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#5: The Management of Trump

The Trump phenomenon begs the question:

  • If you think “Trump will make America great again,” what period of history are you referring to as great? The great periods I remember would not have taken a celebrity, fascist, racist, spouting anti-American sentiments with no foreign policy experience seriously as a candidate for President…

This presents the GOP with a new nightmare scenario. Earlier in the year, Republicans could take solace in the likelihood that the field of elected officials would winnow and that the party would coalesce around a single alternative to the insurgents as it did in 2008 and 2012. They were sure it would come down to a frontrunner against two or three formidable conservative challengers who were splitting the activist vote among themselves.

That winnowing hasn’t happened. And now, if and when it does, it’s conceivable that the combined forces of the party will only be able to marshal about one-third or less of the overall vote—not enough to guarantee victory even if Trump and Cruz battle it out beyond Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. And even that assumes supporters of candidates like Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie don’t defect to Cruz or Trump instead of Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush.

Whether motivated by this particular analysis or not, party elites are snapping to attention. John Kasich’s SuperPAC is promising a multi-million-dollar anti-Trump blitz. A more concerted effort, spearheaded by GOP operative Liz Mair, is called Trump Card LLC, and operates on the premise that “unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president.”

Prominent surrogates for leading candidates have embraced the notion, first propounded by liberals, that Trump is a “fascist.” But the principals they back won’t go near the term. Some, like Rubio and Cruz, won’t criticize Trump at all, and Cruz in particular is a Trump sycophant—“a big fan.” Which raises the question of whether a party that enables Trump and Trumpism can effectively root out either.

Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush aide who now writes an opinion column for the Washington Post, acknowledged that “Trump has, so far, set the terms of the primary debate and dragged other candidates in the direction of ethnic and religious exclusion. One effect has been the legitimization of even more extreme views—signaling that it is okay to give voice to sentiments and attitudes that, in previous times, people would have been too embarrassed to share in public.”

November 22
Network TV news representatives will confer Monday to hash out demands about access to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign after Trump officials last week threatened to “blacklist” reporters who left a designated media “pen” during rallies for the presidential front-runner.According to people at multiple networks, senior managers from the five leading TV news networks — ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox and NBC News — will discuss their response in an effort to push back against what they deem harsh and restrictive behavior by Trump’s managers, including his top aide, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.Lewandowski threatened to pull the press credentials of a CNN reporter, Noah Gray, last week after Gray sought to leave the press pen during a Trump campaign appearance in Worcester, Mass. Gray, an “embed” for the network who has covered Trump for months, recorded Lewandowski’s threat to “blacklist” him and posted it online.******Reporters have wanted to get out of the designated “pens” for a number of reasons, not least of which to cover horrific things like this attack on a Black Lives Matter protester.

Here’s how Trump handled the protester, and the violence that ensued.

The GOP is worried Trump maybe doing permanent damage to the party’s brand!

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