Donald Trump just trumped all the Republican candidates for president.
The day after the president came out to assure us that tolerance, gun control, and climate change would save us from ISIS, Donald Trump demanded we bar any Muslims from entering this country and bar any American citizen who is Muslim from re-entering the United States.
Set aside the merits of what amounts to at least, in part, an unconstitutional position.
This is actually brilliant politics for the here and now. Immediately, every other Republican candidate except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100% rushed out to attack Donald Trump. He’s unhinged, hateful, etc. And the responses all amounted to “We must let Muslims enter our country,” which sounds a whole lot like “We must allow all Mexicans in our country,” which everyone knows is blatantly untrue on both counts.
We do not have to do it, but the other candidates, unable to nuance their spittle, went all in with “no religious tests” and “yes we must do this because it is who we are.”
So, to put it another way, the day after the president failed to reassure a scared public following the second worst terrorist attack since 9/11 on domestic soil, Donald Trump not only got himself to the right of all the other candidates, but also got every single one of them save for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 100% to align themselves with Barack Obama.
Hate Donald Trump all you want, be offended by his proposal all you want, but it is really brilliant politics for Trump right now in the Republican primary and the reactions from the other candidates prove it. All the people attacking Trump on his immigration proposals now attacking him on this have done themselves no favors within the primary process.
Have none of these people read Art of the Deal? This is an opening, bombastic salvo to set the terms of negotiations, and the other candidates, except Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), just decided to negotiate in Barack Obama’s position. And it comes at a time when some polls are suggesting Trump is starting to fade in places like Iowa.
Again, ignore the merits and constitutionality — the politics of this work to his advantage.