Thursday, August 25, 2016

Not So Much a Flip As It Was a Flop

Why, yes, I did grow up reading Doonesbury:

I do not own rights. the publisher may hunt me down for this...
It's actually a common occurrence. A politician runs on an issue up until the point he/she realizes that position is toxic, and then he/she flip-flops on the issue and hopes to the Old Gods and the New that nobody (heh) notices.

Of course, everyone does. What matters is if A) the media takes it in stride, B) the Establishment leaders take it in stride, and C) the hard-core voting base that still loved the toxic issue won't riot in despair and outrage.

So when Donald Trump decided yesterday to change his tune on mass deportation of "illegal immigrants" there were several ways to view it.

On the one hand, it was kind of expected. That hard rhetoric on deporting 11 million or so illegals - with the clear implication that millions more would be harmed by the effort - was proving to be a deal-killer among the moderate voters that make up the general election cycle (you know, the ones who aren't the rabid Far Right base). Trump was floundering in the polls, making little gains in the chaotic stampede that had been his post-convention "campaign". He needed to regain numbers in the polls and the only way to do that is to start pandering to the Middle.

On the other hand, he did exactly the one thing he kept harping against during the Primaries towards the other Republican candidates, the ones who were professional politicians who made careers flipping and flopping whichever they needed on any particular day. He now had to flip-flop himself, and doing so in a way that made inconsistently bad floppers like Mitt Romney (you could see him twist in the wind over every issue except his massive tax cut) seem like master game-players.

Making it worse is that Trump was signalling a retreat on the single biggest issue he'd been campaigning on since his 2015 announcement: he was giving up a key element of his "Fear The Other" pledge of banning as many non-White people from our borders as best he could. Granted, Trump was still insisting on building that damn Wall of his - apparently he's got a 40-mile-long banner with his name TRUMP(tm) emblazoned on it that needs hanging somewhere - but he was taking off the table a meaty tasty treat that the Alt-White (AKA Angry White Boys) would love to indulge in as a weekend hobby.

In particular, it caught one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders Ann Coulter off-guard, because she just published a rah-rah book about Trump and right on Page 3 she wrote "There's nothing Trump can't do that won't be forgiven... except change his immigration policies."


And here's the thing. Once Trump and his handlers realize that few - if any - moderate voters are buying Trump's "softer" stance on immigration policy and that they're actually starting to lose whatever wingnut support they still have among the Angry White Boy crowd, they'll just as quickly go back to the "Deport 'Em All" rhetoric that got them here, hoping that it'll at least keep them happy in battleground states like Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri and Texas.

Yeah. Those are battleground states now. That's how badly Trump is starting to lose Red States.

Flop. Trump has always been a Flop.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Well, as Molly Ivins said about Clayton Williams "A politician can trip over his dick a few times, but he should not stand there and stomp on it over and over again."
I wonder if he owns a pair of golf spikes?

-Doug in Oakland