I spied this Tweet earlier.
— Damon Reynolds (@DamonReynolds17) February 4, 2016
It reminded me of a comment I made after the “Low energy” … as if it’s a bad thing post from last week. In response to Rifleman’s skeptical reaction to my hypothetical Jeb Bush retort to a Trump barb, I wrote:
Donald Trump, in spite of his earliest, private goals, is not a trained politician. He is a showman, an entertainer, a businessman. He has never integrated the the mores of political niceties that guide politicians. This has been pretty much his greatest appeal in this campaign. This is why he throws shade so well and displays such a “cool” vibe.
Jeb is Uncool incarnate.
National mainstream politicians are pretty much all the same as this, but even Jeb seems to take it one step further. He is a great focal point for Trump to target. And he can only dream of throwing shade.
In order for any candidate to go toe-to-toe with Trump in the social realm (which is what this Presidential election is centered about) is the one who can throw shade well.
Up until a few days ago, none of the aspiring Presidential candidates could bring themselves to adequately throw shade at Donald Trump. It was astounding to watch as they skirted the topic and refused to get down and dirty with the Donald. But now we have Ted Cruz’s corner slinging the #Trumpertantrum hashtag around freely while it gathered comical steam all day long. The hashtag ridicules Donald Trump’s whiny petulance which I’ve always felt was a prime target, but which no one ever touched, mysteriously. And earlier, in tonight’s Democratic town hall, Bernie Sanders, of all people, got in the act as well and cast some cross-party shade in Trump’s direction.
When asked by Anderson Cooper what he would say to independent voters wavering between him and Trump, Sanders went into what’s quickly becoming a familiar refrain about Trump’s wild racism and questionable economic policies (a strict $7.25 an hour minimum wage with massive tax breaks for the highest earners).
But then Bernie started to have a little fun:
Trump is, as you know, a well-known scientist—brilliant scientist. And he has concluded after years of studying the issue that climate change is a hoax *dramatic pause* brought to us by the Chinese. Now, that shocked me, Anderson, because I thought that he would have thought it was a hoax brought to us by the Mexicans or the Muslims—Chinese I didn’t quite get.
… So I think—and I would love the opportunity, frankly, I’m prejudiced—I want Trump to win the Republican nomination. And I would love the opportunity to run against him. I think we would win by a lot.
Note that in Sanders’ shade-spew, he mimicked that familiar Trump intonation/rephrasing thing he does: “a well-known scientist – brilliant scientist.”
Now that is a great imitation of Trump’s speech patterns, thus exacerbating the insulting power of Sanders’ barb. After Trump’s 2nd place finish in the Iowa caucus, and his presumptive miscalculation in choosing not to participate in last week’s debate, Trump appears to be floundering, and now, sensing blood, his opponents appear emboldened and are, as I wrote, going “toe-to-toe” and throwing that necessary shade, a special brand of hip insult that could wreck Trump’s flow most adeptly.
I suspect Trump should have no problem weathering this push-back he’s escaped for most of the campaign cycle, but the spectacle should be much more interesting now that the big boys are sparring back.