Friday, April 01, 2011

Trump is an IDIOT!!!

This is from today's (4/1/11) Progress Report:


Trumpeting Conspiracies

It wasn't long ago that multi-millionaire real estate mogul and NBC's Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump considered running a somewhat credible presidential campaign. In 2000, he contemplated a third-party run as the nominee for the Reform Party, and in preparation, laid out a presidential platform that covered various issue areas, including the national deficit, Social Security, U.S. trade policy and campaign finance reform. This time around, however, Trump is taking a different tack. Ever since "The Donald" first floated the idea that he might seek the Republican Party's nomination to run against President Obama in 2012, he has dabbled in nearly every discredited far-right conspiracy theory in a transparent attempt to attract attention and appease the right-wing base.

GOING BIRTHER: Despite overwhelming proof that President Obama was born in Hawaii, it has taken Trump little more than a week to transition from having "just a little doubt" about Obama's birth certificate to becoming a full-fledged birther. After first raising the issue on his March 22 appearance on Good Morning America, Trump escalated his birther nonsense by telling the Daily Caller that he would release his own birth certificate, a clear attempt to make Obama's birth a major campaign issue. He then followed through, only to find out that it wasn't an official birth certificate. And even after conservatives like presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty denounced birtherism, Trump doubled down. He questioned the idea that Obama's parents could have taken out a newspaper ad celebrating his birth, telling Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, "Nelson Rockefeller doesn't put announcements. I've never seen one." O'Reilly admonished Trump for his birther rant, saying his own investigation found two birth notifications in Hawaii newspapers. That's when Trump officially went off the deep end, suggesting Obama's family faked the entire ordeal: "I grew up with Wall Street Geniuses. What they do in terms of fraud, and how they change documents." O'Reilly responded incredulously: "There couldn't have been a sophisticated (conspiracy). What is he, Baby Jesus?"

RIGHT WING GREATEST HITS: On O'Reilly's show, Trump chose to tout another topic popular among fringe right-wingers, transitioning his birther stance into outright Islamophobia. "There's something on that birth (certificate), maybe religion, maybe it says he's a Muslim, I don't know," Trump said. And he hardly stopped there. In an apparent effort to keep up with former pizza company official Herman Cain, the most brazenly anti-Islam candidate on the GOP side, Trump harped about the world's "Muslim problem." Surely, he had some sort of high-level intelligence alerting him to this problem, right? Not quite. "All you have to do is turn on your television," he said. "You know it, and I know it." Part of that Muslim problem, according to Trump, is the President's policy toward Libya. In an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, Trump pushed the unsubstantiated right-wing theory that Libyan rebels "are closely associated with Iran. And they're closely associated with al Qaeda." In an effort to complete his transformation into a right-wing conspiracy theorist, Trump also pushed the idea that Obama's memoir, "Dreams from My Father," was written by Bill Ayers, and that the Chinese were out to "strip (America) of everything they can strip us of." He's also anti-gay marriage, for no apparent reason. Trump: "I just don't feel good about it."

RATINGS BOON: After Trump's birther discussion with O'Reilly, former Bush strategist Karl Rove said he thought Trump's approach was "a mistake. It will marginalize him." But is it a mistake? In a GOP field that already features two fringe candidates (Cain and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann) and will before long become crowded with multiple other candidates, perhaps Trump is attempting to carve out a niche among the voters on the right edge of the party. Or, perhaps, a millionaire with an instinct for exploiting interests to bolster his pocketbook (think Miss USA or "You're fired!") has figured out a way to occupy the spotlight early in the race and is using it for his own self-gain. Indeed, the ratings for Celebrity Apprentice were dismal early in the season. But with Trump making numerous appearances on both morning network and evening cable TV programs, the show's ratings have suddenly spiked. Either way, it says quite a lot about the sad state of the modern Republican Party that someone like Trump can exploit GOP voters for either electoral or personal gain by running as fast as he can to the farthest right fringe of the party.