Bad Hair?

Obama Administration

Few of the people waxing indignant because The Donald proposed banning Muslims from the U.S. seem not to have noticed that Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush want to allow only Christian refugees from Syria into the country. And many state governors have gone out of their way to be as ugly and nativist as possible, barring Syrian refugees of any sort.

In other words, it appears the Muslim ban thing is only bad because The Donald said it. Is it the bad hair?

Seriously, the only difference between the snake oil Trump is peddling and the snake oil being marketed by the rest of the Republican candidates is that some are using more upscale advertising.

I don’t entirely buy Charles Blow’s argument that Trump the Candidate is a monster created by craven mass media, but I agree with this:

Speaker Paul Ryan said at the House Republican leadership’s weekly news conference, “This is not conservatism.” Maybe it’s not traditional conservatism, but it is modern Republicanism, or at least a large enough portion of it to make the most inflammatory Republican candidate the most liked Republican candidate.

Ryan continued: “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”

I’m not sure which party Ryan has been paying attention to for the last decade, but to my eye and ear, extreme rhetoric is increasingly becoming intrinsic to the Republican Party. The front-runner is simply saying out loud what many conservatives are feeling — he’s not Svengali; he’s a crowd reader.

The truth is that even candidates with more graceful language and elegant delivery than the current front-runner express views that sound eerily similar to his.

People who self-identify as journalists in mass media just about never point out how absurd a politician’s positions are, even when they are, but now for The Donald all bets are off. It’s now okay for them to admit his ideas are nuts and he’s beginning to resemble a cross between a low-rent Mussolini and Pennywise the Clown. But they won’t say the same thing about the other GOP candidates, even though they are all pretty much on the same page in substance, if not in packaging. Although it’s okay to repeat every unsubstantiated rumor about Hillary Clinton.

The GOP is still hoping The Donald will flame out that that a “serious” candidate, i.e. someone with a conventional working relationship with the GOP establishment and its corporate donors, will step up. The longer Trump stays on top of the polls, the harder it’s going to be for that to happen. Heh.

See also Gail Collins, Republicans, Guns and Abortion.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Stephen Stralka  •  Dec 10, 2015 @12:27 pm

    If nothing else, this has brought out Paul Ryan’s shred of decency. I didn’t think he had one.

  2. Monty  •  Dec 10, 2015 @12:42 pm

    People who self-identify as journalists in mass media just about never point out how absurd a politician’s positions are, even when they are, but now for The Donald all bets are off. It’s now okay for them to admit his ideas are nuts and he’s beginning to resemble a cross between a low-rent Mussolini and Pennywise the Clown. But they won’t say the same thing about the other GOP candidates, even though they are all pretty much on the same page in substance, if not in packaging. Although it’s okay to repeat every unsubstantiated rumor about Hillary Clinton.

    This. Yes.
    Thank you.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 10, 2015 @1:22 pm

    Unless you were living and watching TV in the NYC area in the 70’s and early 80’s, this might not mean anything to you, but, her goes:
    Donald Trump reminds me of ‘Crazy Eddie,’ – an audio/video retailer – whose motto on his radio & TV ads, was – “Crazy Eddie! HIS PRICES – – – ARE INSANE!!!!!”

    That’s the way the GOP is painting Trump – lIke he’s some outlier, lIke Cray Eddie.
    Meanwhile, the other audio/video retailers were selling the same shit at the same exhorbitant price – just like Trump isn’t retailing anything different from what the rest of the party is.
    “CRAZY GOP! THEIR POLICIES – – – ARE INSANE!!!!!”

    OY!

  4. Swami  •  Dec 10, 2015 @2:35 pm

    Stephen Stralka…Don’t be taken in by Paul Ryan’s display of decency. I don’t doubt that Paulie possesses some degree of decency in some aspects of his life, but that particular instance of Paulie rebuking Trump was an opportunistic and calculated political maneuver. If whatever decency dwells within Paulie couldn’t find its way to his tongue when Trump was denigrating Mexicans than maybe his level of decency isn’t sufficient enough to be noteworthy.
    Keep in mind that Paulie is the one who claims that “inner-city” folks never learned or cared to learn a work ethic. How’s that for decency?… or quality code talking?

  5. Stephen Stralka  •  Dec 10, 2015 @3:39 pm

    Don’t worry, Swami, I have as much contempt for Ryan as ever. I was just surprised, mainly. And of course he immediately cashed in his shred of decency by saying he’d support Trump if he won the nomination anyway.

  6. Tom_b  •  Dec 10, 2015 @4:17 pm

    I’ve been saying this for months: Trump’s policies are not significantly more insane that those of the rest on the GOP. Indeed, on social issues, he might be rather more moderate. It’s just that Trump is louder and more monosyllabic while the others try to sound more calm and rational.

    The Party’s enmity toward him is all about them wanting someone with a better working relationship with the owners of the Party, the Kochs and the Adelsteins.

  7. Ed  •  Dec 10, 2015 @5:10 pm

    Well, the FBI is still looking into where and when Trump was radicalized, and they still have not figured out whether he was radicalized online or if it happened by some other means. He is known to have been in contact with some prominent Republicans, but until the FBI gets a complete analysis of his cell phone and hard drive, it is premature for any of us to draw conclusions.

  8. Swami  •  Dec 10, 2015 @5:20 pm

    What is going on with Paulie and his whiskers? Is he going through a bout of depression or is he preparing for bow hunting season? Whatever is going on with his appearance he looks like he should be standing on Pennsylvania Ave. holding up a will work for food sign.
    If he’s trying to develope a new Speaker of the House image maybe he should get some electrolysis to remove the widow’s peak. It’s too Transylvanian and makes him seem like a Sesame Street character.

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 10, 2015 @5:55 pm

    Swami,
    If he’ll work for food, THAT’LL be the first time he’ll have worked!!!

  10. uncledad  •  Dec 11, 2015 @1:33 am

    “Seriously, the only difference between the snake oil Trump is peddling and the snake oil being marketed by the rest of the Republican candidates is that some are using more upscale advertising”

    I couldn’t agree more, Trump is at least honest about his racism and xenophobia! “Conventional” Republicans real problem with Trump is that he has taken every scrap of red meat that they have been spoon feeding the base for years and slapped the whole slab down on the plate for the racist wingers to gorge on in one sitting. What will they use come the general or the next election? Why all the red meat will be gone?

  11. KS in MA  •  Dec 11, 2015 @2:15 am

    C u n d, thank you–I haven’t thought about Crazy Eddie in years! I agree (how could I not?)–he’s a prototype for Trump and a good deal of the GOP over the last decades. Or for their marketing technique, if there’s a difference.

  12. joanr16  •  Dec 11, 2015 @9:47 am

    I too have wondered about Ryan’s facial hair, if it’s an existential crisis or an attempt to distract from the Eddie Munster widow’s peak. And was reminded of a George Carlin rhyme (that followed “Lenin had a beard; Gabby Hayes had whiskers“):

    See my beard, ain’t it weird?
    Don’t be skeered! It’s just a beard.

  13. joanr16  •  Dec 11, 2015 @9:48 am

    Oh crud, my George Carlin quote may be in moderation until Sunday!

  14. Procopius  •  Dec 14, 2015 @1:44 am

    c u n d the equivalent of Crazy Eddie in Detroit in the ’50s was Mad Man Muntz, a used car dealer who did his own commercials during/after the midnight movie. Same kind of thing, I’ve gotta be crazy to make deals like this, come take advantage of me. Shouted with great enthusiasm like a carnival barker. Actually a very entertaining guy.

    I’m sorry to be the grammar police, but the first sentence drives me crazy. “Few … people … seem not to have noticed” means that most people noticed. The “not” is contradictory to your stated meaning in the following sentences.