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Thursday, March 24, 2016

P.T. Barnum was right

by digby

This focus group of Trump and Cruz voters is pretty depressing:

On Tuesday night, a group of Republican and Republican-leaning voters here had a decision to make about Donald J. Trump.

They were asked: What campaign theme song would best capture his candidacy?

The voters, who were participating in a focus group, came up with a hit parade of rock anthems. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” “Eye of the Tiger.” “We Are The Champions.”

“Hells Bells.”

Finally, someone suggested “Takin’ Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and the whole room began nodding.

I keep saying that his "business" experience is what these people like about him. They admire businessmen. If that's populism it's not the kind that takes on the Big Money Boyz. They worship Big Money Boyz.

“The people of the United States are disillusioned or fed up with the way government is being run,” said Gabrielle Ritter, 39, an independent who is a stay-at-home mother. “So I think that that could be why Trump is so appealing, is that he comes across as someone who is very decisive and just, ‘Anything you got, throw it at me, I can take care of it.’”

Yet, Ms. Ritter added, she has serious concerns about Mr. Trump if he is going to be the Republican nominee, let alone the next president. “Are you going to be able to do these things that you say you’re going to do, in a political environment?” she asked. “He comes across as hard-hitting, but can he play well with others?”

What she really means is, can he make good on his promise to force others to give him "the deal" he wants? And in the minds of conservatives that means --- no compromise. They believe that Trump may have the magical ability to accomplish anything he sets out to do. The only question is whether he can make the Democrats go along and say "thank you sir may I have another."

There were some people who questioned his temperament and a least one who said he is a bully and a misogynist. But apparently, most of them are willoing to consider him especially if he can temper his personality just a little bit.

The group was more or less split between backers of Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz. Those who said they were hesitant about Mr. Trump did not necessarily seem bothered by his views on Muslims or immigration or his absence of foreign policy experience, but said they thought his disposition would make it hard to work with Congress, as well as minorities like African-Americans and Hispanics.

His disposition? It's not good. But neither are the policies. nobody would want to help him do any of that. Ever.

But not to worry. Despite their reservations about his personality, they'll probably get over it soon enough:

“This is the base, and the base is totally divided,” Mr. Hart said of the voters. “The amount of distance Trump has to travel to bring together this coalition is a huge, huge territory.”

But, he added, pointing to those who were skeptical of Mr. Trump, “most of these voters are not rooting against him but are rooting for him, and if he gives them an opportunity to accept him, they will accept him.”

And what some voters saw as troubling, others saw as a virtue. “I believe in you,” Steve Berman, 59, an independent supporting Mr. Trump, began his postcard.

“You are a tremendous businessman,” wrote Mr. Berman, a screenwriter. “Please use your vast knowledge, toughness, brains, brawn in guiding this country. The fact that you are not a politician makes me like you even more. Best Steve.”

They want a strongman, it's really that simple.