What we are seeing is quite extraordinary


Most of you would have seen images of the front page of the Boston Globe newspaper yesterday suggesting what it might look like a year from now in the event that Donald Trump becomes president. You can see it here. It is accompanied by a scathing editorial titled The GOP must stop Trump.

Needless to say, the mock front page is satire but the editorial is real and what it represents is truly extraordinary. The Globe is not some niche partisan political publication which one expects to take sides. It is one of the major newspapers in one of the biggest cities in the country and thus is about as establishment as you can get. Back in February, the Washington Post had already come out strongly against Trump with its own editorial titled GOP leaders, you must do everything in your power to stop Trump.

I find this truly astonishing. What we are seeing with Donald Trump is a full-scale assault on the leading candidate of one of the two main political parties. The media establishment have thrown all pretense of objectivity and impartiality to the winds and declared that he must be stopped at all costs.

There have always been wacky and fringe candidates running for president. What the political and media establishment usually does is either ignore them or treat them with mild disdain until they disappear from the scene. In my lifetime of following politics closely, I have never before seen this kind of widespread and concerted effort to defeat the actual front runner and presumptive nominee.

We talk easily about ‘establishment candidates’ as if they can be defined by the stands they take. With Trump those rules no longer seem to apply because his views on issues are scattershot at best, either made off-the-cuff and then subsequently revised or from a sense of what he thinks the party faithful want to hear or will be popular. The end result is that one is hard pressed to figure out what he will try to do if he becomes president, other than build his useless damn wall.

So what this extraordinary concerted attack on Trump seems to indicate is that what the establishment fears most is unpredictability and uncertainty.

Comments

  1. busterggi says

    What is even more amazing is that the Republican establishment has chosen Cruz, a theocratic fascist who has gleefully screwed said establishment over repeatedly, as their chosen one.

  2. Nick Gotts says

    busterggi@1,

    I wouldn’t say they’d chosen Cruz; he’s forced himself on them as the only alternative. He’s been able to do so because they failed to come up with a convincing candidate of their own. Following events on FiveThrtyEight, I’m increasingly inclined to think Cruz will be the nominee: Trump is very likely to be enough short of the 1237 delegates he needs for an overall majority, to win on the first ballot by persuading unpledged delegates to back him – and if he fails on that, Cruz’s hold on the local activists (who will make up most of the delegates), and superior organization (Trump’s team just made a complete hash of Colorado, letting Cruz win all the delegates) will probably see him through. Expect a bitter and in some cases violent response from Trumpites if this happens.

  3. says

    The media establishment have thrown all pretense of objectivity and impartiality to the winds and declared that he must be stopped at all costs

    It’s almost like they’re owned by the same forces that bankroll the candidates, or something.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    The funniest headline on that satirical newspaper is this:

    US soldiers refuse orders to kill ISIS families

    Hilarious. US soldiers developing a conscience? Who believes that could happen?

  5. sonofrojblake says

    With Trump those rules no longer seem to apply

    That could be the headline for his entire campaign.

    The entertaining thing is, people are still, halfway into April, persisting in writing off Trump’s chances of the Presidency as though it’s July 2015 and the old rules apply (see http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/11/donald-trump-losing-control-delegates-convention) . That guy thinks the election is a done deal, and that the Republicans have already lost. The arrogance and cluelessness is staggering.

  6. Nick Gotts says

    The arrogance and cluelessness is staggering. – sonofrojblake@5

    While proclaiming the inevitability of a Trump presidency, as you have done, is humble and briliant. I see, I see.

  7. Crimson Clupeidae says

    And yet, I don’t see those same papers and editorial boards owning any of their responsibility for putting Trump where he is, by giving him so much free press and hanging on his every word for the past year.

    They recognize the beast bearing down on them, but they refuse to accept that they were the metaphorical Dr. Frankenstein in this scenario.

  8. sonofrojblake says

    @Nick Gotts, 6.

    I would have thought the difference was obvious. I apologise for overestimating you, and I’ll try not to do it again. Just for you, the difference:

    If I “proclaim the inevitability of a Trump presidency”, it’s in the comments sections of a couple of other people’s blogs. I am quite literally just zis guy, you know?

    Richard Wolffe proclaims, in April, that “the GOP has already lost the general election” as a paid pundit in the pages of a UK national newspaper, and above the line on the international website of that newspaper with his photo at the top.
    “Richard Wolffe is a Guardian US columnist, as well as chief digital and marketing officer at Global Citizen, a non-profit dedicated to ending extreme poverty. An MSNBC political analyst for a decade, Wolffe was most recently vice president and executive editor of MSNBC.com, and is the author of Renegade: The Making of a President, Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House and The Message: The Re-Selling of President Obama. He previously spent several years in senior roles at Newsweek magazine and the Financial Times.”

    It’s like the difference between a bloke down the pub saying “Leicester City are going to win the league”, and Alex Ferguson going on Match of the Day and saying “Leicester City have already lost the league”. If you’re thinking they’re in any way comparable, you must have a very interesting life, or at least go to a very interesting pub.

  9. Nick Gotts says

    sonofrojblake@8,

    What a bizarre comment. Your response to the criticism that you have made exactly the same sort of stupid comment as Richard Wolffe is that no-one should take any notice of what you say. Fine – but then, why should we take any notice of what you say about Richard Wolffe?

  10. sonofrojblake says

    So sorry, overestimated you again.

    I didn’t say “no-one should take any notice” of what I say. Only you can decide whether to do that or not.

    For the hard of thinking, the distinction I was drawing was between the hubris of someone stating their opinion in a tiny obscure corner of the internet for an audience which might, if I’m optimistic, be in double figures, and someone with qualifications stating it in a place where they have the reasonable expectation that the readership is counted in millions.

    Read the pub analogy again, I don’t think you understood it. The bloke in the pub would obviously prefer it if you took notice of his opinions. Evidence: he wouldn’t bother expressing them if he didn’t. There’s a much greater degree of hubris involved in someone who’d be expected to have some expertise announcing their firm prediction on Match of the Day.

    You seem to be expecting the ultimate in humility, that one should not express any opinion about what they think might happen in the future at all. What a dull world that would be.

    As for why you should take notice of what I say about Richard Wolffe – don’t. Make up your own mind. Agree with me, or don’t. /shrug/

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