Tossin’ manure with Dave

I guess I should congratulate VTGOP chair David Sunderland for possessing the all-encompassing optimism of the little boy who gets a pile of horseshit on Christmas morning and starts rooting around, saying “There’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!” Because here he is, in a story from VPR:

The head of the Vermont Republican Party says Donald Trump’s campaign to win the GOP presidential nomination is, on balance, a good thing for the political process here in Vermont and across the county [sic].

Well, it’s a good thing for the likes of me. The more turmoil and buffoonery in the Republican process, the better chance we have of electing a Democrat in 2016. But how can it be a good thing from Sunderland’s, presumably pro-Republican, point of view?

Sunderland… says Trump has brought out some valuable new ideas. Sunderland says the result has been a good discussion among most of the other GOP presidential candidates.

Hmm. Donald Trump. Valuable ideas.

Nope, doesn’t ring a bell.

Unfortunately, Mr. Sunderland does not elaborate on which “valuable ideas” he’s heard from The Donald. And the reporter, VPR’s Bob Kinzel, apparently didn’t think to ask. Or if he did, Sunderland’s answer didn’t make the final cut. Which is kind of odd, considering that there was plenty of slack in this nothingburger of a story.

Whatever. The Trump campaign has been famously long on style and short on substance, and the ideas he has put forward seem about as valuable as a discarded cigar butt. Let’s run down some examples, shall we?

— He would build an “impenetrable wall” on the US-Mexico border. And he’d force Mexico, somehow, to pay for it. The sheer force of his Trumpness, I suppose.

— While we’re on the subject of Mexico, he would charge that sovereign nation $100,000 for “every person they send over” the US border. Which assumes (a) we have a way to count them, and (b) he has a billing mechanism in mind. Plus, if he builds his goddamn wall, then Mexico won’t be sending anyone, right?

— Of course, he’d round up the 11 million-plus “illegals” and force them all to leave. This is a twofer: unworkable AND unoriginal. It’s standard Republican rhetoric.

— He wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it “with something much better for everybody… and much less expensive.” Details? Nope. Again, same exact thing every other Republican says.

— Regarding ISIS, he would “knock the hell out of them” and then “take the oil.” Which is logistically impossible. And again, not exactly a new idea in Republican circles.

— He would invest massive sums in our infrastructure, while CUTTING taxes. Yeah.

— He would impose new tariffs on a variety of companies and impose a 20% tax on imports. Most of that would violate existing treaties, and any tariffs would most likely spark retaliation.

There you have some of the fruits of Trump thinking. As the Washington Post put it, his platform seems to consist of one fundamental idea: “Because I said so.”

Which leads me to the question Bob Kinzel should have asked David Sunderland: which of these are the “valuable ideas” that have contributed meaningfully to our political discourse?

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