Is Donald Trump serious — or is he punking the GOP?

The “candidacy” of huckster billionaire Donald Trump raises many questions — especially about the sorry state of the GOP field of candidates and media coverage of U.S. politics.

Democratic strategist James Carville thinks Trump is such a liability to the Republicans that he wonders:

Was the posting of the birth certificate an intentional move to bolster the political standing of Donald Trump? This is one Democrat that hopes it was, as it would demonstrate a political move of great sophistication and overall strategic brilliance.

It is hard to believe Trump is actually going to run, but Salon has warned that Trump may be talking himself into a corner and  “might be serious” in his candidacy.

But even getting beyond his birtherism, it is hard to take him seriously when he drops multiple f-bombs during a stump speech, including one aimed directly at the Chinese, and declares his energy strategy is old-fashioned imperialism, “We go in.  We take the oil.”

Please put your head-vises on for this video:

Perhaps he’s auditioning to replace Glenn Beck.

Though you have to give props to anyone who can get a crowd of conservatives to cheer for raising taxes on many of the goods they buy (the ones from China).  So maybe this is some elaborate form of performance art, where he’s punking the GOP and the media.  Heck, perhaps he’ll go all the way to win the nomination just so he can mock the Republican Party for being so gullible.

What do you think?

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30 Responses to Is Donald Trump serious — or is he punking the GOP?

  1. Richard Brenne says:

    I don’t even see a man, just an ego under some member of the badger family, and both have gone feral. . .

  2. Richard Brenne says:

    Does his Guinness Book combover now include back hair?

  3. Cyndra Ferris says:

    Donald has learned that by acting like a little girl dog- much like the Palin method- you make a lot of noise and people look at you. The problem with this method is that you then have to say something intelligent. Even though they have money and power neither of these people can follow through on the intelligence. Does anyone know the meaning of ethics?

  4. Lou Grinzo says:

    I have a hunch that Obama and his team did exactly what Carville suggests. Frankly, it’s pretty obvious that they would at least think of it. You release the long form and in moments Trump and his block-out-the-sun ego will leap all over it, claiming that he forced the release, he managed to get results when no one else could, etc. (Of course, the fact that some of the birthers are now making the ludicrous claim that Obama is still not eligible to be president because his father wasn’t a US citizen — an act of goal post moving that makes climate change deniers look like rank amateurs — shouldn’t surprise anyone.)

    Personally, I hope Trump runs. I hope he pours such vast amounts of money into the effort that he sickens even the disconnected average American. Such an event would be an unmistakeable test for the American public. Are we so far detached from reality that a plurality of us would actually vote for this raving egomaniac? I’m guessing no, but he would still garner a sizable enough chunk of votes to serve as a cautionary tale. (My early guess: he gets 25% of the popular vote and a handful of electoral votes, depending on how bat s*** crazy his running mate is.)

  5. Tim says:

    As I recall, Bush’s first Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill described
    a scene in the office of the Donald (Rumsfeld) in January of 2001 (before ‘9-11′): Rumsfeld hap maps of Iraqi oil fields spread accross his desk and was poring over them assiduously. I doubt whether the two Donalds’ points of view concerning Iraqi oil and the use of American troops to get it are all that different.

  6. Joy Hughes says:

    I want to see the debate between Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

  7. SecularAnimist says:

    I picture a conversation in which someone comments to Donald Trump that the GOP has become a parody of itself, and Trump says “Hmmmm … that gives me an idea”.

  8. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Over on the Atlantic James Fallows says Trump has a zero chance of being elected president.

    Speaking of carnival barkers: Every member of the political press knows that the chance of Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States is zero. I say that the chance of Sarah Palin becoming president is extremely low but greater than zero. I will take any bet at any odds against Trump becoming president, for reasons I’ll boil down to this: the same circumstances that would make Obama so vulnerable that a Trump could beat him (economic, political, military, or social chaos of any kind you want to imagine), would simultaneously motivate the Republican party to choose a “real” candidate with the best chance of winning the election and running the government. That is, if the Republicans think they have a serious chance to win, they’re not going to blow that chance with Trump.

    My real point is: knowing for sure that Trump’s “lead” in the GOP polls now is a quaint artifact of name recognition, and knowing that there is no chance that his “colorful” background and prima donna manner could stand the long grueling, humiliating ordeal of the primaries and the caucuses and the endless interviews, how long will the press keep acting as the megaphone for this carnival barker? Why aren’t they jumping all over him now, for the patent idiocy of his “birther” claim, rather than acting as if somehow he has scored a point by making Obama react? In reality, he’ll be on the stage with the press’ megaphone until people get bored with him — which gradually but undeniably has happened to Palin.

  9. Neal J. King says:

    I think this whole non-issue has been a great play by Obama: Get the GOP wrapped around the axle on a topic that nobody can take seriously.

    The only question I have: “Has Obama managed to play Trump, as a bullfighter capes the bull? Or is Trump playing the buffoon in coordination with Obama?”

  10. Prokaryotes says:

    Donald Trump’s birth certificate is not valid.

    Who cares? Make Arnold President!

  11. David Smith says:

    He’s punking. He will not allow serious scrutiny of his personal history, his financial affairs, etc. Probably for good reason. But maybe these unusual times will produce totally unexpected result.

  12. Zetetic says:

    I really do hope that Trump runs, especially as an independent that can out-republican the GOP when it come to pushing the emotional buttons that they’ve trained much of the public to respond to. It would be hilarious watching the Republican party trying to deal with a monster that they created in the first place!


    @ Richard Brenne posts #1 & #2:
    LOL! Nice

  13. Where is Lee Iaccoca when you need him?

  14. Joan Savage says:

    The McLaughlin Group, which tends to be right leaning, was divided on Friday evening on whether or not Trump has a political future.

    Punking the GOP, nah, I see him as more likely a team player, a substitution from the bench faking a move to distract opposition.

    He can get a payoff later. The Fox media spot is definitely a possible visible outcome.

  15. Mike Roddy says:

    The Donald knows himself that he’s not a serious candidate, and is probably as shocked as anyone by the poll numbers. If he really wanted to be president, he wouldn’t be dropping the f bomb all the time.

    This is actually why he’s become so popular. The public, including Republican primary voters, is tired of scripted, coached, and inauthentic candidates and leaders, mouthing the same road tested phrases that people like Lunz have been feeding them. The Democrats are little better, including Axelrod and Hillary’s band of PR firm coaches. McCain is a phony too, but just by saying he was from the “straight talk express” got him nominated last time around.

    Donald is one of the world’s biggest assholes, and stupid besides, but the public craves truth so much that quite a few of them will vote for him just because he is not afraid to talk straight, without notes. He’ll bow out eventually, but will have accomplished his goal: more viewers for his TV show, and more buyers for his failed condo projects.

    Maybe the Democrats should try nominating people who talk to you as if you were a real person. It might work for them, too. Dean of course got crucified on the networks for a “scream”, but candidates have recovered from worse things. Maybe he should move to a Red state and run for Senator, along with Inslee and Markey. Democrats should have learned from the Tea Party- Koch-manipulated authenticity is better than none at all, and also better than the obviously fake kind in Boehner’s “working American families” mantras and Obama’s “folks” phrases.

  16. TP 2012 says:

    TRUMP/PALIN (TP) 2012: Touching Bottom

  17. Mark Shapiro says:

    As little as I understand politics, one thread is clear: our plutocracy succeeds in lowering its taxes and regulation with patience, a huge political and PR toolbag, and money. Think tanks, polling, talking points, framing, hot-button issues, lobbying, News Corp, AM radio, unlimited contributions — all the tools.

    At least a few real conservative bloggers (Andrew Sullivan, John Cole, David Frum) realize that the current Republican juggernaut is a dangerous wreckage of inconsistencies fueled with lies and hatred.

    Given the utter impossibility of their positions:
    1 — cut taxes and the deficit simultaneously
    2 — “keep government hands off my Medicare”
    3 — freeze the debt ceiling right after passing a trillion dollar deficit budget

    Is it any wonder that a celebrity zooms to the top of their polls with just one hateful lie?

  18. Anonymous says:

    I can’t help btusalivate at the prospect of a Trump/Palin/Bachman candidacy.

    Unfortunately, though, they’d just serve to make a Pawlenty or Huckabee appear to be more normal and more mainstream than they actually are.

  19. Philip Eisner says:

    I wish we would get back to the problem of communicating the science of global warming to our politicians and their public followers.

  20. Lore says:

    Trump is definitely not looking to be the next FoxNews guy. He wants to be the next Oprah. In so doing, he is busy sucking the oxygen out of the room from any legitimate GOP contenders, while Carl and the gang try to figure out how to squelch this latest distraction. A sad ending to a once great political party.

    Unfortunately Rupert Murdock and crew created this lust for red meat by casting the nonstop media coverage of old divisions and now the people of Rome only want Death Race 2012. If history rhymes it reminds me of the build up to the same turmoil Western Europe experienced prior to WWII when Mussolini and Hitler played on the dissatisfaction of the public during the depression and gave them an irrational focus for their anger.

  21. Micaela Hobbs says:

    #16- That is so good I have to share!

  22. Adam R. says:

    The Republicans have lost their grip; the mad dogs have broken their leashes. Trump, Palin, Bachman, Huckabee, Paul: the baying pack is loose in the 2012 campaign.

    The GOP’s strategists can’t be happy with their field, but who are the “reasonable” Republican alternatives? Romney? Pawlenty? Gingrich? *yawn* Not very exciting. Defeat looms.

    Obama should be able to sleep walk to a second term. He should press this advantage against the Republicans now.

  23. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Where, oh where, is the trump card? ME

  24. Lou Grinzo says:

    True story: During the 1980 presidential campaign, I was in economics grad school. My macro prof and several students were waiting in the hallway outside a classroom for the room to free up. Our prof looked at us and said, “Reagan says he’ll cut taxes, increase defense spending and balance the budget. Anyone here believe that?” We all said no, and he said, “Good.”

    Things haven’t changed a whole lot since then. Or, as one of my favorite sayings go, people don’t change, they just become more so. Right now, the GOP has distilled itself down to the tarry residue at the bottom of their barrel.

  25. Jim Groom says:

    Did anyone watch the correspondents dinner tonite? The President and Seth Myers handed the Donald his ass this evening. The President was in top form with great timing and funny lines. Many of those lines were razor sharp and left the field bleeding. A wonderful performance and certainly a sign, perhaps, that the President and the White House will no longer put up with the bullshit. Let’s hope so.

    In particular I enjoyed his opening ‘my fellow American’ comment. Priceless indeed.

  26. John says:

    That video tells you more about the audience than the speaker. Look how he exposed unsavory popular opinions in his audience. Look at the crowd enthusiasm. What strain of Americans did that crowd represent? What were they cheering for? The unchecked application of military force for one. Economic domination for another. A rejection of the measured and thoughtful approach to government. American domination. It’s certainly a crowd that can’t accept a black president as Trump has demonstrated. Unleashed that kind of ideology would fuel a frightful form of government in this country. I can’t remember ever seeing anything of that nature in this country.

  27. Shirley says:

    Somehow, it all makes me think of “Bulworth,” this time approached from the right-wing rather than from the left. Yes, the people love “straight-talking” … but the established powers on either side, left or right, can’t let it take the reins for good. Trump will serve a purpose (his own, most of all) and will then move on.

  28. Tuckamore says:

    The world premiere of “You’ve Been Trumped”, exposing Trump’s “willful destruction of one of the most beautiful natural preserves in Great Britain” gets a first screening Tuesday, May 3, at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

    Read this write up in this morning’s Toronto Star with a link to the movie’s preview.

  29. Peter M says:

    Does Trump really have anything new to say except the standard GOP message of the last 50 years?

  30. Dug says:

    Donald Trump scares the hell out of me, and he should scare the hell out of you. If history teaches us anything it is that the masses can be manipulated, especially in times like we are currently facing. Take a minute and reflect on what would happen if a psychopath like Trump were elected President. Don’t underestimate him or the herd.