Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trump War II

Dude, You're Not Supposed to Just Say It

As the Clinton-Trump war rises (along with the Brexit mushroom-cloud), a second set of battles is taking place around the central conflict. Call it Trump-War-II. What we are seeing is primary-challenger hopefuls moving towards Trump when their target has decided to move away. Trump, being highly polarizing, is thus creating another sort of Tea-Party pattern where there is an "insurgent side" and an "establishment side."

The Florida Theater

In Florida, Rubio-Challenger Carlos Beruff is a Trump-oid. Going anti-immigrant, anti-establishment, and anti-PC, his pro-Trump position is one Rubio, who (although endorsed by Trump) has said he won't speak for Trump, cannot adopt. Considering that Donald Trump won Florida in a landslide, that's got to be concerning.

With other Senate challengers David Jolly and Carlos Lopez-Cantera stepping aside to let Rubio run, this contrast will be pretty much absolute. When Trump comes to Florida, will Rubio break his pledge not to endorse and take the stage with The Donald? Or will, maybe, Rubio-challenger Beruff, get the primary spot?

The Wisconsin Battleground

Rubio isn't exactly a low-profile guy this time out (especially with the control of the Senate being the second biggest deal going into 2017), there's an even bigger battle happening in Wisconsin. Businessman Paul Nehlen has reached into the UKip (the British White Nationalist party) and started running these billboards:
Dude, You're Not Supposed To . . . :: Sigh ::
While polling suggests that Nehlen is a long-shot at best (Ryan is very popular at home--and Trump is not) as the establishment-Trump divide festers, other challengers are going to see the value in attaching themselves to Trump in hope of various perks from media coverage to, even endorsements from the party's nominee.

If Do Right, No Can Defend

The Omnivore's big conclusion about the Brexit Vote was that it sure seems a lot of Brits didn't quite know what they were getting into when they voted LEAVE. If this "buyers-remorse" persists, the ramifications of a protest vote might have a Nader-Gore style impact on English politics for years to come. However, more immediately, The Omnivore suspects that the crowing of the American Right and Donald Trump in particular was the insult that, added to injury (falling one place in the World's Largest Economy ratings) that Brits probably can't stand.

Trump is wildly unpopular in the UK. He represents (in the British popular media) everything that is raw and vulgar (and small-handed?) about America. To have him (wrongly) praise Scotland for it's Brexit Vote (they voted REMAIN, Trump praised them for LEAVE) is likely more of a wake-up call to a lot of British than the Cliffs-Of-Dover plunge the Pound took.

The problem, both for incumbents at home and, potentially, for UKip and the like overseas, is that you can't just answer a Trump-endorsement of an opponent by looking for one yourself. Ryan has come as close as he likely can to endorsing Trump while still keeping his 2020 options open. If the Florida race heats up, Rubio will probably try to pull another etch-a-sketch and pretend to be Trump's friend--but that's going to be very, very difficult to sell. Overseas, becoming "American" is probably something that, even now, White Nationalists parties are trying to strategize their way out of.

Good luck, guys.

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