Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Donald and the debate
Laurie and I were having a political discussion (sometimes a good thing) about The Donald bailing out of the FoxNews debate over this whole Megyn Kelly feud thing. As Laurie described her POV on the subject ("He's being a big baby" boiled down), I began to ponder what possible good Trump thinks he'll get out of what surely appears to be a debacle. So I went in search of wisdom. A nugget here, a scrap there. And I think I have the whole thing sussed out. Are you familiar with a Rube Goldberg machine?
Follow me on this one for a moment. As I sifted through my nuggets (Not that, Al), I first looked at Rush Limbaugh's take- where he pointed out Trump's book The Art Of The Deal, and Trump's not wanting to get entangled in something that is to his disadvantage. I thought about the whole deal, occurring about the same time as the Kelly deal, with fellow candidate Carly Fiorina and her face, and how they traded jabs that first debate- and then the whole thing faded away. Why hasn't this faded away? And then I read the statement FoxNews released (which Rush referenced), where they suggested that the "Ayatollah and Putin" were conspiring to "treat him unfairly" if he became President, so he wouldn't show up to those meetings. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that isn't how a legitimate news organization speaks. (Take yer shots, but you know what I mean.)
To me this all reeks of a set up feud. Both sides have been over the top on keeping the fire burning- even Rush said he was stunned that Fox spent the whole night discussing such a non-issue. Now we could frame it, as Laurie did, that we have TWO sides acting like babies. But, here's the thing.
Add the nuggets together- keeping in mind that what Trump knows about spinning things is more than the other GOP candidates will learn in the next five lifetimes. And here we have some clearly insignificant- but kept smouldering- thing that all of the sudden, at the debate just prior to the Iowa caucus, suddenly erupts into this big deal. Frankly, I think there IS no feud, and that when this is all over, the Trump camp and Fox are going to have a good laugh over it.
Because he has an excuse to skip the debate. No matter it's a piss poor excuse or makes him look bad- his statement about being able to shoot someone in the street and not lose a vote is probably fairly accurate. And what happens at the debate without him? One of three things:
1- The candidates focus on their own agendas.
2- The candidates focus on bad mouthing Hillary and Bernie.
3- The candidates play pig-pile on Donny.
But whatever they do, The Donald is away, standing above it all- and no matter which one they choose (my money's on #3), he can spend the next five days before the caucus picking the others off, one by one, at his leisure. Five days where any point they make is spun Trump's way, any mistake is pounced on. All the while, he doesn't have to worry about HIS mistakes because, he wasn't there to make one!
So we drop the marble labelled "Kelly feud" into the top of the Goldberg Machine; it trips a lever, swings out an arm, drops a weight down a pulley, tips a water bucket, etc, etc, and at the end of it, a brand spanking new nomination drops in The Donald's lap.
It's a win-win for the main participants- Fox gets street cred standing up to Trump, Trump gets cred not bowing to FoxNews, and the other candidates get lined up like pop cans on a fence rail, waiting for Donald and his BB gun. Because this guy's that much smarter than them. And by 6 AM Tuesday in Iowa, I'll wager Trump's poll numbers will be pushing fifty. And this time next week, at least five candidates will fold up their tents and head home. They'll grumble about Trump's resources, and blame the stupidity of the voting populace, but in the end what got them was not knowing the Art Of The deal like the man that wrote the book.
(Keep in mind, this is just a plausible- to me- scenario, and does NOT constitute an endorsement of any candidate. They all still have a shot with me- excepting certain people whose career as SecState was just as glowing as their career on the Watergate committee.)