March 2, 2016

TRUMP AND THE KKK: Jonah Goldberg offers the best explanation for Trump’s footsie-ing with David Duke on Sunday. As Jonah writes, “the issue for me really isn’t whether Trump is a Klan-loving racist. I never thought that (and you can fall far short of that standard and still not have admirable views on various issues), but that isn’t really what matters in this context:”

Again, the best defense of Trump is that he hates these PC gotcha games by the press. I think that’s plausible and probably explains some of it.

But, denouncing the Klan should be easy. You shouldn’t have to think about it. And you certainly shouldn’t let you’re fear of being called “politically correct” get in the way. That’s beyond asinine. If you want to turn the tables on the interviewer and note that the Klan used to be the militant wing of the Democratic party, go for it. The one thing you shouldn’t do is sound like you’re reluctant to condemn the Klan(!) or that you’re dog-whistling that you don’t really mean it when you do.

Yet when you watch the Tapper interview, it becomes clear what is really going on: He think condemning the Klan will hurt him with conservatives or southerners or both. He needed aides to tell him, “Mr. Trump, sir, it’s okay to disassociate yourself with the KKK.” And so he took to Twitter to clean up the mess he created.

In other words, the issue isn’t that conservative opponents of Trump think he’s a Klan supporting racist, it’s that Trump thinks many of his conservative supporters are. And that’s just one reason I don’t want this guy speaking for me.

Read the whole thing.

Before and after Mitt Romney was shlonged in the 2012 presidential election, Jonah liked to write that Romney speaks conservatism as a second language. Trump does too, only he’s able to disguise it better because of his pushback against PC and because of his decidedly non-patrician tone. The fact that Manhattan limousine leftists such as Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter, who coined the infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” leitmotif while editing New York’s ur-’80s Spy magazine to describe Trump, have long despised the man as a classic nouveau riche wannabe obviously helps to burnish his conservative street cred. (Most people instinctively know they’d have a lot more fun hanging out with Al Czervik than Judge Elihu Smails.) As I’ve mentioned before, this is very much akin to another former New York Democrat who decided to turn his megaphone towards an eager right-leaning audience, Morton Downey Jr. But Trump’s tone-deafness towards conservatism also explains the clanger last night: “Donald Trump Praises Planned Parenthood Again, Attacks ‘So-Called Conservatives’ Who Disagree.”

Expect a lot more of this between now and August and/or November.

And if Trump wins the White House? As Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal recently noted, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s spectacular-celebrity fueled race to Sacramento, followed by five or so years of inertia because the legendary Hollywood tough guy was terrified of running afoul of the state’s entrenched socialist special interests (unlike Wisconsin’s milquetoast appearing Scott Walker) may be a sneak preview to what’s to come.

See also: Ventura, Jesse.

UPDATE: Heh, indeed.™

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