From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
A Few Trump Fans Suddenly See the Man They’ve Been Defending
Something odd is going on among Trump’s most ardent defenders. Start with Ann Coulter in this podcast interview with Breitbart.com’s Milo Yiannopoulos.
COULTER: Moreover, I’m a little testy with our man right now.
YIANNOPOULOS: You are? Daddy’s annoyed you?
(Yes, Yiannopoulos calls Trump “Daddy.” Because that’s perfectly normal.)
COULTER: Our candidate is mental! Do you realize our candidate is mental? It’s like constantly having to bail out your sixteen-year-old son from prison. Let’s move past last night’s tweet — you know perfectly well what tweet I’m talking about.
This is the worst thing he’s done. I mean the McCain thing– I would say there are only really two, liberals would say “oh, every day”, no, everything else I could probably defend. I could. I think. Most of that is them overreacting… But the McCain thing, that was a dumb joke, it didn’t work. Oh, well. Didn’t kill him. But that tweet last night…
YIANNOPOULOS: And he’s retweeting these images that are, like, ‘I don’t need to make implications, you know, the pictures speak for themselves.’ And a picture of Cruz’s wife and a picture of Melania!
COULTER: That’s exactly the tweet I’m talking about! No, you can’t defend it! This is when we’re bailing out sixteen-year-old out of jail!
YIANNOPOULOS: It’s so outrageously funny!
GINGRICH: Tweeting about, or repeating a tweet about Mrs. Cruz is just utterly stupid. It has frankly, weakened everything that Trump ought to be strengthening. It sent a signal to women that is negative, at a time when his numbers with women are already bad. It sent a signal to instability to people who may be beginning to say, ‘maybe I’ve got to get used to it, maybe I’ve got to rely on him, maybe he could be presidential.’ And frankly, it energized Cruz. The interview you just did is as good as I have ever seen Ted Cruz. He was clear, he was vigorous, he was prepared to be combative but at the same time he was getting into big issues and big ideas. My guess is he’s going to do well in Wisconsin. This ought to be a wake-up call for Trump that he had better rethink what seem to be the underlying patterns of his campaign.
HANNITY: For the life of me, I can’t understand when families and wives are brought into it. I’m sure he’s mad about the ad about Melania, I’m sure he assumed it was the Cruz campaign.
Gingrich added, “I’m not sure anybody in the Trump campaign understands yet what a big mistake this is. They can’t keep doing this stuff and think they’re going to get the nomination.”
Now look at Stephanie Cegielski, formerly the communications director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC:
He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.
The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.
And if you are one of the disaffected voters — one of the silent majority like me — who wanted a candidate who could be your voice, I want to speak directly to you as one of his biggest advocates and supporters.
He is not that voice. He is not your voice. He is only Trump’s voice.
Trump is about Trump. Not one of his many wives. Not one of his many “pieces of ass.” He is, at heart, a self-preservationist.
Trump supporters, no one should let you off of that bandwagon now. You should be handcuffed to that Titanic you volunteered to crew.
Donald Trump didn’t suddenly change in the past few days, weeks or months. He’s the same guy he always was, the same guy that most of us in the conservative movement and GOP have been staunchly opposing for the past year. He didn’t abruptly become reckless, obnoxious, ill-informed, erratic, hot-tempered, pathologically dishonest, narcissistic, crude and catastrophically unqualified for the presidency overnight. He’s always been that guy, and you denied it and ignored it and hand-waved it away and made excuses every step of the way because you were convinced that you were so much smarter than the rest of us. You were so certain that you had received some superior wavelength giving you special insight into the Donald; only you could tell that it was all an act. Only you could grasp that his constant courting of controversy was just to get attention from the media. Only you could instinctively sense that his style would play brilliantly in the general election and win over working-class Democrats. (SPOILER ALERT: It isn’t.) You insisted that you could “coach him.”
You came to those conclusions not because you’re smarter than the rest of us, but because you’re actually more foolish than the rest of us. You insisted Occam’s Razor couldn’t possibly be true– that Trump acts the way he does because this is who he is, this is the way he is all the time, and he will always be like this. You fooled yourself into believing that Trump was playing this nine-level chess that only you and a few others could perceive and understand. Only you could see the long game.
There is no long game. He’s winging it. There is no grand strategy. There is no master plan. Trump doesn’t look ahead to the next sentence, much less the next step in getting elected.
“Our candidate is mental?” No Shinola, Sherlock, some conservatives said this from day one and all we got for it was the alt-Right vomiting forth endless vitriol and profanity and threats.
Oh, what’s that? Trump’s Twitter behavior is “utterly stupid”, Newt? Thanks for noticing; six days ago you were telling the media there was absolutely nothing about Trump that worries you. Maybe your previous comparison of Trump to Reagan was frankly, fundamentally, profoundly wrong from A to Z.
“Trump only cares about Trump”? Gee, thank you, turncoat former insider, for this shocking bit of secret intelligence. News flash, some of us didn’t need to work for Trump for several months to figure that out. We saw it, we said it, and you called us liars for saying it.
Technically we’re supposed to welcome previous Trump fans-turned-foes with open arms. But barring some miraculous comeback by Ted Cruz, the Trump campaign will have cost the Republican Party the presidency after eight years of Obama, and perhaps the Senate and even the House – and Scalia’s replacement on the Court as well. Years of effort spent attempting to dispel the accusations of inherent Republican misogyny, xenophobia, hypocrisy, ignorance and blind rage have been undone by Trump’s campaign. And every Trump advocate in front of a camera had a hand in this.
We’re not just gonna hug it out.