Today, as America woke up to learn of the horrific terrorists attacks in Orlando that killed 50 people, Trump took what he thought was a victory tour.
Yes, Trump “appreciated the congratulations” on this Sunday – congratulations about being “right”, which obviously took precedence in his mind over the gravely serious and completely overwhelming reality that hate and easy access to guns stole the lives of 50 innocent people today.
Trump’s reaction to tragedy is reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s gleeful and disturbing Benghazi smile. What does it say about a politician’s policies that they are so eager to revel in death and destruction?
Well, Donald Trump doesn’t have much going for him as a candidate for President. He has no government experience, and his private industry experience is only glitzy and powerful at first glance. Underneath the hood we find a spoiled little rich boy turned financial gangster. It’s not “wanna-have-a-beer-with-you” imagery.
But Trump did have fear. Fear is the Republicans’ best friend: Fear of brown people, fear of change, fear of women, fear of Muslims, fear. Fear keeps you from examining their policies.
Trump was all set to ride the terrorism card to victory and the media saw it as a real possibility back in March, as noted by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.
But Sargent disagreed. After the Belgium attack in March, Sargent pointed out that Trump’s “simplistic, blustery framing of foreign policy and national security” might be the end of Trump:
These fears are understandable. But they rest on the assumption that the general election audience will acquiesce to Trump’s simplistic, blustery framing of foreign policy and national security issues. While it’s true that Trump’s support among GOP primary voters did grow after previous terror attacks, my suspicion is that general election voters will be less inclined to buy into the overall story Trump is telling.
There has been no clearer display of Trump’s simplistic worldview than when he pulled the curtain back on the real reason he is not fit to be President by taking a victory tour as Americans lay slain today; Donald Trump is a needy, reactionary child.
It looks like Donald Trump has managed to ruin that one sure thing for Republicans – the fear card.
That Donald Trump would reveal the wily emptiness of the Republicans fear card is sort of a perfect political event, Trump’s candidacy being the result of decades of Southern Strategy.
In truth, Americans have been shying away from the cowboy foreign policy of Republicans, thanks to George W Bush. Then President Obama got Osama when Bush said he hardly thought of him anymore. Obama has piled on foreign policy wins since then as well, as if he were set out to prove that a dynamic diplomacy first backed up by strength and nimbly responsive to change is the best foreign policy.
The fact that Hillary Clinton stood next to President Obama during some of the toughest calls is no small matter either. If there is one thing that came out of the seemingly endless Democratic debates, it is that Hillary Clinton was the most experienced person running for the White House when it comes to foreign policy.
A President sounds like this guy. A real President leads out of the darkness by pointing us to our highest ideals when the nation is grieving.
There’s a good chance the media won’t let Trump get away with his victory lap, and then he will be branded as the inept playground thug that he is. The real question at this point is how many Republican leaders will stand by him now.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.