If you have not already gormandized enough at the political trough this campaign season, you may be interested in reading Tucker Carlson’s article last month on Politico, “Donald Trump Is Shocking, Vulgar and Right: And, my dear fellow Republicans, he’s all your fault.” It is one of the best mainstream commentaries on Trump that I have read (along with David Frum’s “The Great Republican Revolt” in The Atlantic). Selection:
But the main reason Trump could win is because he’s the only candidate hard enough to call Hillary’s bluff. Republicans will say almost anything about Hillary, but almost none challenge her basic competence. She may be evil, but she’s tough and accomplished. This we know, all of us.
But do we? Or is this understanding of Hillary just another piety we repeat out of unthinking habit, the political equivalent of, “you can be whatever you want to be,” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.
He may be right, based on his exchange with her just before Christmas. During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said Hillary had been “schlonged” by Obama in the 2008 race. In response, the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.
It was the most effective possible response, though more obvious than brilliant. Why was Trump the only Republican to use it?
I have always liked Carlson; he strikes me as genuine and sensible. Moreover, his Daily Caller is a colorful little place in D.C., and they do a fine spread of munchies for events. I do miss Carlson’s bow ties, however. He should have stayed with it; why cede sartorial ground to the Left (Paul Simon—and not the interesting one)?