William Rivers Pitt is one of the finest political writers working in America. He fillets American politicians and political movements deliberately and deftly, and then serves their boned carcasses up with delicious side orders of humor or biting sarcasm. His columns at www.truthout.org are guilty pleasures that always manage to light a fire under me - even on the most dreary of days.
Pitt's column at Truthout today focused on Donald Trump, a businessman/huckster who is suddenly talking about running for President. The writer noted, gleefully, that Trump's adoption of the cause of "birtherism" has given him an instant leg-up with the goofiest fringe of the Republican Party, and while the national GOP is happy to have the kooks running rampant during an off-year Congressional primaries and even the general election, they will want these noisy miscreants under control next year when the Presidency is at stake.
Trump is currently running ahead of all GOP candidates in national polls primarily because of his loud acceptance of the birther doctrine (the claim that the President was born somewhere other than America). That nonsense is a political winner with a large percentage of the Republican Party. None of the other potential GOP candidates have crawled out on that same limb with Trump because none would want to have to defend that ridiculous notion in a general election.
The Republicans have shamelessly used the teabaggers and birthers for their own ends - such as organizing them to shout down Democratic officeholders at public events, and now it appears that the party has become the captive of its evil spawn.
Pitt posits that Donald Trump may just be messing with the GOP with his talk of a full-fledged campaign, but anytime a billionaire with strong national name recognition has something to say, people will listen. Right now Trump is giving strong attention to the birthers - and the Chamber of Commerce Republicans are squirming in their private clubs and board rooms.
And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks!