Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Left's 2016 Plan: Defining Trump so damningly that Clinton will look comparatively angelic

Echoing what I wrote yesterday (Whoever Emerges Victorious in November, the GOP Loses; and So Does the American People), Benjamin Weingarten points to a recently released campaign ad by a Democrat running against a Republican in Arkansas (video at link [Update: thanks to Maggie's Farm for the Bird Dog link]), should you want to know how Democrats plan to go about trying to destroy Donald Trump if he is the Republican presidential nominee:
One suspects that we will see a flurry of such campaign commercials in districts across the country in races up and down ballots during the 2016 general election if Trump is to triumph in the GOP primary.

As President Barack Obama did with Mitt Romney [in 2012], Hillary Clinton and a media that has to this point enabled Donald Trump’s rise with $2 billion in free messaging will seek to define Trump so damningly that Clinton will look comparatively angelic — which is saying something — ensuring his fall.

The Donald will be cast as a bigoted, misogynistic, unscrupulous oligarch with no principles except a lust for power. When Trump comes out swinging directly at Hillary, she will become just another one of Trump’s victims.

To his discredit, the New York businessman has provided the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) with a target-rich environment for making this case over his decades in the public eye. And best of all for Democrats, their attacks will not only be powerful, but have the benefit in some instances of being true.

 … The ads write themselves.

And as with Sen. John McCain in 2008, a media that to this point has served effectively as a friend, thanks to its hours of free airtime, will instantly become a foe. Recall that Sen. McCain was labeled a “maverick” by mainstream media outlets, and embraced by Democrats for his willingness to take Leftist positions against his party.

The day he won the Republican presidential nomination, the formerly fawning press turned their guns on him unmercifully.

While the media has certainly proven more hostile to Trump than McCain during this election cycle, mainly in response to his rhetoric and lack of decorum (note: less so his “heterodox” ideology), its efforts to date have had the effect of providing Trump with a reliable enemy to rail against which resonates with his supporters, all while constantly keeping him in the news cycle.

The media in fact has had good reason not to seek to destroy Trump outright to date.

First, Trump is good for ratings, which means he is good for business.

Second, by enabling Trump’s rise, the media has created a candidate that they believe is incredibly weak given his unfavorable ratings and the aforementioned devastating charges that can be leveled against him. While the media may have underestimated Trump’s political acumen, and the mood of the American electorate to date, nevertheless they know that a concerted effort can be used to break him down just as they built him up. If Mitt Romney, a decent man and moderate Republican with a stellar business record, could have his image utterly sullied, imagine what the media can do with The Donald.

Third, especially as more Establishment Republicans signal their approval, even if tacit, of Trump, he will be used as the representative of the party generally and conservatism in particular. The goal? To toxify those with an “R” next to their name in a bid to take back Congress. Trump may very well have the blood on his hands of real conservatives, few though they may be in Washington.