Will it be a debate, or is this the PR cover for the blockbuster announcement of Trump’s vice presidential running mate?
Don’t laugh, dudes and dudettes – this may actually be happening:
Donald Trump on late Wednesday said that he is ready and willing to debate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for charity.
Maybe Weekend Bernie’s charities might actually see any of the proceeds.
“Yes, I am,” he said on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! “How much is he going to pay me? If he paid a nice sum toward a charity, I’d love to do that.
“If I debated him, we would have such high ratings and I think I should take that money and give it to some worthy charity,” the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee added.
Which, in reality, will be….Donald Trump.
Would an on-stage encounter between the lunatic communist and the lunatic state corporatist do gonzo Neilson numbers? In terms of sheer, train wreck spectacle, yeah, it probably would.
Caleb Howe has some ideas:
This is terrific news for people who think that the campaign should be a more hilarious cluster than it already is. The amount of gesturing and making of crazy faces on that stage will be near critical mass. It could only be exceeded by throwing Kasich in the mix. Frankly I embrace this idea and I think whichever network airs it should really step up and keep with the theme. I’m talking dancing girls, maybe a magician, one of those people from the San Diego zoo who tells you about snakes. Also there should be a swimsuit round, and the whole thing should be interspersed with one-on-one interviews with the candidates talking about what happened during the debate like they do on Hell’s Next Top Kitchen Survivor or whatever.
I’d only add that the moderators should be Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
It tactical political terms, for Senator Sanders, why not? It gives him fresh pub, and the Trump rub too, I guess, keeps his name and cause from fading away, and, of course, sticks it to Mrs. Clinton by hampering her ability to pivot completely to the general campaign and focus on Trump. That benefits both men.
It will be interesting to see if Trump is his usual caustic, face-pissing self or if he’ll be “diplomatic” and even “tone himself down” to let Bernie have the spotlight to whale away at the Empress. The latter would presumably be the tack he would take if he’s serious about out-left-flanking Herself by luring Sanders’ Nutter whackjobs into his camp in the fall. But is he capable of it? Does he have the acting range, much less the self-discipline, to rein in his baser reflexes even when it would be in his personal AND political interest to do so?
Looks like we’ll get a chance to find out:
Here it comes….
This actually does matter, because…well, you know how I’ve been pointing out that Trump doesn’t actually want the job of the presidency but only wants to prove that he can win the election that would stick him with it? And how I’ve speculated that once he reached the White House he would soon hate the gig and either resign once the going got the slightest bit tough (the same way that he rides business ventures into the ground, parachuting clear right before impact and leaving his suckers holding the bag) or go the Mussolini/caudillo route, be more honest about his dictatorial impulses than even Barack Obama (mainly because Trump has neither the brains nor the maturity to even try and conceal it, which is part and parcel of his horrifying unfitness for the presidency), and become the first POTUS to be impeached and removed from office by the Democrat Congress his nomination has made inevitable? There is a third option along those lines that I had not considered, and which a top Trumper/Putinoid has now actually and deliberately given public utterance:
“The vice presidential pick will also be part of the process of proving he’s ready for the White House,’ [Paul] Manafort said.
‘He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.’”
In other words, Trump wants to be a non-figureheaded constitutional monarch. He wants to be the “brand” of the U.S. presidency, put his name and face on it, revel in its prestige and power, but have none of the actual responsibilities and duties and accountability that comes with it. He wants all the good and none of the bad. The boring, aggravating stuff is what he’ll have a vice president for.
From the ignorant perspective of the average Trumplican, that’s “brilliant” because they’re incapable of seeing anything their coiffed demideity does as anything else. But it’ll also be a cudgel for them to use against us #NoneOfTheAbovers if Trump picks a heretofore credible conservative running mate – “See, see, Newt Gingrich [I know, I know, but that’s the best Trump sell-out I can come up with in this context] will be running the country, and ya can’t say he’s not a conservative Republican. What’s your excuse for not getting in line behind Trump now, HUH?!? HUH?!?” Yes, folks, this is the kind of “arguments” Trumpvidians make. Maybe not verbatim, but something like it. Never mind that it would completely undermine their rationale for supporting Trump in the first place, never mind that that is NOT how the presidency is constitutionally set up to work, never mind that it would eviscerate his oath of office before he even took it, never mind that if the veep was running the country a President Trump should quit and let that veep succeed him, and never mind that the country would then be being led by somebody who was never elected to the office and wound up there not through tragic circumstances but be calculated, deliberate, scheming connivance.
It is, once again, in a word, bullshit. And that is what Trumplicans demand that we embrace. Bullshit. Oceans of it. Light-year-wide cosmic clouds of it. Eat it, drink it, bathe in it, wallow in it, swim laps in it, breathe it.
Some of us say no. Some of us don’t like bullshit. Some of us tired of the bullshit months ago, and the more Trumplickers try to shove it down our throats, the more we are going to resist.
You know how their motivation for the past year has been “burn it all down”? That’s moved beyond “politics as usual,” beyond the “GOPe”, beyond the conservative movement. Now it’s about burning down the country and its founding documents and institutions. About burning down what’s left of the Constitution.
The president of the United States is head of state and head of government. He is not the “chairman of the board” or the CEO or the COO. He’s all three. If he doesn’t want the job as the Constitution defines it, he should get the bleep out of the race.
But he won’t, because the rules don’t apply to him, a concept against which Trumplicans raged incoherently when it was Obama, but now that somebody they think is from their own “tribe” is in the driver’s seat, they’ll orgasmically and tearfully rejoice in.
“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.”
Exit question: How many veeps do you think Trump would go through in a single four-year term? My over/under would be seven (one every six months or so).
UPDATE: Looks like Bernie called The Donald’s bluff:
So was Trump (1) lying or is Trump (2) a coward or (3) both?
But Trumploons will insist that Donnie “made Bernie look!”
It does go to reinforce yet again that nothing Trump says is ever serious, reliable, or trustworthy. You’d think that would make it pointless to listen or pay attention to him and people would have long since lost interest and ignored him. That the opposite is the case speaks volumes about not just the GOP but the United States of America as well.
UPDATE II: Sounds like Bernie knows how to speak Trumpese:
Well, I think there’s starting to be some back-channel discussions. I do hope — I saw that thing last night, and it seemed that Donald Trump was serious when he was talking about it. And I hope that his handlers don’t dissuade him, or that he doesn’t sort of chicken out on this. I think it would be great for the American people to be able to see these two candidates on stage, debating the important issues. [emphasis added]
With any other candidate, this sort of playground taunt would elicit nothing more than eyerolls. But with Trump? Let’s just say this isn’t over yet.