And they're off.
There are three plus years before the 2016 presidential election, but republicans are already rushing en masse into Iowa, belching loudly, I Am The Most Conservative One. They are doing it in front of the populace in general, but more specifically, before a group called, "The Family Leadership Summit."
The latest of three republicans to kow tow to the gathering of conservative Christians was Donald Trump, real estate mogul and perhaps the single least prepared and informed candidate in the history of the republic.
NBC reports that Trump addressed the crowd and then spoke with the working press in Ames, Iowa yesterday. The major accomplishment of the appearance was a stunningly dead on imitation of Mattel's Magic Eight Ball. That would be the toy that randomly provides some 20 vague answers to questions posed to it about current, or future events, but only after you've shaken it vigorously and turned it upside down.
Proving he can at least read polls, Trump was quoted as saying republicans will have, "a really rough time," if Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016.
Beyond that observation, the Don seemed a bit lost when pressed for details on other matters of politics and policy. NBC says he also told the crowd that immigration reform, "could be a death wish," for the party, but in the next breath urged the republicans to,"do the right thing." The problem is he doesn't know what the right thing is. When asked what parts of the senate immigration bill should be approved by the house his response was, "I actually think it is too early to say."
Then, in a brief moment of clarity he felt the Chris Christie/Rand Paul feud was," probably bad overall for the republican party."
Unfortunately, for all concerned, he steered straight back into the fog bank when asked who he thought President Obama should name to be the new head of the Federal Reserve in September. His answer was, "I think they want to have the lowest interest rate economy because if interest rates go up, ah, it would be very interesting to see what would happen."
When it came to 2014, he opined that the GOP, "has a pretty good chance," of regaining control of the senate, but wouldn't, or couldn't say which senate races were key to that goal. When pressed he said, "Well, I think you have six or seven states--I won't mention the states 'cause I don't want to put pressure on anybody, but I think you have six or seven states where you could really have in a couple of cases upsets, really, and you could have some good victories for the republicans." Although Mr. Trump confounded many linguists with that statement and didn't name any republican candidates who he felt could change the balance of power in the senate--he did, at one point, express concern about embattled Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell's campaign.
"It would be a shame if he didn't win because he has such power, it is so good for his state."
After listening to all this it would appear we have three possible options when comes to Donald Trump. He is either some weird, air brushed, Messiah who speaks in strange parables, a complete idiot when it comes to public affairs, or is on drugs so powerful and dangerous the DEA won't even admit to their existence.
Tragically, the media failed to ask Trump the one question which could have set off either a spectacular brawl, or a song and dance that would have made the late Gene Kelly seem like a rank amateur. The missing query, which should have been put to the pseudo candidate, was, "Do you believe Senator Ted Cruz is eligible for the office of President of the United States?"
Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father had addressed the pure of faith earlier in the conference. Trump, who up until a scant few months ago, was still questioning the birth place and eligibility of Barak Obama to be president has let the Senator from Texas skate on this new birther issue so far.
Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks that sort of argument would also be, "probably bad over all for the republican party." Indeed, sometimes a principle must be sacrificed for the greater good. Besides, loose lips sink ships, especially with the USS Clinton loading torpedo tubes as I type. Of course, in the end, a true cynic might think his entire act in Iowa could well be nothing more than some sly Trumpian ruse whose only aim is to keep his name alive in the media. You never know what sort of new and bizarre reality show could be waiting in the wings and there is no such thing as bad press when it comes to such enterprises.
It is an eternity until 2016, but the early lineup of GOP presidential hopefuls is a dreadful rogue's gallery of ideologues, bullies, and religious fanatics. The only person who seems acceptable to general election voters in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and possibly even Florida is Chris Christie. And the terrible truth is the tea party wing, the deep south, the wacko birds, as John McCain describes them, find him utterly unacceptable. His odds of surviving the republican primary season seem minimal at best.
As all these hacks, clods, and unrepentant muggers ramble across the Iowa countryside speaking to halls full of true believers they need to hang firmly onto that water wagon known as reality. Let's face it, despite all the conservative hullabaloo in Ames this week the guy who collected Iowa's six electoral votes last November was named, Barak H. Obama.
In other words don't let all those standing O's go to your head, guys.
After all, glory is at best fleeting and sometimes it is simply an illusion. Avoid asking Don Trump about it, he hasn't a clue, but you might want to check with Mitt Romney and Karl Rove.
They've been there.
sic vita est