For the record, I have found the Donald Trump sideshow one of the most amusing pieces of political theater in a long time. A long time. Perhaps, I might judge the real estate mogul more harshly and find his statements less entertaining if we were really in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign. While folks in the mainstream media may be wringing their hands about Republicans’ lack of enthusiasm for the current field, more sober and seasoned (and less biased) pundits know that the contest for next year’s Republican nomination has barely even begun, with most serious Republicans focused on the upcoming budget battles in Washington.
The media may see the current contest as one between Trump and Obama, but most conservative pundits know the real issue, as a recent Weekly Standard cover showed, is the debate between House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the president.
Fred Barnes contends the conversation about the 2012 race is “irrelevant” because that’s not where the story is. The 2012 battle for the Republican presidential nomination hasn’t even begun to take shape. Frank Luntz is betting $10,000 that Trump isn’t going to run.
This hasn’t been amusing just because of the way Donald Trump has attracted attention to himself. It has also been fascinating to watch the mainstream media fall all over themselves to cover him. He wouldn’t be making such a spectacle of himself if the media weren’t giving him a megaphone to amplify his message. It seemed that John King devoted his entire CNN show yesterday to the circus created around the birther issue. If this were indeed a circus, then King and his CNN cohorts were the ringmasters, bringing in Trump and the magical disappearing/reappearing birth certificate to entertain and edify the masses.
The mainstream media gave Trump the megaphone, but Barack Obama lowered himself to the reality TV show star. If we really “do not have time for this kind of silliness” with “better stuff to do” than wrangle over his birth certificate, why then did the president choose to address the issue personally “from the White House press briefing room”? Why couldn’t he just have released the certificate and have done with it? Why did he even bother to address the matter personally?
The president’s time is valuable. Why take it up by joining this circus?
“Didn’t,” Mickey Kaus asks, “Obama just elevate Donald Trump?” (Via Instapundit.) Maybe it was, Kaus hints, a kind of strategic elevation, elevating, as another blogger he links puts it, “the crazies.” If the first primary were next week, he might be onto something. So, Trump gets a bit more media attention. But, to elevate trump without making himself seem petty, the president would have avoided making a personal appearance at the press briefing, leaving the matter to his subordinates.
And now with the birth certificate showing nothing at odds with the president’s story about himself, he’s left us to ponder his previous refusal to release it. Don Surber offers some insight into the matter.
UPDATE: Dr. Melissa Clouthier offers her theory why the president is only now releasing the certificate: “When people start to dislike you, though, they’ll believe every spurious and outrageous claim. Why? Because they’re looking for evidence to support their changed belief.” Read the whole thing.
UP-UPDATE: In a post where she offers a viewpoint similar to my own, Michelle Malkin reminds us that “while Obama complains about ‘distractions,’”
his media water-carriers have served him well by falsely and opportunistically casting every conservative activist as a fringe birther conspiracist — and by boosting celebrity big-governmentfraud Donald Trump at the expense of bona fide conservative candidates/issues.
Exactly. Read the whole thing.