Via Mediaite, weapons-grade sarcasm aimed squarely at Trump’s empty bravado. A commenter in the earlier thread sneered at me for dumping on him, praising his “alphalicious” Vegas speech as something a beta male predictably wouldn’t appreciate. In fact, that’s one of my secret pleasures in watching his candidacy — observing how some “true conservatives” (not all or most, but some) who’ve spent years ripping on RINOs will instantly start cooing over a tough-talking populist even though he’s betrayed every core right-wing principle in the book. Are you opposed to universal health care and eminent domain abuse and taxes on the rich and protectionism? Well, Trump’s been in favor of all of them at one time or another, but since he’s willing to pound the table about Obama’s birth certificate and tell the Chinese to go f*** themselves, I guess we’ll let it slide. Like Mark Levin, Beck’s standards are higher than that. Too bad that’s not true across the board.

On a possibly related note, Gallup’s out with a new poll today that holds bad news for tea partiers:

It’s almost impossible to draw a conclusion from that given that the last numbers were taken in January. A lot’s happened since — the budget battles, Trump’s rise, even the Tucson shooting for which Republican rhetoric was unfairly blamed. But here’s an interesting favorable/unfavorable finding in the demographic breakdown:

I.e. there’s a strong correlation between how people view the tea party and how people view Trump. Beck, Levin, Rand Paul and a number of others are trying to undo that, which is why I’m thinking that Trump’s “surprise announcement” may be that he’s going to bypass the GOP and run as a third-party candidate. He has no future in the primary, but as a high-profile independent running an inexpensive bare-bones populist campaign with attention-getting speeches like last night’s, he could probably grab enough votes from the GOP to swing the election. That would give him something to crow about — “I decided the presidency,” etc — which is realistically the best he could hope for. We’ll see.