The anonymous Ace of Spades is among a handful of the most talented conservative bloggers which stand head and shoulders above the rest. Ace – gender neutral – has been on the #TrumpTrain from the start. Perhaps not so much now:
This is a long way of saying Trump specifically and completely contradicted a belief that 75-80% of Republicans have about Bush — that he was a fundamentally decent man, perhaps overwhelmed by a very difficult period, who made an erroneous decision based on incomplete information — and instead offered a new belief, that Bush deliberately lied about Iraq’s WMD’s, a position that 75-80% of Republicans have long not only rejected but have been actively hostile towards.
With no better reason to adopt this new claim other than that Donald Trump said it.
I doubt very much people will be willing to make this leap with Trump. Gathering political support is all about getting a buy-in of belief at a price that people are willing to pay (usually, a low price– that’s why politicians strain to parrot back to you things you already believe).
I think Trump, who has been a past-master at getting people to buy-in to a very low-cost premise — “Let’s Make America Great Again” — just made a very high cost premise central to buying into him.
And I think for that reason that many people will be taking a second look at Trump — and not in a good “second look” way. I think they’ll be evaluating things they previously gave him passes on — donations to Hilary, Reid, Pelosi, etc.; support for partial birth abortion; support for single-peer health care– and re-evaluate those facts while keeping in mind Trump’s big new premise that Republicans supported, voted for, defended, and sustained an actual war criminal who made war on a country he knew to be innocent of the claim he dishonestly profferred against it, for who knows what sinister gain.
We’ll see if he tries walking this one back, and to what extent he’s successful.
If it is now a part of the agenda that we actually have to buy into all the claims Gore, Pelosi, Obama, etc. made for years, I think this new agenda is going to turn out to be too highly priced for most Republican voters.
I doubt that the great Ace has ever read any musings here, but might agree with my observation about South Carolina voters I made earlier this morning. Ace closes thus:
And Don’t Even Get Me Started on Tribal Signaling. I was just telling someone that every campaign boils down to two four word claims:
Dress it up however you like, the subconscious messaging in every election is just that.
I’m on Your side.
He’s not like Us.
With just a few poorly chosen angry words, Trump declared a lot of allegiance to the enemy tribe, and essentially said “I’m not like you.”
Embolden print, mine.
That Trump ceiling just got a lot lower last night. If Ace is correct in saying that “75-80% of Republicans have long not only rejected but have been actively hostile towards” the Trump position it will certainly hurt enough to bring Trump back to the pack.
Where will Trump voters go? Some of them will stay home to be sure – especially those who have never taken part in the process before. Rubio used to be everyone’s favorite second choice, but perhaps not after his dust-up with Chris Christie in New Hampshire. Jeb Bush certainly wasn’t harmed by the Trump meltdown, but he was at 5%. This seems somehow Ted Cruz neutral. Poor Ben Carson seems like he’s on his last leg. John Kasich doesn’t seem like a South Carolina guy.
It’s a toss-up right now, and from this seat it looks like a dead heat finish on Saturday night between Cruz, Rubio and Trump. Bush will finish not that far behind in 4th, Kasich 5th and Carson last.