Another important primary day, part of what seems a never-ending stream of them. There’s a republican primary in Arizona and a Republican caucus in Utah today. Mots recent polls have Cruz with a big lead in Utah, and trump with a small er lead in Arizona.
The Democrats are kidding themselves if they think they are going to be able to rely on their usual attacks on Republicans with Donald Trump at the helm. They aren’t going to be able to launch into the tired war on women or talk about how Republicans hate poor people and sick people, etc., and make that stick. Nothing even close to those charges has stuck to Donald Trump so far. On CNBC, I recently likened Donald Trump to the dark force from the movie “The Fifth Element.” He seems to absorb attacks and grow in strength rather than be wounded.
Trump isn’t just a counter-puncher; he uses rhetorical counter-force weapons to deprive opponents of their favorite attacks. Remember how Trump stifled and silenced Hillary’s attempt to launch an attack on Trump as sexist? I would guess we will be hearing a lot more in the general election about Bill’s indiscretions and her complicit role in helping him concoct the lies and demonize his victims. But that will just be Trump getting warmed up. Trump will routinely go after Hillary Clinton in ways the Democrats have always thought would be off-limits. And he will do so to her face. The email controversies, the odd arrangements Hillary staffers had with the private sector, the coordination between the State Department and the Clinton foundation, the money that poured in from foreign and corporate sources who wanted easy access to the Clinton world, a variety of Clinton’s flaws and previous gaffes – even Chelsea’s employment – will all come roaring out of the Trump campaign. The Clinton campaign will spend a lot of time on their heels.
Democrats try to comfort themselves with the idea that there is no such thing as an Obama voter from 2008 or 2012 who will turn around and vote for Trump in 2016. It is easy to say Trump can’t win a general election. But that is the kind of rational thinking that has been applied to Trump ever since his campaign started. And it’s the kind of thinking that has been proven wrong time and time again. I can imagine Donald Trump pulling into a predominantly poor African-American neighborhood, standing on a platform, pointing to his wealth and saying, “If you want a chance to get rich, vote for me – look around, and if you want the status quo, vote for Hillary!” It could strike a chord with some young black voters who want a shot at a better life, not promises of incrementally more dependence and servitude to the Democratic establishment. I don’t dismiss the idea that Donald Trump could find a foothold in the African-American community.