Friday, November 13, 2015

"How stupid are the people of Iowa?"

I'll only go so far as to say that they really don't have any business hitting leadoff in our presidential election process and leave it at that (the last two Iowa GOP caucus winners, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, debated at the little table last Tuesday).  Trump, what do you think?

"How stupid are the people of Iowa?" declared Trump during a rally at Iowa Central Community College. "How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?" For more than an hour and a half Thursday night, the billionaire real estate mogul harshly criticized not only Carson, but many of his other competitors in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

In his free-wheeling appearance, Trump also said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is rising in the polls, was "weak like a baby, like a baby" and "not a good poker player because every time he's under pressure he starts to just profusely sweat." And he said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush didn't deserve his attention because his campaign is doing so poorly.

This is a full-blown rant.  A wall-eyed, snot-nosed hissy fit, as Juanita Jean likes to say.  Spit flying, white specks at the corner of his mouth, blood pressure humping and pumping.  Strokelandia.

 Let's make him do it again.

Trump accused Democratic front-runner Hilary Rodham Clinton, who is campaigning to be the first female president, of "playing the woman's card, big league."

But his strongest words, by far, were aimed at Carson, whose powerful life story and soft-spoken demeanor have captured the attention of many voters. Trump, once the undisputed poll leader, is now running neck-and-neck with Carson in many opinion surveys.

Trump previewed his attack line in an interview with CNN Thursday in which the businessman pointed to Carson's own descriptions of his "pathological temper" as a young man.

"That's a big problem because you don't cure that," Trump said. "That's like, you know, I could say, they say you don't cure — as an example, child molester. You don't cure these people. You don't cure the child molester." Trump also said that "pathological is a very serious disease."

Ladies and gentlemen, your front-runners for the Republican nomination to be President of the United States.  To be fair and balanced, Trump is just using Carson's own words against him.

In his book "Gifted Hands," Carson described the uncontrollable anger he felt at times while growing up in inner-city Detroit. He wrote that on one occasion he nearly punched his mother and on another he attempted to stab a friend with a knife.

"I had what I only can label a pathological temper — a disease — and this sickness controlled me, making me totally irrational," Carson said, in describing the incident with his mother. He referred to "pathological anger" again in telling about lunging at his friend, a knife blade breaking off when it hit the boy's belt buckle.

Carson's ability to overcome his anger as well as an impoverished childhood to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon has been a central chapter in his personal story. A spokesman for Carson declined to comment on Trump's remarks.

We have simply got to goad Carson into commenting, liberal media. 

During the rally Thursday night in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Trump said that Carson is "an enigma to me."

He went on to repeat the molestation analogy with his comments about pathological temper, and he questioned aspects of Carson's biography. At one point, Trump acted out the scene of Carson trying to stab his friend, lurching forward dramatically. "He lunged that knife into the stomach of his friend, but, lo and behold, it hit the belt!" Trump declared.

"Give me a break."

In "Gifted Hands," Carson describes racing to the bathroom in his house after the near-stabbing incident — and in time beginning to pray for God's help in dealing with his temper.

"During those hours alone in the bathroom, something happened to me," he wrote. "God heard my deep cries of anguish. A feeling of lightness flowed over me, and I knew a change of heart had taken place. I felt different. I was different."

In questioning Carson's religious awakening, Trump said in Fort Dodge that Carson went into the bathroom and came out, "and now he's religious."

"And the people of Iowa believe him. Give me a break. Give me a break. It doesn't happen that way," Trump said. "Don't be fools."

Despite what I have said repeatedly about polls, I'm anxious to see what they reveal about a week or two from now.  This feels like a turning point for a couple of candidates.   The conservative Borg has been completely unpredictable to this point, but a settling-out of the real lunacy of Trump and Carson to the regular loons of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio is somewhat overdue.

Watching, and waiting.


Will Donald Trump’s epic meltdown in Iowa — which has been widely ridiculed by the political classes today — have any impact on his long-term chances?

There is a great deal of chatter about how Trump may have fatally damaged himself by calling the voters of Iowa “stupid” for believing Ben Carson’s redemption tales. But as David Kurtz and Brian Beutler point out, this is just more of the same from Trump, who has built his entire candidacy on calling out mass stupidity and vowing to roll over it to get things done. Voters may just acquiesce to this as another part of the show, the way audiences submit to, and even laugh along with, a stand-up comic who is brutally ridiculing them.

But this meltdown represents something much greater than merely a cringeworthy spectacle. In a way Trump’s rambling monologue amounts to an indictment of the fundamental stupidity and arbitrariness of American politics in general. And as such, we may look back at this moment and see it in a different light, as crossing from sheer buffoonery into a semi-poignant glimpse into the foibles of human vanity. That’s because the stupidity and arbitrariness that Trump rages at here are the reasons why Trump himself has held the lead for so long, perhaps persuading him that he has an actual shot at being president. And so, whether he knows this or not, Trump is railing at the same forces that elevated him — and, he seems to sense, may be deserting him. They may not end up deserting him — perhaps Trump will be the nominee, though I highly doubt it — but he seems to sense that they just might.

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