thompson approach that we saw in 2008. I didn't see how R's fell for it then, and I don't see how they fell for it again. Here's Thompson's act -- Thompson wasn't a politician, but everyone knew who he was thanks to a TV presence. He started appearing on talk shows, basically complaining about current politics. This got him his following, because the people reacting were complaining about the same things he was. And all he had to do was complain.
There's one problem with this approach, though -- sooner or later, you have to say what you are working towards, not just what you want to avoid. As Thompson started actually establishing his platform, his support eroded. This threw the R's in a tizzy, because they didn't want McCain to be their nominee. Thompson actually espoused the outdated notions they preferred. Ironically, Huckabee was McCain's biggest rival (Romney had no support outside Mass., Nevada, and Utah. He was roadkill before he even got on the campaign trail). Huckabee, like Thompson, also preferred the party's rigid philosophy. The two split the traditionalist votes early on, and kept splitting them when Thompson refused to bow out. By the time he did, McCain had too many delegates for Huckabee to overcome and it was game over.
Thompson's numbers started to suffer when he stopped being a blank slate people could write on ("Oh, he's going to do this when he becomes President!") and started actually standing for something ("Wait...he's going to do WHAT as President?!?"). So when Trump started gaining in the polls, I sat back and waited. Trump's only competition was Palin. Her TV shows and such were to keep her name out there so that, in four years, she could formally announce her candidacy, and with her doing it independent of the R's support, they couldn't muzzle her like they did her and her daughter over the stupidity of abstinence-only education. But Palin is most open to attack when she is regarded as a politician instead of some outsider. She appeals to people with her straight talk, when it comes to doing things with the body politic like spin control, she's completely out of her depth. Sarcastic jackasses like me were doing more to disprove the idea that she helped motivate the Arizona Massacre than she did, her technique being to delete fucking everything and pretend she didn't do anything. It makes her look scared instead of no-nonsense and assertive, the things that built her following in the first place. Her biggest selling point, that she is not a professional politician, is also the very thing that keeps undercutting her momentum.
And this is why a guy who claims to know what's best for the economy despite filing bankruptcy three times and says China is our biggest economic enemy despite all his Trump fan items being made in China is considered a viable candidate. The hardliners in the R's want someone, ANYONE other than Palin, and not only do they have no one, they have no money, thanks to the "misspending" of Ron "License To" Steele, so whoever it is will either need to help bankroll his own campaign or have such a high Q score that branding the candidate in the public consciousness isn't necessary. And Trump just kept bitching about how things were, and people like me started praying he'd give some specifics soon so that his campaign would fall apart.
Well, that day didn't have to happen. Trump let it be known where his energies were focused. He appealed directly to the Glenn Beck loonies, demanding Obama cough up his birth certificate. Like the rooster thinking he was responsible for the sun rising, Trump took credit for Obama deciding he'd had enough and releasing the long form. This was actually the first misstep. Modern politics is not about standing up FOR something, but standing up TO something. When Obama released the long form birth certificate, he united two fronts into defending him. First were his regular supporters who felt (quite correctly) that this birth certificate bullshit was grounded in racism instead of Constitutional law. The second was from others who weren't interested, but saw this as humiliating and stupid and can't you just leave the guy alone. One group protected Obama, the other protected Obama's humanity, and there were a lot more of them than the dipshit birthers who couldn't get on Art Bell with their "proof". This created potential energy, millions of volts.
But then Obama did something Trump wasn't expecting -- he fired back. At the White House Correspondent's Dinner, Trump was there as a guest of the Washington Post (ass kissers). Obama took full advantage of the fact that he had the mic and Trump didn't. "No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?” (The first two were just general jokes, but I laughed out loud at the Biggie and Tupac gag.)
And, then, part two. The death of bin Laden. Not only does this get the very core group of "America! Fuck Yeah!" people that Trump and the R's want, but people remembered how, when Obama released his long form birth certificate, he commented that he had "other things to do." Like what? Ooooooooooooooh.
Trump is currently behind Huckabee in the polls within the margin of error, but of those polled, 68% said they don't trust him, so that is going to erode before you know it. Trump has now become shorthand in the American consciousness as a dope, someone to make fun of like Obama did. I don't usually make predictions so far out from election day, but this time? Trump should just give up his campaign now before he makes a bigger fool of himself. There's an old Polish proverb that says, "No matter how hard you throw a dead fish in the water, it still won't swim."