Is The Congressional Firewall Holding Against The Trump Effect?

Is The Congressional Firewall Holding Against The Trump Effect?

So far, the answer appears to be….yes.

But the night, as they say, is young:

Donald Trump will prove a boon to House Democrats, top campaign officials said Monday morning, though they conceded that a Trump drag has yet to exhibit itself because the election’s dynamics have been slow to solidify.

“This election is breaking late,” said Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. “The dynamic of what is happening at the top of the ticket is taking a while to solidify,” leaving the House as a lagging indicator. Nevertheless, added New Mexico-3 Representative Ben Ray Lujan, who chairs the committee, “Whether people try to run away from Donald Trump now or not, the damage has been done.”

It’s mid-June, gentles; that’s awfully early for an election to “break,” even in 2016.  Just as the dynamic of what is happening at the top of the ticket has already pretty much solidified: The American electorate emphatically wants other viable choices besides the two most loathed figures in American politics today, but are holding their noses moderately less for Hillary Clinton than they are for Donald Trump.  He got a small post-nomination-clinching bump, which is now fading, and she may or may not get a bump after hers, but if she does, it will settle back down to that mid-single-digits margin by which she will eventually win in November.  Indeed, I would argue that the top-of-the-ticket dynamic has not only solidified, it has congealed.

The question has always been the effect down-ballot.  Coattails (positive and negative) have ceased to be an electoral phenomenon over the past generation, but the sheer stench and spectacle of Trumpmania figured to bring them back, though they also figured to have the least impact in the House.  The evidence thus far seems to reinforce that conclusion:

While a Trump effect on the House has been much discussed (see here, here,here and here, for example) it has yet to exhibit itself in terms of the shape of the House battlegrounds: A perusal back through the Cook Political Report’s ratings of House races, for example, shows a surprisingly stable battle for the House. The most recent chart, issued last week, rated forty-five GOP-held seats as competitive (with three in the “likely Democrat” column, two more in “lean Democrat,” fifteen toss-ups, thirteen in “lean Republican” and another dozen in “likely Republican”); one month ago there were forty-four competitive Republican seats, divided roughly the same way; the number was forty-three the month before that. Democrats have thirteen competitive seats, according to the latest Cook tally, and need to net thirty seats to regain the majority in the House.

Doesn’t sound like a “blue wave” election at the House level to me.  It might have been if the Dems had cared about electability and nominated Bernie Sanders instead, but as I have discussed for years now, Hillary Clinton inspires nothing other than heartburn.  She’ll win because Trump is an even worse alternative for every voter outside his Peronist personality cult, but dragging her own fat ass across the finish line will be enough of a burden without having to lift all those other boats at the same time.

But what about in the Senate, where the GOP was going to have a difficult enough time holding onto its 54-46 majority even before the ill-fated, ill-advised rise of the pompadoured prince?  Turns out there’s still some flickering hope there as well:

This lines up with polling seen in Senate and gubernatorial races. Trump’s negatives and lack of gain from Mitt Romney’s polling levels in 2012 hasn’t shown any impact on other Republicans. In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey still holds a substantial lead over Democrat challengers despite Trump’s lack of significant traction. In Utah, a poll taken a week ago shows Trump not even reaching 30% in a three-way race for the presidency in this deep-red State and only 36% in a two-way battle against Hillary Clinton. Governor Gary Herbert scores 56% from the same sample in his re-election bid, however. In fact, another poll in Utah shows much the same kind of race.

If Trump is still neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in Utah three months after I first brought that to y’all’s attention, he’s going to get utterly and absolutely vaporized in just under five months.  Shinola, even poor ol’ Bob Dole carried the Mormon State by twenty-one points in 1996, and John McCain by twenty-nine a dozen years later, and those were the most desultory Republican efforts in the past half-century.

But then anybody who hasn’t drunk the Trump Kool-Aid has always known that he couldn’t win in November and that the point of his bid all along was to ensure the ascension of his good friend Commissar Thunderthighs.  The biggest threat of Trumpmania has always been the Whiggification of the GOP by the abject destruction of its brand by its subsumption into Trump’s corrupt, gutter-trash circus.  But if the party’s congressional majorities could survive Trumpageddon, so could the party itself, and perhaps the GOP civil war that demon-spawned it could be wound down in something resembling Lincolnesque, as opposed to Reconstructionesque, fashion.

Holding the Senate is still a long shot, but if Paul Ryan is still wielding the gavel next January and thus around to atone for his Trumpist sins, Trumpageddon will not have been, after all, an extinction level event.

Which simply means he’ll try again in 2020.  But one ELE at a time, I guess.

The 2016 Blue Plate Special On Orlando Jihad

The 2016 Blue Plate Special On Orlando Jihad

….in two tweets.

“Ladies” first:

“Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Kinda puts the “d” in “delusional,” doesn’t it?  Although it also bears the mark of Her Nib’s trademark hamfisted, pandering, rote recitations, like she cut & pasted it from the leftwingnut catchphrase list and shot it out into the cyberether like her pantsuit was on fire.

But as with pretty much everything else Mrs. Clinton has done and said in this campaign, it has the reek of “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” to it.  There’s no blasting of Commissar Upside-Down Legs that hasn’t been blasted countless times before over the past quarter-century.  She is what she is, we’ve said about it and her what we’ve said, and frankly continuing to whale away, while necessary, is excruciatingly tedious and, by this time, rote recitation in and of itself.

That’s one more thing that makes Donald Trump’s bullshit so much more of a fresh and inviting target:

Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

First of all, if he didn’t want the congratulations, he wouldn’t bring up how much he basks in that imagined glory from it.  Second, and more to the point, he thinks he merits congratulations for making the most basic recognition of established fact: Islamic Fundamentalists are trying to kill us all.  Kinda resembles a “degree” from Trump University, doesn’t it?  And thirdly, and even more to the point, what has he proposed as countermeasures other than insincere vigilance – the Muslim immigration ban he floated and then hastily retreated from last fall – and “bombing the shit” out of ISIS and “taking their oil,” which just so happens to line right up with the Left’s smear of the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism?  The primary campaign pander that he has little remaining interest in pushing in any case, as evinced by his followup tweet that “many, many Muslims are wonderful people”….until they’re not.  Which is kind of the point of the vigilance he purports to tout.

But as a practical matter, while keeping out any more Muzzies, wise as that would be, is certainly a prudent step – or would be if Trump actually meant it – there is the matter of what to do with the ones already here, which a Muslim immigration ban does not address and would not have prevented the jihadist assault in Orlando yesterday morning.  What are the coiffed crusader’s “bold, brash, tell it like it is” big ideas on reining in the jihadists already in our midst?  Is he holding them back until more pats on the back are forthcoming, because his thinking on this topic is as mile-wide and inch-deep as it is on every other, or because he’s actually as Islamophilic as pretty much every other New York liberal?

Trump wanted to be GOP presidential nominee; this is the kind of seriousness and gravitas that designation, as well as his overhyped reputation, requires.

To quote Loki….

So Much For The “Trump Bump”

So Much For The “Trump Bump”

Remember when Donald Trump actually took the national lead in the RCP average a few weeks ago?  Then remember his racist smear of the federal judge in the Trump University fraud case (that I wanted to write about a week ago but was preempted from doing by other things) on which he is still doubling down?

Yeah, about that:

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample MoE
Clinton (D)
Trump (R)
Spread
RCP Average 5/13 – 6/8 44.1 40.3 Clinton +3.8
FOX News 6/5 – 6/8 1004 RV 3.0 42 39 Clinton +3
Rasmussen Reports 6/6 – 6/7 1000 LV 3.0 42 38 Clinton +4
Reuters/Ipsos 6/4 – 6/8 1440 RV 2.9 42 34 Clinton +8
IBD/TIPP 5/31 – 6/5 850 RV 3.3 45 40 Clinton +5
Quinnipiac 5/24 – 5/30 1561 RV 2.5 45 41 Clinton +4
ABC News/Wash Post 5/16 – 5/19 829 RV 3.5 44 46 Trump +2
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 5/15 – 5/19 1000 RV 3.1 46 43 Clinton +3
CBS News/NY Times 5/13 – 5/17 1109 RV 3.0 47 41 Clinton +6

Mrs. Clinton – the worst and (second) weakest major party presidential candidate of the modern era – has regained a five-point RCP average lead since the millionaire slumlord accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel of having a “conflict of interest” because his parents are Mexican.  Not because Judge Curiel is an Obama appointee; not because Judge Curiel is a leftwingnut (who has nonetheless tended to rule impartially and according to the law, as if he has been on a mission to be the exception that proves the rule); because Judge Curiel is “Mexican,” even though he is a naturalized U.S. citizen.  Trump did not allege partisan or ideological bias; he alleged ethnic bias, without evidence, and presuming that all Hispanics/Latinos think monolithically alike.  In so doing, The Donald couldn’t have looked and sounded any more like La Raza or #BlackLivesMatter if he had been trying to do so.  Any more, yes, racist, only from an “anglo” direction, thus giving validation to the half-century Donk smear of Republicans, amplified to the ends of the heavens by Barack Obama for the past eight years, as being “racist” that the party, by acquiescing to his nomination, will never live down and never escape.

And for what?  The White House?  Being the spearhead of an unstoppable, epochal national movement?  Trump’s campaign is borderline broke, the Curiel smear has re-alienated already-wary GOP donors, he’s starting to lose what congressional endorsements he had picked up, and he’s doubling down on the insane notion of blowing off organization, ground game, data operation, and grassroots GOTV efforts in favor of the same Nuremberg-esque mass rallies and top-down, one-size-fits-none, hardcore obnoxious and juvenile national media blitz nonsense that did not win over a majority of Republican primary voters.  And now the Democrat primaries are finally, mercifully over, Weekend Bernie Sanders is finally making noises about calling off his “insurgency,” if not yet necessarily getting behind the Empress, and that means the full, unfettered fury of La Clinton Nostra and the national media is about to fall upon the New York liberal conman.  He will not be facing the clueless, docile GOP primary field, propelled by that same national media that was attempting to impose him on the Republican Party for what should be day-glo obvious reasons.  He will be facing a larger, stronger, richer, ginormously ruthless, bloodsporting enemy that already has its symbolic boot on his throat and will grind it to a pulpy, ganglia, viscera-encrusted mess before snapping his metaphorical neck on November 8th.

Because Hillary Clinton is the spearhead of an unstoppable, epochal national movement?  Hardly.  Nobody likes her, nobody is inspired by her, nobody is impressed by her.  She was the weakest candidate the Dems could have nominated.  But the same is true of Trump, to several additional orders of magnitude.  He is eminently stoppable (mostly by himself), most Americans are equal measures hateful and fearful of him, and he stands for nothing but himself and his gutter-trash, bottom-feeding, amoral character.

At what point does assholery stop being “entertaining”?  The general electorate is increasingly coming to find that out, which helps explain daily tracking polls like this one:

ReutersDaily

A fifth of the electorate is not “undecided,” but wants neither one of these loathsome animals.  Of the other four-fifths, the (re)emerging consensus is that Mrs. Clinton is horrible, but Donald Trump is even worse.

A month further along, I steadfastly and contemptuously deign to offer an opinion on the comparatives of pitting dogshit against horseshit when the common syllable speaks deafeningly for itself.  As should anybody who calls him/herself a constitutional conservative.

To tweak a quote from Nick Fury, I’m baaaaaaaack, and Trumplicans won’t be glad that I am.

The Trump-Sanders Debates

The Trump-Sanders Debates

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:

Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7th primary.

 

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:

Multiple sources tell @CBSnews that Trump was kidding about debating Sanders & it will never happen. (H/t @stevechaggaris and@MajorCBS)

So was Trump (1) lying or is Trump (2) a coward or (3) both?

Yes.

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.

Trump Trying To Bully Paul Ryan Into Endorsing Him

Trump Trying To Bully Paul Ryan Into Endorsing Him

I’ve thought about this, and I’ve thought about this, and the only thing that makes any Trumpsense is his trademark “alpha-male” dominance compulsion.  The Speaker of the House didn’t follow orders and bow the knee to him as “GOP” nominee, so now Ryan has to be forced, bulldozed, bamboozled, humiliated, and otherwise coerced into doing so, rather than letting their meeting a couple of weeks ago and time allow Ryan to face-savingly do so on his own.  Which he probably would have, especially since he’s on #NotYetTrump island pretty much by himself, and that institutional unity pressure is powerful.

But now?  Put yourself in Ryan’s position after the scam the Trump campaign pulled today:

Senior level Trump campaign sources confirmed to ABC News Wednesday that House Speaker Paul Ryan will be endorsing presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It’s unclear when the endorsement will take place, but Ryan has a briefing on the House GOP agenda scheduled later today in Washington.

And just exactly who was this “senior-level Trump campaign source”?  None other than the Russophile himself:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has begun telling confidants that he wants to end his standoff with Donald Trump in part because he’s worried the split has sharpened divisions in the Republican Party, according to two people close to the lawmaker.

Ryan aides say nothing has been decided about a possible Trump endorsement. But Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a small group of Republican lawmakers Thursday that he expects Ryan to endorse the party’s nominee as early as this week, according to two people in the meeting.

“He expects” Ryan to endorse Trump this week.  Sounds almost like a threat, doesn’t it?  Not unlike Sebastian Shaw’s comment to Colonel Hendry in X-Men First Class that he “expected” that Hendry would reconsider his opposition to putting U.S. nuclear missiles in Turkey: He wasn’t expressing his hope for Hendry’s cooperation; he was telling Hendry what he was going to do, or else.

Who knows where Ryan was in this “transition” process, but how could or can he possibly endorse Trump now?  And, sure enough:

.@SpeakerRyan spox tells me: “We’ve not told the Trump campaign to expect an endorsement. He’s also not told anyone he regrets anything.”

Either Trump was making it up in an effort to force Ryan’s hand – i.e. a shame endorsement – or Ryan was going to give Trump his blessing and the latter just couldn’t allow it to look like the former was granting him the endorsement, but rather that Trump was taking it.  In other words, that “alpha-male” domination crap.  Again.  How can Ryan endorse him now, or before the convention?  One way or the other, TrumpWorld tried, completely needlessly, to make a chump out of the Speaker.  Since when is it his, and everybody else’s, “duty” to swallow their pride (and a lot more than that) to make The Donald’s colossal ego swell like Bill Clinton at an intern convention?  Remember, rapprochement and reconciliation are a two-way street or it isn’t genuine.  The former leads to unity; the latter is the kind of “unity” that Nazi Germany inflicted on France in 1940, or the Union imposed on the Confederacy at Appomattox.

For all of you out there who are willing to grant Donald Trump the “benefit of the doubt,” I want to ask you a very simple question: Why does he continue to treat “fellow” Republicans as either rivals and enemies (those that won’t submit to him) or his personal bitches (those that have submitted)?  Why does he debase and degrade and humiliate the latter for forfeiting their self-respect and demonize the former for retaining it?  Name any Republicans outside his Kool Aid brigade whom he has regarded as genuine friends and allies even if not seeing eye to eye with them on everything?  Shouldn’t that lack matter?  Isn’t it important?

The questions are all rhetorical of course, and boil down to that same common axiom: Trump gotta be Trump, and Trump is not a Republican.  And Douglas V. Gibbs expected me to “tone down” my criticism of this asshole, or stop writing about him altogether because his three-watt bulb following wanted Political Pistachio to be a Trumplican safe area?  Fuck that, and fuck them.  I’ll be in their grills 24/7 until the end of time, or this campaign, whichever comes first.

Exit question from Brad Thor:

I have been mistakenly comparing him to a potential Mussolini, and about a week ago, Foreign Affairs did an amazing article about the Caudillos – the strongmen of Latin America, and THAT is who Trump is. He is a Chavez. He is a Perőn. That is the type of guy he is, and I guarantee you… during his presidency, he is going to petition the American people to allow a temporary suspension of the Constitution, so that he can help America get back on its feet again….

With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his Constitutional authority as president?

Or he won’t bother with any petitioning and will just do it.  Obama did that, after all, and his drooling lemming acolytes cheered him on.  Trump and the Trumplicans would be no different.

In any case, don’t worry. Brad; the Pelosi-Schumer Congress would impeach and remove Trump.  It would be a “deal” that Trump couldn’t refuse.

And if he tried, well, that’s the kind of violence his followers would cheer on as well.

Trump Dumps On New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez In Middle Of Leftwingnut Riot

Trump Dumps On New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez In Middle Of Leftwingnut Riot

Here is post-Political Pistachio example number one of why I will never “tone down” or discontinue my loud, vociferous, vehement opposition to Donald Trump, and why Douglas V. Gibbs is a fool for purging the #NoneOfTheAbove viewpoint from his site:

During a sixty-five-minute speech in Albuquerque last night, Donald Trump laced into New Mexico Republican Governor Susana Martinez. He blamed her for the State’s economic problems, for the growing number of food stamp recipients and for not doing more to reject Syrian refugees. The billionaire even mused about moving to the State to run for governor himself.

“She’s got to do a better job,” Trump told thousands of supporters, per Jenna Johnson. “She’s not doing the job. We’ve got to get her moving. Come on: Let’s go, governor.”

Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about New Mexico, its economy, its food stamp recipient level, Syrian refugees, or how the Asgardian Destroyer laid waste to Puente Antiguo.  All he does care about is that Governor Martinez doesn’t like him and won’t bow down to him as “GOP” nominee.  So Trump did what he always does to anybody who won’t kiss his ass: vent his petty wrath with fabricated, stream-of-consciousness bullshit.

Would Governor Martinez have come around eventually?  Who knows?  But, see, since she’s in her second gubernatorial term and is term-limited, she is under much less “institutional” pressure to knuckle under.  So if her endorsement means that ostensibly much to The Donald, he needed to do something that totally cuts against his temperamental grain: Woo her.  Be conciliatory, complementary.  Butter her up.  Surely that’s part of the “art of the deal” as well, right?  She is, after all, the chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, a prominent high-ranking Republican elected official, as well as both a Hispanic and a woman in demographic/bean-counter terms.  Her endorsement would, accordingly, carry some disproportional weight and would have been valuable to have.  But she was not going to just give it away, because she didn’t, and doesn’t, have to.

And now, thanks to this latest Trumpertantrum, that endorsement is now pretty much moot:

Martinez’s press secretary, Mike Lonergan, responded with a blistering statement: “Apparently, Donald Trump doesn’t realize Governor Martinez wasn’t elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform, and has strongly opposed the President’s Syrian refugee plan. But the pot shots weren’t about policy, they were about politics. And the Governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate.… Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her – she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She didn’t hear anything about that today.”

And neither did anybody else.  Because he’d be more likely to cut a deal with King Loki than he would to help Thor fight the Destroyer.  No wonder Governor Martinez skipped the Trump event to shampoo her dog’s butt hair.

James Hohmann summarizes – or, rather, reiterates yet again – what the Martinez kerfuffle tells us about the meaning and reality of the Trump nomination:

  1. The riff underscores the hollowness of Trump’s promises to unite the Republican Party he has fractured, and the divergence between how he defines “unity” (i.e. everybody must unconditionally surrender to him) and how the rest of us do.
  2. Attacking the most prominent Latina in the party will make Hispanic outreach even harder, assuming he doesn’t simply sit back and wait for them to genuflect before him.
  3. Last night’s rally further illustrates why Trump is on track to get clobbered among women.  Were the lines about referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” (Evidently Trump never got the memo that it’s “Fauxcahontas”) and saying that voting for Mrs. Clinton because she’s a woman is like drinking bleach because it looks like water good ones?  The latter one was, sure.  And if this were open mic night at the Giggles Improv, they’d have been home runs.  But this is a presidential campaign.  And a major party nominee has to have more to offer than just Don Rickles routines.
  4. Even with the nomination wrapped up, Trump remains thin-skinned and lacks self-discipline.  Which, respectively, is why he’ll never unite the party and never win in November.  Unity requires conciliation, which means reaching out, which means moving towards those whose reconciliation you seek and need, which means burying the hatchet somewhere besides the middle of their skulls.  Trumplicans wanted somebody who would “FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!”, and they got him, but their problem now is that flipping everybody the bird 24/7 is all that Donald Trump knows and is capable of doing.  If the GOP “establishment” was too supine, now 40% of the base has stuck the party with what amounts to a wolverine on angel dust.  Lunging to the opposite temperamental extreme is no solution and can only make things even worse.
  5. Party unity is further out of reach than conventional wisdom suggests.  The Martinez attack serves fresh red-meat reminder of it.  Ditto House Speaker Paul Ryan’s reticence and Ohio Governor John Kasich’s, surprisingly, as well.  Intra-party reconciliation comes via the olive branch, not vitriol and threats.  Something that EVERY PREVIOUS NOMINEE understood.  Yes, yes, I know, “Trump’s not like any previous nominee” – which is true, since he (1) isn’t a Republican, and (2) is destroying the GOP rather than building up it.
  6. As Trump snipes at fellow Republicans, he continues to galvanize the left

Which brings us to the anti-Trump riots raging all around Trump’s anti-Martinez rally:

In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades.

Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers….

At one point, a female protester was physically dragged from the stands by security. Other protesters scuffled with security as they resisted removal from the convention center, which was packed with thousands of loud and cheering Trump supporters.

No, those leftwingnut rioters weren’t Trump’s fault, and yes, they’d be doing the same thing if Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or even Scott Walker had clinched the GOP nomination.  Commie-lib insurrectionists insurrect because they’re commie-lib insurrectionists.

But Trump is responsible for how he and his big government statist supporters react to them, and once again, the hyper-combative degree to which Il Douche was in his element shows yet again his manifest and dangerous unfitness for the office he seeks:

Trump responded with his usual bluster, instructing security to remove the protesters and mocking their actions by telling them to “Go home to mommy.”

He responded to one demonstrator by asking, “How old is this kid?” Then he provided his own answer: “Still wearing diapers.”

Trump’s supporters responded with chants of “Build that wall!”

Because Trump’s supporters are little different in terms of mental wattage or puerility from the leftwingnut insurrectionists, who seem incapable of grasping that illegals, and the Mexican drug cartels, can and do climb over and tunnel underneath walls.

What bears noting here is the nature of Trump’s reaction: Blustering mockery without a single scintilla of ideological or philosophical context.  No identification of who these “protesters” were or the radical leftist extremist ideas they represent that in turn compel them to employ such violent tactics.  No constitutional conservative contrast applied against it.  If you don’t identify the enemy, how can you defeat them or even know why you should?

Trump doesn’t care, because to him these “protesters” are not the enemy, but simply a means to an end, little equivalently different from the German communist rioters eighty-three years ago that another “nationalist/populist” exploited on his meteoric rise to excessive power.

Mr. Gibbs may fear the Trumplican mob’s special snowflake sensitivity against unwanted facts, but I shan’t apologize for citing indelible historical parallels when they fit like a tailored glove.