Thursday, May 26, 2016

The best predictor of future behavior is ...

... past behavior. That, readers, is Psychology 101.

Take Richard Nixon for example. Anyone tracking his career should have been able to predict Watergate, or, if not Watergate in detail, something like it. Or, for another example, Nixon's enemies list. Or the tape erasure. Or the dirty tricks team.

In the above paragraph, substitute Donald Trump for Richard Nixon. In case you missed it, it being Trump's behavior pattern over the years, we are witnessing what Trump would do as a President in the here and now.

The enemies list

If you are not with Trump you are a target for his shoot-from-the-hip vitriolic jabs.

The enemies list now likely includes New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez who Trump attacked at a New Mexico rally.

ALBUQUERQUE — Donald J. Trump offered a blistering attack on Gov. Susana Martinez at a rally in her home state on Tuesday, blaming the Republican governor for New Mexico’s economic woes and saying she was “not doing the job.”

Mr. Trump’s criticism of Ms. Martinez, the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association and a rising star in the party, come as he has promised to unify Republicans now that he is his party’s presumptive nominee. He urged the crowd to rally around his candidacy to defeat Hillary Clinton, his likely Democratic rival, in November.

But Ms. Martinez, a two-term Hispanic governor — and the nation’s first Hispanic female governor — has been sharply critical of Mr. Trump. She has expressed concerns about him at recent closed-door party gatherings, and pointedly did not appear at his rally in Albuquerque, telling local reporters she was “really busy.”

In response, Mr. Trump attacked Ms. Martinez several times in his speech, blaming her for Albuquerque’s unemployment numbers and an increase in the number of New Mexico residents now on food stamps.

But Martinez, to her credit so far, is not about to submit to Trump's bullying.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is hitting back at Donald Trump after the presumptive Republican nominee criticized her Tuesday night in Albuquerque.

Martinez spokesman Mike Lonergan said the governor -- a former Marco Rubio supporter who has not yet said she'll back the GOP nominee in November -- won't be "bullied" into supporting Trump "until she is convinced" he'd act in New Mexico's best interests.

... [Lonergan] upped the stakes, making clear that Martinez still doesn't back Trump.

"The pot shots weren't about policy, they were about politics. And the governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans," Lonegran said.

"Governor Martinez doesn't care about what Donald Trump says about her -- she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans," he said. "She's disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night."

By the way:

It's not just a fight between Trump and a prominent Republican Latina. Martinez is also the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, tasked with electing GOP governors this fall, with Trump leading the party on the ballot.

Which GOP governors are going to jump for Trump? I wouldn't want Martinez's job.

Tricky Trump shafts vets

What he claims and what he delivers are different things reports Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog). Just ask the vets groups.

In a normal year, in a normal party, with a normal candidate, it would be the kind of controversy that effectively kills a presidential candidate’s chances of success. In January, Donald Trump skipped a Republican debate in order to host a fundraiser for veterans. He boasted at the time that he’d raised $6 million for vets – which led to a related boast that Trump contributed $1 million out of his own pocket.

The Washington Post reported this week that Trump’s claims simply weren’t true. He did not, for example, raise $6 million. And what about the $1 million check the Republican bragged about? His campaign manager insisted this week that Trump did make the contribution.

Except, that wasn’t true, either. The Post reported last night:

Almost four months after promising $1 million of his own money to veterans’ causes, Donald Trump moved to fulfill that pledge Monday evening – promising the entire sum to a single charity as he came under intense media scrutiny.

The check is apparently going to a group called the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, whose chairman received a call from Trump on Monday night, the day the campaign controversy broke.

CNN, meanwhile, reported last night that when it comes to the candidate’s support for veterans’ groups, there have been “discrepancies between the amount of money Trump touts, and the amount actually donated.”

You can find one example right on Trump’s own website, where Trump boasts of saving an annual veterans parade in 1995 with his participation, and a cash donation, “Mr. Trump agreed to lead as grand marshal,” and “made a $1 million matching donation to finance the Nation’s Day Parade.”

Trump did save the event, according to the parade’s organizer, but he didn’t give $1 million to it.

He actually donated “somewhere between $325,000 and $375,000” – about a third of what he claimed – and Trump was not the parade’s grand marshal, a honor reserved for actual veterans.

Postscript: Asked about the January fundraiser, and his claim that he’d raised $6 million for veterans, Trump told the Washington Post yesterday, “I didn’t say six.” Reminded that he did, in reality, use the specific $6 million figure – out loud, in public, on video – Trump changed the subject.

Tricky, Trump.

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