In a general election campaign that pits Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the best thing Democrats have going for them is that most people find it unimaginable Trump could ever be president, nor would they like him to be. Right now Trump is auditioning for the role in media appearances, trying to hone his presidential act. If Democrats wait until Americans can comfortably picture him in that part, as happened for Ronald Reagan in 1980, Trump could become unstoppable. So the party needs to cancel the President Trump pilot before it goes to series.
The good news is, Trump is undisciplined and mistake-prone, and it’s easy to get into his head. So Democrats need to engage him now on their own terms (not his), and bring out the worst in him.
To do that, the party needs an army of Ann Coulters — a gang of acid-tongued, take-no-prisoners SOBs whose role would be to publicly engage Trump in verbal combat and force him to make mistakes. The list of potential “ill-will ambassadors” includes:
The D.C. Rat Pack:
- Alan Grayson – the sharp-tongued Florida congressman is the Mike Tyson of House liberals and they need him center ring in this campaign. The p.r. wouldn’t hurt his senate race, either.
- Rahm Emanuel – the famously ill-tempered mayor and former White House mafia don makes rough-and-tumble politics an art form.
- Al Franken — though he sheds his sardonic quips for the D.C. Armani set, the Minnesota Senator is the best deadpan counterpuncher in politics. Before his political career, he took on Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly in public feuds and whupped both. Trump is tailor-made for his biting bon mots.
- Maxine Waters – the liberal lioness of the Congressional Black Caucus could draw Trump into an ugly clash of words that would invariably sour him in the eyes of blacks and women.
- Barney Frank – another tempting piñata for Trump to swing at wildly. If The Donald could stumble so badly with his sexist Megyn Kelly remarks, imagine how far afield he will go on the out-of-the-closet Frank.
- James Carville – the Ragin’ Cajun is already locked and loaded.
- Anthony Weiner – yes, him. Sure, his sordid past makes him a luscious target for Trump’s poison darts…and that’s the point. By suckering Trump to go full-frontal vulgar on Weiner’s illicit past — and inevitably dragging his wife Human Abedin into the fray — the scuzzy dustup would ultimately turn voters off on Trump — especially women. And it may inoculate Bill from similar attacks later on.
- Ed Rendell — the gravel-voiced former Pennsylvania governor can sling insults with a sinister smirk.
- Jennifer Granholm — the gorgeous ex Michigan governor can slug with the best of ‘em.
- Jerry Brown — the four-term California governor may be up there in years, but no one is as good in a partisan knife fight as he is.
Media Murderers’ Row:
- Bill Maher – just as he defanged mama grizzly Sarah Palin, Maher will be happy to go Revenant on papa bear Trump.
- Cenk Uygur — one of the most snarky, cutting broadcasters in the business. I’d make him a campaign spokesman.
- Jon Stewart — the most snarky, cutting broadcaster in the business. I’d give him any title he wants.
The job of this A-team of “A-holes” is to go on the media circuit to pick fights with Trump. As he’s said himself many times, Trump can’t resist “counterpunching,” and he might even win some exchanges. But in a full-scale psyops war, Trump is a target-rich environment. Under a sustained barrage on multiple fronts, he will crack and show his ugly side. The ensuing negative news coverage will bruise his ego and draw him into even more reckless remarks. By the end he’ll be like Charlie Sheen on the talkshow circuit, spouting platitudes about winning while looking like the deluded, the wild-eyed egomaniac he is.
And when the worst of Trump is on display, even the worst of Clinton or Sanders will look damned good by comparison.