Last week, Fox News hosted the first two Republican debates. If you missed the first one, you lost out on a good, clean, informative forum. Most people tuned in to the Main Event with the “top” ten contenders for the title because everyone wanted to see how Donald Trump would come across.
We were not disappointed. He was very much The Donald™: brash, a bit comical, and not pulling punches. Regardless of where you stand with him, he did what he set out to do. I ran out of popcorn after the first twenty minutes. Thankfully, vodka was available. But it was the aftermath of the debate that really stirred up the martinis. His remarks regarding Megyn Kelly notwithstanding, he also took a few shots at Erick Erickson for withdrawing Mr. Trump’s invitation from the Red State Gathering this past weekend.
.@redstate I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. "weakness."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015
Trump on @EWErickson: "it is an honor to be uninvited from his event"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 8, 2015
Seriously, that happened not an hour apart. I must have had four cups of coffee to wash down the myriad doughnuts being consumed by your truly while this unfolded on Twitter. But that was peanuts compared to the smorgasbord that occurred that afternoon.
Sources: Roger Stone quit, wasn’t fired by Donald Trump in campaign shakeup
In case y’all don’t know, Mr. Stone was a Republican operative for several presidents, and has been a friend of Mr. Trump’s for decades. Now, according to the Trump campaign, Mr. Stone was fired. But according to Stone, he quit hours before. Citing emails and witness reports, it sure looks like Mr. Stone’s version is the plausible one. The most damning part is that there in no mention of the firing on Mr. Trump’s Twitter account until AFTER Mr. Stone told reporters that he had quit.
The next morning [Aug. 7, 2015], Stone had to fight Trump’s handlers to meet with him for 15 minutes, prompting the following exchange that both of Stone’s friends, independently and separately, tell POLITICO what happened:
Stone: “Donald, stop with the Megyn Kelly shit. It’s fucking crazy. It’s killing us.”
Trump: “What do you mean? I won the debate. People loved it.”
Stone: “You didn’t win the debate.”
Trump: “Yes I did. Look at the polling. Look at Drudge.”
Stone: “The Drudge Report poll isn’t a scientific poll. You won’t give me the money to pay for a scientific poll. And you’re off-message.”
Trump: “There are other polls.”
Stone: “Those are bullshit polls, Donald. They’re not scientific polls. We need to run a professional campaign and talk about what people really care about.”
Trump: “We’re winning.”
The myopia is astounding. My major maladjustment with Mr. Trump doesn’t stem from his brash outlook. It sprouts from his hypocrisy. One minute he thanks Red State and Erickson for their support, and not an hour later he tweet his pleasure at being uninvited from RSG15. I do worry that this pomp and circumstance, though it may seem like it is disinfecting the GOP, may be a slow-acting poison instead. Some on the right are to the point of “let it burn”. But as my friend tmi3rd brought up, Mr. Trump is the atom bomb that can bring a political nuclear winter. Some consider it a viable option, but you need to look ahead, and contemplate the resulting endgame.
There is a difference between “let it burn”, and “make it burn”. Mr. Trump falls in the latter category. And that is bad for all parties involved.