Exasperated that its latest stratagem to derail the candidacy of Donald Trump – getting Jeb Bush to endorse Ted Cruz – has failed, mainly because Cruz is even more repugnant to most Republicans than the bellicose billionaire, the GOP is shifting its battle plan to satire and irony.
It’s going to distribute Trump campaign caps, “Make America Great Again,” translated into German (“Machen America Wieder Groß”) free to supporters to wear to campaign rallies in remaining primary states, hoping the adoring mobs get the hint.
A GOP source conceded that satire and irony are always a risky bet with Republicans.
“There’s a thing about them where they just don’t get it and frankly we don’t get why they don’t get it and we haven’t cared why they don’t get until now because it worked great for us for decades, them not… getting it,” said a GOP source.
The base’s continued belief, for instance, that Ronald Reagan was a great president — even though he set in motion the destruction of the middle class in America by his attacks on unions and tax breaks for the rich, and his trickle-down theory of economics, to most people, just felt like a warm stream or urine down the back of their necks — heightens strategists’ fears that too many Republicans are too hopelessly slow to recognize when something is ironic, satiric, sardonic — or simply a travesty.
“If they don’t get this – that they’re wearing a hat that would be appropriate attire at a Nuremberg rally – we could easily see Trump embracing the slogan, and using it in his own commercials, and the whole thing could fehlzundung like Romney.”
The anti-Trump GOP forces have also produced a shock-effect reminiscent of the Atom Bomb commercial LBJ used against Goldwater in the 1964 election. In that a little girl is picking flowers and a nuclear bomb goes off with a mushroom cloud, implying Goldwater would start a nuclear war.
The GOP ad features Trump in on the Mexican border, while the crowd salutes him, with right arms thrust in the air, as they have in recent rallies, while he speaks in German: “Ich werde eine Mauer zu errichten und Mexiko wird dafur bezahlen!”
The ad leaves it to viewers to translate.
And there is no mustache.
“Again, we’re talking satiric, sardonic, ironic,” said the GOP source. “It’s the subtle power of the extremely obvious to everybody else.”
The GOP said they’re left with no choice but to be satirical because blunt opposition to Trump has backfired, and fueled Trump’s support. They said they are encouraged, however, that Republicans have, in the past picked up the double meaning of words such as “takers” and the “urban vote” to understand what they were intended to convey: undesirable blacks.
“That, they got – thank God,” said the GOP source.
In that vein, the anti-Trumpers are also working behind the scenes to get black activist Al Sharpton to endorse Trump. The pitch to Sharpton is that if Trump is derailed, then Democrats win the election.
“With all Sharpton’s talk about equality and opposition to police brutality, if he endorses Trump, Trump’s support dries up and dies,” said the GOP source. “They have a German word for it. Let me translate.