Saturday, August 8, 2015

Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly: Period Politics

I wrote before that Donald Trump is incredibly thin skinned for a man of such immense wealth. This was not any great insight on my part by any means. It's so obvious a blind man could see it. Trump does not take criticism well, sees slights everywhere and very quickly gets in beefs with folks over the most asinine things. Of course he or his supporters would say that someone who takes criticism well tends to get a lot of criticism. From this POV the best thing to do is to attack immediately and set expectations. I think Trump tries to live by the Office Space lawyer's advice passed on from his imprisoned client to "kick someone's a$$ the first day or become someone's b****." The other thing about Trump is that rather than attack someone's argument or theories he always attacks the person's intelligence, wealth, appearance or immutable characteristics. Trump did this most recently with Fox News personality and Republican debate moderator Megyn Kelly. In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon Trump made a dismissive reference to Kelly's period as a way of explaining what he saw as her undue aggression. He also retweeted a reference to Kelly as a bimbo. These comments, tweets and retweets all obviously caused some current and former Fox News personalities to attack Trump. Other conservatives have rescinded invitations to Trump to speak. I am loving this. It's amazing and amusing to me that a right wing movement that has said far worse things about the President, the First Lady and their children is now up in arms because of what Trump says about Megyn Kelly. Republicans already take it as an article of faith that President Obama is a man with no class. Heck, during the Democratic 2008 debates President Obama came under some criticism from fellow Democrats (wrongly in my opinion) for merely telling rival Hillary Clinton that she was "likable enough". I don't think the President would have been elected or re-elected if he were on public record telling anyone that the only reason some woman was attacking him or doing something else to annoy him was because she was on her cycle. Time will tell if these comments damage Trump's brand among conservatives. But they show that whatever else he is Trump is not a deep thinker or a man who is able to or willing to make intelligent arguments when faced with opposition. So maybe he is the perfect candidate for a Republican base that is increasingly filled with know-nothings.

I am reminded of that passage from The Return of the King, where Sam and Frodo, hiding from an Orc patrol, witness two Orcs arguing before one murders the other and runs off. Emerging from hiding, Sam cynically remarks if this sort of friendliness would spread around Mordor, half of the good guys' problems would be over. But Frodo cautions otherwise:

"But that is the spirit of Mordor, Sam; and it has spread to every corner of it. Orcs have always behaved like that, or so the tales say, when they are on their own. But you can't get much hope out of it. They hate us far more, altogether and all the time. If those two had seen us, they would have dropped all their quarrel until we were dead."
Once this little intramural Republican sexism kerfuffle is over I am sure the Republicans won't have any new interest or understanding in changing how they talk about women or so-called women's issues. Fox News will continue to remain a bastion of barely repackaged racism and proud ignorance. And Kelly will continue to be a champion of that. It is what it is. After all, should Trump win the nomination, I am certain that Fox News will champion him against his Democratic opponent. Whoever comes out of the Republican gauntlet as winner is very likely to be hostile to some values which I hold dear. But for now, I am just sitting back and shaking my head. Ironically if Trump had taken the high road (LOL) and provided some reasons to support the argument that Fox News was trying to take him down, this whole controversy could have been avoided. But if Trump did that he wouldn't be Trump. One wonders exactly how Trump would know if or when Kelly is having periods. Does he have a special spidey sense for such things? And ultimately Kelly takes orders from Roger Ailes, like everyone else at Fox News. Will Trump go after Ailes?
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