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The conversation: Donald Trump's a 'blowhard' -- and just what conservatives are craving

Trump

Is businessman-turned-reality-TV-star Donald Trump serious about running for president, or is this just his latest feather-ruffling media stunt? Whether Trump genuinely believes Barack Obama will go down in history as the worst U.S. president (after he said something similar about George W. Bush when he was still leaning left) and thinks he'd do a better job as leader of the free world, or whether he's just trying to use his celebrity platform to get his message across, one thing is for sure: His theatrics are like candy for the most Obama-phobic conservatives. And for that, he's worth paying attention to.

What is Trump's motive?

It is not so much that the Republicans are irrational. It is that they are delusional. The United States has serious problems. When I turn on the television and Trump is not there, I see Republican officials arguing that the country is going broke and the way to fix that is to stop paying taxes. I am no great economist, certainly not as smart as Trump says he is, but I do suspect there is something toxic about trying to balance budgets by rejecting revenue increases and working only on the expenditure side. Could it be that the Republicans are trying to destroy government and turn the country over to Goldman Sachs and its little mascot, Trumpie?

--Richard Reeves, truthdig

The attraction to Trump, explained

Still, I understand why the Republican electorate is so fickle. The GOP field is boring and cautious (though boring is an asset in a matchup against Barack Obama), while Trump is entertaining and seems fearless. It's fun to watch the media fall for Trump's act and the White House seethe over his "birther" crusade.

So have your fun. But remember the next election is a very serious thing, and with a Trump candidacy, the joke will be on us.

--Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times

He's an entertainer

Well look I think that he is a little bit wild. A little bit ... some have compared him to P.T. Barnum and the rise of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He is one of the great showman of our lifetime. He is very clever at getting news media attention. And he's in his “Apprentice” candidate phase. That's fine. He brings a level of excitement and life -- a lot more folks will talk about the Republican ticket in the next few weeks because of Donald Trump. I'm all for him being an active Republican, then at some point he's got to settle down.... But for the moment it's a bit like watching American Idol. We have the newest guest star.

--Newt Gingrich via ThinkProgress

He's a blowhard

Very few people have the luxury of being freely obnoxious. Most people have to watch what they say for fear of offending their bosses and colleagues. Others resist saying anything that might make them unpopular.

But, in every society, there are a few rare souls who rise above subservience, insecurity and concern. Each morning they take their own abrasive urges out for parade. They are so impressed by their achievements, so often reminded of their own obvious rightness, that every stray thought and synaptic ripple comes bursting out of their mouth fortified by impregnable certitude. When they have achieved this status they have entered the realm of Upper Blowhardia.

These supremely accomplished blowhards offend some but also arouse intense loyalty in others. Their followers enjoy the brassiness of it all. They live vicariously through their hero's assertiveness. They delight in hearing those obnoxious things that others are only permitted to think.  […]

But I do insist that Trump is no joke. He emerges from deep currents in our culture, and he is tapping into powerful sections of the national fantasy life. I would never vote for him, but I would never want to live in a country without people like him.

--David Brooks, New York Times

He's the new Howard Dean

Trump is the new Dean. But The Donald is Dean on steroids. He is Jimmy Carter telling the liberal/Kennedy wing of the Democratic Party, "Kiss my a--." […]

Trump realizes the GOP faithful have lost faith in their own party. They want someone the establishment doesn't. Palin had it right -- they want someone to "go rogue." However she proved to be all hat and no cowgirl. She can talk the talk -- but can't walk the walk.

--Paul Goldman, Politico

He's the Al Sharpton of the GOP presidential primary contest

"Then there is Trump," he continued. "Trump is Al Sharpton of the Republican Party -- provocateur and clown, unserious. I think he's going to harm the party if he runs for the same reason Sharpton harmed the Democrats. I can now see all the mail coming in -- address it to me, not to Bret. He is not responsibility .[...] I think he will run, not just a trial run. He'll be up in the debate, and like Sharpton he will monopolize discussion and draw it away on issues that are irrelevant like Obama's birth and that can only hurt the party."

--Columnist Charles Krauthammer via The Daily Caller

Trump makes Ross Perot look like an intellectual heavyweight

Donald Trump, in other words, is, when it comes to politics, shallow, inconsistent, egotistical, and buffoonish. By comparison he makes Ross Perot seem substantial, well-informed, and stable. Right now Trump's support is based on a combination of name recognition, his skill at self-promotion, and his perceived tough talk. But once Republican and conservative voters begin to peek behind the curtain, this silly game will be over. Trump's support will evaporate like the morning mist.

--Peter Wehner, Commentary

Trump offers what conservatives crave

If Trump is pushed out of the limelight or off the campaign trail by the conservative establishment, or by his own erratic record on a host of issues, the atavistic longings of the rank-and-file conservative base will simply affix themselves elsewhere as other candidates try to tap the rich vein of anger he's helped galvanize. And if he survives the pounding he's about to get from respectable opinion, then George Will is right: He will make a "shambles" of every Republican presidential debate. But that's not only because he's an eccentric demagogue who is willing to say just about anything for attention. It's also because he's exactly what conservative voters crave. 

--Ed Kilgore, The New Republic 

What Republican voters are trying to say

"It means this Republican nomination is still wide open -- as wide open as any we've ever seen," said Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's unsuccessful 1996 campaign.

Less politely, it means that none of the potential candidates now testing the waters --Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to name the most prominent -- has caught fire yet. The GOP voters who told pollsters they would favor Trump listened to that list of names and replied, in effect, "none of the above." 

--Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

He will have a lasting appeal with unsophisticated people

"I think the Republican party ... is not the George Will party of the cerebral, let's look at the issues, reduce the deficit. It's become -– I’m not saying necessarily an ethnic party -– but a kind of a crazy, tribalist, let's get those people, we don't like Obama, we'll throw what we can at him. They're so angry they don't want to think."

--Chris Matthews via Mediaite

But will people actually vote for him?

But whether he runs or not -- and the betting here is that he won't -- Trump will never be president. His novelty act has filled a pre-campaign vacuum, but he is simply not a serious political figure. Over time, that would become blindingly apparent.

Being a braggart and a buffoon isn't a hindrance to wealth, and may actually abet celebrity. But those aren't qualities intelligent voters want in a president -- or ones they'll reward in a candidate.

--Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe

It’s time to start taking Trump seriously

The consensus is that Trump is not really running -– that this is just another of his over-the-top publicity stunts. In the unlikely event that he goes through with a semi-serious candidacy, the political establishment seems to believe, he'll never win the nomination. These skeptics scoff when it's pointed out that stranger things have happened. Name one, they say.  […]

What he's been, consistently, is a headline-grabber extraordinaire. If he now has decided to take himself seriously, I'm afraid we're going to have to follow suit.

--Eugene Robinson, Sacramento Bee

RELATED:

'Tea party' tango

Why Sarah Palin doesn't get what she deserves

Mitch Daniels: Debt and a tough-talking governor

On the GOP menu for 2012

If Trump is serious, he should learn a few basic economic policies

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Donald Trump attends the south Florida "tea party's" third annual tax day rally April 16 at Sanborn Square in Boca Raton. Credit: Gary Coronado / Palm Beach Post

 

Comments () | Archives (41)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Covative

I like listening to the pundits that seem to think Trump is a joke...along with many of our elected officials, but what I really see is fear... It is evident while traversing across the web that trump is a real force, a hurricane that could spell danger for all of them... If some paid off or ideological driven pundit tries to trivialize Trump.. They end up looking like the joke because people listen to a man with conviction... and they can see it.. They respect it...!

Mike

Trump is an American alchemist:

Turns cheese into gold...

truth to power

The problem with todays conservatives is that there is nothing conservative about them.
They have become extremists.

And extremism is unhealthy.

Jon Healey

@Covative -- Which conviction are you referring to? The positions he's taken over the years seem to span the political spectrum.

What's a girl to do

He appeals to the current American culture because like "Brawndo - The Thirst Mutilator!" he's got electrolytes.

Mcgibby

I think both conservatives and liberals have their extremists. Donald Trump is a well known failure that wasn't allowed to fail. If you want to give anybody credit for Donald Trump, give the credit to his dad and the banks that have remained so loyal throughout his many failures. This man is right up there with Sarah Palin and the other extreme conservatives, as well as the multitude of extreme liberals. What happened to a reasonable middle ground? Don't we all realize that the farther you go in either direction, the closer those two ideologies become?

blackone

He (and that hair and pouty mouth) WILL NOT be ignored. A little more entertainment won't hurt us.

tulsadave

News Flash: Trump is no more of a "blowhard" than Obama. Or have you not been listening closely to what Obama has been saying? He frequently spouts childish rhetoric about business, energy and "the rich".

swf

In preparation at NBC for 2012. "Donald Trump's Political Apprentice." Just you wait and see.

Tom

Per the Times....Obsevations and Provocations....

prov·o·ca·tion (prv-kshn)
n.
1. The act of provoking or inciting.
2. Something that provokes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Middle English provocacioun, from Old French provocation, from Latin prvocti, prvoctin-, a challenging, from prvoctus, past participle of prvocre, to challenge; see provoke.]

It is apparent that the Times continues its' "pattern of conduct" in order to provoke a response.

Conservatives do not "crave" this man nor his rehtoric, but extremists may. Just like extremists on the left (Progressives) believe in the Robin Hood theory of big government. Extremists are extremists....in both parties.

Alexandra Le Tellier

@Tom I was just paraphrasing The New Republic and other pundits. But you are right that the conservatives in reference are extremists.

ThomasFredette

Doesn't the Times have opinions on Obama? How he's failed at running the Country? How he doesn't know which way to go unless the teleprompter directs him? I sense a pattern here: What's funnier- Bush not knowing which door was locked at the conclusion of a Chinese press conference, or Obama wandering around, looking lost after being locked out of the Oval office? I think Bush may have paved the way for Obama, who may be clearing the brush for Trump! Wouldn't THAT be a kick in the head!

joe

not just what conservatives are craving but what America needs. Who needs a president who thinks that the best thing to happen to america was welfare? Obama wants to make us all dependent on him and the democrats. thats his plan. he hates the rich and all the innovative things that made this country great. We want trump, we want trump, we want trump......

jk

Just as the new Taco Bell commercial ends with "Trump's dangerous"... vote for this guy because "they" are scared to death of him. It is as if, on cue, they all try to trivialize DT and that should be very telling... you look at the pundits and their fear of Trump strips away their veneer and places them all squarely in the same category and that is elite propagandists.

Mark

Again, in conservative circles (a la Palin and Limbaugh) idiocy trumps substance.

kraftwerk

The American election has become a reality show.

Don Steele

Remindful of fact that the more things change in politics the more things remain the same in the nation, especially for powerful and selfish few, I suggest that The Donald may be just what the nation needs. A super salesman, can it be denied, possibly capable of inspiring citizens, our only force powerful enough to dismantle the protectionist measures implemented by powerful and selfish few which allow continuation of imbalance that benefits themselves at great cost to many.
Decades of musical chairs in our legislature has only added to chaos, hence it's time for real change which will occur when we employ protectionist trade measures until our trade becomes rebalanced, adopt public campaign funding and unwind large media control by powerful few, including outsourcers.

zygion

Tulsa Dave and Cocative, you're joking, right?

d. alexander

Any Republikllans that talks a bout Obama's birth certificate is A number one with the conservatives. They are all about hatred and bigotry. They are also saying that they don't believe that Hawaii is a real state if you listen to them. Why is that? Hmmm. Could it be that Hawaii has too many folks they consider not like them?
Hawaii has issued the birth certificate but the conservatives don't believe it is real why?
Why don't they believe the state of Hawaii?
Do they know that the birther movement was born out of the slave laws?

Patrick

Imagine a country full of nothing but orphan children and foster children. No one caring for no one, just misery and pain. Growing up in orphanages and foster homes is the most inhumane existence you can ever imagine, for those of you that grew up with one or two parents, a home, food, a bed, siblings. Now imagine a life with none of that, and that is the future w3ith the proposed policies of the GOP. A future of uncaring, pain, and suffering, for all, not just the five percent of the current population of orphans and foster children.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Hatred for each other! Left vs. Right, not human vs human. No dialog, just spouting off at each other, entertainment at it's lowest.

Frank Robles

I don't know why everyone is so concerned about who gets elected President. The fact of the matter is that the President of the United States has about as much power as the Queen of England. These are just symbolic offices. The real power in this country lies with the senior elected (well connected) officials in Washington and the power players on Wall Street. One example is the real estate meltdown. The biggest fraud to date with taxpayers picking up the tab and absolutely no one being indicted or sent to jail. The President of the United States with all his so-called power couldn't do anything to help us taxpayers.

Dr. Alan G Phillips, Sr

#110Apr. 24, 2011 - 9:36 AM EST
To The LA Times

A WAY OUT OF THE DONALD TRUMP-GOP CONFUSION MIGHT COME FROM LOOKING AT THE CANDIDATE'S WIFE AS WELL AS THE CANDIDATE

I am a GOP candidate in addition to those your are highlighting like Trump. Like you I believe the spouse is important. My wife of 50 years has been with me meeting Iowans on 15 different trips since December 2009. She is a great lady, mother and grandmother, with incredible love for her country and all people, Here is a you tube of this special peson. Few candidates are blessed ever with a 50th wedding anniversary and a potential FLOTUS bar none.

Dr. Alan G. Phillips

Bloomington, IL

Mary Beth Phillips
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOvoVok4lJQ

djon

Trump is a clown. One question: who in their right mind would vote as President of the United States someone with shitty hair like that. Someone needs to ask him that question point blank. It's that superficial. If we had a real, substantive media he wouldn't even be a factor. Our pathethic commercial news venue created him because they are now reduced as nothing but crass infotainment. He even out-Palin's Palin. Think of it. These are very shallow times. Anyone who takes him seriously needs to see a doctor.

Al

Trump is foolish to go the birther route. It diminishes him to such an extent that he could not be elected. On the other hand he has a long list of actual accomplishments that Obama can never claim. Trump has actually built things and employed people.

And it ain't braggin' if you can actually do it.

Jack C NYC

Trump is the deceitful cartoon character he looks like... he pressured the local govt to evict an elderly woman from her life-long home so he could expand is casino in NJ, which not only failed but lost all the investors money... If forced to hire a republican I'd rather have Bloomberg as President any day.

WhatAre TheyThinking

If anything David Johnston says about Donald Trump in his book, "Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business", we should be very worried that voters would consider him to be a serious candidate - very worried.

WhatAre TheyThinking

YIKES! I just re-read my post and it is missing the key point: IF IT IS TRUE
i.e., “If anything David Johnston says … is true, we should be very worried …

Guess my grammar checker would not allow “Trump” and “true” to appear in the same sentence :-)

concerned peon

Trump is no extremist.
If hell froze over, coinciding with a Trump nomination and ultimate win, I expect he would turn out like any other northeast establishment Liberal and/or country club Republican. He would even tame his mouth once he realized PopMedia won't ever accept discourse outside of the politically-correct pap, and once voters quickly tired of his one liners.

Oppose like Reagan, with Reagan's down home personality, grace, and ideologically-rooted old fashioned American conservatism, and he might have a shot. But that ain't him, at all, as he stumbles over pushing people's buttons. We know he can push buttons.

humbleguy

Trump got his business thanks to his father, why people would think another rich guy could be the answer to the nations problems is beyond comprehension. The rich hire thugs to loby on the hill for their interests, like big oil. We allow big oil to bleed this country at the risk of national security. Oil belongs to the people, thats why Alaska pays a dividend to the people of Alaska. If the people got a share of their natural resourses, like coal,gold,copper,etc, we could afford health care and be able to feed our kids.

humbleguy

Trump got his business thanks to his father, why people would think another rich guy could be the answer to the nations problems is beyond comprehension. The rich hire thugs to loby on the hill for their interests, like big oil. We allow big oil to bleed this country at the risk of national security. Oil belongs to the people, thats why Alaska pays a dividend to the people of Alaska. If the people got a share of their natural resourses, like coal,gold,copper,etc, we could afford health care and be able to feed our kids.

M Cooper

I would vote for Trump, unfortunately I don't think enough Americans have the courage to do the same. Hopefully enough people will recognize that anything outside of the political Pig Pen that currently houses all of the other potential candidates would be a change we could all live with.

John Painer

You have nothing to lose by voting for Donald Trump. Trump is the leader we have been looking for. Sure, his policies may offend many, but in the end it is still Congress that can say yes or no to any of Trump's ideas. Think about it; have the Democratic and Republican Presidents of the last 100 years accomplished anything worth remembering?

claudine willis

Donald Trump has hogged the national spotlight long enough. For all his million$, he isn't worth a nickel. I say, "FIRE him!"

affableman

Trump's just a reflection of the party, no thought, no reason all b.s. Why some folks think that people who make tens of millions a year have the same economic interests as they do is just astounding.

Steve R

If you look a bit further abroad, it's pretty clear that Trump has a precedent: Silvio Belusconi. Another overly-rich, overly-media-dominating, ephebophilic blowhard clown with high regard for himself, zero regard for the country, and far too much personal vanity to admit he's bald.

If the US doesn't want to become a living joke the way Italy has been for the last ten years, maybe they should be more discriminating in their choice of clowns.

gusonweb

Blowhard, that's obvious.
Buffoon? This is less obvious but much to the point. Already the realists among us can see that Trump is this season's buffoon.
But we are in for reaction (as I believe) & the Republican candidate who captures that mood has the best chance to be elected.
It's a mistake to find the Republican field unexciting. It's only that a serious selection-process hasn't yet begun.
A Romney-Palin ticket? Is it out of the question?

sailhardy

Eugene Robinson is indeed a good American. Perhaps he will get behind the Enforced Emigration Act which will banish conservatives from these shores forever. And while we're at it, we can create the federal Reparation and Retribution Department, and name Mr. Robinson as the tolerant person who can run it.

affableman

Trump's the only guy I've ever heard of that bankrupted a casino. That's hard work.

Tom

It would be great to see Wasserman, the new DNC chair and Trump debate on "issues." Two people with very differing views and both agressive with their public speaking. Maybe the Times could set that one up on CNN?

Don Steele

Trump is attractive to the few aware of his support for balancing our trade. Few, because today's media owners hold entities benefitting from imbalance and mention mostly outrageous characteristics when offering articles about The Donald.

Wmadden

Wow. Eugene Robinson now works for the Sacramento Bee. How cool. (Take that, Washington Post!)


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