Political scientist Joseph Foy dismisses Donald Trump's real-world candidacy, flopping badly with rational adults, let alone coveted independent and moderate voters. Joining a good NY Times survey, he doesn't ignore one impact from Trump train wrecks, to set GOP agendas:
Trump forces other Republicans to respond to the positions he has taken . . . The real power Trump holds as a candidate is to set the agenda for others competing for the Republican nomination . . . [leading] several polls means that right now he is framing the Republican message better than these other candidates.
My fellow progressives, put aside disgust with the Donald Delirium, flush with infantile appeal from his shoot-from-the-hip lies -- indeed, Palinesque affronts to truth -- disprovable by five minutes online by any sixth grader. When has precision, reality, even policy restrained opportunistic, less-bright-than-they-think narcissists from seizing center stage, damn the consequences? Simply dispatch his merciless "messengers," bellows King Donald, to backhand Saudi Arabia or China for daring to "rip us off."
But what if Foy is right? That even this loosest of loose cannons can fashion messages that embarrass GOP "professionals," no strangers to propaganda. If Trump's "framing" can suddenly disrupt the entire fringe madhouse, does that not show a political world-scrape presumed immovable can really tilt -- something not dictated by horrified party power elites, or big money, or entrenched billionaire reactionaries? Hustler-in-chief Trump testifies that sufficiently disruptive chutzpah upends established patterns, beyond paltry Palin's or Bachmann's 15 minutes of fame.
Needed: Democratic Ass Kicker
So, here comes this obvious question: where's the impactful, creatively disruptive voice that can shake up the left? Aren't we due? Certainly, any progressive insurgent won't compete in the "stupidest non-politician of the year" contest, nor match fringe whackos. Don't progressives deserve more than the Tea Party? Don't we literates believe in evolution and global warming and majority rule? Hope, change, progress? Really, are we progressives or depressives?
The time is right, even more so as Democratic powers embrace their status quo-loving sellout of a candidate, hoping against hope No Drama can top staggeringly inhumane radicals. Rolling into 2012 as clueless and spineless as into 2010, they are, like the president, missing one great political opening after another. When do we fire upon Repugs as the mean-spirited, Gilded Age robber barons they worship -- rife with trusts, monopolies and union-bashing? Imperialism needs no taxes (spoils offset cost, like Iraq), busted budgets never need revenue, and job growth comes after crony capitalism uses up its outsourcing options (right!).
Doesn't the left deserve a true outlier who "frames issues" better than Obama or bigwig Dems? Could anyone do worse? Hey guys, the besieged middle class is going off the cliff, along with millions of battered blue collar jobs and five million homes foreclosed. Where's one media-savvy, unco-opted, telegenic Howard Dean figure who tells truth to power? Nominations, please.
Just on legal and civil rights, a progressive insurgent demands why Obama, whose Constitutional law credentials dissolved this week, summarily "convicted" the unindicted, untried Bradley Manning? Where's legal authority to assassinate untried American citizens presumed to be terrorists? Why extend, without public debate, the full array of the Bush-Cheney reign of error -- rendition (outsourcing torture), non-transparent military tribunals, Gitmo and worse secret prisons, killing civilians -- oh yeah, unstopped, warrantless wiretapping and bank record monitoring? Is there more?
Has one truly significant Bush violation of law or due process been investigated, let alone reversed by this administration, other than exporting torture? Has this president explained, despite his fiery campaign criticism, why he sustains an insular, imperial presidency? Why has Obama yet to ask Congress what he efficiently cleared -- in advance -- with NATO, European and Mideast allies plus the Arab League -- authority to bomb Libya? Talk about American government by foreign citizens with truly foreign birth certificates.
GOP Contradictions Galore
I stand by this year's most shocking turn of events: this allegedly smart president is getting diddled by the likes of the Boehner-Cantor-McConnell colossus. Right, three very empowered stooges. Don't we measure any favorite team's quality -- and playoff potential -- by which weak teams thrash it? For an increasing number on the left, this reactive president is not holding his own, whiffing against softball pitches (really, defund the government over abortion?). The right wants us to police the planet but slash taxes; accepts invasions of privacy but hates government; scoffs at the poor while distorting Jesus' gospel as rank selfishness, "get all you can for yourself." I missed that Biblical verse. Through such mammoth gaps smarter Democrats could drive truckloads of trucks, to coin a phrase.
We need above all a fierce challenger if only to remind this White House how it's jeopardizing its own chances for re-election. Is not a smarter, leftwing Donald the best way to force Obama into reconsidering -- as approval ratings plunge -- whether his "rightward, ho" is good strategy? It's insulting when Democrats acts like Republicans and somehow imagine liberals or progressives won't notice.