There are many, many reasons to abhor Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but there’s at least one reason to appreciate it, for now: his constant and merciless trolling of Jeb Bush that is currently tanking Bush’s shot at the presidency. In some sense, Trump is doing democracy a service by helping ensure we will not have to suffer the embarrassment of having a third Bush family member as president within two decades.
Trump’s penchant for insulting anyone in his path is now well-known (and often deplorable and sexist), though most candidates usually have to deliberately poke the bear for Trump to engage in his usual charade. But just about every day, Trump will go after Jeb unprompted – whether on Twitter or at campaign events or in interviews with journalists – with a voracity virtually never seen in primary politics. Oftentimes it’s substantive and other times it’s not, but it’s almost always delightful to watch.
Trump will attack Jeb for his support for the Iraq War, but if Bush lightly criticizes George W Bush, Trump questions why he would throw his brother under the bus. Trump attacks Jeb for his record in Florida, rips him for his $1.3m “no show job” at Lehman Brothers after he left the governorship. He calls Jeb out for being “100% CONTROLLED” by his wealthy donors, and when a few donors recently left Jeb’s campaign, Trump made fun of him for that too.
But it’s repetition of his now infamous and nebulous phrase – that Bush is a “low-energy guy” who could not handle the rigors of the presidency – that has become a daily occurrence and clearly gotten under Bush’s skin.
Okay well I not at all ready to play Taps over Jeb Bush's political chances. I think he still has a good shot at winning the nomination.
However I also believe that Trump has really done quite a lot of damage to Bush's campaign, though to be honest perhaps not as much as Bush has done himself by supporting his brother's decision to go into Iraq, is support for Common Core, and his stumbles on women's health.
Having said that in some ways Trump is serving as a counter balance to the conservative e-mail attacks on Hillary, by undermining the GOP's most electable candidates electability.
So, DO we need to thank him? Or is this just a happy accident that results from Trump's inherent need to trash anybody who dares to attack him or might be perceived as a potential adversary?