09 Aug 2015

Donald Trump Self Destructs in Debate Aftermath

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Donald Trump was always looked upon as a dubious presidential candidate, seemingly lacking in judgement, depth, and gravitas. But Trump decidedly surprised everyone by demonstrating unexpected abilities to debate effectively, to address issues, and to create a case for his candidacy based on opposition to conventional American politics, professional politicians, and political correctness.

He surged in the (very, very early) polls, by being entertaining, and –more importantly– by cleverly framing himself as the opponent of the same political establishment which much of America absolutely loathes and detests.

Serious conservative commentators and the GOP establishment were appalled, but people like me thought Trump was making some good points. He never really seemed all that likely to won the nomination, but in the meantime he did seem to be driving Republican politics in the right kind of anti-Washington, anti-business-as-usual direction. And, heck! if by some miracle, Trump actually won, he’d be bound to be better than Obama.

Well, lo and behold, all it took was the first official GOP debate on Fox News to do in the Trump candidacy. Curiously, Trump really actually did do just fine in the debate itself. But he began to self-destruct as soon as it was over.

Two excellent posts by Stuart Schneiderman:

8/7: On the Republican Debate:

The moderators are professional journalists. No one should have been surprised that they acquitted themselves as such. The leftist slander of Fox journalists as Republican toadies is so entrenched that people are surprised when they act professionally. No one should be.

Some conservative commentators criticized the Fox moderators for their tough questioning, but nearly all of the candidates were prepared to address them. The overall quality of the Republican candidates is exceptional; unfortunately, they are, for now, being overshadowed by Trump.

In New York Magazine Gabriel Sherman wrote about the conflict between Trump and Fox News:

    Having spent the past six weeks rhetorically slashing at his Republican rivals, it makes perfect sense that Donald Trump would eventually run out of targets and find himself in a war with the party’s media arm: Fox News. At the GOP primary debate Thursday night in Cleveland, Trump’s on-stage clashes with the Fox moderators, and his post-debate complaints about the network’s treatment of him, were among the most talked about storylines to emerge from the Quicken Loans Arena.

If your take-away from the debate is that the moderators were not very nice to you, you do not look like a winner. You look like a whiner.

Read the whole thing.


8/8 Still Defending Trump?:

Megyn Kelly’s first question in Thursday’s debate ostensibly addressed Trump’s insulting remarks about women. …

Kelly was asking whether Trump had the temperament to be president. Did he have the strength of character to be calm and collected under fire? Could he handle a crisis without flying off on a rant? Could he deal with foreign leaders when he could not impose his will on them?

The answer did not lie in his words, but in his behavior. Especially, in his continuing post-debate attacks on Megyn Kelly.

Now we know that the great Donald became undone when faced with big, bad Megyn Kelly. Keep in mind, as long as Trump is leading the Republican candidates in the polls, whatever he says reflects on the Republican Party.

Clearly, Kelly got to him. She got under his skin. She provoked an appalling rant, which did not subside after Trump got some rest.

Yesterday on CNN, Trump said this:

    But, certainly, I don’t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly, she’s a lightweight. And she came out there reading her little script, and trying to be tough and be sharp. And when you meet her, you realize she’s not very tough, and she’s not very sharp. She’s zippo.

Kelly might not have been very tough, but she was tough enough to threaten the Donald. If he cannot deal with someone who is a “zippo”–presumably, he was talking about the lighters– how could he deal with someone of substance. He was so threatened and so disarmed that he started lashing out, irrationally. I suspect that no woman has ever addressed him with such disrespect. As is his wont, Trump responded with a disgracefully indecent remark:

    And you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever, but she was, in my opinion, she was off base.

When you can’t answer the question, you attack the messenger. It is not a sign of toughness or of strength. It signals weakness. It shows that Trump can be easily manipulated. Those who think that Trump is a tower of strength should revise their opinions. Trump is more bluster than strength; more boasting than leadership. One should be able to tell the difference.

Read the whole thing.


Ed Driscoll, at Instapundit, collects negative conclusions on Trump’s potential presidential performance from conservatives.

[Roger Simon thinks foreign adversaries would easily roll The Donald:]

    Here’s how I would imagine they would handle Trump. They would love him to death, treat him like the king of the world, the genius at deal-making, ask him for advice on everything from golf courses to hospital maintenance, and if he got suspicious, love him even more, say great things about how rich he is, what a wonderful plane he has, ask for a tour, get pictures with him for People and Der Spiegel… then, after he feels like he’s been just the perfect president and has settled everything, that’s maybe six months, snatch the Baltic states (Russia), explode your bomb (Iran), move in on practically everything west of Honolulu (China) and look the other way when ISIS blows up three shopping malls in Dallas.

    What would Donald do about it? Say “You’re fired”? Brag about his money? I’m not optimistic.

And when it comes to domestic matters, as libertarian blogger “Popehat” tweets, “Consider the way Trump and his supporters speak of perceived enemies. Now, give them control of the IRS and Justice Department.”

So a looming disaster on public policy, a thin-skinned vindictive man with control over the IRS and the Justice Department, a core base of voters who view him in a near messianic light, a Fox News hater, and a man who has made common cause over the years with Bill, Hillary, Harry Reid, and the late Ted Kennedy. Trump really is the Bizarro World version of Obama.


Krauthammer: “He’s running as a tough guy. …[He was] going to stare down Putin, and now he says that he was treated not nicely by three Fox News anchors.”

15 Feedbacks on "Donald Trump Self Destructs in Debate Aftermath"


His days were numbered from the second he declared. The Rinos had to eliminate him and his message. He is popular because of what he has said not because of his great personality and debating skills. It is obvious that a very large portion of the base do not want a Rino for president and it is just as obvious that the head Rino in the race does not want to hear what the base wants. Just vote us into office and shut the hell up seems to be what the Rino wants. I can not vote for Bush and will vote for the crazy commie bitch if that is the only choice left to me. Not because I want her to be president but because I so much do not want Bush to be president.


But Trump, too, has to count as a RINO. He has donated to tons of democrats, supported lots of liberal democrat legislation in the past, and he won’t even promise to support the GOP nominee when he loses. I might not vote for Jeb Bush myself, were he to be nominated, but it’s too early to decide yet, I think.


All of this reinforces my belief that for much of America politics has become a reality TV show. Nothing really important going on, but it’s fun to watch the characters do odd things.
The disturbing part of this trend is that there are so many things that DO matter. Like surrendering to our enemies, like opening our borders to millions of people we didn’t choose, like creating a “right” not to feel offended my someone, and a “right” to live off their earnings if you cannot or will not do anything to earn yourself.
The silver lining of the Trump phenomenon, I suppose, is that Trump can bring up these hot button issues in blunt ways that the serious candidates dare not. It’s like having a crazy uncle who keeps poking fun at your shiftless brother-in-law. He has the ability to say out loud what most of the country says in private.


If “self-destruct” means leading the pack with more than double the percentage points as the second place candidate (Jeb), then, yes, I guess he did self-destruct.

This is just more mainstream media attempt to bring down a candidate they don’t like.

I don’t buy any of this crap.

T. Shaw

Whatever. Trump remains highly preferable to the chamber of commerce/country club/crony-capitalist/big-government eunuch the professional GOP wants to shove down our throats.

The professional GOP didn’t learn from twice running moderate/castrati losers. They have earned a large dose of creative destruction.


Would Jeb Bush support Trump if he wins the primary???

Kimball Corson

As the post debate polls show, contrary to Nate Silver’s view no one can fight Fox News and the view here that Trump is self destructing, Trump’s numbers are up and he is driving a silent wedge in his favor between both Fox News and the Republican establishment on one hand, and red state and other conservative voters on the other.

Conservative voters are learning Fox News is just another part of the republican establishment and they are increasingly relying on Trump to “tell it like it is.” It is a growing and powerful dependency.

Trump is a force to be dealt with, but the pundits haven’t figured that out yet.

The republican establishment is of course having a fit over Trump but is powerless to do much about it because Trump is connecting with the people, especially those in the republican base. If he breaks out and runs as an independent, the Republicans are dead in 2016 because he will split the vote.

But whether he runs as an independent or not, he and Sanders are teaming up as two independents and delivering the same message to the American people with a sledge hammer that is, the political establishment of both parties in America is against them and is eating their lunch.

Sarah J

He’s in favor of single-payer health care! Why are we even still discussing him?


So long as the establishment is desperately trying to stamp out Trump’s messages I’ll want him to stay in the race swinging away.

It was never about Trump for me. I think he inadvertently exposed a number of raw nerves and got a response from us that surprised them all.

And now the establishment is throwing everything they have at the messenger, and that goes for Megan Kelly and all the talking heads at FOX analysizing the debate. Does it really surprise anyone that Krauthammer criticizes Trump? He’s paid my Rupert Murdoch, an establishment pro-amnesty guy, and he who pays the piper calls the tune.

So far nothing has worked. The harder they hit Trump the stronger he becomes. Now that nothing is working and Trump hasn’t imploded they apparently are going to ignore him in a news blackout.

I want Trump to keep running and keep brawling until the other candidates are forced to weave the message into their platforms. Without Trump all we’d be hearing on immigration is “we need to secure the borders.”

I’m with @Gone. I will never vote for JEB! This election is deadly serious and all Jeb would do is manage our decline.

sound awake

self destructs?

i dont think that term means what you think it means:

“Despite a debate in which Fox moderators repeatedly attacked him and three days of hostile press coverage which came after it, Donald Trump remains in a commanding lead in the race for the Republican nomination, according to a poll released Sunday evening by NBC News. The results confound weekend press coverage suggesting Trump’s campaign was foundering.”



Some people take polls much too seriously. The libs recently proved that Americans favored Same Sex Marriage by having the Washington Post poll some small number of people of its own selection, and what-do-you-know? a whopping majority were for it. How astonishing!

Melanie S Alexander V

I don’t like his hair-do very much.
How much hairspray does he use to keep that comb-over in place?
Good thing he doesn’t believe in Global Warming
He is probably ten percent responsible for the size of the hole in the ozone layer alone
He really is an ugly bugger
In his actions, mannerisms, thoughts he presents publicly, lastly visually.
Makes me think of Hitler in a way, I hope he sinks.
He certainly does stink to me
It frightens me to think of him in the White house Wonder if he’ll re-name it the Trump house if he becomes President.


Well, lo and behold, all it took was the first official GOP debate on Fox News to do in the Trump candidacy.

Way to call ’em!


Well, it lost Trump my neutrality, and it ought to have turned America generally against him, but you’re right: I obviously over-estimated the taste and acumen of American voters.

OHIO: A TRUMP STATE – The Real Battle At the Battle Ground States


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