Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trump's Collapse, Glenn Reynold's Idiocy

Two weeks ago, the President made some jokes about Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. At that time, Trump seemed like the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. The most biting line was when the President praised the tough choices that Trump faced on Celebrity Apprentice, whether to fire Gary Busey or Meatloaf; "These are the decisions that would keep me up at night. Well done, sir."

Glenn Reynolds predicted that this attention would "embiggen" Donald Trump. Instead, Donald Trump's support collapsed precipitously in the past two weeks. Here is what I wrote on the Sunday when Reynolds' piece appeared two weeks ago:
Reynolds made the seriously deranged argument that giving Trump attention is bad for the President. After all, Trump thrives on attention, right? Actually, Trump thrives on licensing royalties and real estate speculation. He also thrives under a ridiculous mullet toupee.
But I couldn't prove him wrong, and I only had my intuition to back up the fact that Trump could not bogart national media attention for long. In fact, Trump's general decline has now become the focus of media reports, starting with his removal from the Indianapolis 500 pace car, and then with the decline in Celebrity Apprenticeship viewership.

One major intervening event prompted Trump's downfall, the killing of Osama Bin Laden. When President Obama remarked, "Those are the decisions that would keep me up at night," he had already ordered the commando raid on Bin Laden's compound. He was constantly worried about the lurking possibilities of mission, intelligence, logistics, mechanical failures that could hand the United States a serious counter terrorism setback. This single moment underscores the shallowness of Trump's experience.

The lack of serious leadership on display from the Republican field makes them all vulnerable to this comparison with the President. While the President carried ordered the raid on Bin Laden's compound, Republican candidates have avoided entering the political fray. The Republican cowardice on display in the past three months disqualifies all of these candidates from challenging one of the most deliberate and decisive Presidents we have had since Roosevelt.

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