Monday, May 16, 2011

Trump dump: The Donald announces he won't be running for president

Yes, the megalomaniacal blowhard has dropped out of a race he was never even in, a race he had no chance of winning. His star rose quickly in the GOP, not least because Republicans love rapacious greed and because the field without Trump featured the rather undynamic talents of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum, but it faded even faster. It was inevitable, and we all saw it coming, but let us still enjoy whatever schadenfreude we can find in Trump's national embarrassment.

What more needs to be said about the ridiculous joke Trump's non-candidacy was? We wrote about it here, revelling in the utter stupidity of all, following Trump's descent into Birther madness and then his blatant racist assault on President Obama. But what was truly crazy wasn't just Trump but the entire GOP, which, mad itself, embraced the madness with enthusiastic glee, sending The Donald, a self-absorbed non-candidate with a sketchy Republican background, to the top of the charts.

Oh, it was fun to watch, wasn't it? Especially when Obama and Seth Meyers took to the podium at the White House correspondents' dinner and made him look so utterly ridiculous. Finally put in his place, a place in the spotlight to be ridiculed by all, Trump got what he so richly deserved.

So, yes, what more needs to be said? Well, let me turn it over to a couple of writers who got it right in their responses today (I've bolded the best parts):

Per ABC News, Donald Trump has just put out a statement announcing he will not run for president. At this point, the news is hardly shocking. It's hard to recall anyone in the recent history of American politics who managed to humiliate himself as quickly and thoroughly as Trump did in his now-aborted semi-candidacy. From his debut as a pseudo-candidate at the Conservative Political Action Committee in February to his Hawaiian "birther investigators" to his becoming a stone-faced national laughingstock at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump demonstrated a level of jackassery heretofore unknown, even in national politics.

Seriously, let's pause for a second and contemplate the amount of damage he's inflicted on himself: three short months ago, Donald Trump was our vulgar national mascot of money, a guy who seemed likable enough, kind of funny, amusing on television, and possibly even in on the joke himself (you could never quite tell). He had an easy, enduring celebrity, and a successful show on NBC. Flash forward to today: Trump's name is virtually synonymous with discredited, far-right race-baiting; his political foray underscored the fact that he'd flip-flopped on most issues, which made his hateful blather even more ridiculous; and his once-successful franchise, "Celebrity Apprentice," saw its ratings collapse as its liberal audience abandoned it in droves.

Who's the winner? Oh, everyone else on the planet. Trump's pre-campaign was an odious and ignorant publicity stunt. The ideas he introduced into the campaign: a punitive tariff on China, forced seizure of Middle East oil fields, questions about Barack Obama's citizenship, and questions about Obama's college performance. (Trump never offered his own college records, even after Justin Elliott of Salon pointed out that the often-stated claim that Trump graduated first in his class was probably a lie.) We can't psychoanalyze the voters who told pollsters they liked Trump -- there were hundreds -- but his collapse suggests they were more interested in the idea of a Mr. Fix-It businessman than they were in the reality of a high-class huckster and rip-off artist.

Oh, sure, I wish he hadn't dropped out. As odious and ignorant as he has proven to be, he could have been a fantastic addition to the Republican field, a great source of material for those of us who write about politics, and an ongoing embarrassment to the Republican Party. Okay, even his presence was bad for America, but I'm sure America could have put up with him for a bit longer.


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