I’ve seen a lot of tasteless things in my life. Donald Trump, for instance. Former Rep. Alan Grayson’s remarks about, well, everything. Christian pastors blaming 9/11 and earthquakes on “teh gayz.” (And, for that matter, the entire Westboro Baptist Church.) The Socialist Weasel.
And then, there is this. A so-called “game” entitled Tea Party Zombies Must Die.
I really can’t look at it myself, so I just read the Kotaku blog post on it and got my information from there. I’ll admit it, I’m shameless. I listened to the Scorpions when Hurricane Irene battered my apartment building. But this is just a whole `nother bag of snakes.
Clearly, somebody wasn’t paying attention when President Obama, the Democratic Party, and the entire left-wing chattersphere went on and on about “civility” and the “new tone” (granted, I don’t think many of them were paying attention either, especially Obama) that we all needed to share. And now somebody is making a video game that explicitly targets conservative leaders.
Like Mr. Favre, who was back on the gridiron playing for a different team just months after his teary farewell from football three years ago, Mr. Trump also appears to be considering suiting up to get back in the game – only this time as an independent.
“It was not an easy decision for me [to drop out of the Republican primary race in May], but I think that it will be an easy decision [to return to the campaign] if the Republicans choose the wrong candidate and if the economy is bad. I think it will be a really easy decision for me to make,” Trump told the Monitor in an interview in Panama City, shortly after inaugurating the Trump Ocean Club, the first Trump hotel and tower outside the United States.
If “The Donald” feels the time is right to get back in the race, look for him to make the announcement on the next season of his reality TV show The Apprentice – his primetime soapbox.
It’s been an interesting CPAC this year. Before the conference even started it was embroiled in controversy over the participation of gay conservative group GOProud. Several organizations pulled out of the conference, but few of them were regular participants anyway. The most high profile and only real loss was The Heritage Foundation. Rumors are that their refusal to participate this year was not over GOProud, but due to a financial dispute with the American Conservative Union—the organization behind CPAC. Regardless of the dispute before then conference, GOProud seems to be getting a good reception from attendees.
The big surprise yesterday was Donald Trump. Trump showed up yesterday afternoon to a fairly responsive crowd, but quickly digressed into a fight over Ron Paul with a heckler. Considering the room was stacked with Paulie’s waiting to hear Rand Paul, that was NOT a smart move. No one seems to be taking Trump for President seriously. Rand Paul did a really good job. He seems to have more charisma than his father.
Speaking of presidential candidates, Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, looks like he’s gearing up for a run. Johnson has a booth and professional campaign consultants wandering around. He actually gave a good speech yesterday, but is still considered a long, long, long shot candidate. Johnson’s biggest obstacle is his drug policy (he supports the legalization of marijuana) and he will have a hard time getting traditional Republican primary voters to buy into him because of it.
Mitt Romney spoke earlier today and got a very tepid response from the crowd. The ballroom was only three quarters of the way full, and he largely skipped over the health care issue which did not go unnoticed. The fake Sarah Palin was a bigger hit than Mitt.
There was some uneasiness about CPAC this year due to last year’s disappointing loss at the ballot box and internal disagreements among various ideological views. Despite those initial concerns, the conference was a success if you’re part of the liberty movement, at least. Here’s a look at the winners and losers from CPAC. Also, scroll down to the bottom for a few more pictures and some additional thoughts.
— Rand Paul: When it comes down to it, Sen. Paul has been constantly winning over the last few weeks, but his speech on Thursday was probably the most anticipated and well-received speech of the week. And while the straw poll win over Sen. Marco Rubio just adds to the momentum.
— Liberty Movement and Young Attendees: Really, the liberty movement should go above with Sen. Paul, but given what we heard on yesterday from RNC Chair Reince Preibus and former ACU Chair David Keene, both of whom called for conservatives and Republicans to welcome liberty-minded activists into the fold, requires some separation. Add in Sen. Paul’s straw poll win and it was a successful weekend. Also, the fact that 52% of straw poll voters were between the ages of 18 and 25 — many of which I suspect are in the liberty movement — is a big deal because it gave them a chance to have signficiant influence.
If you walk around the exhibit hall at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this morning, you’ll see stickers and t-shirts from the Young Americans for Liberty booth sporting the “Stand With Rand” slogan that was born during the Kentucky Senator’s 13-hour filibuster. The outpouring of support seems to be shared by attendees of all ages, not just “impressionable libertarians kids.”
While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has managed to capative the conservative movement over the last couple of weeks, count Donald Trump, the real estate mogul turned reality TV star, who is not impressed.
During a radio interview this morning, Trump, who is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Friday, said that the filibuster “didn’t serve a purpose” and took up for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who recently called Sen. Paul a “wacko bird”:
“I like John McCain. I don’t know Rand Paul,” said Trump. “I didn’t think the filibuster served a purpose.”
McCain slapped Paul’s filibuster, charging it was silly to think drones would be used to kill Americans. Paul, however, said filibustering the confirmation of CIA Director John Brennan was a necessary stand for libertarian principles.
“This didn’t serve a purpose,” sneered Trump in an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show, a syndicated radio program. “They got a letter. The letter said ‘we are not going to bomb our own cities,’” said Trump Wednesday. That, he added, “is pretty obvious and I think that’s basically what John McCain is saying.”
This weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus complained that the media is taking Mitt Romney’s “birther” joke far too seriously, saying, “Nobody seems to have a sense of humor anymore.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will speak tonight at the Republican National Covention, also says that the joke isn’t a big deal.
Romney himself has said that the joke wasn’t intended to be a shot at President Barack Obama, but the defense is falling on deaf ears. Romney and Republicans have essentially asked for criticism over the issue any by associating themselves with Donald Trump, the billion real estate mogul who has championed this absurd conspriacy theory.
During a press conference on Sunday, Trump, who backs Romney and was supposed to have a role at the RNC before Tropical Storm Isaac altered the schedule, again pushed the birther issue:
Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Sarasota, Fla., Donald Trump said Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip in Michigan last week may have been a lighthearted joke, but that the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate is far from settled.
According to Politico, it appears that Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will be included in the opening day events at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Florida:
Convention organizers won’t say what he’ll be doing in Tampa or whether he’ll address the delegates there. But they promise the controversial billionaire and prominent anti-President Barack Obama provocateur will be part of their opening day schedule.
Mitt Romney has embraced Trump this campaign season, including attending a Las Vegas fundraiser in May thrown by the reality TV star.
Trump has generated some buzz with recent posts on Twitter saying he was planning a “big surprise” at the convention next week. But for the first time sources are confirming Republicans will indeed enlist Trump to be part of their opening day act.
Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,” which appears likely to amount to a coordinated attack on Obama’s time in office.
“We are going after Obama,” said Kyle Downey, a convention spokesman. “If he doesn’t want to talk about his failed record, we will. The American people expect and deserve better.”
Yesterday, I noted the absurdity of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s suggestion that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid income taxes in 10 years, which he says is the reason why the soon-to-be-coronated GOP nominee hasn’t released tax returns before 2010. Reid has absolutely no proof of this, mind you. It’s heresay — gossip, if you will.
Reid even admits that he doesn’t know if the accusation is true. As Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night, “If you have to follow your claim with the words ‘I don’t know if that’s true’; then shut up.” Stewart continued, “‘Cause otherwise you might as well put a dead cockerspaniel on your head and start railing about birth certificates”; a reference to Donald Trump, who made has fool of himself by claiming that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real.
Sadly, he hasn’t taken Stewart’s free advice. Instead, Reid took his baseless conspiracy theory to the floor of the Senate yesterday:
At this point you have to wonder why Mitt Romney has allowed himself to be involved with Donald Trump. Or perhaps more importantly, why have his consultants allowed it? Romney was due to attend a fundraiser with Trump yesterday, but instead of discussing policy or his opponent the presumptive Republican nominee was asked about Trump’s Birtherism.
Between Ron and I, we’ve discussed this issue enough, but Obama’s campaign is milking it for all it’s worth with continued knocks against Romney for assocating with Trump. For instance, take a look at this new ad that was rolled out yesterday.
The ad shows Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Obama’s opponent in 2008, defended Obama from attacks, noting that though he had policy disagreements with him, that he is a decent family man. Then it contrasts with Trump’s idiocy on the Birther conspiracy, tying Romney to the billionaire real estate mogul:
It’s fair gamefor Obama’s team to attack. And it highlights the huge gamble that Romney and his consultants are taking by continuing to give Trump attention. I doubt that it’s going to matter much in November to voters, but associating with Trump doesn’t seem like much of a win either.
The important lesson I learned this weekend: when your blog is in need of a topic and maybe a dash of humor, you can always count on Donald Trump to provide both. You can see what I mean on this post about a spat between Donald Trump and George Will.
George Will said Trump was a “bloviating ignoramus” and then proceeded to say things about stupid rich people intruding on American politics. Trump’s reply via Twitter was the equivalent of him calling Will a “great big poopy head” on a schoolyard playground.
Despite the humor in this kindergarten style round of name calling, it’s worth considering Trump’s role in the American political scene. Some argue that his approach to, well, everything makes him toxic to a political campaign. To determine whether or not he’s toxic, we’ve got to look at the things that will matter this November: money, PR, and voters.
There’s absolutely no doubt about it, Romney needs the money. Whether it’s money from Trump or money from the people who listen to Trump (yes, they exist), Romney needs it. Obama’s campaign is expected to raise nearly a billion dollars this election. Romney needs every cent he can get, even if it comes with PR woes.
Donald Trump is a PR disaster waiting to happen. He’s a media whore who only cares about himself. There is absolutely no good PR that can come from Trump, unless there really is no such thing as bad press. Trump will say stupid things and do stupid things; count on it. Romney should be a good enough friend to get donations from the Trump crowd, but don’t expect a Romney/Trump bus tour anytime soon.