Saturday’s GOP debate finally clarified the Donald Trump phenomenon. After months of dominating the polls and millions of words of analysis, the grueling slog of the primary race is finally bringing the facts into sharp relief. Donald Trump isn’t a revolutionary. He’s not a conservative. He’s not even a populist. He’s a Democrat.
In the Greenville, S.C., debate, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz both got under Trump’s skin, and he cracked. He shouted his true feelings, and they were ugly to see. Regarding the Iraq War, Trump made it quite plain that he believes the fever-swamp “Bush lied, people died” narrative of the radical Left. The transcript could not be more clear.
Trump: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I wanna tell you. They lied.
John Dickerson: Okay.
Trump: They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
Not only is Trump ignorant of the thousands of chemical weapons found in Iraq, he’s spouting talking points you likely won’t even hear from Hillary Clinton. But he wasn’t done. Not by a long shot.
Regarding the horror of 9/11, only a committed leftist would pin the undeniable failure of America’s security apparatus on George Bush and George Bush only, but that’s what Trump did. Again, the transcript is clear:
Trump: How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center . . . The World — I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down . . . during the reign. He kept us safe? That’s not safe. That is not safe.
There is no mention of the failures of two successive administrations, including the Clinton administration’s wholly inadequate response to the Africa embassy bombings and the near-sinking of the USS Cole. An alleged Republican can’t even muster up a fair criticism of Bill Clinton at a GOP debate? Disgraceful.
But, again, he wasn’t done. When the conversation turned to Planned Parenthood, incredibly he had this to say:
Cruz: You said, “Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund it.”
Trump: It does do wonderful things but not as it relates to abortion.
Cruz: So I’ll tell you what . . .
Trump: Excuse me. Excuse me, there are wonderful things having to do with women’s health.
These are standard Democratic talking points, intentionally designed to obfuscate the fact that when you pump hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into a business, you help the entire business — not just the portion funded. He knows that. Everyone involved in the debate knows that.
Where’s the Jacksonian populism in those three statements? Where’s the political revolution? That’s angry leftism, nothing more.
When you combine fever-swamp leftism with his protectionism and border policies, Trump looks less like a new sensation in American politics and more like a famous and talented gene splice of an old-school Teamster and a millennial Salon.com editor. He’s an old-fashioned union Democrat and a new-fangled conspiracy theorist. He’s got a chronic case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. I used to think his public persona was that of a WWE wrestler. Now I think he’s Pajama Boy with ’roid rage, tweeting until his thumbs fall off.
He’s a moderate conservative, with some ideals very far right, and some almost left.
Glad we can still allow candidates to stand for what they believe and not get bullied by the whole “you’re not “con/lib/rep/dem enough” B.S.
Don’t like his views? Don’t vote for him. But don’t distract by saying he’s a Democrat.