Remember back in July when Trump rocketed to the top of the GOP primary polls, and basically stayed there while the pundits declared his fall over and over? Remember when we were waiting for Trump to peak and fall off the cliff? Remember that?
The left is making the same mistake. Here’s an excerpt from Michael Cohen’s column in the Boston Globe where he comforts a liberal to not panic about Trump.
It’s me, your panicked liberal friend. Remember me? The one who is convinced Donald Trump is going to be our next president and is looking for rental properties in Canada.
Oh, hey, how are you doing?
Not so good. Two weeks ago you told me that it would take a miracle for Donald Trump to win the presidency, and now I’m seeing all these polls that show Trump either tied with or beating Hillary Clinton. I’ve been in a fetal position for two days, living on Ritz crackers and marshmallow fluff.
OK, take it easy. You have to remember that the election is still 5½ months away and you can’t read too much into polls in May. If you panic over every poll that shows the race tight between now and November, you’re going to make yourself crazy.
Every single one of Cohen’s points is true. We’re 5½ months from November, Hillary has all the cash, the organization, and more voters hate Trump than hate Hillary. It’s Hillary’s race to lose.
But when have we heard that argument before? With Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, then Ted Cruz is where. And any of them (even Jeb) is universes better than Hillary. A little over a year ago I was worried about a Jeb/Hillary runoff. It’s amazing how my perceptions change relative to reality, because now I’d honestly be excited about that.
I actually chided Erick for his dedication to the chivalry of political discourse because he wrote this:
But I do think we have reached a stage of politics in this country objectively led by personality over policy. Men and women arrive on the American political stage who lead their armies of supporters to both advocate certain policies and turn a blind eye when the law is breached.
I responded with:
It might be instructive for our nation to see the fruits of distractedness: a campaign between two cardboard cutouts, side by side with no functional policy differences, while their standard-bearers occupy opposite ends of a quite broad spectrum of interests. Politics would then be reduced to the soulless retweet of a 140-character opinion, or the millionth view of a meme on Facebook.
God help me for getting what I wished for, gold-plated, orange-tinted and short-fingered. It’s really instructive, but I wish that particular genie was back in the bottle.
Rich Lowry noted that Hillary still can’t explain why she should be president. That’s kind of a glaring deficiency when Trump paints her as “Crooked Hillary,” don’t you think?
The truth is that Hillary is running to become president by default. She hopes that her campaign — assisted by associated Democratic groups and a sympathetic media — will make Trump so unacceptable by November that the public will have no option but to turn to someone it doesn’t particularly like or trust as the only alternative. She will win the unpopularity contest by losing it a little less badly than Trump.
This is far from a crazy bet, although it is fundamentally a defensive posture. All signs are that Trump will dominate the conversation in the general just as he did in the Republican primaries. By always painting with bold colors, he made the other 16 candidates look small and weak, and could do the same with her. Trump at least has some chance of capturing people’s imaginations and changing the rules of the game.
Trump has already changed the rules of the game. Hillary (and many of the left’s pundits) simply haven’t caught on yet. But Robert Reich is starting to have a clue.
Throughout the Republican primaries, pundits and pollsters repeatedly told us he’d peaked, that his most recent outrageous statement was his downfall, that he was viewed as so unlikeable he didn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination.
But in my travels around the country I’ve found many who support him precisely because of the qualities he’s being criticized for having.
A Latina-American from Laredo, Texas, tells me she and most of her friends are for Trump because he wants to keep Mexicans out. She thinks too many Mexicans have come here illegally, making it harder for those here legally.
A union member from Pittsburgh says he’s for Trump because he’ll be tough on American companies shipping jobs abroad, tough with the Chinese, tough with Muslims.
A small businessman in Cincinnati tells me he’s for Trump because “Trump’s not a politician. He’ll give them hell in Washington.”
Political analysts have underestimated Trump from the jump because they’ve been looking through the rear-view mirror of politics as it used to be.
Hillary hasn’t driven a car in over 20 years. She has no idea how to do anything but sit in the back seat. The rear-view mirror is all she has. Such as it is politically. As much as hubby Bill wants to re-ensconse himself in the luxuries of the White House, his head in a perpetual swivel for new interns, he wants more to have a legacy. Bill is not going to be much help for Hillary, I’m afraid.
It’s Hillary’s race to lose, and she will, in all likelihood, lose it for the very reasons many on the left saw 15 months ago but refused to acknowledge.