Jonah Goldberg

At this point, there's at least one thing you can't blame Donald Trump for: being Donald Trump.

Like the scorpion in Aesop's fables who must sting the frog because that's simply what scorpions do, the world-renowned, self-promoting billionaire-clown must tout himself with passion and narcissistic self-regard.

It was only a matter of time, for instance, before he came out with his own fragrance: Donald Trump Cologne by Donald Trump Eau De Toilettes (You can find it on Amazon.com. The first of the two customer reviews is from a woman who discovered the scent as it wafted up from the stock boy at "Toys R Us").

But that's not the smell that bothers me. It's the stench of desperation coming up from those fickle souls taking a Trump presidential bid seriously.

How fickle? Well, Not a day goes by when someone doesn't explain that Newt Gingrich can't win because he's damaged goods. And it's certainly true that the former speaker of the House has a lot of baggage -- "enough to open a Louis Vuitton store," writes Ramesh Ponnuru in National Review. But surely "The Donald's" baggage would require an army of stevedores and sherpas.

And yet, the thrice-married lothario who says all women are gold diggers -- at least when it comes to signing prenuptial agreements with him (and he may have a point there!) -- is actually leading among Republican women, according to a CNN poll.

Forget Gingrich. Consider Mitt Romney. Nearly every conservative in Christendom not on Romney's payroll -- and some who are -- insists that his "RomneyCare" law in Massachusetts is a political albatross given its similarities to ObamaCare. Well, here's Trump in his book "The America We Deserve": "We must have universal healthcare. Our objective (should be) ... to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice." Trump's flip-flopping now, as he is on his past support for Democrats, raising taxes, etc. And changes of heart are fine. But forgive me if I don't equate the word "Trump" with "sincere."

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been under fire for (foolishly) suggesting a "truce" on cultural issues with the left. Social conservatives rightly saw this as a call for unilateral disarmament. But somehow gambling and wrestling impresario Trump would make a reliable champion of social issues?


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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