While it's not surprising to hear Charles Krauthammer condescend to the idea of Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, it comes as something of a surprise to see the National Review featuring Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg and Daniel Foster pouring tubs of cold water on the populist conservative dreams of a Trump presidency. After all, Krauthammer cut his teeth writing speeches for Walter Mondale and has alternately shown ruling class contempt for Sarah Palin while showering Barack Obama with terms like “brilliant” and “elegant” when he isn't ripping the actual policies of our Affirmative Action POTUS.
Et tu, Jonah? Even David Brooks showed more respect for the Trumpster's appeal than the guys who should be rallying around the single conservative figure demonstrating the ability to get traction with the mainstream media while appealing to a wide swath of potential conservative voters.
It's almost like everybody got the memo the same day. Sort of a conserv-o-list of anti-Donaldism. http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2010/07/the-corruption-of-journo-list/184567
All three of our normally conservative advocates were dismissive, insulting and condescending to Mr. Trump who has done more to invigorate the Republican party in the last 3 weeks than all three of our favorite columnists put together over the past 12 months.
Where does Jonah Goldberg get off calling Mr. Trump “a clown?” Yes, the Donald is narcissistic and self-promoting and of course he has some baggage. And while he's busy taking cheap shots, Jonah goes on to criticize Trump's expression of his Christian faith. Last time I checked, an honest profession of one's faith was sufficient to satisfy most Christians. Trump asserts that he does what Catholics consider to be their Easter duty-church attendance on Christmas and Easter and “major occasions.” Just to check if Jonah had become some sort of hyper-fundamentalist religious prude, I googled “Jonah Goldberg Obama Church Attendance” and turned up nothing. So why is Jonah tougher on Trump than on Obama?
While lingering in the spirit of unfairness that seems to have overwhelmed Goldberg, he goes on to provide ammunition to the Democrats by quoting a self-serving, sour-grapes, unofficial biography of Trump by a disgruntled former employee. Nice Republican team effort, Jonah.
Daniel Foster seems most discouraged with Trump's crowing about his wealth and success. As Babe Ruth once said, “It ain't bragging if you can back it up.” Then Foster gets all snarky about what sound like logical business tactics, impugning The Donald for his bankruptcy filings and comes off as insecure about “his habit of projecting the appearance of success.” http://www/nationalreview.com/articles/265269/trumped-daniel-foster Word up, Daniel-it ain't just an appearance. Donald Trump has made several fortunes and seems to have a pretty firm grip on the one he's got. Trump was ranked 420th on the Forbes http://blogs.forbes.com/chrisbarth/2010/03/11/donald-trump-and-nine-other-teatotalling-moguls/ list of the world's wealthiest people with $2.7 billion and a green upward-pointing arrow. An intelligent and resourceful businessman, Trump uses all of the tools and legal avenues available to grow his businesses-a trait that would be quite helpful as POTUS. The bankruptcy laws exist for a reason-to protect individuals and businesses that may have become overwhelmed by circumstances. Trump used those laws wisely and well.
Foster recognizes that Trump “has shrewdly taken stock of the political moment.” He goes on to pick apart some of The Donald's past statements reflecting a potential conflict with conservative voters. But what even the conservative intelligentsia fail to recognize is that voters aren't going to hold a celebrity businessman to positions he held when he might have just been spouting off for the press. Career politicians like Romney (and Romney Care) or Mitch Daniels and his ill-fated truce on social issues had to launch and defend their views and act on them in the political arena. Their past positions are much more securely tethered to them than any of Trump's views ever will be to The Donald.
Mark Steyn's Trump column in “The Corner” seems like more of an afterthought than any of the thoughtful and hilarious pieces regularly turned out by the English-speaking world's most brilliant columnist. Referring to Trump's cowardice is so ridiculous that it's an oxymoron. If one didn't know better from reading Steyn's earlier works, one would believe that Mark believes that the Chinese and the Saudis consider Americans as something of a joke with no ability to influence their behaviors or business policies. I know most Americans won't by that canard and most of us are willing to give Donald Trump the opportunity to test his confrontational theories on those supposed friends of ours in the international community whose practices make them seem more like our enemies.
Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman and a fearless battler in the media arena. He clearly knows how to hire and delegate and will hire the requisite policy wonks to help him navigate the path to the right policy and policy statements to reflect his America First bravado. Our conservative commentariat serves us more effectively when atypical media ruling class attitudes are left out of our favorite columns.