Donald Trump


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Re-posted from National Review Oct. 18, 2016

As a long-time loyal Republican, my chronic fear is that George W. Bush will be the last Republican president. (A fear expressed earlier this year by Bush himself.)

This fear predates Donald J. Trump’s rise to the GOP nomination. It is a concern that I’ve expressed more than once over the last four years. But Trump’s inevitable Election Day loss coupled with a raging Republican civil war has strengthened the odds of a White House under permanent Democratic control.

At this writing, no one knows if Trump will disengage from active Republican politics after November. But it doesn’t really matter because his short-term legacy will be what we’ll call the “Trump Test”:

Did you support Donald Trump?

Did you campaign with or for Trump?

Did you denounce any of Trump’s statements or policy stances? Which ones? How and when?

Did you vote for Trump?

If you’re a candidate for the 2020 GOP nomination, you’re going to have to address these toxic questions. And your answers will inevitably enrage at least one sizable group of voters. Some of the 2020 contenders will have better answers than others. But all will be tainted by their responses to Trump, because of the passion he stirs in both his supporters and his detractors.

On one side are Trump loyalists infuriated that party leaders (see: Paul Ryan) are not fully funding, campaigning with, or standing by their man. After Trump’s inevitable loss in November, these loyalists, many of them grassroots activists who helped Trump win the nomination, are poised to blame the GOP high command, accusing Republican leaders of disloyalty and threatening to leave the party.

On the other side are the Never Trumpers, who will join with the squishy middle to shout, “I told you so” when Trump loses. Expect these folks to be armed with plans to reform the primary system that allowed Trump to “hijack” the party. (“Super delegates” anyone?)

All indications are that the war between these two factions for control of the GOP will only get bloodier between now and 2020. It almost makes you pine for those polite pre-Trump days when the “only” intra-party conflict was between the “conservative” and “establishment” wings of the GOP. But then you remember it was that conflict that spawned this one, by giving rise to a fractured primary field. Competing against 17 other candidates, Trump seized the party by the throat through a combination of bombastic showmanship and voter frustration, gaining momentum after attracting relatively small percentages of fed-up primary voters desperate to try something radically outside the box.

History will note that Trump’s movement eventually demolished all the conservative and establishment candidates and blurred the lines between the party’s two traditional factions. But not forever! When Trump finishes with the party, the traditional factions will reemerge even more divided by the fallout from his loss, the ensuing arguments over his legacy, and fights arising from the 2020 presidential candidates’ answers to the Trump Test.

Democrats, on the other hand, won’t be divided in their opinion of Trump’s historical meaning. They’re already licking their lips in anticipation of the opportunity to replace Bush with Trump as the Republican bogeyman of choice in voters’ minds. Instead of the tired mantra about how Bush wrecked the economy, they’ll be able to hang Trump around the necks of GOP candidates nationwide.

So yes, there is reason to fear that we’ve seen the last Republican president. But going forward, we should keep the faith that a leader will eventually emerge to follow in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps. After all, we know “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

— Myra Adams is a media producer and political writer. She was on creative team of the 2004 Bush campaign and on the ad council of the 2008 McCain campaign. E-mail her at MyraAdams01@gmail.com.

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This column was edited and posted on   http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/debate-of-the-century-obama-vs-trump

Here is my original more humorous version.

DEBATE OF THE CENTURY: OBAMA vs. TRUMP

During the last month since Donald Trump has completely dominated the media with his potential 2012 run for the Republican presidential nomination, the question most often raised is, “Can you imagine a debate between Donald Trump and President Obama?”

Well, imagine no more because here is a future “transcript” from what will be called the Debate of the Century.  

This possible future presidential debate is based on segments from actual interview transcripts, each in two parts involving President Obama and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on April 14, 2011 and Donald Trump and Stephanopoulos on April 18, 2011.

Just like a Hollywoodmovie based on a true story, the interview segments used in this “debate” have been repositioned slightly but without the altering of any real content. However, the debate questions from the moderator are fictionalized.

So after all the hype – here are some highlights from the Debate of the Century.

 Moderator: Mr. President, do you believe America is on the decline?

Obama:  You know countries used to look up to America as an example of a modern, well functioning society, and now it seems like they have bigger plans then we do. That’s not the America I want to live in.

 Moderator: And Mr. Trump, do you believe America is on the decline?

Trump: I look at what’s going on with our country. We’re like a third world nation.

This country is in such trouble. If you look at what China’s doing to us. If you look –look at—I mean, look at what’s going on with gasoline prices. They’re going to go to $5, $6, $7 a gallon and we don’t have anybody in Washington that calls OPEC and says, “Fellas, it’s time. It’s over. You’re not going to do it anymore.”  They’re not our friends.  They wouldn’t even be there if it wasn’t for us.

 Moderator: President Obama why should the people vote to re-elect you?

Obama: Ultimately the American people understand this is a serious, sober time. They want an optimistic vision. That’s what this election is going to be about.

 Moderator: Mr. Trump, why should the American people vote to elect you and do you think you will win?

Trump: Oh, I’m sure I will. You know what they get with me? They get a guy that’s not going to let the world rip off the United StatesThe world is ripping us off. I hate it.

 Moderator: Mr. President, are you concerned about the strength of your opponent on the other side?

Obama:  Right now I have such a big day job that I am not yet focused on what’s happening on the other side.

 Moderator: Mr. Trump, how would you describe the state of our nation?

Trump:  Ripped off by everybody because we have poor leadership. Because we have people that don’t know what they’re doing.

(The Donald with eyes squinted looks at Obama and sneers.)

Moderator: Mr. President, how do you think the American people envision their ideal president?

Obama: They want one that unifies the country and more important than anything else, they want some answers to how we’re going to get the economy moving.

Moderator: Isn’t that what you have been trying to do for almost 4 years?

Obama: My suspicion is that anybody who is not addressing those questions is going to be in trouble.

Moderator: Mr. Trump: Do you think you would have any difficulty going from private businessman to President of the United States?

Trump: You know, unlike other people I’ve really been public all my life.  I’ve done a good job. I’ve built a great company. I mean it’s magnificent. I’m going to disclose all this stuff. And they will be amazed at how big it is, how strong it is, how much cash there is. It’s a great company. I’d love to show my tax returns. I may tie the release of my tax returns to Obama releasing his birth certificate.

I think that people see me as somebody that loves this country. But maybe even more importantly I will not let our great nation be ripped off by so many others. I think they see that. They think I am a smart guy.

(Obama rolls his eyes and looks at his watch)

 Moderator:  Mr. President does criticism bother you?

Obama: Some of it will be settled by the America people in the election. That is how democracy should work.

 Moderator: Mr. Trump does criticism bother you?

Trump: Next question.  You’re not doing your job very well.  You’ve been co-opted by Obama.

 Moderator: Finally, what would you like to say to the American people?

Obama: To make very clear to the American people that we have a choice.

 Moderator: Mr. Trump any final words to the American people?

Trump: I had two divorces. And they were very good women.  And I always say about that—they were excellent women, terrific women.  But you know what?  I work so hard and so long that it’s almost unfair to women.  But isn’t what this county wants—don’t– you think the country wants somebody that works long and hard and smart, maybe above all smart.  So I think the reason I am doing so well in all the polls, where I am leading most of ‘em is that they see me stopping this onslaught from other people taking advantage of the county. ‘Cause I’ll tell you something, if I win, people will not be ripping off the United States any longer.

Moderator: Thank you both.  The American people are the real winners tonight being able to choose between two such outstanding leaders.

 President Obama and Donald Trump come forward to shake hands when Obama whispers into Trumps ear: “I found your pompadour comb-over most distracting.”

 That evening the pundits universally agreed that Trump was victorious because of his “with me we won’t get ripped off any more” bravado which struck a chord in the heartland of America.

 All the cable channels except MSNBC, showed continuous footage of Obama looking at his watch which they ran concurrently with President George H.W. Bush famously looking at his watch in a 1992 debate with Governor Bill Clinton. 

 The next day Drudge posted a large image of Obama’s watch glance with a screaming headline declaring Time for a Change.