I’ve hesitated commenting on Orlando, so first here’s the political situation. In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, while Donald Trump added another talking point for the Democratic party, the rest of their script remained predictable, totally dishonest, deliberately deceptive and a messaging marvel to behold. While Bernie still clings to a few threads to be relevant, for all intents and purposes, the Dems are unified and Orlando appears to be a watershed event to get them all marching in lockstep.
Donald Trump’s cheerleading section, as usual, applauded that he was saying things no one else will say, touching on common sense themes like a moratorium on taking in Muslim refugees, in light of fact that despite Jeh Johnson’s disingenuous assurances, there’s no way to thoroughly vet refugees from Iraq and Syria, due to the political instability, ditto that for Somalia and ISIS stated they will use the refugee crisis to get ISIS militants into the US. Trump made a common sense point, except with the terrorist in Orlando, he wasn’t a refugee or an immigrant, but a born and raised, American citizen and Trump’s common sense policy would not have prevented this terrorist from being in the US.
Then Trump played identity politics, as he tried to use the tragedy to shamelessly and clumsily pander to the LGBT community. If there were any doubts that his Sunday tweets and comments, instead of winning over gays, backfired and helped galvanize the fractious Dem minority and special interest groups, well just look at how fast the LGBT community smacked down Trump’s pathetic political pandering.
Trump could have demonstrated some calm, resolute leadership, but instead it was the same old loudmouth bragging, callous and bizarre tweets, insensitive remarks and the same old need to eclipse any story, no matter how grave, with himself. He sent a tweet on Sunday thanking his followers for congratulating him for being right on terrorism , trying to capitalize on being seen as a tough and resolute leader in a crisis, but by yesterday he looked to be desperately searching for an angle to be heard over the Dem talking points… Without any warning he knifed the NRA in the back, completely overlooking the politicization of terrorist watch lists by the Obama administration, when he announced he supports restricting people on terror watch lists from buying guns.
Since Monday, Republican leaders, as usual, seem unsure of how to deal with Donald Trump, who spends more time sabotaging and undermining the GOP than he does fighting Hillary Clinton. So, many GOP leaders are avoiding the press….. abandoning the media field and allowing the Dems to control the 24/7 news cycle, unchallenged.
Sure, President Obama came out and blasted Trump in a very petulant, hyper-partisan manner. Hillary came out and bashed Trump more than she addressed the terrorist attack too, but the difference is the media pivoted and moved in unison to get in line with the Dem talking points. A main Dem talking point IS “Trump is a loose cannon”, so they were completely on message. The cable news networks, not even Trump central (FOX News), were giving Trump 24/7 control of the news cycle, to relentlessly repeat his talking points, ergo he’s sinking fast. Trump has no plan other than his “GOP Insurgency”. He has no viable ground game and added to the GOP disunity, his campaign remains disorganized and internally an internecine battleground too.
All of this was completely predictable watching how he operated rather than grasping at his buzz words as if they were actual complete ideas and policies. If you want to figure out how people will perform any job, first gauge their character and then watch how they operate and by operate I mean see how they handle different tasks and challenges, how they utilize resources, both staff and material resources. Good leadership is mostly about the leader’s character and how he operates with his team. Any person who engages in vicious character assassinations within his own party, plays people against each other constantly, delights in publicly humiliating people and most of all makes every issue almost entirely about his own vanity will be a terrible leader. Even Trump’s delight in being rude speaks to a person who has no respect for others. As I’ve said many times, Trump, in every discernible way he operates, screams “toxic leader”.
Lest, anyone doubt it, the Clintons 2.0 scorched earth/mass media saturation strategy moved into full assault mode and it is a take no prisoners ruthless offensive to destroy Donald Trump and the GOP. The unified messaging coming from President Obama, Hillary, Dem Congressional leaders, on down to the LGBT community activists, who smacked down Trump’s attempt to woo them, should alarm GOP leaders. The liberal media moved into general election high gear too, spinning Orlando as the result of Christian bigots fomenting “hate” against the LGBT community and gun violence. This messaging marvel, where the Dems circulated their talking points and got all their spokespeople and the media on message within hours, should clue the GOP leaders in that the undisciplined, raving primary Trump, who loves to launch character assassinations is the real Trump, who would still rather attack fellow Republicans. He’s going to be a disaster in November.
So, when the LGBT community threw his shallow pandering back in his face, Trump pivoted and tried to steal some of the Dems thunder by attempting to steal one of their main their talking points on gun control. He made this abrupt policy change without even so much as discussing his new epiphany beforehand with GOP leaders or the NRA.
Perhaps more GOP leaders will abandon the Trump train, but at this point either with Trump as the nominee or going through the fractious process of dumping him at the convention, Trump’s “GOP insurgency” leaves the GOP a smoldering rubble. That Trump, without so much as a phone call, could sign on to a key Dem gun control plank in their messaging blitz should finally clue in even the most deluded Republicans that Trump is a total fraud and loose cannon.
Absent the FBI playing some wild card, Hillary, corrupt, vile and politically tone deaf, sits well-positioned to win by a huge margin in November against Donald Trump.
The other stunning takeaway from Orlando is the Dems hate Republicans more than they care about Islamist terrorism – that’s a reality Republicans still don’t understand and that reality is a topic I want to broach in another post.