Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trump vs. Palin: We take issue with Tony Lee

- by Josh Painter
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Don't get us wrong. We like Tony Lee. We appreciate what he has written in support of Sarah Palin. But in Lee's latest Human Events op-ed, he's just wrong. Lee cites a recent CNN poll which shows Trump in the lead and argues:
The more Trump fans the "birther" angle, the more the media is likely to ask all potential GOP presidential aspirants about it, which makes the party as a whole seem extreme to independents who will decide the general election.

Should Trump officially enter the nominating contest, though, the potential candidate who should fear a Trump candidacy the most is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

How Trump can hurt Palin in the primary: If Palin chooses to run for President, her competitors will have the delicate task of attacking her without potentially alienating her fervent supporters or getting brushed back by them. This is where Trump comes in. With his previous donations to liberal Democrats and established brand and fame, Trump has neither been a rank and file Republican nor does he need the GOP base, which supports Palin, going forward, unlike some of the other candidates. Trump can, therefore, go after Palin in a way other potential candidates would not be able to. Trump can call her a "quitter," mock any of her malapropisms, or even potentially throw some haymakers -- such as taking off his birther hat and borrowing Andrew Sullivan's Trig truther hat -- and hope they land. Politics is becoming more like a circus, and Trump seems to relish being its P.T. Barnum, and there's no telling what he would do or say in a primary. In fact, Trump may even relish the blowback that he would get for attacking Palin, which would figuratively be akin to smashing a beehive with a baseball bat.
Lee should know better than to rely on any early poll results to try to make the case for the potency of Donald Trump. If you recall, CNN's pollster and all of the other pollsters were telling us four years ago that it would all boil down to Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 general election. So much for the polls, especially at this early stage of the game.

The next argument made by Lee is that Trump does not need the GOP base. That argument only has any degree of validity if Trump runs as a third party candidate, as did Ross Perot in 1992. If he wants to run as a Republican, he will need that base, and it is a very conservative base, not likely to look with favor upon The Donald for his contributions to the campaigns for some of the most liberal figures in the Democrat Party. Trump's history of political donations, his very recent flip-flops on some key issues which are paramount to conservatives, and his high praise for the likes of Nancy Pelosi will all work against him in the Republican primaries as these facts become more widely known.

Mark Levin makes the case that Donald Trump is not of the conservative or Tea Party movements, nor does he represent them:


Lee further contends that Trump can damage Gov. Palin by using some of the left's personal attacks against her. But we must point out that sort of venomous rhetoric has only served to anger conservative Republicans -- especially Palin supporters-- and would hurt Trump in the GOP primaries. Whoever wins the GOP nomination will have to have Sarah's troops in their corner, and going after her on anything other than the issues will not only chase them away, but make them enemies for life. Tony Lee is quite wrong to believe that Trump would "relish" the outcome in "attacking a beehive with a baseball bat." We don't think he would survive the stings. Attacking her personally and viciously would also turn off independents, which would hurt him in the general election should he mount a third party effort. We don't think Trump would resort to that tactic, but if he does, it will be the kiss of death for him.

Until Trump came along with his birther madness, we thought that Sarah Palin would have to drag the GOP establishment, kicking and screaming, over to her side. But Trump is perhaps the only other figure who could give Republican insiders a new appreciation for the governor. As such, he is actually working in her favor. If GOP moderates were not comfortable with Gov. Palin's common sense conservatism and her plain way of speaking, they are nothing less than horrified by Trump's birtherism. And justifiably so. It won't take long for them to realize that she is the one who can bring the Tea Party into the GOP fold, while all Trump will do is drive a wedge been the two.

Tea Partiers have a lot more in common with the greater electorate than they do with the birther crowd. The former are concerned with the economy: the price of gasoline and groceries, jobs, and the crushing national debt that threatens to cast a shadow over their hopes for their children and grandchildren. 30 percent of the electorate may have Obama's place of birth somewhere (not necessarily in the crosshairs) on their radar screens, but 70 percent of them believe the country is on the wrong track. The candidate who wins the GOP nomination and who can win again in the general election will be the one who asks voters, as did Ronald Reagan 35 years ago, "Are your better off now than you were four years ago?" That question will have a lot more resonance than, "Where's the birth certificate?"

Sarah Palin is a shining star whose enduring light has withstood more than two years of constant efforts by the left, the Vichy right and a corrupt media to dim it. Trump is a shooting star, one whose light catches the eye of everyone who is watching, but only for a precious few moments in time. Then it is out of sight and soon thereafter out of mind.

Cross-posted from Texas for Sarah Palin

- JP
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