I like Ace. But I think he has gone very aft agley on this most recent pronouncement concerning the latest imminent demise of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:
I think Trump hurt himself badly tonight, enough to knock him out of his first-place standing in most states. Oh he won’t completely disappear — but 2nd Place Trump is not the same thing as Frontrunner Trump.
Trump damaged himself with his claim that Bush lied us into war in Iraq. Not botched the intelligence, not read too much into thin intelligence.
Most Republicans, I think, would agree that that.
No, Trump claimed that Bush deliberately lied us into war.
First, this is alarming because it once again demonstrates that Trump has a conspiratorial mind. It’s not enough for the conspiracist to say someone was wrong — no, they have unrealistically black/white minds, and if you made a bad call, you must have lied.
That conspiracism was always present in his claims about Obama’s birth certificate. But that bit of fantasy was about Obama, someone the average Republican voter isn’t exactly eager to man the battlements for.
This corker — this Al Gore roar of quote — is about George W. Bush, someone still looked upon with affection by most of the party.
Which brings us to the second problem.
If Donald Trump is right, and George W. Bush deliberately schemed with his neo-con advisers to “lie” us into a phony war with Iraq, what does that say about the average Republican voter who supported Bush from 1999, voted for him, defended him through the recount, cried with him on 9/11, agreed with him on Iraq, defended him from ceaseless liberal attacks on him during the war, defended him from Obama’s never-expiring “Blame Bush” blame-shifting, etc.?
If Trump is right, then we’re not just wrong to have supported him. If Trump’s right, we’re goddamned rubes and fools to have defended this Actual Hitler-Level Monster for going on 17 years now.
My first response is yes, you were all goddamned rubes and fools to have supported George W. Bush and the invasion/occupation of Iraq. I said so 12 years ago. I was right then, and Donald Trump is right now.
And my second response is to observe that there is already a candidate who is a proxy for the affection George W. Bush enjoys in the party, namely, his brother Jeb Bush. And Jeb has the support of about one percent of the party.
So, I very much doubt that the Republican voters are anywhere nearly as ego-invested in George W. Bush as Ace’s argument requires.