John McCain’s political base, the Beltway media villagers and the Arizona “McMedia,” have circled the wagons around McCain after Donald Trump decided to use him as a political piñata.
The Beltway media villagers and the McMedia (primarily The Arizona Republican) are all predicting the early demise of “The Donald” for attacking their “precious,” John McCain. Our View: Trump’s mouth will end his run.
“The Donald” might want to quote Mark Twain today: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows businessman and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump leading the GOP field for Republican voters. This is the fourth poll in which “The Donald” is the frontrunner in the past two weeks. Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race:
Businessman Donald Trump surged into the lead for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with almost twice the support of his closest rival, just as he ignited a new controversy after making disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War service, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Support for Trump fell sharply on the one night that voters were surveyed following those comments. Telephone interviewing for the poll began Thursday, and most calls were completed before the news about the remarks was widely reported.
Although the sample size for the final day was small, the decline was statistically significant. Still, it is difficult to predict what could happen to Trump’s support in the coming days and weeks as the controversy plays out.
Even with the drop in support on the final night of the survey, Trump was the favorite of 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. That is the highest percentage and biggest lead recorded by any GOP candidate this year in Post-ABC News polls and marks a sixfold increase in his support since late May, shortly before he formally joined the race.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who announced his candidacy a week ago, is in second place, at 13 percent, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 12 percent. Walker’s support is strongest among those who describe themselves as “very conservative.”
The next seven, ranging in support from 8 percent to 3 percent, are: former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), former Texas governor Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Fellow GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, who has a penchant for shooting his mouth off as much as Donald Trump — and conservatives love him for it — thinks the media focus on Donald Trump’s recent comments is “petty.” Ben Carson defends Donald Trump.
And the Grand Poobah of conservative hate radio, the racist, misogynist, drug-addled draft dodger Rush Limbaugh, also is defending “The Donald.” Rush Limbaugh Rallies Listeners to Donald Trump’s Defense.
Wishing “The Donald” away will not make it happen. The conservative media entertainment complex which dishes out a daily dose of fear, anger and hatred for “the others” while simultaneously engendering a sense of victimization (and solidarity) among the haters for holding their views has created a natural constituency for a media-savvy demagogue like “The Donald.”
Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog explains that Donald Trump has a real constituency, and he speaks their language. The real reason so many Americans support Donald Trump:
Donald Trump is now the 2016 GOP frontrunner.
That sentence would have sounded ridiculous a month ago, but here we are. The billionaire real estate mogul and reality star has tough-talked his way to the top of the ticket for 24 percent of Republican voters, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. As The Upshot’s Nate Cohn explains, Trump’s post-announcement poll bump is of a completely different magnitude than what we’re seeing elsewhere in the crowded GOP field.
All of which has observers scratching their heads and asking: what do people see in the guy?
A lot, as it turns out. On a recent trip to rural Upstate New York I was surprised by the intensity of support for Trump among friends and family members I talked to. In many cases, their support for Trump boiled down to a simple fact: they were angry.
Angry at Obama, angry at congressional leaders, and angry at the political establishment as a whole. And they’re not alone — surveys show that anger toward the government, particularly among Republicans, has been rising over the course of Obama’s two terms in office. When asked how they felt toward the federal government, 37 percent of Republicans said “angry” in a Washington Post poll from last fall. By contrast, in September 1998, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, only 14 percent of Republicans said they were angry.
Anger toward the establishment is a powerful motivating force. And Donald Trump is currently the candidate in the best position to channel it. All of the other major GOP candidates, from Jeb Bush to Marco Rubio to Ted Cruz, are career politicians, firmly ensconced in the party establishment that so many voters have grown distrustful of. Trump is the only big-name candidate who can truly claim the coveted mantle of the “outsider.”
Beyond that, the latest Post-ABC poll showed that the number one quality Republican voters are looking for in a candidate is “a strong leader.” Add it all together and for a lot of voters, you come up with a Platonic ideal of a candidate that looks and talks a lot like Donald Trump — an outsider who can shake things up, who isn’t afraid to speak the truth even if it offends, and one who has proven leadership abilities. Throw in an (alleged) $10 billion fortune and you’ve got a highly potent candidate on your hands, at least for this particular moment.
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Conventional wisdom has it that Trump will burn up and implode at literally any minute now, and with each “gaffe” and malapropism observers start writing political obituaries. But Trump’s resiliency has so far been surprising.
“The Donald” also has the advantage of being correct about John McCain’s record on veterans issues. It seems that everyone has conveniently forgotten that when he ran for president in 2008, the veterans organizations were highly critical of his record.
Here is a post I did about this topic in 2008. McCain receives failing grades from Veterans Organizations. In addition, here is an op-ed by John Adams, Brig. Gen. Ret. from the Tucson Citizen on October 15, 2008. McCain’s record on veterans’ rights is abysmal. And Dr. Phillip Butler, a long-time acquaintance of John McCain from his days at the U.S. Naval Academy and as a prisoner of war in Vietnam (for 8 years), wrote this thought provoking op-ed on March 27, 2008. Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain.
Remember the Phoenix VA hospital scandal just last year? John McCain has been in Congress for 30 years. If the VA was so bad, what was he doing all those years to fix it? That is the point that The Arizona Republicans‘ E.J. Montini made in a series of opinions last year. McCain blasts Obama, but should he get a pass on VA?, and Why didn’t Sen. McCain spot the VA crisis?
As I posted at the time, The VA scandal The Arizona Republic has failed to investigate:
The VA scandal that The Arizona Republic has failed to investigate is this: every congressional office has staff that spends their days dealing with constituent services. Veterans in particular are not shy about calling their members of Congress when they are having problems with the VA. How is it possible that members of Congress were unaware of the problems at the VA? Our members of Congress have all sounded like Captain Renault in Casablanca, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
This particular scandal occurred at the Phoenix VA hospital, which implicates Arizona’s senators and congressional delegation. Arizona’s angry old man John McCain, who has been in Congress for 30 years, says the President is to blame. McCain on VA crisis: Obama responsible . Bullshit!
This is the nineteenth inspector general report since 2005. What has Sen. McCain and Arizona’s congressional delegation been doing about the problems at the VA since 2005? When is John McCain going to do the honorable thing for an old soldier and submitted his resignation?
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There is one person at The Arizona Republic who “gets it” and has been writing about this, E.J. Montini. He knows where the real fault lies, with Arizona’s senators and congressional delegation. Where were our politicians when our vets needed them?:
But what about all of those members of Congress in many, many districts where problems occurred and whose offices no doubt have been hearing complaints from veterans?
Why didn’t the people we elect to public office raise a stink about this?
They’re certainly shouting now.
And today’s column, Will heads roll in Congressional offices over VA?:
I’m wondering, however, what about the people in the offices of every U.S. Representative and Senator?
I haven’t heard about any of those people being forced to resign.
Just as I haven’t heard any member of Congress accept even a smidgen of blame for not recognizing the VA problem, or not having a staff member recognize the problem.
Media villagers live for the 24 hour news cycle. They forget the past, and they do not care that past reporting may shed light on the present. John McCain has a lot to answer for with respect to his record on veterans. He should not get a pass just because a buffoon like “The Donald” thoughtlessly insulted prisoners of war.