Trump speaks at the South Point. (R-J photo)
Tonight’s the night. Nevada Republicans caucus to pick their choice for a presidential candidate.
According to the latest CNN poll, Donald Trump is the choice of 45 percent of the state’s likely GOP caucusgoers, trailed by Marco Rubio at 19 percent and Ted Cruz at 17 percent, with Ben Carson and John Kasich in single digits.
Trump’s support appears to be up from the 36 percent in a CNN poll in October — at which time I asked: “What the hell are you thinking?” In an editorial this past week, I pointed out that Donald Trump has never been and is not a Republican. His core political philosophy is: Whatever is good for Donald Trump — everyone else be damned.
In fact, Trump is nothing more than a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton. He jumped into the race shortly after a phone call from Bill Clinton in which he reportedly told Trump, according to the Washington Post, “that he was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives and was a rising force on the right.”
A WaPo source described Clinton as “upbeat and encouraging during the conversation, which occurred as Trump was speaking out about GOP politics and his prescriptions for the nation.” Trump has given money to the Clintons’ campaigns and their foundation.
Cruz speaks in Summerlin (R-J photo)
The lede photo and story in today’s Las Vegas newspaper was of and about mainly Trump. Of course, the quotes from Trump’s South Point rally were strictly name calling, boastful promises and vague one-liners without substance or specifics — such as saying of ISIS, “We’re going to knock the hell (out) of them.”
On the Nevada section cover of the paper, columnist John L. Smith — under the hed, “Trump putting on huge act as conservative” — ranted about “America’s fascist Fabian,” who entertained the crowd with his “self-aggrandizing and increasingly popular Gorgeous George routine.”
Smith slammed ridiculous Trump with sharp ridicule that ended with a lament:
The list of those Trump has gone out of his way to offend is extensive (I apologize if I’ve left you out), but along his campaign’s Borscht Belt circuit he has denigrated women’s looks, former POW U.S. Sen. John McCain, Mexicans, a disabled New York Times reporter, the Chinese, the French, a billion or so followers of Islam and Pope Francis.
Just telling it like it is, his followers shout. He’s not politically correct! Yeah, Chauvinism! Go, hate speech!
Trump isn’t a candidate. He’s a comb-over Mussolini.
And it seems to be working.
Then he concluded with this pun on Trump’s gimme cap slogan: “For now, our fascist Fabian is making America grate again.”
Over on the editorial page, the editorial, for the third time I think, made a strong endorsement for Rubio, whom Smith had just called “inexperienced.”
The editorial said Rubio “has strong conservative credentials, but he also has the ideas and charisma to bring independents and moderates under the GOP tent on Nov. 8,” even though he was a member of the Gang of Eight and has been more willing to compromise than Texas’ former solicitor general and U.S. Supreme Court clerk Cruz, who is unwavering in conservative principle and won Iowa, though he opposed corn ethanol subsidies. Trump said those subsidizes put people to work.
But, anybody but Trump.
Even the paper’s Bernie Sanders-supporting socialist columnist called out Trump, even though Trump is more like Sanders than an actual Republican. He called Trump “a television entertainer who’s managed to tap into a deep vein of voter frustration over Washington, D.C. gridlock and what Trump claims is a politically correct culture that silences real debate. (Translated, of course, that means the God-given freedom to insult anybody you want, from immigrants to the handicapped to the media to women to politicians and Washington lobbyists.) Seriously, when you have the pope calling out your schtick, you’ve really got to question your life choices.”
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has said of Trump:
Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.
That’s the reason his harebrained ideas — barring all Muslims from entering the country, a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, government-provided universal health care through “a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people” (why didn’t I think of that?) — have received such relatively little scrutiny. No one takes them seriously. His actual platform is all persona — the wonders that will emanate from his own self-proclaimed strength, toughness, brilliance, money, his very yugeness.
The National Review devoted an entire edition to conservatives bashing Trump.
The New Times today has a piece pointing out that Trump is a political zero in New York, noting: “The major banks, for their part, say they are leery of lending to him after having lost millions of dollars on past deals. Lawyers and contractors he has hired in the past say he is slow to pay his bills, and often shortchanges them. Even the few Wall Street executives who say privately that he is a friend are loath to speak publicly about him.”
Lest we forget: Trump has called himself a liberal and said the country is better off when Democrats are in the White House.
He recently advocated a universal single-payer health care system similar to Canada’s and what Sanders proposes.
Trump has proposed huge tariffs that would set off a trade war and kill jobs.
In the Reno newspaper he wrote a piece calling federal ownership of federal land an impediment to economic development, but when asked at a Las Vegas gun show about federal land being relinquished to the states, he said, “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. … I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”
On education, after once calling Common Core a disaster, he then said Common Core is here to stay, but now says it has to go.
Trump calls for deporting everyone residing here illegally but then letting the decent and law-abiding ones back in. We get stuck with the bill coming and going.
“I think eminent domain is fine,” he has said, specifically referring to the Kelo court decision that let communities grab private property from one person to give to a company that might generate more tax revenue. He tried to use eminent domain to grab a woman’s home so he could build limousine parking for one of his casinos.
He supported Obama’s bank bailouts and ruinous and futile stimulus spending.
Since earlier calling for longer waiting periods and tougher background checks before one might purchase a gun, he now claims to be a staunch defender of the Second Amendment.
The Tax Foundation calculates that Trump’s tax proposal would increase the federal government’s deficit by $10 trillion.
Anybody but Trump.
Rubio at the Silverton today. (R-J photo)