Littwin: Donald Trump’s spectacular implosion

If you were worried that the Donald’s inevitable implosion wouldn’t be wildly spectacular, you can put your mind at ease.

Give the guy some credit.

Moving from insulting Mexican immigrants to insulting Vietnam-era POWs was a hugely risky and un-Wharton-School-like jump. Sure it was John McCain, the RINO’s RINO, being ripped, and maybe the “I like people who aren’t captured” line reads halfway like a joke, but let’s face it: Isn’t this the ultimate Spinal Tap test of where that line between clever and stupid actually falls?

The entire Republican establishment — absent, of course, Ted Cruz, who is always quick to show his pro-demagoguery bona fides – did turn on Trump as if they had all just noticed he was still the short-fingered vulgarian he’d always been.

Ah, but Trump, in turn, fired back at them — because why wouldn’t he. And now we’re left in the aftermath of the implosion wondering who it was that actually got hurt.

What we know is that for entertainment value — and how else can you measure the GOP primary at this time? — this is more than anyone could hope for. It’s ratings gold. It’s Internet click bait. It’s the story that won’t go away.

And Trump isn’t going away either, of course. His non-apology tour over the weekend — in which he continued to rip McCain and, of course, also the media — proved as much. As we all know, the Donald does nothing halfway. If you’re going to deal exclusively in the art of the outrage, there is no percentage in halfway. For Trump, it’s always go big or go home, and even though he has a few dozen outsize buildings named after him, going home just isn’t his style, at least not until he’s ready.

And, besides, who’s going to force him out of the race? As various pundits have noted, Trump has no funders to rein him in. Every penny he has raised has come from his own pockets. As Trump puts it, “I’m really rich.” Maybe, if nothing else, this will be the moment America realizes that money and politics aren’t always a good match.

But the bigger question, the vital question, is not whether Trump is going anywhere. It’s whether the unseemly number of Republicans supporting Trump will stick with him. They rallied to him after the immigrants-as-rapists speech. You think they’re leaving now?

The question is eating away at the GOP establishment, and you can see why.

If the Trumpians stay with him, it means for a significant subset of Republicans that insulting Mexican immigrants trumps insulting war heroes. No wonder most of Trump’s GOP competitors have stayed basically silent on the Donald’s adventures in xenophobia.

If the Trumpians stay with him, it’s an admission that insulting war heroes is fine if they’re not, say, your kind – like double-amputee Democrats or, for that matter, semi-moderate Republicans who spend 5 1/2 years in a prisoner of war camp enduring torture while Trump, like Bush and Clinton, was enduring the torture of figuring out the best way to avoid the draft. (The irony, of course, is that John Kerry, who enlisted, would be the one who gets swift boated.)

If the Trumpians stay with him, the GOP push to dump Trump could well push Trump toward a third-party run, which, Ross Perot-like, could wreck any chance of Republicans beating someone named Clinton. This is Trump’s hole card, and it’s safe to assume he’d play it if he’s in the mood. If the Republicans continue to hit at Trump – and especially if they try to exclude him from the Aug. 6 Fox debate, for which he is sure to qualify – you can bet that he’ll hit back. It’s what he does.

The reason Trump insulted McCain in the first place was McCain’s assertion that Trump had riled up the “crazies” in his state. First he called McCain a “dummy” for finishing at the bottom of his class at Annapolis. And when that didn’t go anywhere, he went for his he-prefers-heroes-who-don’t-get-captured line.

Given that McCain’s refusal to take an early out from torture when offered was heroism above and beyond, Trump’s insult would be the end of a campaign for any normal politician. The Des Moines Register editorial board called him a “feckless blowhard” and said he should drop out of the race. But nothing about Trump is normal. And nothing about his campaign is normal. And if the madness must eventually come to an end, there is still this to consider: In a just-released Washington Post/ABC News poll, Trump leads the GOP field with a staggering 24 percent. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are next, at 13 and 12 percent respectively.

What’s staggering about it is that everyone knows Trump can’t win. The same poll showed 54 percent of Republicans saying he didn’t represent their party’s core views. Meanwhile, 66 percent of Republicans said Mexican immigrants were mostly honest. But if the poll also showed Trump’s support falling significantly on the one day of post-McCain polling, it also showed in a three-way race, Clinton at 46 percent, Bush at 30 and Trump at 20.

So what is the Trump story about? Pretty obviously, it’s about those in the Republican Party needing to latch on to the candidate most likely to go rogue — but really rogue this time, which apparently you can do if you happen to be both a reality-TV billionaire and real-life mogul whose whole persona is built on the notion that he doesn’t care about getting along with others.

And if it’s clear that this is where the Trump campaign was always headed, that doesn’t mean anyone really knows where it might go next.


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons, Flickr


  1. In this no-holds barred, the-rich-take-all election process, especially since Citizen’s United, nothing is like it used to be. I’m amazed how the pundits and people in politics are still opining and making predictions based on how things used to be when people voting mattered. Donald Trump is not a distraction – he’s showing us how our elections actually work now. I hope we don’t wait until someone like him actually gets elected before figuring it out.

  2. Back in the 60’s, we had this character called “the Ugly American”, and it was an attempt to get us to start acting like decent people when we went to other countries. Now, Trump is EXACTLY that type of person, but he’s doing it HERE and to US. There is NOTHING positive that he’s said yet, not in ANY of the times he’s run (like ANY of them was serious before this one). He is the ultimate in BAD behavior, and that is why some in this country are following and supporting him. They are just as childish and immature as he is, and they for some reason think this is how the country should be represented and shown to the world.

    Trump is in this for Trump. PERIOD. he has NO love for ANY other human being, it’s ALL been and always WILL be about the Donald. EVERYTHING he does is about himself. This man has NO humanity in his soul at all. Putting him in ANY public office would be a disaster of untold proportions. He has NO ability to work WITH anyone else, he won’t compromise for the good of anything or anyone BUT himself.

    That people are fooled by this idiot is a sad thing indeed. These people are IDIOTS, and need to be removed from the voting roles for the good of the country. We need, as a country, to stop worshiping sociopaths and thinking that having money makes you worth more than those who haven’t spent their lives chasing it like a sick, twisted pervert as the Donald has. His arrogance and inability to understand human feelings and behavior make him WAY too dangerous to let near the oval office, probably even as a tourist. He is NOT a good person, and is no one to let run the country.

  3. wow, from people who spit on war heroes comes this tripe? what a laugh. it sounds hypocritical to me. you people hate the military. trump says things that make you uncomfortable. period. trump has said facts. facts that no one on the left has even disputed. hmmm. I’m a veteran and I’m not insulted. I know who McCain is, I lived in AZ for 20 years. both George 41 and w. 43 both served honorably. the left are the real idiots. most don’t even know where their ideology will lead. to what end? probably you don’t either mike

  4. Sorry, Mr or Ms Lerner, but you’ve got quite a chip on your shoulder there. The vast majority of us on the left have never been disrespectful of those who signed up to defend this country, and we don’t tend to put up easily with those who do. You’ve been fed a line about your fellow citizens that is nonsense.

    If the left hates the military so much, the why are there a LOT more democratic members of congress and the senate who have been IN the militaary than there have been republicans? How come the democrats vote FOR vets issues FAR more than republicans do if the republicans are SUCH great vet lovers? You are AGAIN being fed a bunch of LIES by the right wing Faux Noisers you clearly worship, and it’s rotting your brain.

    As to ” theleft are the real idiots. most don’t even know where their ideology will lead.”, let me fill you in on a few things. First, we do very well know where our ideology leads, there are examples from all over the world. There are countries that actually afford their citizens health care, education, old age care, child care, and all sorts of other things that get FAR BETTER when everyone is in on the game and it’s NOT for the benefit of the rich. OUR ideology leads to things like social stability, longer lives, better lives, and an actual fair shot for everyone as opposed to just the already filthy rich.

    What does YOUR ideology lead to? Right where we are, up to our butts in fascism. And YES, this IS fascism. When business calls all the shots for government, which they DO corrently, that IS fascism. When your elections are bought and paid for by the rich, that IS fascism. There are about 14 points to fascism, and we’re up to our eyeballs with every one of them. Do YOU have ANY idea where YOUR ideology leads? Because it’s NOT pretty.

    I beg to differ on W’s service. A guy who nearly gets kicked out for being AWOL is NOT serving honorably.

    As to Trump, the man exhibits the absolute WORST of the American psyche. It’s a national disgrace that he is considered a serious candidate for ANY office, but especially the presidency. he is the skeleton in everyone’s closet, he is the ugly portrait in our national closet. The truth? What is that? That the Mexican GOVERNMENT is sending people here? I’m sorry, but if you believe that, you’re a FOOL, plain and simple.

    There is a reason that we on the left don’t respond to the Donald. He’s an IDIOT and we don’t BOTHER with such ugliness. If you’re going to be such a bigot, you deserve to be ignored.

    Finally, I don’t usually say things about people’s writing, but if you’re going to be calling me an idiot for my political views, then I can mention that you’re apparently uneducated as to how the language works. We have these things called capital letters, and they come at the beginnings of a sentence. If you are going to be calling others idiots, perhaps you would do well to learn HOW to put that in a way that doesn’t make YOU look like a complete MORON.

    Don’t insult me or my patriotism, and I’ll give you the same respect. Come at me with such a lack of it, and you’ll get it shoved right back in your face where it belongs. We are ALL Americans, here, TRY and act like it, please.

  5. To J. Lerner,

    Hope you continue to provide comments. Don’t let the peanut gallery get you down.

    According to a November 05, 2014 Los Angeles Times article entitled “Military veterans in the next Congress” there are 105 members of the 114th Congress who are veterans of military service:

    – 78 Republicans
    – 27 Democrats

    That’s almost 3 to 1!

    And you’ll notice no one is talking about Bill Clinton.

    Keep writing!

  6. What’s puzzling is why Mr. Littwin has devoted an entire column to Mr. Trump’s candidacy when a mere two weeks ago he said Trump “will never make it to the Iowa caucuses.”

    Trump’s candidacy was at best an outlier and this latest outburst will probably end it.

    And aren’t there more important issues to be addressed like, well, the results of a Quinnipiac poll of Colorado voters showing Mrs. Clinton trailing Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio by 5, 9 and 8 points respectively.

    It also showed Bernie Sanders trailing Bush, Walker and Rubio by 6, 8 and 11 points respectively. That ain’t bad for a guy whose candidacy Mr. Littwin blithely and cavalierly described as a “benign summer fling”.

    Hasn’t Mr. Littwin described Colorado as a swing state? Doesn’t that increase the relevance of the poll? And doesn’t he write for the Colorado Independent? Or is this just another sketchy attempt by Mr. Littwin to avoid uncomfortable facts?

    But while Mr. Littwin chose to hide under the bed rather then discuss the Quinnipiac poll, his colleague at the CI Kyle Harris took the more mature path and chose to face it. He writes: “Today’s poll shows that most Colorado voters view Clinton as dishonest and untrustworthy. A majority of Coloradans think she has strong leadership qualities, but a stronger majority thinks she fails to care about their needs and problems, it finds.
    On the other hand, Clinton’s Democratic competitor Bernie Sanders ranks high on leadership and trustworthiness. But, according to the poll, he’d still lose the general election.”

    Mr. Harris could teach Mr. Littwin a lot about journalism.

    I would like to suggest that “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles.” which appears next to Mr. Littwin’s name at the head of his column be replaced with: “If the facts don’t fit you must omit.”

    It is far more apropos.


    “The Iran deal, then, is good enough for the president because it delays until after the end of his term any reckoning with what he himself describes as an anti-Semitic revisionist troublemaking power.” – Matthew Continetti

    “I support anyone’s right to be who they want to be. My question is: to
    what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?” – Dave Chappelle

    “A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born gunman opened fire on a military recruiting station on Thursday, then raced to a second military site where he killed four United States Marines, prompting a federal domestic terrorism investigation. Three other people, including a Marine Corps recruiter and a police officer, were wounded, according to law enforcement officials: – New York Times

    “This new Dream, seeking revolutionary change in how America works, is not only impossible, but based on the faulty assumption that black Americans are the world’s first group who can only excel under ideal conditions. We are perhaps the first people on earth taught to consider it insulting when someone suggests we try to cope with the system as it is—even when that person is black, or even the President.” – John McWhorter, Daily Beast

    “First, let’s consult the “Constitution” of the Jews, the Torah. Even a cursory reading of the relevant sections shows that the Torah is unequivocally opposed to the homosexual act, which it twice labels an abomination: Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. It’s worth noting that this prohibition is grouped with several other unacceptable sexual practices, including bestiality. Scholars have reviewed various attempts to justify homosexual behavior through the “reinterpretation” of these Torah passages, and have found them to be unconvincing.”

    “So significant is the ban on homosexual activity that it is part of the afternoon Torah reading for Yom Kippur.”

    “Moreover, Judaism has taken this admonition to heart over the centuries. “Even in antiquity, when countless cultures and religions incorporated homosexuality in some form, Judaism absolutely rejected homosexual practices,” writes New York attorney Eytan Kobre in a recent edition of the Forward.” –

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Folds of Honor
    Veterans Day – November 11, 2015

  7. RE: the 2016 Republican presidential field–They’re not sending their best people. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing xenophobia. They’re bringing ogliarchy. They’re trash-talkers. And some, I assume, are good people.

  8. thanks Will for making this so easy, your preferred system of governing has killed over 150 million people. the guns are always pointed in to keep the unarmed citizens slaves. in a free society we are all born equal and free. what we do with that is what makes for organic diversity. not planned diversity. I wore the uniform. did you? didn’t think so. why does the military always get gutted under liberal/socialists? or, the veterans get such crappy care? don’t BS us Will. the receivers of the redistribution get the lion’s share of the budget. not the military. we are not fooled by the direction the white house usurper has decided. “fundamentally transform America”. with the help of people like George soros it seems likely it will happen. then you will be throw under the bus too. the people you choose to rub elbows with are far more dangerous to our country and freedom than any I do. Faux noise? (c’mon Will. be creative) you haven’t even refuted trump’s points yet. the term idiots comes directly from the term “useful idiots” the ones that enabled hitler to rise to power and then were thrown under the bus because once he had power they were no longer necessary. just as you will be under the totalitarian regime you and your ilk want to allow to happen here. it sounds like you are the one with a chip on your shoulder. fascism is a left wing ideology. lets just use the NAZIs for example. National Socialism I think that stands for. the other end of the spectrum is anarchy. no government, where the left side is fascism, much more government. I do think money and politics don’t mix. the liberals are in the pockets of the big corporations now. citizen legislators is what I want. I want six months of congressional session. the rest they go home to work and listen to their constituents. patriotism? you have none if you think central planning and redistribution of wealth are paramount. I want the government to return to the 18 enumerated powers it was originally designed to have. as for capital letters? get back to work. ideas matter. my style of typing? not so much. dimwit.

  9. Mr or Ms Lerner, you MUST be kidding. Fascism has NOTHING to do with the left. You are SO uninformed I see NO point in discussing this with you. You are SO far out in the WRONG field that it’s useless to TRY. The Nazis were as RIGHT WING as a political party gets, PERIOD.

    Please, LEARN something FIRST. THEN I will discuss things with you. You’re asking me to make sense of things that are NONSENSE. I can’t argue against things that make NO sense.

    BTW, try using paragraphs, sometime. It’s awhole lot easier to read than a huge block of indiscriminate text.

    Head out of Faux Noise, for your own sake. They have made you a fool.

  10. Let’s go with the accepted definition, shall we? Google the word, and this comes up:

    noun: fascism; noun: Fascism; plural noun: Fascisms

    an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; More
    Nazism, rightism;
    nationalism, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism;
    jingoism, isolationism;
    neofascism, neo-Nazism
    “a film depicting the rise of fascism in the 1930s”
    (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

    from Italian fascismo, from fascio ‘bundle, political group,’ from Latin fascis (see fasces).

    Where in there do you see ANYTHING approaching LEFT WING? Please, at least TRY to be BASICALLY informed when you want to call someone ELSE a dimwit. Look it up and use some OTHER source than Fox News. They went to court to prove they have a right to LIE to you, and they ARE. Stop being a parrot for LIARS.

  11. Let me continue. From the site should you actually care to go and read the explanations to these points:

    Fourteen Defining
    Characteristics Of Fascism
    By Dr. Lawrence Britt

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
    4. Supremacy of the Military
    5. Rampant Sexism
    6. Controlled Mass Media
    7. Obsession with National Security
    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
    9. Corporate Power is Protected
    10. Labor Power is Suppressed
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
    14. Fraudulent Elections

    Look familiar? It’s not because of the left that we’ve got this going on right now.

    Those on the left are guilty of many things, but not what you think. You’ve been fed a bill of goods, and it’s just not real.

  12. god job Will. just like the barking seal you are. the liberal professor and liberal google you quoted are awesome i’m sure they are great references. typical. on one side we have big government similar to your definitions and on the other we have no government. anarchy. simple Will. still this came from littwin’s article about trump. and yet you refuse to refute his comments.just a typical cool-aid drinkers response. no more Will i’m tired and you are predictably boring.

  13. No more because you’re WRONG.

    Trump’s comments don’t DESERVE commenting on. They are bigoted, not supported by evidence, and insulting to every soldier who ever got captured while serving this nation, depending on which one you’re talking about.

    1) The Mexican government is NOT sending anyone here, drug dealers, or rapists. It’s just plaing WRONG to say they are.

    2) McCain is no great hero, but he DID serve, something Trump got several deferments to keep from doing. Trump’s no better than Ted Nugent, who bragged about how he got out of being drafted, and is suddenly now a big tough guy.

    That’s more than enough time wasted on the ego.

    And I repeat, you’re done because you’re coming at this from a standpoint of IGNORANCE. Just like damn near everyone on the right. You swallow bilgewater and then complain about everyone else’s cognac. Sorry, but it’s not me who is the fool, here. You may have served, but apparently not for the right reasons. And you sure didn’t learn much for having done so.

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