Friday, April 29, 2011

Elephant Dung #27: Rand Paul takes aim at Donald Trump's questionable Republican cred

Tracking the GOP Civil War

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(For an explanation of this ongoing series, see here. For previous entries, see here.)

I'm not exactly a fan of Rand Paul, the Tea Party Republican senator from Kentucky. But I've got to hand it to him, he's a funny guy and he's got a knack for hilarious one-line swipes at fellow Republicans. Earlier this month, he took aim at Newt Gingrich. Yesterday, his target was Donald Trump:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday took a swipe at billionaire businessman Donald Trump, demanding to see his "Republican registration."

While speaking at a breakfast with New Hampshire Republicans one day after "The Donald" visited the Granite State, Paul riffed off the potential GOP presidential candidate's "birther" questions.

"I've come to New Hampshire today because I'm very concerned," said Paul, according to The New York Times. "I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump's Republican registration."

Paul's comments follow up on some GOP-aligned groups' effort to discredit Trump as a conservative. The free-market Club for Growth has accused Trump of being a liberal for his previous support of universal healthcare and his desire to raise tariffs on China.

It's hard to be a successful Republican when you've got both the Tea Party (via Rand Paul) and the Club for Growth aligned against you. Which is no doubt partly why Trump has so enthusiastically embraced the whole Birther thing and is now channelling his racism (what else is it?) into suggesting that Obama is an affirmative action case.

Now, is Trump a Republican? Yes, no doubt. His wealth-based sense of entitlement and megalomania would seem to indicate that he leans to the right, as would his pro-business (or, to be more precise, pro-Trump business) views. But his own political history is mixed. He has espoused various liberal positions over the years, and he was a registered Democrat for years. As he himself has acknowledged, if prior to his current courting of the Republican base, he's an independent, and he has voted for and financially supported both Democrats and Republicans.

None of this should disqualify Trump from being a Republican today, but of course the Republican Party, and in particular its powerful Tea Party wing, is all about party purification. They're the new Bolsheviks. If you're not Republican enough, Republican as they define it, they'll purge you from the party. We're seeing this happen again and again, with the Tea Party and others on the right challenging even established conservatives like Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, and John Boehner. The Republican Party is descending into madness, as I've said many times, and all this ongoing purge is accelerating that descent.

Trump has the media platform, not to mention the temperament, to fight back against those who would challenge him, including Paul. But Paul's onto something. Birtherism aside, Trump just isn't the sort of Republican, if truly Republican at all, to win over enough of the grassroots base to win the nomination, even if he manages to lure some of the party establishment (like Ralph Reed). He's got the anti-Obama attack going, and that's sustaining his popularity in the party, but were he to run that popularity would likely fracture once he was actually subjected to any sort of sustained scrutiny of his record. In that sense, he's got a Romney problem, and it's the sort of problem that's virtually insurmountable. Just ask Mitt.

And just ask Rand, who threw a pile of dung at the upstart Trump. If The Donald insists on remaining in the Republican spotlight, there will no doubt be much more to come.

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2 Comments:

  • Hmmm.. no clear evidence that Trump is either Conservative or a member of the GOP. But he siezes the lead of the birther movement just before Obama releases what is purported to be his birth certificate. I smell a rat with long hair. trump contributed to Rahm's candidacy as new Chicago crook-in-chief. Want to bet Trump invests heavily in Chicago with all sorts of tax breaks there? And one can only guess how many deals he can get from the Prince of Chicago doling out our tax dollars in DC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:37 PM  

  • There's something in the American psyche -- you know that thing that starts the word psychotic -- that just loves a barroom blowhard who thinks things are really far more simple to solve than those college boys say. Beer and flying barstools fix everything.

    After having seen Animal House more than once I can't stop imagining T-Rump in a Toga, throwing food, pissing in the punch bowl and threatening to tax all those "motherfuckers."

    'Oh Canada' keeps playing in my head.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 5:29 PM  

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