In the wake of the John McCain fiasco, Donald Trump’s lead has risen to double digits. His bubble, like the so-called Bernie Bubble, refuses to burst, though MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes that there are suggestions that the ripple of outrage has just not yet been reflected in the polls.
So far, Trump has just bombastically insulted and lied his way past all opposition, in true Republican presidential candidate fashion. It’s fun to watch from the outside. As I argued before, they built that.
And if Barack Obama is not Reagan, and thankfully never aspired to be, Donald Trump is more than willing to take that soiled mantle upon himself:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2015
“@Chr:DonaldTrump reminds me of Reagan his first time.Everyone was like “is he for real” Yup! Libs hate him and make fun of him. IM ON BOARD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2015
The Des Moines Register, however, seemingly either doesn’t recognize Trump’s inner Reagan, or doesn’t think a Reagan redux is a great idea: they told Trump to not only apologize to John McCain but to drop out of the race for president.
Trump’s response, posted to Facebook, was typical: the editors of the Des Moines Register are “sophomoric” and mean to the guy who calls everybody names (poor Donald!):
I am not at all surprised by the Des Moines Register’s sophomoric editorial. It was issued immediately after the release of the ABC News/Washington Post poll showing me with 24% and an eleven-point lead over my nearest rival. As one of the most liberal newspapers in the United States, the poll results were just too much for them to bear. The Des Moines Register has lost much circulation, advertising, and power over the last number of years. They will do anything for a headline, and this poorly written “non-endorsement” got them some desperately needed ink.
On the campaign trail in Iowa, a state whose people I have truly gotten to know and love, I have been treated very badly by the Des Moines Register. They were uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest. They would rarely write the facts or report what really took place. They never captured the energy of each event and it is a constant battle with them by my representatives to get an accurate count of the large crowds I draw. They know the very impressive numbers and either reduce them or don’t report them at all. It is always wonderful to have the support of a newspaper, even a failing one, but this has only given me more motivation to fight harder in Iowa and Make America Great Again!
The results are anything but what the Republican establishment desires; for now, Donald Trump is riding a wave of gross ignorance to the top of the Republican polls:
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) July 22, 2015
There are many factors at play here: Democrats watch this new Reagan and smile and rub their hands in glee. The Republican Party has gotten exactly what it deserves, and just what it has been building for since President Obama was elected: a genuine demagogue with populist appeal.
And perhaps worse, from a Republican standpoint, and because nobody seems to be talking about it, somebody the Koch brothers cannot buy.
It is significant that David Koch was not all that hot on Donald back in 2011, noting then that “Donald’s political positions over the last 10 years have been highly variable and unusual.” In as back-handed a compliment as The Donald himself could have delivered, Koch said, “He’s a wonderful guy, but I don’t think he should run for office.” He went on to opine that “at some point I think he’s going to drop out of the race when he realizes that he’s really not qualified to be President.”
Of course, Trump’s message is similar, if aimed at others: “A number of my competitors for the Republican nomination have no business running for president. I do not need to be lectured by any of them.”
No word yet from the Kochs on Trump this year – they seem to be holding their cards (and their dollars) close to their chest (and who can blame them as the number of GOP candidates rises to 16), all of which means this race is likely to become more and more interesting.
You’ve got to wonder how the Koch boys feel about this: here they are, set to buy the country for a cool billion, and out of nowhere comes Trump, showing that not just money talks, but obnoxiousness. And what about the Religious Right? Are they about to have their dreams of theocracy snatched out of their greedy, lying little hands just as it seems within reach through the likes of Ted “I’m the Messiah” Cruz?
Right now, it is Cruz and the others who are sideshows, and what really matters is that at some point, the interests of the Kochs and that of Donald Trump must come into conflict. Already, Trump has poached the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity for his New Hampshire campaign.
Who will come out on top? The New Ronald Reagan, fresh to the game, or the guys who have already staked their claim by buying Congress?
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.