Sunday, February 28, 2016

Il Duce Donald?

The 2016  Republican Presidential Primary have flummoxed politicos for turning rewriting the rules of campaigns.  Manhattan Mogul Donald Trump has soared to the top of the heap amongst the GOP without expending much for paid media by having celebrity styled rallies, constantly attacking his opponents and ripping down the party which he is seeking to lead, generating gobs of earned media through outlandish outbursts and capitalizing on social media.

But he who rises by the sword can also perish by the sword.  Trump Twitter account has been quite active after the Houston GOP debate.  However, it appears as if the Donald was doing some drunk tweeting (though Trump professes never to touch alcohol unless it's in a communion cup) by virtue of the odd orthography when insulting Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), calling him a "chocker" and typing "honer".  Well, occasional typos or misspelling are par for the course when quickly texting on mobile devices. But forwarding fascist phrases is less excusable.

On Sunday morning, the @realDonaldTrump account re-tweeted a Darwinesque political pearl of wisdom.

However, Trump (or his staff) did not carefully scrutinize the social media sharing.  The account was @IlDuce2016, which is a parody account created by a snarky political blogger.  Oops. Those who wish to Dump Trump quickly took notice of the unforced error and sought to educate the electorate.

Trump supporters can spin this as a conspiracy or another one off mistake.  But considering the subject matter and Trump's unprincipled populism, it does reveal the Trump campaign's druthers. And as the sympathy for a strongman sinks in, it may be another ceiling of support for those who are committed to the Constitution rather than favoring Populist bromides.

Furthermore, Trump is embroiled in a controversy concerning KKK inspired endorsements.  Ex-Klansman David Duke has expressed support for Donald Trump, though not formally endorsing "the Donald".  On CNN's State of the Union, Jack Tapper asked three times if Trump would condemn or reject Duke's support.

Trump refused to do so on camera (but to be fair, a Trump PR flack did distance himself from Duke).  What is telling is Trump claimed no knowledge of Duke or his controversial KKK background.  This is contrary to his own history.  When Trump was contemplating a Presidential run in 2000, Trump condemned the Reform Party for being associated with David Duke.

The unmoored approach to issues which the Trump campaign takes, the inclination to attack journalists who do not lick spit polish his boots and the Can Do spirit of making the trains run on time without reference to constitutional powers makes comparisons to Duke or Il Duce pretty damning to Americans who appreciate having a democratically elected Constitutional Republic.

UPDATE: 02/29/2016 After a day of bad press and being ridiculed on the campaign trail for now disavowing David Duke and KKK support for his candidacy, Donald Trump affirmative disavowed David Duke's support. Trump blamed the kerfluffle on having a bad ear piece for Tapper interview.  Sure.  Just like the IlDuce retweet, it's just technical difficulties.

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