January 27, 2016

Trump, from outside of the debate, "will tweet the entire mess like it is Mystery Science Theater 3000."

"The next day, the news will interject his tweets with their commentary about each participant. Obviously Trump’s tweets would include his usual eyebrow-raising insults and claims, and draw all attention his way. And unlike the people in the debate, he can 'twitter-interrupt' them at any point with his counter-punches and clever insults. The media will insert his tweets in just the right place to make their stories compelling."

Scott Adams envisioned Trump's next move, but it turned out that what Trump decided to do in the debate time slot is host a rally for Wounded Warriors.

Adams — who's bursting with respect for the sophistication of Trump's political game-playing — imagined Trump doing something cheeky using social media, something more fun than the stodgy old debate. But Trump chose something more serious, not lighter but heavier, a dramatic — not a comic — performance in the Theater of Politics.

67 comments:

Hagar said...

What Trump has done is to make sure the "debate" tonight is dominated by his not being there. Fox can try taking a leaf from Our Man Clint and put an empty chair on stage, and it will be even better from the Trump campaign's point of view. The MSM will be all about the chair with little or nothing about what the other candidates had to say about anything other than Trump.

One good thing that may come from it might be the beginning of the end for these TV media controlled "debates."

Ann Althouse said...

@Hagar

It seems to me that they will be thinking through that problem and realizing that they have to step up to the challenge of making it not about Trump. It's a chance for the other candidates to show who there are outside of the shadow of Trump. If they can't do that, the nomination process is over.

David Begley said...

Buffonish.

Pure WWE.

And that Wounded Warrior event is simply pathetic. The great and powerful Trump hands out candy to the peasants. I would hope that Iowans would have enough self-respect and not participate in the clown-reality show.

And for all you Trump defenders, please try and look at your rationalization so of Trump's behavior half-way rationally.

The beginning of the end of Trump is Monday.

Voters may be angry but they aren't stupid.

YoungHegelian said...

Donald Trump: His Absence is his Presence.

Derrida would be so proud.

David Begley said...

Cut word "so." Should read "rationalization of Trump's behavior...."

Chuck said...

I'd love a poll of the Trump supporters:

What would you prefer that Mr. Donald J. Trump do on Thursday evening?
a. Attend the debate
b. Tweet his own comments about the debate
c. Host a Wounded Warriors fundraiser
d. Participate in a panel discussion with Thomas Sowell and Holman Jenkins on economic policy.

Hagar said...

Precisely. And they will fail.

Nyamujal said...

I hope Trump's searing hot takes don't singe my eyebrows.

Nyamujal said...

Maybe this Trump campaign is some elaborate performance art project.

David Begley said...

Oh, and forgot to add that Trump is disguising his own cowardice by associating with Wounded Warriors.

Would a Wounded Warrior be afraid of Megyn Kelly? No! He'd try to get her in the sack!

garage mahal said...

If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin??

BarrySanders20 said...

Looks like Trump has lost David Begley's vote with this stunt.

Amanda said...


"I'd love a poll of the Trump supporters:

d. Participate in a panel discussion with Thomas Sowell and Holman Jenkins on economic policy."

Not likely to happen, Thomas Sowell was one of the 22 conservative National Review Trump detractors. Sowell wasn't "good" to Trump.

tim in vermont said...

He could have done the Wounded Warriors thing anytime. And aren't those guys "not real heroes" anyways, on account of they got themselves and knocked out of battle?


If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin??

You have a point, Obama couldn't handle Joe the Plumber and Putin has been walking all over him. Annexing neighboring territories, moving into Syria and bombing Hillary's "allies" who were tyring to overthrow Assad/

Appalled said...

I doubt this maneuver has much to do with Megyn Kelly. It is Trump seeing what he can by with, and making sure that the debate does not benefit anyone else (through either lowering the ratings, or denying Cruz a chance to confront Trump directly.)

Trump is a ego driven performer -- a good one -- and he has a very good sense of how to make things about him at all times.

Bobby said...

I have a real problem with Wounded Warrior. In Fiscal Year 2014 (FY15 data is not yet available), they brought in $307-million USD in contributions. Of that sum, just 59.9% made its way to program expenses- 34% went to fundraising expenses and 6% went to administrative expenses (including Steven Nardizzi's salary of $473,000 per year). Those numbers are abhorrent (for comparative purposes, American Red Cross- hardly the model of efficiency- spends 90.3% on program expenses). And it gets worse: Wounded Warrior Project themselves do not actually provide many direct services to disabled veterans, instead distributing much of their substantial funds to other charities who actually treat and care for the wounded veterans- and with their own administrative actions taking yet another bite out of the revenue.

WWP are, essentially, professional fund-raisers and they are very, very good at that- without their efforts, perhaps Americans would donate far less than to the cause than they actually do. But the pass-through fee that WWP charges is downright absurd, and I have told Nardizzi that to his face. I'm grateful that Americans want to give so much money to care for my injured brothers and sisters- I just wish rather than "feeling good" by giving money to WWP, they would give straight to the charities who are actually servicing our vets, cut out the middle man and know that so much more of their dollar is actually going to help the disabled veterans.

Fernandinande said...

Chuck said...
d. Participate in a panel discussion with Thomas Sowell and Holman Jenkins on economic policy.


Sowell should get more exposure. But he doesn't, I think, because in addition to not following The Narrative, his speech is rather fast and mumbly.

madAsHell said...

Maybe Trump can hire a couple of bloggers to play Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy. I'm thinking Vodkapundit would make a great Tom Servo.

tim in vermont said...

Trump is a more natural Democrat. They like a "strong leader" who will walk all over the constitution.

Amanda said...

Trump likes Putin, I'm sure they'll get along famously, as long as Putin is "good" to Trump that is, if not, then Trump will drop out of planned negotiations over a perceived personal slight. You see why he's not Presidential material? Thin skinned American President, a laughing stock.p of the world.

Fernandinande said...

Amanda said...
Thomas Sowell was one of the 22 conservative National Review Trump detractors. Sowell wasn't "good" to Trump.


He seemed to think that Trump might be almost as bad as Obama, a disastrous "glib egomaniac" who he compared to Hitler.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

By the way, MST3K is coming back for at least 14 episodes thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter. They have a couple of interesting people slated to guest star, so I'm hopeful.

I was disappointed in "With Bob And David," though--everyone was there but it just wasn't the same magic.

Original Mike said...

"And aren't those guys "not real heroes" anyways, on account of they got themselves and knocked out of battle? "

Touché.

Fabi said...

The Tweets are coming from inside the debate!

Jim Nicholson said...

"Wounded Warriors?" You mean the group that's been misappropriating charitable donations to throw lavish parties for staff members?

Bobby said...

Hoodlum,

"By the way, MST3K is coming back for at least 14 episodes thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter. They have a couple of interesting people slated to guest star, so I'm hopeful."

Now THAT is the best news I have heard all year!

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
@Hagar

It seems to me that they will be thinking through that problem and realizing that they have to step up to the challenge of making it not about Trump. It's a chance for the other candidates to show who there are outside of the shadow of Trump. If they can't do that, the nomination process is over.

1/27/16, 9:25 AM"

Indeed. I made the same point in another thread. The theater of the other candidates and the network attempting the challenge of showing they are outside Trump's shadow will be most entertaining. If it works politicians and journalists will show actors how its done.

" YoungHegelian said...
Donald Trump: His Absence is his Presence.

Derrida would be so proud.

1/27/16, 9:27 AM"

Brilliant.

"garage mahal said...
If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin??

1/27/16, 9:37 AM"

Spot on. There is hope for you after all.

@Bobby, thanks for the info. Won't give them money when at best 60% goes to other charities that have their own fundraising and overhead costs. Looks a bit Clintonesque This is an area that really needs to be cracked down on by the government, something a President Cruz should tackle, limiting the percentage a charity/non-profit can allocate for overhead.

Fritz said...

Blogger Bobby said...
I have a real problem with Wounded Warrior. In Fiscal Year 2014 (FY15 data is not yet available), they brought in $307-million USD in contributions. Of that sum, just 59.9% made its way to program expenses- 34% went to fundraising expenses and 6% went to administrative expenses (including Steven Nardizzi's salary of $473,000 per year)....


About the same overhead rate as a research university or the Smithsonian.

Dan Hossley said...

It's actually a good plan for Trump. He can communicate all his big ideas in 140 characters. That's as deep as he goes. As for his acolytes, well, the simpler the message, the better.

Alexander said...

4 years ago:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/debate-moderators-announced-and-include.html

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/10/bizarre-coincidence-democrats-get-more.html

Republicans lamenting that Republican Candidates won't grow a spine and stick up to the media and actually make some demands regarding moderators.

Republicans lamenting that Mitt played Charlie Brown football with iCandy Crowley.

But today! Today it's all 'omg how dare Trump!'

Turns out, the cucks were just posturing. Oh sure, they screamed 'unfair', but recent events proved that getting it good and hard by the other side was what they wanted all along.

Paddy O said...

"Republicans lamenting that Republican Candidates won't grow a spine and stick up to the media and actually make some demands regarding moderators."

It turns out sometimes we think moderators cross a line and should be resisted, and sometimes we don't.

Sometimes I give money to the poor. "You're a communist!" saith Alexander.

madAsHell said...

I will always believe that Candy Crowley's revision-of-history outburst was not spontaneous. It had been coordinated before hand. Romney walked into that buzz saw, and could no longer pin Obama on the ropes of history. Perhaps, Trump imagines a similar ambush.

I don't particularly agree with the decision to avoid the debate, but it does generate a lot of buzz for......Trump? Kelly? Fox? I just don't know.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

garage mahal said...If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin?

The snarky response to that, garage, would be to say something about how Trump's future handling of Putin can't be any worse that Obama's current handling of same.

The more substantive response is to agree that a good line of attack for a non-Trump GOP primary candidate would be to accuse Trump of being too thin-skinned (w/r/t criticism) and easily outmaneuvered by others just as Obama has been...something like "We've had 7 years of a President who shows contempt for Americans who disagree with him, who's been outclassed and afraid to confront foreign leaders on the world stage, and who can't be trusted to keep his word [intercut these with graphics on Obama's "bitter clinger" comment, some shot of him shaking hands with or bowing to some foreign leader, and a clip of his "red line" statement on Syria]--can we really afford another 4 years of the same? [big picture of Donald Trump in full bluster mode, quick cut of text of a headline about him refusing to attend the debate, some text about him flip flopping on some topic]. VO concludes--don't vote for more of the same (possibly "don't vote for Obama part 2").
To be really sneaky (but possibly undercut the GOP if Trump wins their nomination) such an add could compare Obama, Trump, AND H. Clinton (being petulant w/the press, dodging questions, attacking Republican voters, etc).

Bobby said...

cubanbob,

It's remarkably similar to the Bill, Hillary and Chlsea Clinton Foundation. The whole thing is a racket.

Fritz,

I can't speak to research universities, but the Smithsonian Institution- also no model of charitable efficiency- spends 77.6% of its total expenses on programs. While shameful, that's nonetheless substantially better than Wounded Warrior's 59.9%.

Gusty Winds said...

garage mahal said...If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin?

Trump is at war with Fox News (who garage hates), and he has them sucking up to Michael Moore. You'd think Garage might be a Trump fan for just one day.

Gusty Winds said...

I read Scott Adams blog for about and hour last night. He points out that the current wave of support for both Trump and Bernie is basically the American People wanting to fire the current United States Government.

So far, he is the only person whose predictions on Trump have held true for the last six months. I think the guy deserves some credit, and if Fox was smart, they'd give him some air time.

Scarborough seems to be the only other pundit who really sees the same thing.

Original Mike said...

"About the same overhead rate as a research university or the Smithsonian."

A research university provides a hell of a lot more infrastructure than does a charity like Wounded Warriors.

M Jordan said...

I'm tell in' ya, Ann, Scott Adams is a con man. Smart, clever, etc., but never quite playing straight with you.

Static Ping said...

Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been around in different forms since the show went off the air. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett have been doing RiffTrax since 2006, including live shows that are simulcast across the country. You can find them here: http://www.rifftrax.com. Highly recommended: The Star Wars Holiday Special, Twilight, Birdemic: Shock & Terror. There is a replay of their live show of The Room tomorrow (January 28), perhaps at a theater near you. The three guys were also doing direct DVDs as the Film Crew, but they gave that up after only a handful of movies.

Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl were doing Cinematic Titanic from 2007 thru 2013 with a touring live show and DVDs. Not as much output, but good stuff. Rattlers and The Doomsday Machine were quite excellent. Pehl has done some work with RiffTrax since then.

Very much looking forward to the MST3K revival. The Kickstarter was one of the most successful in the site's history.

As to Trump, the Wounded Warriors Project may not be the best charity out there, but the optics are still good for Trump. If Fox News or anyone else goes after Wounded Warriors because of this, it will look like a petty effort to go after Trump. Considering Fox News recent behavior, that could very well be accurate even if everything they report is factual.

M Jordan said...

"Blogger Fabi said...
The Tweets are coming from inside the debate!"

Not only was this laugh-out-loud funny, but what an idea! What if Rubio, or Cruz, did it? Take a little Trump for themselves. I like it.

MadisonMan said...

It's interesting that Trump is attending a Wounded Warrior event when Fox has just run a story on that particular charity saying it isn't spending money very well. (link)

Howard said...

We will see if Trump's latest "gaff" will be spun into gold. Given his track record, this move should put him over the top. Past Performance is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results. Your mileage may vary.

Trump ditching Megyn Bimbo at the alter is an accurate predictor of his dealing with Putin, Kim Jun Un and the rest of the Spectre bad-boys. If they act like a weak bitch, he will blow them off.

This is working out better than I thought. Not only is Trump destroying the Rethugderthal party, he is putting down Faux News like the rabid dog it is.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

madAsHellsaid...It had been coordinated before hand. Romney walked into that buzz saw, and could no longer pin Obama on the ropes of history.

The sadder reality, mad, is that it probably wasn't explicitly coordinated (Leftist minds having closed down in the same way spontaneously), and that with an appropriate answer Romney probably could have turned that to his advantage. He wasn't prepared for that kind of unprofessional BS from Crowley, though, and was by default too nice of a guy to really pounce on it/attack her in an effective way (during or after the debate itself).

You can't say those things about Trump, now; I doubt he's ever been accused of being too nice a guy nor unwilling to attack someone else if he thinks it might benefit him to do so.

Mom2Es said...

Honestly, it makes Trump look like a lame copycat. Rand Paul got a publicity boost for holding his own online town hall instead of participating in the undercard at the last debate. And when Bernie Sanders wouldn't agree to debate him, Paul already did the "I'll fake-debate you by MST3K-ing your responses on Twitter."

There's nothing original about what Trump is doing. The only difference is the reason behind it.

MadisonMan said...

CBS News story on Wounded Warriors.

Rocketeer said...

You see why he's not Presidential material? Thin skinned American President, a laughing stock.p of the world.

I'm sensing you're a Trump supporter Amanda? Sounds like a third Obama term.

eric said...

Blogger MadisonMan said...
CBS News story on Wounded Warriors.


It's not clear to me he actually plans to host a fund raiser for the wounded warriors foundation.

Yes I've seen the media report that, but his own website says he will host a rally for veterans and wounded warriors.

The problem with a name like wounded warriors is, it can get conflated with wanting to help actual wounded warriors.

Anyway, I won't be surprised if the rally/fund raiser isn't for the organization called wounded warriors, but is for actual, wounded warriors.

Johanna Lapp said...

A true charity wouldn't lend its name to a cheap political stunt.

An honorable politician wouldn't exploit wounded men and women for spite.

I have better places to spend my $19 a month. Alex at the Shriners' Hospitals offers a much cuter blanket.

tim maguire said...

It's conventional wisdom that the debates are for the challengers. The leading candidate has no incentive to debate. So you can make like Hillary and quietly negotiate few debates at weird times, or you can brazen it out and just not show up.

tim maguire said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
The sadder reality, mad, is that it probably wasn't explicitly coordinated


I think it was coordinated--Romney made a claim, Obama challenged him on it and...well wonder of wonders! Crowley had the transcript right there opened to the right page with her finger on the quote so she could pipe right up when Obama gave her her cue. No way that "just happened."

But I agree with you that Romney should have anticipated the objection, even if not the form of the objection. He showed he wasn't presidential material when he got caught flatfooted and threw away one of Obama's biggest remaining weaknesses just like the Republican Party threw away Obama's biggest weakness in 2008 by making Palin the VP and when they threw away Obama's biggest weakness in 2012 by nominating Mitt Romneycare Romney in the first place.

eric said...

Blogger Johanna Lapp said...
A true charity wouldn't lend its name to a cheap political stunt.

An honorable politician wouldn't exploit wounded men and women for spite.


What about an expensive political fund raiser? Would a true charity participate then?

What about exploiting them for their own benefit, no spite?

Let me suggest you never run a charity, I don't think you'll get anywhere assuming negative motives of all those who wish to help you raise money.

gerry said...

Trump isn't the first top-tier presidential candidate to skip a debate. Ronald Reagan did not attend a Republican debate ahead of the 1980 Iowa caucuses, which he lost to George H.W. Bush. Reagan went on to the win the nomination and the presidency.

cubanbob said...

Mystery Science Theater 3000 style commenting on the debates would be brilliant theater. Don please do so and dress the part by looking like Lobster Man. I would pay per view that.

Anyone notice that Amanda, Howard and Garage are starting to warm to Trump?

Guildofcannonballs said...

"And for all you Trump defenders, please try and look at your rationalization so of Trump's behavior half-way rationally."

Please take a break from all this Sir, you are becoming disturbed by your lack of ability to change others. You are projecting your insecurities onto others like a drunk.

You will need to learn from those great voices of history how to influence others, which is the most most of us can do on any scale not ultra-micro.

Start with The Prince.

I only made it to page 73 but that was enough for me to get it. You may only need 72 pages, who knows.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Blogger garage mahal said...
If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin??

1/27/16, 9:37 AM"

Kudos my good man. You are really driving us Trumpets and Trumpkins and racist fascist hatemongers (even more) nuts.

#!WinningWinningWon!

Alex said...

I can't get enough of this! Go Trump!

Down with David Begley!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I will say this about Trump--ain't no reporter ever gonna yell "what about your gaaaffes??" at him. In a sense his whole campaign in a gaffe (to the Media).

buwaya said...

In re wounded veterans - There is a possible piece of common ground here -
The VA hospital scandal seems like a substantial matter where an anti-administration candidate and a veterans organization share an interest.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

buwaya said...The VA hospital scandal

What scandal? Oh, that old thing? I don't remember reading anything about it lately. That's OLD NEWS, buwaya, Obama fixed that, you need to MoveOn.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I see Bitchtits Mahal and Inga,oops I mean Amanda, have their talking points down.

Their retarded, braindead, leftist talking points.

Drago said...

Everyone knows that the way you stand up to Putin is to move in close, and then gently, ever so gently, whisper sweetly to Putin's man that you will be as flexible as your Kremlin boyfriend requires....but only after the next election, and golly gee please don't be mad at obambi for asking for that one little time concession!

#Courage#RESET!#StandingUpToPutin!

Drago said...

cubanbob: "Mystery Science Theater 3000 style commenting on the debates would be brilliant theater"

It would indeed. You would want a team of commenters however to ensure that the tweets attack along multiple lines.

Drago said...

The way you stand up to Putin is also the way you stand up to the press: rope them off and only appear on friendly networks where all the questions and answers are scripted.

#BosniaSniperFireDodger

Quaestor said...

If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin??

Putin can handle Trump's language without taking too much offense, whereas Kelly seems to resent Trump using adjectives like ugly and disgusting to describe any female no matter how well-deserved it may be. That strikes me as gender-pandering on Kelly's part, which is more of the same PC bullshit that is currently destroying the American academy.

Quaestor said...

By the way, MST3K is coming back for at least 14 episodes thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter. They have a couple of interesting people slated to guest star, so I'm hopeful.

Unfortunately it will be Hodgson reprising "Joel" and TBA as the bots. Hodgson has only gotten more smarmy and beta with age. And he isn't very funny unless he's doing someone else's material. The first two seasons without Nelson as head writer were more interesting for their originality than the actual jokes and riffs. All my favs are post-Joel experiments with Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Mary Jo Pehl.

aritai said...

Too bad for Ms. Kelly. She should play a better game of chess. Rather than fall victim to what the establishment wanted her to do - use her position to damage pTb using a premise he refuses to accept. Her debate question could have been "I know you don't accept the premise that women are any more or less able than men, have never discriminated against anyone except fools, and you won't allow yourself to drawn into this nonsense about a 'war on women' - after all do I look like I'm a victim of some war invented only to further a leftist agenda?" "However You are an equal opportunity abuser of all, so what is that all about? Did all those people really disrespect you like I did, did they stick a thumb in your eye like you talk about in your book, or is there something else in play here?" pTb would have roared with laughter, and said "where have you been all my life? "

And then walked through a few examples of why he did what he does, and when it works and doesn't as a negotiating tactic. "and closed with "I've a number of supreme court chairs to fill, would you be interested? "you impress me as someone having the intellect and judgement required to ignore the niceties and do what is right and we certainly need a few more Solomons there rather than our current batch of reeds in the wind" And the next day Ms. k. would have been the new president of Fox. Oh well. Feet of clay and a lack of imagination limit us all. And I would have been able to order another bucket of popcorn.

grackle said...

It seems to me that they will be thinking through that problem and realizing that they have to step up to the challenge of making it not about Trump. It's a chance for the other candidates to show who there are outside of the shadow of Trump. If they can't do that, the nomination process is over.

I saw Bret Baier yesterday on Fox and he indicated, when asked about Trump’s absence from the debate, that the debate was still going to be about Trump, that Trump will still be there. I’m paraphrasing but I think Fox may try to make Trump’s absence a major feature of their now deflated debate, may ask the candidates a lot of questions about Trump and let them riff on Trump.

Trump likes Putin, I'm sure they'll get along famously, as long as Putin is "good" to Trump that is, if not, then Trump will drop out of planned negotiations over a perceived personal slight. You see why he's not Presidential material? Thin skinned American President, a laughing stock.p of the world.

And a shorter version of the same meme:

If Trump can't handle Megyan Kelly, how will he be able to handle Putin?

Trump can’t handle Kelly? She’s already been handled or haven’t you noticed? Instead of valiantly and magnificently bringing down Trump, the candidate that the eGOP loves to hate, she is now a moderator of a nothing debate that will be viewed even less than the obscure-on-purpose Democrat debates.

And just when Fox and Ailes were preparing her for true stardom, too. It’s a shame. She’s pretty, smart and just needed a prominent body or two to publicly feast on to elevate her to the next level. But alas, that rascal Trump will not cooperate with the dramatic downfall Fox had carefully planned for him. But go ahead, keep grasping at straws. It makes us deranged, irrational Trump supporters feel all warm and fuzzy every time it happens.