Sunday, May 29, 2016

Getting Him Off His Game

How do we defeat a misogynistic, bigoted, ignorant narcissistic authoritarian? It appears much harder but thanks to a Massachusetts senator and a Vermont senator, there now is a template.

On March 21, Elizabeth Warren tweeted out that Donald Trump "knows he's a loser. His insecurities are on parade: petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, flagrant narcissism. She promptly followed that with "many of history's worst authoritarians started out as losers"and "The way I see it, it’s our job to make sure @realDonaldTrump ends this campaign every bit the loser that he started it."

On her Facebook page, the Massachusetts Senator then explained

Let's be honest. Donald Trump is a loser. Count all his failed businesses. See how he kept his father’s empire afloat by cheating people with scams like Trump University and by using strategic corporate bankruptcy (excuse me, bankruptcies) to skip out on debt. Listen to the experts who’ve concluded he’s so bad at business that he might have more money today if he’d put his entire inheritance into an index fund and just left it alone.

Trump seems to know he’s a loser. ...

As April and then May developed, Warren kept up her taunting, until Trump could take it no longer and responded, via Twitter twice on May 25. He tweeted  "I find it offensive that Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be Native American to get in Harvard." (That would be "into" Harvard, genius.) Warren slammed Trump by responding "Get your facts straight, @realDonald Trump. I didn't even go to Harvard- I'm a graduate of @UHouston and @RutgersU."

Earlier in May, Warren had summarized by noting "But here's the thing. You can beat a bully -- not by tucking tail and running, but by holding your ground."  Just last Tuesday, Warren labeled him "a small, insecure, money-grubber."

Oddly, some Democrats seem not to understand. The day before Trump (not unexpectedly) reneged on the debate challenge he had accepted from Bernie Sanders, Politico reported the reactions of a few Democratic Senators to the specter of a Sanders-Trump debate

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin complained "Bullshit. That confirms what we've been saying. Why would you expect Bernie should be considerate or be nice or be working to bring everyone together? Why? He's not a Democrat."

Senator Gary Peters of Michigan argued "I don’t know why he would do that. I think it’s time to start to wind down the primary. It’s time to move on." Surprisingly, fellow Clinton supporter, the poulist Sherrod Brown of Ohio echoed his sentiments. "It's peculiar. It's “It’s all about Bernie trying to get the advantage in California. It’s not going to work," he contended.

Washington state's Maria Cantwell had a better take, recognizing "the economic future of our country needs to be debated." And Missouri's Claire McCaskill, inspiring the adage "even a stopped clock is right twice a day," realized "the more Donald Trump gets exposed in the context of public policy, the better it is for our country."

An evidently confused Bill Nelson stated "I mean. Why? It would draw attention to Bernie. I can understand Bernie wanting to do it. But why would Donald want to do it? It's a stunt.... Trump won't go through with it, and Bernie has literally nothing to lose."

Nelson obviously was right because Trump pulled out the next day. That suggests the moral of the story for the Democratic Party. Trump should be attacked and ridiculed, as Warren has done. She already has gotten under his skin; ultimately, he may become paranoid enough to cliam he's being stalked.  Meanwhile, Trump has been- in McCaskill's expression- exposed.  Democrats need to challenge him, confront him, and unmask him.

That is harder said than done. Still, it would be a good start to stop whining about a Democrat not being "considerate or nice" and failing to "be working to bring everyone together." Donald Trump's rise is enough to make clear that the American people are not looking for a President obsessed with being considerate and nice with hugs all around.

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