MORE THAN INCOMPETENCE – STUPIDITY

Definition: Stupidity – behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment.

 One would think that the GOP would have learned from 2012 when Romney acquiesced to have the “debates” before panels dominated by liberals. How could it forget CNN Candy Crowley’s intervention to save Obama by claiming Romney had lied when in fact what he said was the truth? Remember? “He did, in fact, sir, call it an act of terror.” No, Obama did not. Even the Washington Post conceded that. But the GOP went back to CNN, a cheerleader for the Left, early in the debate season. It did not take a genius to know the game plan – one perfected in 2012 – pit each Republican candidate against another and harvest quotes for use in the general against the ultimate GOP nominee. It started immediately when Carly Fiorina was asked whether she would be concerned with Trump having his finger on the nuclear button. She could have blown the strategy out of the water had she replied along these lines: “I know Donald is a great entertainer and loves a good line but I am confident that in the position of president he would exercise the prudent judgment he has shown in business. So I do not have that concern.  And I know this: there is no one on this stage that would not make a better president than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or any of the other democrat hopefuls. If the nominee is not myself, I will do my utmost to elect our nominee.  Now, may I suggest, for the remainder of the evening, you ask for our views without trying to serve the Left by endeavoring to pit us against each other. I know we will have different suggestions on the best way to extricate our country from where Obama has put us. Let’s get our respective ideas on the table and let the voters decide.” It is not difficult to implement that approach. When asked to criticize another candidate, simply say “I have great respect for X and X does have a different approach than I on issue A; let me tell you my approach and let the voters decide which they believe is better.” But the candidates walked right into the trap, appearance after appearance. Scott Walker was my initial choice of the 17 candidates who announced. I thought it desirable to have a sitting governor as candidate; governors know what it takes to get programs enacted. I admired his courage in standing up to the unions and winning despite millions spent to defeat him and the media’s best efforts. [e.g. “Walker survives recall”; in fact Walker’s win was by a greater margin than in his election.] He beat the democrats in the legislature who left the state to try to prevent a forum; he made judicial appointments of judges who would interpret the law rather than try to enact it. And Wisconsin has prospered. I also liked the fact that he never graduated college. I am tired of the Harvards and the Yales. The last time we had a president who was not Ivy League infected was Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, Scott Walker did not have the money it takes to run for president. Donald Trump. Like so many others, I was intrigued by him. While he was not the first to make illegal immigration an issue; he was first to break through media indifference and make it a hot topic. I thought his plan for tax reform was a good one. But what was he thinking when he made outrageous comments? Examples: “(John McCain is) not a war hero…. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” “I get called by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?” –…about paralyzed commentator Charles Krauthammer “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”  after talking about a poll showing Ben Carson was beating him in Iowa You know, when (Ben Carson) says he went after his mother and wanted to hit her in the head with a hammer. …I’m not saying anything other than pathological is a very serious disease. And he said he’s pathological, somebody said he has pathological disease. It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper….. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.” “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, (Carly Fiorina’s) a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” “You could see there was blood coming out of (Megyn Kelly’s) eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.” Even in his wins, Trump is receiving only 35-40% of Republican votes. How can these personal attacks further his aim to win the presidency? He starts as the only candidate with a higher negative rating that Hillary. Wait until the Dems and liberal media have a field day publishing his comments in ads and news stories after the convention. And they certainly will add another Trump quote: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” How will that affect the women’s vote? Marco Rubio. When the field narrowed to a half-dozen candidates, I was impressed with Rubio. He was articulate, had a great back story, and he had the aura of “a nice guy.” He exuded a warmth that none of the other candidates, Democrat or Republican, had. And I believed the Dems felt him to be their biggest threat; the tip- off was the mass media labeling him an “establishment” candidate – “establishment” being the kiss of death. In fact, Rubio came to the fore as a Tea Party favorite. About a month ago, I sent a suggestion to a friend who raised money for Rubio and had an “in” to those in charge of Rubio’s campaign. My friend generously replied to me that my suggestion was excellent and he would forward it on. I tuned in to the next debate anxious to see if Rubio had accepted the suggestion which was that Rubio open his remarks with something along these lines “Donald, I thank you for what you have done. You had the courage to voice issues which many others were reluctant to raise and, by doing so, you have energized the country. I share many of your goals and will work to realize them for the benefit of our country. You are a vibrant and entertaining personality and I enjoy that about you. But that entertainment urge has led you to make statements which I hope upon reflection you have regretted. Statements demeaning John McCain, Ben Carson, Charles Krauthammer, Carly Fiorina, women in general – for example, your statement about a woman reporter: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” The democrats would love to see you as our nominee because they will saturate the air with videos of you saying those things. Coupled with the fact that you have the highest negative ratings of any candidate, those ads would prevent our party’s goal to take back our country and, to use your phrase, to make it great again. Please help us achieve that goal by sacrificing your personal goal to be the nominee.”  Instead, Rubio opened with a vicious trump-like personal attack on Trump and kept on that tack the whole night. How could his campaign staff have given him such disastrous advice? In one evening, they destroyed his greatest advantage – that nice guy warm aura – and along with it, any chance he had of the nomination. It is hard to believe that political campaign advisors are paid enormous sums for their advice. Ted Cruz is another case in point. The first thing his advisors should have done was to get him to a voice coach. His speaking style is haranguing; his voice shrill and irritating. Coaching can change that. When Eisenhower ran, the actor Robert Montgomery was hired to coach him. By all accounts, Cruz is the smartest person running in either party but he is not street smart. When Trump published attacks on Heidi and repeated allegations of infidelities by Cruz, all Cruz had to say was this: “Heidi and I have read the vicious slanders about us; we deny them unequivocally. We believe it reflects more upon the source of those comments than upon us. That is all we have to say about it.” But either he, or his advisors, or both, chose to have him rave on about copulating rats. How did that help him? John Kasich. Advisors should have urged him to eliminate his incessant “I did this wonderful thing” or “those wonderful things.” The pronoun “we” acknowledges that others were involved and still gives him credit for the accomplishments without sounding egotistical. But, by and large, he has refrained from personal insults about the other candidates. It is simply common sense that whoever gets the nomination must receive a large majority of the votes that went to his competitors in the primaries. If Cruz is the nominee, his personal attacks on Trump, alienating the trump-ites, has made that impossible. Likewise, should Trump be the nominee, there will be many Cruz supporters who will not vote for the man who dubbed him “lyin’ Ted.” And Trump has a greater problem. He has a higher negativity rating than even Hillary. He consistently loses to Hillary in polls matching them as the candidates. Add to this the videos of his inflammatory statements. The motivation of those who wish to prevent him from being the nominee is the understandable belief that he cannot win the presidency. Trump will not be stopped by having people like Mitt Romney criticize him. That serves only to increase Trump’s appeal. Rather, the Republicans need to run NOW the ads the Dems will run AFTER he is nominated. This man’s conclusion: the only way the Republicans win in November is with a candidate other than Trump or Cruz. The convention must get to a 2nd ballot so as to nominate another. At the present, that seems most likely to be Kasich. He is a sitting Governor from a key state, known to the country not only for his political experience but for his six years as TV commentator. 

Don’t be afraid to see what you see. 

  

Dick Coleman

Richard M. Coleman served as National Co-Chair, Lawyers for Reagan-Bush ’84 and really does miss RR. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders. A professor on the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for 17 years, he received Pepperdine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He has hosted TV forums on legal and financial topics and written and spoken extensively on political issues.

© Richard M. Coleman 2018