It’s rarely a good idea to get in a trolling contest with America’s master troll but Team Cruz is stuck right now between a humiliating landslide loss in a big mid-Atlantic state last week and a bunch of humiliating landslides losses in mid-Atlantic states to come. Might as well have a little fun aimed at reminding Trump’s anti-PC fans that, well, they’ve been suckered.
Watch the first clip below and you’ll find Cruz needling Trump over what he said this morning about North Carolina’s transgender law with a “Make PC Great Again” joke, which presumably gave his staff the idea for a stunt involving campaign merch. Ace asked in a post earlier how politically incorrect Trump is really, apart from mass deportation (which itself has been hedged repeatedly with promises that “good” illegals will be readmitted legally). The answer is that it depends on who the target is. He likes to attack “political correctness” that touches on racial diversity — fewer immigrants, a temporary ban on Muslim visitors, no replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 — but the culture war over “values,” freedom of conscience, and identity that animates lots of grassroots conservatives palpably doesn’t move him much, and when he tries to pretend that it does, it often ends up, er, awkwardly. The virtue of being politically incorrect on one subject, though, is that it can convince voters you’ll be politically incorrect on others that are nearer to their hearts on the theory that a man willing to tell one brave “truth” must surely be willing to tell others. Not so, as some of Trump’s evangelical supporters are now discovering and will continue to discover to their dismay.
Actually, here’s a nice story about Trump being very “politically incorrect” indeed:
When heavyweight-boxing champion Mike Tyson was convicted in 1992 of raping a beauty pageant contestant, his friend Donald Trump came to his defense — advocating for a way Tyson could avoid prison time and publicly defending the boxer’s character…
But in video obtained by BuzzFeed News, Trump went a step further by more directly suggesting [Desiree] Washington wasn’t a victim of rape at all.
“You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will,” Trump said in an NBC Nightly News video package obtained by BuzzFeed News through the Vanderbilt University Television News Archive. “You have a young woman seen dancing for the beauty contest—dancing with a big smile on her face, looked happy as can be.”
“It’s my opinion that to a large extent, Mike Tyson was railroaded in this case,” Trump also said in the package, which aired on Feb. 21, 1992.
Trump attacking the credibility of the victim of a convicted rapist, who by the way had already been accused by his ex-wife of being physically abusive, will make for a fine talking point for Hillary in the general election, especially among the 70 percent of women who already dislike Trump. He may get blown out, but there’s the answer to Ace’s question, I guess. He really is politically incorrect in ways that other candidates aren’t.
Incidentally, since we’re on the subject of political fashion, here’s a shirt that showed up on the campaign trail today. This isn’t official Trump campaign merchandise, of course, just fan stuff, but if you wanted political incorrectness, you’ve got it.
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) April 21, 2016
I’ve seen another version of that same shirt that reads “Trump That Bitch,” which I guess is a reference to Hillary. The media’s going to have all sorts of fun with the “tone” of the campaign this fall, especially among the more dude-bro elements of Trump’s fans.
Here’s the Cruz soundbite plus an interview with Beck where he elaborates on his support for the North Carolina law. Note Beck’s point about how the standard liberal argument for gun control (“if it saves just one life”) doesn’t apply for some reason to a minor regulation in this case.